The Forest Interview

Interview with Ben Falcone, creative director for 'The Forest'

Was happily greeted with an interview by the folks behind The Forest which is an upcoming PC horror experience unlike any other. So I sent away a list of questions, and the Creative Director Ben Falcone responded with these answers. Enjoy! My questions are regular font, while the responses are bolded.

First off, could you briefly elaborate on "The Forest" with just a small sum up of what to expect from the game if having heard nothing about it previously?:

You play as the survivor of a passenger jet crash, in an unknown and strange forest. Early on you will scavenge from the plane to survive but as night falls you start to realize youíre not alone.
The vision of the game is a completely open game world, taking the setting from a 70ís or 80ís cannibal horror film and throwing players in there. We have no cut scenes or dialogue of any kind and leave it up to players in how they decide to survive.

I know the trailer shows a crashed plane, but what caused your character to end up in such a scenario?:

The answer to this, is one of the many things players can uncover whilst exploring the world. Why are all the other passengers missing, who is hunting him.

Where did the concept of The Forest come from?:

The initial idea was a game set in a forest where you could chop down any tree and build things from the wood. In the original idea the creatures were more mystical and the horror was similar to Blair Witch Project. Over time the concept evolved and introducing an intelligent cannibal threat added a new layer of interest to the survival simulation.

Furthermore, where did the thought of having ravenous mutants come from?:

Iíve always been a fan of Italian horror, in the 80ís there were a bunch of really bad cannibal horror films made. Although I was never really a fan of those films, the imagery from them stuck with me, and for this game seemed a perfect fit.

One more on top of that, how can the player possible protect themselves when faced with mutants?:

Players can fight the mutants directly using crude weapons made from sticks and stones, or spend time building elaborate traps. Itís also possible for players to turn the tables on the mutants and hunt them in their caves whilst they sleep, similar to ĎI Am Legendí where the main character spends his days clearing out areas.

The Forest Skull Screenshot
How dynamic will the environment be in terms of growth or change over playing the game?:

Changing the environment has been one of our main goals in this project, Players can cut down every plant and tree in the game world, completely changing the look of the world. This also affects gameplay since the mutants tend to stalk you via trees, with these cut down itís much harder for them to surprise you

What will be the balance between crafting items to survive and just exploring the luscious jungle?:

We try to give players enough tools and options so either is a good choice to make. If players explore all day they won't have the food and weapons to survive, however if they spend too much time crafting they will run out of crafting components meaning they will need to explore further.

There are also plans to have Oculus Rift support, how will that impact the experience? Or what are the hopes for how it will impact the experience?:

The Rift really brings the game world to life. †Instead of passing by a 3D plant, you feel like youíre walking past a real life one. Crouched down hiding from an enemy who appears life size is really terrifying. Our claustrophobic caves feel very intense in full virtual reality. Little unexpected things become terrifying, lifting a rock and a small spider scurrying out from underneath causes me to jump back slightly every time it happens

Could we perhaps see The Forest transition to consoles such as Xbox One or Playstation 4 down the road?:

Weíd love to actually. Weíre a really small team so our focus is on making the best PC version possible at this point.

I hope I gave good coverage of questions for the game, will just make a final note if there is any additional information you would like to share? If not, thanks for taking the time to answer questions and look forward to hearing more about The Forest in the future.:

Thanks for the questions!

On a final note I congratulate the team on their Steam Greenlight, you can check out the project on their Webpage Here or on the The Forest Steam Page

The Forest Screenshot

Interviewed by: Jason Stettner

Gamerheadquarters Reviewer Jason Stettner
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