A Daytime Demo of Gun Interactive: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre Game Implications for the Survival of a Bounding Hitchhiker
My heart races and palms get sweaty as I use my keyboard to escape the house. When a piercing chain saw roars nearby, minutes of thoughtful strategy and diligent stealth go out the window with me as I lunge at the pane of glass separating my character from the outside world.
Bathed in sunlight and shards of glass, I take a moment to relish in the safety of the front yard. That’s a mistake. My heart stops as the Hitchhiker spots me from across the grass and heads right in my direction. His pocketknife cuts through my skin. I was racing to get away from the dusty country roads. A screen tells me I’ve survived the Texas Chain Saw Massacre game. I exhaled a sigh of relief.
Apart from the gameplay mechanics, the focus on daytime horror differentiates this game from other popular horror titles. “One thing that great horror does really well is taking something that people should feel safe about and adding the horror to it,” says Vicens. It makes them uneasy right off the bat because it subverts their expectations. Expanding on the subversive horror of the Texas Chain Saw Massacre game, he says, “You escape into that front yard as a victim and it’s beautiful. There are fields of flowers with the sun on the horizon. There is a dude with a chainsaw that is going to break through the door and come at you.
I played only three rounds of Texas, and without access to the character’s skill tree, so it’s still too early to judge the game’s overall balance or replayability. Gun Interactive does not have a specific release date, but the game is expected to come out in 2023. After the demo, I spoke with Gun Interactive’s Ismael Vicens, an executive producer, and Matthew Szep, a brand strategy lead, to learn more about the upcoming release.
When John Carpenter conceived the idea of horror: A friend in Los Angeles, where he spent his childhood playing piano, guitar, and violin
Elaborating why video games are a great medium for horror, Szep says, “It’s taking a medium that exists where, you’re a bystander in the horror when you watch a movie; you’re an active participant or victim of the horror when you’re playing the game.”
When he was 8 years old, John Carpenter picked up the violin. His father and a music teacher were his tutor. “The only problem,” Carpenter cackles on the phone from his office in Los Angeles, “was I had no talent.” That might be a bit of a misstatement. Young Carpenter wrote scores for many of his most famous movies, as a legendary horror director. His eerie synths are now as much a part of his legacy as his visuals.
Still, he never imagined he’d become what he is now: a full-time professional musician. Carpenter released his last movie, The Ward, in 2011. He made his solo debut with Lost Themes, which was released by Sacred Bones, a label with homes to Amen Dunes and Zola Jesus. (As Carpenter puts it, “They specialize in all sorts of weird-ass stuff.”)
Two more Lost Themes installments have followed. He has played his first live show in Athens and has since played throughout Europe, the UK, and the US. Every part of David Gordon Green’s Halloween series has a score written by Carpenter and his son and godson.
Carpenter moved on to the piano and guitar after the violin debacle. But it was hearing the soundtrack to 1956’s Forbidden Planet that changed everything. It had a lot of electronic music. he says now, still amazed. This was a married couple, the Barrons. The score was transformative for me. It took me someplace that I didn’t expect ever to go.” The man had a dream that he should follow in the footsteps of the Barrons.
“Cut to film school,” he says. “You’re making a student film, you have no money. It is better to do the score on your own. It was the same thing when I made low-budget films. Carpenter remembers thinking, “Well, one day, maybe, I’ll have some money.” In the meantime, he grinded out the scores himself. “It was purely a requirement of the moviemaking, and it just caught on as another creative element.”
Even though Halloween is still his best-known movie, taking a stroll through his film catalog will show you how well his movie music holds up. Escape from New York. surprisingly low-key, surprisingly groovy theme is a personal favorite. It’s perfect for feeling cool as you walk around pre-apocalyptic New York.)
Sound and Visual: How a Smashed Fruit Can Reveal Doomsday: A Case Study in Insights from the Dead Space Game
A grapefruit will do just fine if you want to know what it feels like to root around in someone’s chest cavity without a bloody mess. Tear, compress, and squish it in your hands. The sour fruit is now a fake gurgling death thanks to a small tuning on the audio side.
Sound designers in video games have mastered the art of turning mundane noises into art of the grossest kind. Cracking apart a walnut becomes the sound of bones snapping. Nickelodeon green goo splashed onto the floor is a dead ringer for blood, vomit, and spilled guts, while using a plunger to slurp through that same mess conjures up any number of wet, squelching scenarios. Sometimes a developer will try to make music with a human skull. If you want to make a scary film, hitting the right note is key to marrying sound with visual. A developer can’t just toss a player into a dark room and hope it’s scary. They have to sell it.
The recent Dead Space remake by Motive Studios doesn’t shy away from this challenge. There was a warning added to the beginning of its survival horror game that depicts traumatic events and self- harming, which is more gruesome than all Texas Chainsaw massacre movies combined. A game like this allows its audience to face the terrifying alien from a safe, warm couch, which is a perfect fit for horror lovers.
Leonardis says that body horror is about the body as the central source of anxiety and worry. It often means grotesque violations, including rot, or changes of the body. Humans have a natural aversion to that which can get us sick or give us infections (see also: all incarnations of The Last of Us). He says it’s a survival aspect of being disgusted.
Strong sound design can trigger parts of the brain that impact how we physically react, especially when manipulated into the right context. Smashed fruit on its own may not be bad, but pair it with the visual of a caving chest and it redefines how we process that noise. The brain’s insular cortex, which helps us make the distinction between ourselves and others, may trigger that wave of disgust we feel in reaction. Think of it this way: It’s gross to pick your nose, but not nearly as much as when you see someone else pick theirs.