Unreal-Jeri

Interview by ‘Unreal-Jeri’ (October 8, 2004)

Out Of Hell is a horror game that will pit the player against several types of demons and undead. It’s a slower paced game that will take the player through a desolated town filled with flesh eating monsters. The game will focuse primarily on hand-to-hand combat and avoidance to survive. You will value your life, you will conserve your ammo and you will run away like a scared little girl! The reason being is that there will be no quick health fixes. (That’s right, no health power-ups!). The autor opted to have the players health regenerate slowly over a period of time. The play should encourage the player with prudence and paranoia.

* unreal-jeri : By going through your forum I was able to notice that you were on this project since a little more than two years. How this project had emerged and why have made the choice to create it alone?

Chicken+Ribs: Out Of Hell started back in the days of the original Unreal Tournament game. I had always been a huge fan of horror games (specifically anything involving zombies and undead creatures) so I just decided to make a mod based on a short zombie story I wrote for fun a while back. After getting more comfortable with the editor I began building some test levels just to see if I could transfer what was in my head into a map. I found that I had almost no trouble doing this, so I began building the levels based on the scenes, moods and atmospheres I felt and imagined in my head when I wrote the zombie story. I got really ambitious at this point and wanted to recruit a team to help bring this idea to life, but after some thinking and talking with other modders I decided to keep it a solo project.

* unreal-jeri : With the UT 2003/2004 series we assist on an unquestionable passion for the morbid universe of the zombies (zombie hunter, zombies of nightmares…) can you attribute it to something? where does it comes?

Chicken+Ribs: The Splatterhouse series was the one that originally sparked it all for me. The storyline, the organic graphic style, I fell in love with games that took that visual route after that. A long time after I played Resident Evil for the first time and really liked the way everything looked real (And of course the zombies). Silent Hill came out and the graphic style of the series has since become my inspiration because it merged the organic, decaying style I loved so much about the Splatterhouse games and the realistic and believable graphics of Resident Evil.

* unreal-jeri : You realize this mod alone what is really an exploit of patience and To know how to make, for what result you do expect from it?

Chicken+Ribs: Before I started Out Of Hell, I would always just write stories or make boardgames or draw comics and that sort of thing so Out Of Hell was a creative vent for me, a hobby that I could dedicate myself to just for fun. I kept at it because it was a project where I could improve my own artistic skills, test my determination and ideas and become more involved with games. At the end of it all I just wanted to see if I could really do it and it would also be nice if people really liked my work.

* unreal-jeri : From where comes this taste, this culture to have succeeded with as much intensity has to restore atmosphere such an oppressive, morbid, alarming? And where comes these textures which strengthen largely the ruined and the immersif aspect of the maps?

Chicken+Ribs: I personally think that the atmosphere is an important but often overlooked aspect of a game. This is why I still play classic Doom and Doom 2, this is why I turn on Silent Hill 1 and just run around in the snow and fog for an hour. If the atmosphere is done properly, if it achieves some sort of mood through the visuals, something that people can relate to, it’ll keep people coming back. I don’t play Silent Hill over and over to solve it’s puzzles, I play because I want to be immersed in that world again. This is the same for classic Doom, just being in those environments with all the broken machinery, the brown brick walls, the grey skies and black mountains in the distance and hearing all the monsters growling, it’s just a cool atmosphere to be in. This is why mood was such a priority when I was designing the levels. I wanted people to say ‘This feels EXACTLY like the time I went hiking’ or ‘This looks just like it did when it was raining at 5 in the morning the other day’. As for the texture work, I really just wanted something that would stand out from everything else. Instead of the more polished, detailed texture style, I went with the dirtier, grimier, more un-identifiable look. For a horror game, sometimes it’s scarier not knowing what the wall is caked in. Is it rust, blood, or gore? or something worse? It gets the imagination going and people will often scare themselves if they keep thinking about it. I also wanted to not only make people fear the monsters, but also fear the places they were in. Having things look the way they do keeps a person uncomfortable in the back of their mind since the surroundings seem identifiable, but just a tad bit off because of the grime.

* unreal-jeri : Are you also the creator of the music and the sounds?

Chicken+Ribs: Most of the sounds are just public domain sounds from a sound cd. Things like zombie moans, voices, sounds of things eating other things’ brains are just recorded by me.

* unreal-jeri : Will Out of Hell evolve in time with additions of levels, charts, monsters? Motivated mappeurs can subject you their work or tribute in the future?

Chicken+Ribs: Out Of Hell will be an expanding universe. I have so much stuff written up in terms of an evolving storyline, drawings and ideas for new monsters and environments and new characters. I already have plans for the sequel and also a multiplayer side story with a few more levels and weapons. Unfortunately because of this, I can’t let others add to the offical story or universe since I plan to take it in a certain direction.

* unreal-jeri : Realized you other works on the unreal-engine or the others engine?

Chicken+Ribs: Out Of Hell is my first and only project. I haven’t had time to try out any other editors since I was trying to learn as much as I could about UnrealED.

Thank you Chicken+Ribs to have took time to answer our questions because we know that between the finalization of the MOD and your new site you do not have much time.

Do not fail to visit the official site Out Of Hell as its Forum which will give you many informations about this great mod.