Game publisher and developer Gun Interactive announced its latest asymmetrical horror experience based on the 1974 groundbreaking and iconic horror film of the same name co-written and directed by legendary filmmaker Tobe Hooper.
It was a quiet Thursday evening as we watched The Game Awards on December 9, 2021 when a world premiere and a familiar sound struck fear and excitement into the hearts of horror fans everywhere as Gun Interactive announced it's new asymmetrical horror game The Texas Chain Saw Massacre based on Tobe Hooper's 1974 genre-defining horror film. Gun Interactive had a hand in defining the asymmetrical horror genre nearly five years earlier with the release of Friday The 13th: The game. Since that time, we've been eagerly anticipating what Gun's next project would be. We've learned they will partner with Sumo Digital Nottingham, the award-winning studio behind Hood: Outlaws & Legends and Hitman 2 among other titles to bring The Texas Chain Saw Massacre to life.
"Nearly 50 years after the films' release, the fact that myself, along with my colleagues at Gun Interactive and Sumo Digital Nottingham, are tasked with creating a proper video game based on The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is surreal to say the least. This will be the first licensed game since 1983. And for a whole new generation, it will be their entry into the horror and macabre that left an impression on me so many years ago. To say this is an honor would be an understatement." - Ronnie Hobbs, Creative Director, Gun Interactive
Authenticity is key to developing a game that fans will love and Gun isn't taking it lightly. To ensure a rewarding experience and pay proper homage to the film's characters, while also introducing new original characters to the game, the development team at Gun Interactive worked with Kim Henkel, an American screenwriter, director, producer, and actor best known as the co-writer of Tobe Hooper's horror film The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974). The game will focus on the entire Sawyer family, as the film doesn't have one central killer, it's a family affair. The Cook, the Hitchhiker and Leatherface all play an integral role and as Hobbs explains in the community hub blog, "...creating a multiplayer horror experience based on this film, we knew the family dynamic had to be a top priority. How they interact, how they work together, and how they all have specific strengths and weaknesses would be the basis of the killer experience."
While we can expect to see the Sawyer family playing their part as killers within the game, three killers won't sustain the game long-term. With the help of Henkel, the team will develop new characters for the game that didn't make an appearance in the oringal film to create a new Slaughter family, a reference to Henkel's Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1995), a loose remake of the original film. The game and character creation has been in the works with Henkel for well over a year. We look forward to meeting the entire Family and the Victims in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.
Conceptual sound has been key to design and development. Gun has worked to craft an updated game score based on the iconic sound design of the original film created by Wayne Bell and Tobe Hooper. President and CEO of Gun Interactive, Wes Keltner sought out Tony Duggan-Smith to create a custom Apprehension Engine for the game that would create the "nightmare sounds" he was dreaming of. Keltner went so far as to teach himself with the help of musician and composer Mark Korven, who with Robert Eggers created the soundtrack for The Witch (2015), the techniques to opperate the instrument. Keltner worked with Ross Tregenza, Lead Audio Designer at Sumo Digital Nottingham to create a sound that pays homage to the original film while standing on it's own. For more insight on the blood curdling sound design, read 'Conceptual Sound'.
Cementing the game's authentic atmosphere is the art design. The team has not only recreated locations like the Family House and Gas Station or Leatherface's mask and chainsaw to delight fans, but they have worked tirelessly to conjure a specific place and time in Texas. To achieve this, the team traveled to Texas photographing the region to hone in on the fine details of a Texas Summer. We're excited to discover the time period as they've imagined it and learn more about their creative and research process while developing the game as they update fans on their blog.
We'll be keeping up with the team at Gun Interactive to bring you more exciting updates about The Texas Chain Saw Massacre as they unfold. Until then, we'll continue enjoying fan reactions to the announcement on Twitter while we shop for hoodie in the shop. Be sure to listen to our Slay Away podcast episode, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, featuring special guest Donnie Goodman discussing the original film.