Heathen The sons of the law Game Developer Interview

Heathen The sons of the law asked for Worldview and Intro of Story.

This is an interview with the developer of “Heathen – The sons of the law” (English version). You can read Japanese version articles from here.(この記事は『Heathen – The sons of the law』の開発者インタビューの英語版である。日本語版の記事はこちらから読むことができる)

Heathen The sons of the law

HEATHEN is a solo story driven adventure with an immersive First Person view. The development team Frog Factory was inspired by HG.Wells’ novel “The island of Doctor Moreau”. Heathen seems to have prepared a dubious atmosphere and harsh survival. In this time, I was able to ask developers about the world view, the beginning of the story, the basic system. How do they put the human desires and fears into the game? Let’s touch it.

――We do not like “jumping scare” games, we prefer a progress of atmosphere more and more distressing.

――You introduced Heathen inspired by “The island of Doctor Moreau” and developing it. How did you get to know this novel and incorporate it into game development?

We read the novel a long time ago. we discovered a amazing world with very good concepts of H.G. Wells . Then we decided to make a game and the novel was a perfect environment for a game . The island, lost in the pacific
ocean, and the concept of the “human fabrication” with animals were good cases to develop the game.

――Does the hero of Heathen have a name? Also, what kind of person is the hero?

The hero doesn’t have a real name, but he has a project name , more scientific, that is JU7A14.
The hero was created by the professor peary, his last creation. He is a special class, smarter and more agile than other beasts of the island. He is a kind of human but with animals abilities. So when he uses these abilities, he can run faster, jump higher and can hit enemies with his retractable claws.

Heathen The sons of the law

――It is impressive that the player is fighting various creatures.  Please introduce about these creatures. Does the tribe have a name, too?

Yes there is 3 main clans:

The faceless clan: They were created to work in agricultural exploitations. To not scare these ladies, their faces were covered by white masks, which were of human aspect. After the revolt, they have assimilated this practice, and the mask has become their “true face”. They left the farms and now control the forest of the old temple. They are close to nature, .

The “Faction 12”: They are soldiers. Humans intensified their production during the year 1914 and planed to send them to the european front until they lost control of the island. They are very well trained and armed with guns, sometimes with prototype weapons.

The people of depths: this is the clan of the undergrounds, living in the deep mines. They all were designed to work in the mine, so they have very strange forms, sometimes are a mix of machines/creatures. They are close to the faction 12.

There are some isolated creatures, that are often the result of the first experiences. They have no clan, and are totally savage and out of control.

Heathen The sons of the law

――How many weapons and equipment can be equipped by the player? Also, can players put them in inventory?

For early access: 7 weapons, maps, a compass, a gas mask, a miner helmet with personal light. Beside, the player will found lot of different items to achieves quests and puzzles. All these objects are stored in a self organizing inventory.

――Is Heathen an open world game?

The world is open, but the story will drive the player. For the final game we work for a free survival mode in an open world accessible at the end of story mode.

――How many hours is assumed for the total playing time of the game?

Of course it depends how you will play the game.

Between 4 and 8 hours for a new player to achieve the story mode of the early access version of the game, in normal mode. For the final game, it should be at least twice longer.

――You will release Heathen as an early access title.  Can players clear all the stories from the beginning? Or will you gradually develop stories?

The early access will be released with 50% of story and will be updated regularly.

――I saw Heathen’s trailer. A very terrible atmosphere was drifting on the game screen. What do you care about when directing fear? Please tell me about your commitment to creating fear.

Our first goal was not to create a horror game but an anguishing adventure. We do not like “jumping scare” games, we prefer a progress of atmosphere more and more distressing.

So the player start the game on an Island. This place is very open,large, natural and sunny, sometimes charming. But this will not be like that so long, the game will become darker to the Crescent Mine: a big mining
complex with large rooms and small labyrinthic tunnels. This place is very oppressive and dark, the opposite of the island. We recommend it for claustrophobic people, to defeat fear.

Heathen The sons of the law

――Are there any games that you were influenced as creators? Also, please tell me if you have favorite Japanese games.

During years we played a lot of games and were influenced by many of them. For “Heathen” we could say that our influence games are classic fps like “Doom”, “Quake”, “Half Life”, “Metro”, “Crysis”, etc…

Hard to tell a favorite japanese game. There is a lot of excellent Japanese games but we had very good feelings with series like Final Fantasy, resident evil or dark souls.

Heathen The sons of the law Official website

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Writer: Semapho (Twitter is here)