Splatterhouse pays homage to the series by including classic weapons, monsters, and characters. Heck, the original games are even unlockable bonuses in Splatterhouse. For new monsters, the development team designed them from a destructive point of view. They planned the death scene first then made the monster.
Producer Dan Tovar explains more in this interview plus hints at downloadable content plans.
Splatterhouse, the original games, had some memorable monsters. How is the team working on the Splatterhouse revival designing creatures for Rick to fight?
Dan Tovar, Producer: Some of the characters are straight from the original. There are certain amount of characters we wanted to bring back that we identified as iconic and critical to the franchise. Those guys just got a modernized 3D coat of paint and a new model so we can pay homage to the original game.
The other guys we basically think of from a destructive point of view. It’s how you’re going to rip this thing apart, how are you gonna kill it. There’s one guy you that you tear off its head and it’s got this Alien’s mouth kind of thing. That was the design, we wanted a character that you can tear it out of its neck. So, it’s really like how you kill them that spurns the design.
That approach is quite different. How do you come up with ways to tear apart creatures then?
Basically, we got a bunch of guys sitting around a room, hashing out ideas, and coming up with the gnarliest ways to destroy things, you know. It’s pretty entertaining because everyone is a normal looking guy. We don’t have any, you know, psychopathic murderers on staff that look suspicious when they walk in. It’s just a normal bunch of artists and programmers. The stuff that comes out of their mouths is like highly entertaining.
Aside from limbs, what other weapons can Rick pick up? Stuff like the 2×4.
Yeah, absolutely. Dismemberment is a big mechanic for us. You can rip off heads and arms of enemies and use those limbs as weapons. We went through the classic games and identified a lot of the weapons that were really popular like the 2×4 and machete. Then we have classic horror movie staples like shotguns, the chainsaw, lead pipes, baseball bats, butcher knives, anything you’ve dreamed about smashing someone to a bloody pulp with.
When redesigning Rick why did you drop the Friday the 13th style look from the original game for a ghoulish mask and brawny look?
The original Splatterhouse had licensing issues because of the similarities to Jason from Friday the 13th. They even at the time of the second and third games were moving away from the hospital scrubs and hockey mask kind of look. Even in Splatterhouse 3 he was shirtless and had more of a bone mask than a hockey mask.
We were following that path. A, because we want to distance ourselves from Jason and Friday the 13th. You know its a great movie, great franchise, we love those movies, but this is a different kind of game. It’s not a psychopath murdering kind of game, even though you’re smashing things to a bloody pulp. It’s monster on monster action.
That becomes the other aspect of the character. He is fighting demons from another dimension, some of them five or sixteen times his size. In order for that to be believable we really thought he needed to be bulked up and more a beast himself.
How can fans unlock the original games?
It’ll be through story mode. We want people to access them. It’s basically our gratitude to the fans for keeping the franchise alive all these years because it’s been long dormant. We want people to play them. We want them to see what the games were like. A lot of people may not know them, this generation has had very little exposure to them. As you play through story mode on any difficulty you should have all three of them by the time you finish the game.
[Editor’s note: Splatterhouse 1-3 are unlockable in Splatterhouse.]
Which version of Splatterhouse is in the game?
The two sequels, Splatterhouse 2 and 3 are the Genesis versions. Splatterhouse 1 is the Japanese arcade version.
But, translated into English.
This is a reboot, so do you view Splatterhouse as a franchise and have sequels in mind?
I would love to make a sequel. It really depends on how the market responds to it. If we sell a ton of copies, or I should say when we sell a ton of copies, yeah the company is behind it and they want to see it develop into a franchise. I do too. I’d love to roll right on to a sequel after its done. Even the company said they would like to do that, but the market has to respond well to it.
But there are so many Namco Bandai games coming out around the same time. [Splatterhouse is coming out this fall.] Don’t you feel like you’re competing with your own titles?
That’s not really my department. We’re just trying to put together a kick ass game and when its ready its ready.
Post-game are you planning any DLC?
Yeah, but the specifics aren’t ironed out now. We are planning to do pre-order incentives as well as avatar and picture packs. Stuff like that. We’d love to do full on levels or additional missions or survival modes. We do have a survival mode in there so that’s easy to focus on.
In your dream world if you were going to work on a sequel what would you like to focus on?
[Laughs evilly.] It’s hard to say because we’re still finishing this one up. Obviously, we have to push everything to the next level so it’s like where can we inject more blood and gore. We spent so much time maximizing it in here. It’s figuring out how to get more of that in here. More splatter kills because those are always a lot of fun. Deeper combos. More weapons. Different enemies.
Check back tomorrow for part two where Tovar discusses how the game evolved and his favorite feature, gore.