Interview: STIFLED Is Going To Bring Quality Gameplay To Blind Horror

Blind horror's popularity in development is continuing to expand with another title that I originally got to try out at E3's Indiecade called Stifled by Gattai Games! While this game doesn't plan to launch till Q4 of 2017, it will be on multiple platforms in both VR and non-VR, including Steam, PS4, XB1, PSVR, Oculus, and HTC Vive!

After connecting with Justin Ng from the development team and playing the demo while I was there, I asked if we could get some more information out of him regarding his upcoming game! I loved his answer to my first question the most, but the entire interview was rather informative.

Interview with Justin

Why is it called Stifled?
"Since the game is based entirely on using a mic for voice control and the objective is stealth gameplay, it is the perfect name because you will have to stifle yourself from making noise or you could give yourself away."

What inspired you to make this game?
"Stifled is a spiritual successor to Lurking and Lurking was inspired by this video.

Lurking started off quite innocently as an exploration game where we wanted to use pitch and tone as a core mechanic to solve puzzles, but it quickly evolved into a horror game when we found the simplistic black/white art style that was in the words of our sound designer: "Perfect for horror."

We know it's going to be in VR, but can you play without? How does that work?
"Yep it will work without VR! It plays like a regular First-Person game with either Mouse + Keyboard or a Gamepad. The microphone functionality will also work fine as long as there's an microphone input, it does take a bit more work to get the right calibration correct since we have less control over what kinds of microphones players will end up using, but generally speaking a pair of Earphone/Headphones with a Mic-input works best."

Do you hope to bring a new light to the dark world of blind Horror?
"That's a cause that's too heavy to bear, a crusade left to better developers. We at Gattai Games just want to develop cool experiences that give players an "aha" moment, and I think Stifled does that. Hopefully we can change things up in other genres as we grow as a studio."

How long has this been in development?
"Stifled has been in development  for about 3 years at this point, it'd be 3.5 years if we were to include Lurking."

Is it the beginning of a series?
"Maybe. We as a studio are genre agnostic and our next game is probably not horror. After 3.5 years of horror game development, we need time for all the ideas to sink in and new perspectives to form before going back into it. Last thing we want is to make a sequel that's uninspired and/or feels like a cash grab."

What's your favorite part of the game so far?
"I would say it's the final bit in the demo. It's a part of the game that has been played by many people at multiple events, which allows me to observe their reactions in real time. It's sadistic/sick to say this, but I feel immense joy when I hear squeals and/or screams."

How many different challenges will players face?
"We have a few different enemies that the player will be up against, enemies that all react to sounds, but just differently enough to mix things up."

Is it going to be completely Defenseless horror?
"If by this you mean lacking weapons and a means of fighting back, yes. It's a much more stealth heavy game."

Check out the Trailer:

It seems that they really have the games in-depth focus at heart and want to make sure they bring out a quality game. I can truly appreciate that kind of focus over trying to get something out that appeals in trailers, but doesn't live up to expectations. But then again, maybe all this did was raise my expectations higher than they should be? We won't know until it's out, but it sounds incredibly promising!

You can follow the development on Facebook and Twitter.