Exclusive: Larry Fessenden on taking the video game UNTIL DAWN into the VR world with RUSH OF BLOOD

 Friday, September 23, 2016



Last year, independent genre auteur Larry Fessenden entered the world of video games with the survival-horror shocker UNTIL DAWN, for Supermassive Games and Sony. Now, he’s literally getting in your face with the VR spinoff RUSH OF BLOOD, and RUE MORGUE got some exclusive words with the man about the project.

Coming October 13 exclusively for the PlayStation 4 on the PlayStation VR platform, UNTIL DAWN: RUSH OF BLOOD was, like its predecessor, written by Fessenden and Graham Reznick, longtime sound designer for Fessenden’s productions and writer/director of the surreal feature I CAN SEE YOU. “When we were finishing up the extensive writing period on UNTIL DAWN,” Fessenden tells us, “the Supermassive boys asked me and Graham to get involved with writing this VR game. This was a year ago; they’re always ahead of the technology, you know, trying to figure out what to do next.”

  He adds that scripting RUSH OF BLOOD was a simpler task than penning its predecessor. “It’s not as extensive a scenario as the video game, which was completely preposterous; we like to say it was 10,000 pages, and I believe that’s almost true. We also wrote it twice, once for PlayStation 3 and once for PlayStation 4. Because of all the branching storylines, that was really a dense thing; the RUSH OF BLOOD script was considerably shorter, and the game experience is not as long. I think the idea is that you can only take so much VR at a time!”

As in the previous game, Fessenden appears in RUSH OF BLOOD as well. “I’m a fully animated character; I’m sort of a mad carnival barker, and the gamer goes on a thrill ride through this carny environment, with zombies and other creatures jumping out at them. It’s really cool; I’ve played it, and it’s very immersive. There are a lot of surprises, and it gets unbelievably trippy. Good times, if you have the stomach for it [laughs]!”

Fessenden wasn’t aware of what his character was going to look like before performing the motion capture for it, but had a good sense of what the role required, and the experience from UNTIL DAWN. “It’s like being in the STAR WARS series or something,” he says. “You put the little green dots on, and that’s how they capture your facial expressions. They scan your whole face, so they can make you say or do anything—which is somewhat alarming! They also shoot you on video, through the window or wherever you’re recording, and then the animators have some sense of your gestures. So the final performance feels like me; it’s really fun.”

Look for more from Fessenden on other upcoming projects at this site next week!

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