Horror and VR are a combination of both frighting and magical. The ability to have you immersed into a world that very well could be as real as yours and flip that to allow your most inner fears come alive in similar ways as visiting a haunted house is truly remarkable. I reached out to the team at CastleSteps Gaming for some of their thoughts and what makes The Bellows stand out.
What were some of the major influences for The Bellows?
"The Bellows was pretty heavily influenced by modern supernatural movies such as Insidious, Paranormal Activity, The Babadook…movies that do jump scares well, but more importantly build up immersive atmospheres."
How much did you enjoy seeing fellow gamers react to the more horrifying moments in the game?
"It's the best feeling 🙂 I would equate to seeing someone enjoy a song you've written, it's incredibly validating. The tough thing about designing a scare, is that you have to test it yourself. Other people can also only offer one truly honest feedback per scare as well, it's just never as scary a second time."
What are some of your favorite VR titles that would make a good edition to PSVR?
"The team all agrees that Superhot is pretty much the best VR title out there right now, and I believe it just launched this past week on PSVR, so definitely go pick it up! Other ones I would love to see are Pavlov VR or Rec Room, those are my current favorite multiplayer games and having a larger player base would be awesome!"
How was it working with the PSVR headset compared to others?
"Working with the PSVR headset was definitely a challenge. It's great tech, but the process of actually testing on it is much more time consuming. The hardware of the PS4 is also a bit more limited versus a gaming PC, so there are extra optimizations and workarounds that have to be implemented. It's awesome that consoles are getting into VR, the PSVR is definitely the first step."
With so many VR titles in the market, what makes The Bellows stand out?
The Bellows we feel is fantastic for showcasing horror in VR. For example, Resident Evil 7 is an INCREDIBLE game in VR, that I highly recommend you check out if you haven't. That being said, it's difficult to share an experience of horror on RE7 with a friend. It's a 10 hour+ game, with plenty of time in between events, a story that needs to be navigated, puzzles that need to be solved…and it's $60. The Bellows is a straight forward horror simulation, that you don't even need to be a gamer to navigate, so ANYONE can try it. It's also $5. Since VR is still in it's infancy, we believe it's important to have content that can be shown off to those who aren't gamers, but want to check out the tech."
With the catalog of PSVR games, if someone was looking for a new game or experience, what would you say to someone on why they should select The Bellows?
"I would say if they like horror, or like scaring their friends, they aren't going to get a better option to choose from. You know what you're getting, and it's a small price tag to boot!"
Are there any future PlayStation VR games or experiences that CastleSteps is working on or that can be discussed at this time?
Yes! Our new title is in the works, hopefully actually releasing in the near future! It's a brand new multiplayer IP called Krieg, though we haven't released too much information about it yet. Excited to announce more information soon.
I want to thank the team of CastleSteps Games – Evan the Art Director, Bryce the Creative Director, and Gehrig the Lead Programmer for all that they do and the passion that they show for VR. The Bellows is out now and you should also check out the review. In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy.