The upcoming point and click adventure video game Goosebumps: The Game has received a release date. The adaptation of the classic children’s horror book series will release on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC and the Nintendo 3DS this coming Tuesday, October 13, 2015 ahead of the new movie which will arrive in cinemas on October 16.
Silent Hill: Book of Memories and Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark developer Wayforward Technologies is making the game and they are developing it in the style of classic first person adventure game Shadowgate which released almost thirty years ago in 1987 for the Apple Macintosh.
The game’s story will lead into the feature film’s and in a post on the PlayStation Blog, Wayforward Technologies director Tom Hulett wrote extensively about getting the spirit of the franchise right.
“This approach (or a similar one) is something I’ve advocated for years to anyone making a horror title. The whole point of a scary game is to control the atmosphere and the player’s mood so you can effectively stage scare moments. Too many developers build an entire action game and then expect to drape “scary stuff” over the top of it during the polish phase, resulting in a bland atmosphere, failed scares, and an overall rushed feeling. I was glad to finally sidestep the debate entirely by building a horror game in this room-by-room structure. Everything was planned and called out up front; we knew exactly what we needed to build. It was refreshing to watch our “scare” elements come together smoothly.”
“Goosebumps, as a series, leans heavily on youth and childhood as themes. The books are written for children of course, to encourage reading and to empower them: the protagonists are always kids who survive, outsmart, or otherwise overcome the books’ ghosts or monsters. Since we were continuing this theme, I looked to my own childhood to inspiration, and our first area is inspired by my walks home from school which included shortcuts through a small wooded area.”
“I’m not satisfied if the game is merely Goosebumps-flavored, or brand-adjacent. I couldn’t sleep if the game felt like anything less than an authentic Goosebumps product with all the hallmarks that entails. It also helped that we were able to visit Sony Pictures to screen the film early on to provide inspiration and insight into the direction of the movie to help set up the prequel story.”
“Above I mentioned childhood as a theme. We looked for other recurring themes in the books, finding things like big creepy houses, parents who seemed oblivious to what was going on, older siblings, outsmarting adults, distrust of strangers, etc. These helped shape our decisions regarding game flow and the areas you would visit.”
It’ll be interesting to see how the game turns out, given the fact that few licensed video games are well-received. Wayforward Technologies appears to be committed to tone though; Hullet notes that the books’ publisher Scholastic sent them many of the novels for reference.