White Night is unique. How it achieves what it does where other horror games fail, really lends to how well the title behaves. We had the pleasure to speak to OSome Studio about their film noir style survival horror.
SolaceConquest: First of all, could you introduce yourselves to the Gamer2Gamer community?
Hi guys! We are a small studio, our core team is only made of Domenico, Ronan, and me, Mathieu. We worked a long time on big AAA games, then we quit and created OSome in order to make games with more personality. I hope you like it!
SolaceConquest: As we said in our review, it was the style of the game that really pulled us in to play more. What made you decide on a Film Noir style?
The idea to make a Flim Noir game came at the same time as we were working on visuals. We tried to create a strong link between art and mood of the game, and this style was matching perfectly. And of course we love movies like Psycho by Hitchcock!
SolaceConquest: The atmosphere rivals most horror games of recent memory. How did you go about designing the game world?
The first step, after choosing a Film Noire mood and black and white visuals was to write the story. Boston, the manor… everything was shaped on a paper, as part of the scenario. Then we took inspiration from real 1930’s manors in order to design the rooms.
SolaceConquest: Did you have any major influences to build from while working on White Night?
From a gameplay point of view, Alone In The Dark 1 was important for us. It’s the first survival, in a manor, it’s slow but with a strong atmosphere… Perfect! And visually, as we said, Hitchcock and its fixed camera angles, and some sequences from German expressionism (as you progress through the game, camera angles become more and more weird…)
SolaceConquest: The story moves along at a nice pace and fits the genre well. How difficult was the storyline to create? Did it evolve over time or was there a set idea that you had early on?
As I said earlier, the story was one of the first things that was put in place. Our writer, Sebastien Renard, worked with Ronan to create the main parts of the storyline, define the characters and the twists. And then, the game was shaped to fit the story.
SolaceConquest: The puzzles involved in some rooms of the house are challenging yet fun. Was the puzzles the most fun part of development? How difficult were they to get right?
We had a lot of debates internally to get puzzle rights. They had to fit in the game rhythm and mood, and to not be too difficult. We didn’t wanted to create puzzles like in Myst, unrelated to the storyline. But depending on who tests the puzzles, some loved, some thought it was too easy, other were stuck. It was really challenging to get it right. I feel some areas are still a bit too difficult to pass… but you really feel proud when you pass the attic puzzle!
SolaceConquest: The character is very true to Film Noir as a genre. How did you create the protagonist? Was it clear to you early on how you wanted him to act and think?
We decided quite early to use a character talking about his story, using past tense. It’s really inspired by Noire Film style when the detective is in his office, smoking a cigar and talking about his day… Then, when we choose voice actors, we really knew what voice we were looking for.
SolaceConquest: Was you surprised by the success of the game?
Before our partnership with Activision, we already had a very good feedback from press, but game was not really known outside of France. So such an amount of feedbacks from press and players were really a (good) surprise.
SolaceConquest: Would you do anything differently if you could produce White Night again?
White Night universe and story is really good as it is. Maybe we would work more on smoothing difficulty along the game.
SolaceConquest: Thank you to OSome Studio for taking the time to talk to us.
Thank you, we’ll see you again for our next game!
White Night is available on Xbox One, PS4 and Steam.