An Exploratory Interview About the New Horror IP, Allison Road

Published: July 16, 2015 1:00 PM /


allison road

Ever since the death of PT, survival horror fans have been pining for something to make their palms sweat, to keep them on the edge of their seats and to sink their fangs into some good old fashioned helpless frights.

A new IP has popped up that will quell that itch. The IP is called Allison Road. Allison Road is a first-person survival horror game currently in development by newly founded UK studio Lilith Ltd.

It started out as a one-man hobby project back in September 2014, but since then the team has grown to a size of 6 people at the time of this writing.

Their about section on Facebook says, "Even though we might not have a big budget (or a big crew for that matter), we are a bunch of highly passionate individuals who are trying to develop to the highest standards with the means we have available to us."

Their Facebook illustrates that Allison Road combines old-school survival horror and adventure game mechanics with next-gen graphics and optional VR support.

We conducted an interview with Chris Kesler who is the Project Lead over email about Allison Road, as well as the inspirations behind it. Here is what he had to say.

TechRaptor: Can you tell us why Allison Road is a horror game. How much do you enjoy horror?

Chris Kesler: Oh, I love horror. It's my favorite genre!

I find it really fascinating how you can go through all these various terrifying emotions.. sometimes soaked in sweat, or even still disturbed after you turned the console off.. in the safety of your home.

TechRaptor: Can you tell us which this is? A successor to Silent Hill, or a new IP altogether?

CK: No, it's a completely new IP. The press talked about us as successor to PT. / Silent Hills, but we never really said we have anything to do with these games other than PT. providing the inspiration to make a game in the first place.

Pretty awesome, though, that people seem to be giving us a chance to step into the shoes of such an iconic and beloved franchise.

It's actually one of my favorite franchises ever, so as you can imagine.. it's pretty incredible!

TechRaptor: Can you tell us the biggest development challenge you've faced thus far in the game?

CK: Working a full-time job while trying to make this game was.. more than though to say the least.

I've only recently quit my day job actually and since then things have been a little less crazy:)

Even though I'm still occasionally working freelance for a few days.

TechRaptor: Can you tell us the most fulfilling development you've made thus far in the game?

CK: Actually this gameplay vertical slice that we put on YouTube was the first time we put all the team member's efforts into one chunk of gameplay and it was truly amazing seeing it all come together.

We have a long way to go, of course, but it's still incredible that it went from an 'Unreal Engine editor thing' to 'hey, this kinda feels and plays like a game' in the space of a few days after we put everything in. Was quite exciting:)

TechRaptor: Why does it take place in a British townhouse? How is that location relevant to you or the game?

CK: The location isn't really relevant to the game. I just felt contemporary British settings are seriously under-represented in games.

British architecture is pretty fascinating I think. All these Georgian era buildings have such a colorful history.

The industrial revolution; All these hard working people enduring hardship and horrid working/housing conditions to make a living and keep these giant factories running..

Imagine these houses could talk. What incredible stories they would tell.

TechRaptor: What was the most fun aspect of the game to develop and why?

CK: Well, personally I love environments! I used to work and an environment artist and concept artist before this, so it's something really close to the heart.

You know, when you build an object in a 3D app like Modo it's cool to see a 'real representation' of something. You can move the camera around, kind of understand it's volume.. the little details etc.

But the real fun (for me) is when you got it into Unreal Engine and the shading and texturing is done.

I start most of my objects as a simple cube and sometimes it's a long way from cube to finished piece of furniture.

Seeing that on screen for the fist time is always a pretty awesome feeling.

TechRaptor: Why do you play as an unnamed character?

CK: We didn't really want to force 'our version' of the character onto the player. And even simple things like names come with a certain association.

We really wanted the character to be defined by the story and by the player so to speak.

TechRaptor: What other creations inspired Allison Road besides Silent Hill?

CK: Oh there are so many things out there that are inspiring. Games, movies, artists, books.

The whole atmosphere of Gone Home is fantastic for example. Or the horror of Dead Space / Resident Evil.

Stanley Kubrick's knack for symbolism is quite inspiring. The Shining is a great example.

Or Guillermo Del Toro's great feeling for supernatural things; Pan's Labyrinth for example; such a beautiful movie.

Damien Hirst's work is incredible; also something to be inspired by.

The Cell, Eiko Ishioka, Silence of the Lambs, Extension du domaine de la lutte by Michel Houellebecq.

There are so many great things out there to be inspired by.:)

TechRaptor: Can you detail how you've made this game accessible to disabled console and PC gamers?

CK: That is something we're thinking about. Ideally we'd have for example very descriptive subtitles for gamers with hearing problems (like you see in movies), however, it will really come down to budget; We'll have to see if we can actually realize it.

TechRaptor: What systems will this be released on and when is the release date?

CK: Currently we can only confirm release on PC via Steam, as we've already been greenlit.

We are talking to PlayStation and Xbox, but can't confirm anything just yet:)

TechRaptor: Why are you looking to appeal to the survival horror genre by making this game? Surely other genres are fun to develop for as well?

CK: Oh it's my favorite genre.

There are other great genres out there, no doubt about it, and I love playing a whole variety of games, but survival horror is definitely my favorite.

TechRaptor: What are your future plans with projects and development? Will you branch out to other avenues, such as point and click adventure or will you stick to a singular genre? Why or why not?

I think it's way too early to be able to give a good answer to that question. There are so many fun genres out there and it would be great to explore in all kinds of directions. I mean particularly now with the advent of VR things will get really exciting.

But that's something that can be looked into later. Right now we just got to focus on the task at hand and try and make it as good a game as we can:)


TechRaptor would like to thank Chris Kesler for this interview.

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Robert Kingett is a blind journalist in Chicago who is the author of Off the Grid, living blindly without the Internet. He has been gaming ever since he… More about Robert