An Inside Look at Silent Hill Ascension

Silent Hill Ascension is one of four Silent Hill games that have been announced to be in development alongside Bloober’s Silent Hill 2 remake, Silent Hill f, and Annapurna’s Silent Hill townfall. Silent Hill Ascension, however, aims to deliver a new type of experience to fans of the classic horror IP and is hoping to do so before the end of 2023.

Ascension is being developed by Genvid Entertainment as an interactive experience where players will have the ability to shape the narrative. It’s a unique and ambitious approach to game delivery and one that we generally haven’t seen before. Polygon recently interviewed CEO of Genvid Entertainment, Jacob Novak, where he provided more details:

Jacob Navok: Let me start by talking about what it is that we do, because that context is going to explain to you how the product works. We create interactive streaming shows, but they’re not [Black Mirror:] Bandersnatch. You’re not just individually playing it as a live stream — we’re actually using the same back end that Twitch operates on, and it’s streaming live from a game engine [that] is accepting all of the inputs from the audience [all] at the same time. You’re basically doing crowd-control decision making. Now, many of those decisions will be made in advance to the audience so that you don’t need to be there live at that moment. If you’re not available at the time at which the streams are on that day, you’ll be able to participate and make sure that your voice is counted inside of the decisions. But if you are there, you’re going to see the outcomes of the audience decisions in real time, but you’re also going to play. There are sequences that will be streaming live, where the audience is going to see characters in danger and you are going to be able to assist them in real time through the video stream, you will see your input and the rest of the audience’s input, and the characters may not survive some of these sequences.

When we talk about [how] we actually don’t know how the show is going to end, we mean that. We’ve set up multiple main characters who are going to go through this nightmare of Silent Hill: Ascension. And we needed multiple mains because as the audience decides what’s going to happen — you saw some of that in the trailer; you saw redemption, suffering, and damnation — as the audience plays, when that character is going through that hallway, and those arms are grabbing at him, you’re gonna have quicktime event-like buttons that you need to tap. If enough of the audience fails, he will be killed in that sequence, and will wake up with reduced hope. And that’s going to lead him toward a path toward death.

So this series is going to go on for months, we have a massive storyline planned and which characters make it to the end and which characters do not make it to the end, we have no clue yet. Typically, in a Silent Hill game, you’re playing as the protagonist. And basically, you just keep restarting up until you survive, right? That’s how a single-player game works. But in my earliest discussions on Silent Hill: Ascension, I said there’s no reset button. And I meant that. So once that character gets on a path toward destruction, and as their hope is reduced, they’re probably going to be permanently out of the story. And so we need enough characters to see who can actually survive the gauntlet of Ascension, because the audience is actually directing the story.

Below you can find a new “Inside Look” at the game which includes commentary from members of the team. The video goes behind the scenes with Stephan Bugaj (Chief Creative Officer, Genvid), Shiaw-Ling Lai (Director of Production, Genvid), Martin Montgomery (Creative Director, Genvid), Shanon Ingles (Lead Writer & Principle, Martian Brothel) Chris Amaral (Art Director, Bad Robot Games) and cEvin Key (Musical Composer, NEKOFACE, co-founder, Skinny Puppy).

By Seasoned Gaming

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