I got an email about Round Table’s first game, Deal With The Devil, which they’re developing in partnership with Antimatter Games. According to the press info blast they’re aiming to “bridge the gap between narrative-driven experience and first-person horror”.
There’s mention of the roaring twenties, eldritch horrors, Art Deco glamour and ancient, forbidden places in the press release – things which promise much but until you see them in play you (or at least I) tend to be a little wary. In search of a bit more detail I emailed studio co-founder Rich Barham to ask a few questions, particularly on the subject of protagonist Amelia Woods…
On the horror elements of the game:
We’re looking at a horror style which reflects the inspirational authors of the period, primarily Lovecraft, but to some extent Poe and much later King. It’s a lingering, insidious, psychological horror, certainly not reliant on jump scares or gore.
Regarding Amelia, while not designed specifically for the purpose, she is very much outside of the normal established female protagonist game tropes. Firstly, one differentiator is that she is portrayed in her 30s, with significant character flaws reflected in the way that her persona is manifest in the narrative. Her choices have the option to retain her humanity, or to allow her to truly become the villain, and in her journeys across the world, the ‘darker’ version will have greater access to some NPC and resources, than the ‘more principled’ version, with whom human interactions, allies and information will come easier. It is a balancing act that allow the player to solve problems in different ways, hurting people with rumours or misinformation in an episode, as opposed to making friends with those same persons to gain their aid to achieve the same ends.
On my requests for artwork or screenshots:
Regarding imagery, barring our logo page we’re not yet ready to start releasing our art. However this will be following soon, and for information we’re using a stylised realism heavily influenced by the Art Deco prevalent in the period.
I think a lot of the game’s appeal (or otherwise) for me as it develops will hinge around it’s aesthetic so I’m hoping there will be more to look at soon. I mean the game is billed as “coming soon” and there’s holding text on Antimatter’s website saying more info is “coming soon” so it must be coming soon, right?