In a new interview, Chris Stone, Chief Creative Officer of Striking Distance Studios and former Dead Space Animation Director, spoke about where the team looks for inspiration the most when creating The Callisto Protocol horror. Stone cites the genre-defining horror game series Silent Hill and Resident Evil as “clear influences,” but says Striking Distance Studios also draws “a lot of inspiration from films like The Thing and Horizontal.” Stone cites French and Korean cinema as strong influences, saying that both “really step up their horror game.”
In addition, says Stone, “we saw a lot of real-life examples of horror and gore. While it was far less fun to explore, it was one of the most memorable and valuable inputs when it came to creating realistic visuals and experiences.” This has been a contentious issue in the past, and some people questioned the long-term implications for developers of exploring real-life blood for games like Mortal Kombat 11.
Of course, there is one particular inspiration that everyone will compare to, given the involvement of Stone, game creator Glen Scofield, chief development officer Steve Papoucis, as well as Striking Distance art director, lighting director, sound director and design director – all they worked on Dead Space.
“Of course, our creative fingerprints are all over The Callisto Protocol,” says Stone. “All the ideas we had years ago for Dead Space that we couldn’t do because the hardware couldn’t handle it, now we can do it, and it’s amazing.”
EA’s Dead Space remake is due out in January, but Stone says the Striking Distance Studios team isn’t worried about it.
“I’ve released about 30 games in my career and we’ve always had competition. We just put ourselves in the gamer’s shoes and make the best game we can.”