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Exclusive Interview: “HELLSIGN” enters Steam Early Access

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 | Exclusive, Games

Heads up, demon slayers!

Australian developer Ballistic Interactive have launched their anticipated first game HellSign on Steam Early Access this week, and Rue Morgue had the opportunity to snag an interview with programmer, audio and technical game designer Pete Skyking about the promising indie RPG.

Playing out like a monster of the week episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Supernatural or The X-FilesHellSign puts players in the role of a freshly-resurrected paranormal investigator in a procedurally generated town as they fight to take back the night from roaming ghouls n’ ghosts.

See the full interview below…

What are some of your favourite “monster of the week” television shows?
There are a TON, but to name a few, Supernatural, Grimm, The X-Files and the Devil May Cry anime all stand out.

How many monster types are there in the game?
Currently there are 13 different monster types and 3 poltergeist bosses to fight, but as we move through Early Access towards the full launch, that number will continue to increase.

Which creature would you be the least thrilled about encountering in your actual lives?
Most definitely the cursed TV, especially after watching Ringu back in the day. That TV static brings back the worst of my childhood nightmares!

HellSign is your first game as a studio – was there any particular aspects of design that proved to be more challenging than expected?
Time would have to be the biggest challenge we had to overcome. As a small 2-man team, there’s nothing that has been particularly more challenging than expected, but we seem to always be fighting the clock as we strive to make every aspect of the game as good as humanly possible. Hopefully the time machine we’ve been building ends up working, so we don’t run into this issue again!

Which games (if any) did you look to for inspiration during development? Was HellSign always going to be a top-down RPG with procedurally generated elements, or did you ever have other ideas for its genre?
Hoo boy! We drew inspiration from a plethora of games, with some of the more notable ones being Resident Evil, Dark Souls and LA Noir. We also looked to classics like Fallout 1, Jagged Alliance 2, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Silent Hill, Devil May Cry, and Metal Gear Solid while working on the game. 

As for the style and genre, yes, HellSign was always destined to be an isometric, investigative hunting game with procedural elements. However, over the course of development, we reinforced the RPG system, adding much deeper combat than we had originally planned, if only because we love shooting stuff in the game!

Do you have any plans for additional content once HellSign leaves early access?
You betcha! The Steam Early Access will feature the first chapter of 3. We hope to develop the 2nd and 3rd chapter throughout the Early Access and launch version 1.0 with all 3 chapters. Additional content will include everything from new locations, to more enemies and more equipment/skills/crafting/gambling/NPCs, etc.

Are there any plans to bring HellSign to consoles down the road?
It is certainly on our to-do list, but first, we need to make sure the community enjoys the game. Then, we can start thinking about ports to consoles and other platforms.

Check out HellSign on Steam Early Access

Evan Millar
Evan Millar is a freelance journalist based out of Toronto, Canada. A graduate of Humber's journalism program, Evan joined Rue Morgue as an intern in 2015 and became a frequent contributor of game, film and event reviews. He took over as games editor in early 2018 and has had a passion for video games since booting up the shareware version of DOOM on a dusty MS-DOS computer. Follow him on Twitter (@evanjmillar).