The Callisto Protocol: A Blueprint for Terror – Mastering Horror Docuseries Ep.2

In celebration of the upcoming release of the Callisto Protocol. IGN has partnered with Striking Distance Studios and Liquid Media to bring you a 3-part docuseries all about crafting the perfect horror game titled: Mastering Horror: The Callisto Protocol Docuseries. Breaking down the various elements of horror are industry icons like: Alec Gillis, Sean Cunningham, The Newton Brothers, Glen Schofield, and more!

Part two of this series focuses on the relationship between atmosphere and tension.

Presented by The Callisto Protocol.

Foreign [Music] Protocol will in fact scare the pants Off of all of us there will be no more Pets what Is fear fear is such a basic part of who We are where is it created atmosphere in A game like this is everything it's Terrifying but it's beautiful and how Can we use it with hard there's no rules Oh Len Schofield and the developers of the Callisto protocol invite you to join Them and some very special icons of Horror I think it goes back to the Earliest times around a campfire the Perfect horror experience is something That that scares the piss out of me Think of it as a roller coaster I want It to make me feel things I want it to Startle me they're all magic tricks That's what we're doing in the movies as They discuss crafting the perfect horror Experience The five tenants of or for the Callisto Protocol are brutality Atmosphere Tension Helplessness And Humanity The Callisto protocol is mastering Horror [Music] [Music]

The tension in the game is key [Music] Foreign You know it's not just sort of an Endless series of jump scares one after Another tension is built in the moments Where you know something is coming but You don't quite know what it will be and Where it will come from and then that Release whether it's a scare or not Right you have to be on your Edge your Seat because you know you never know are We going to scare you that You know players want to have moments of Success players want to have moments Where that Tempo is changing so that Adds to the tension it adds to the Suspense it adds to the unknown it's About blowing air into the balloon Making it bigger and bigger so when There's finally that moment of release That burst of horror the jump scare we Get a sort of big a reaction as possible From the player [Music] That kind of tension building is uh Similar to film and TV if you can you Know work on the anticipation of the Audience if you can play their Anticipation against them that's another Way to to build suspense and to make Things you know more terrifying most People want to avoid or get out of a Feeling that's so intense and Dreadful

In fact our natural response when we Feel an intense negative emotion is to Find a way out of it make it stop those Of us who are willing to tolerate that Peak are actually kind of more Emotionally intelligent when we know Eventually that's going to dip out and Those folks that interact with the game For prolonged periods of time are better Able to be in control of emotions during That tension Foreign [Music] A game like this is uh everything the Atmosphere and mood is very very Important to the success of of horror to Building suspense and to set the stage For what's coming it's so critical to Kind of creating that experience that Sort of visceral sort of emotional Reaction alien the spaceship you know You're a gazillion miles from home now If you believe what's going on you're With them a gazillion miles at home to Me that movie is one of the best Examples of atmosphere you're treated to A lot of cool visuals of the environment And you know you get to know this work a Day world of these you know space Truckers and and what their spaceship Looks like Etc what does atmosphere mean It means lighting it means the space We're in is It Wide Open is it tight and Claustrophobic what are the sounds we're

Hearing the atmosphere almost informs You of what can happen to you what will Happen to you what is the overall Attitude in the place that you're in so When we think about sort of our Environments the mood the atmosphere It's all about building that tension I Think that what we're talking about is Vulnerable people and a place where There's a great deal of Jeopardy which They may or may not know about The big word for atmosphere I think is Immersion I want to feel getting spooked While looking over my shoulder I want All of that a lot I think that's the Beauty of of the whole gaming world is That you are truly immersed and you sort Of control your own destiny and this one Is I mean the guys that made it I was like Are you okay man how did you think of That and and what went through you like What was your creative process to think Of that that is unbelievably scary the Design of the prison and the overall Planet and just the environment is a Pretty it's a pretty deep process we Probably put half of our resource just On environment design into Getting the right atmosphere [Music] [Music] It starts with our concept team you know We'll throw kind of just a bunch of

General ideas of them like what does GEM Pop look like what does solitary look Like what is the surface of Callisto Look like I think of design as like a Pyramid where you lie down a big Foundation of lots of different ideas Where you try to be as disparate as Possible with what you're showing so That the director can go I don't like That I don't like that I don't oh but I Like that I like that and then that Moves up to the next level which is a Which is a you know a smaller platform And then you keep going you keep going Until you arrive at that thing at the Top in the beginning it was mostly just The environment artist and the concept Artists talking together and we would go Back and forth of oh this would look Better or how about this what about this Color scheme and those guys they're so Creative you know they find these great References and then they'll kind of take Those references and just turn them into Something You can't even believe instead of a mood For someone else that's like really good At architecture comes in and do some Amazing designs and then we can like Take that further getting different Moves different pieces it's it's a lot Of back and forth between different Concept artists and I get to learn a lot From from them as well certainly I think

We did our fair share of research so we Have influences uh Cameron we have uh Kubrick we have uh Ridley Scott our art Director Demetrius and I spent a lot of Time like finding imagery and stuff that We would kind of throw their way like Hey you know we're thinking uh we need Some sort of a futurized panopticon area Inside the prison or we need to futurize Like what does solitary look like like We want it to be darker we want it to be More brutal feeling just something that Is just terrifying to walk through we Want to make you afraid of opening every Door you know why are all the cells Empty you know that sort of thing right We want you to to think a little bit as Well right when we're doing the research Uh some of this stuff became Self-evident when we were designing the Creatures uh mutation was uh something That we're putting forth and then we Were designing the environments to match That we thought oh what matches mutation Oh uh what's the technology that matches Mutation there's something called Generative design that's for taking Man-made objects throwing it through Ai And it mutates it into a new design but What comes out looks very alien and not Man-made at all so it was a perfect Match for what we were doing with the Creatures and so we'll go through a few Revs of kind of like designing what the

Lighting scheme would be like what the Color scheme would be like they didn't Have a clue what was going on Changing [Applause] To come up with the color palette we Actually go went through the psychology Of the color emotion of the colors as Well as to actually referencing a lot of Movie horror movies sci-fi horror movies Yeah the emotional color is the Interesting thing you know I didn't Really think about it before and you Know working with lighting and and the Team they sort of introduced like you Know we watch these movies and they put Colors into scenes that we don't really Think about one of our areas is a very Kind of wet processing area and so we Deliberately use greens and yellows and Browns in those because they are colors Which emphasize disgust and so we want The disgust to come through as the Underlying fear element in those areas And we play around with color space Theory all the time through our very Sophisticated lighting system combining That with us trying to tell the story of What's happening in each one of these Spaces using materials using bloody hand Prints following a trail to like someone Who's lying there on the floor Combining that with the color theory it Uh you know it provides a very impactful

Experience I think I'll send our environment director you Know he has guided our environment team In building these these great spaces That not only are just beautifully Horrific but also really compelling and Really fun play spaces that you can Travel through and and want to explore And want to to understand by looking at Your environment what happened here There's a lot of different ways to go About it right high contrast dark areas Gross spaces that you don't want to be In right makes you uncomfortable and Lots of blood Foreign Should make you feel a certain type of Way so going along with okay how do we Make the player feel isolated well That's going to be a totally different Kind of feel it's going to be made out Of different material it's going to Sound different when you walk around it Or how do we make the player feel Trapped that's going to be another kind Of environment so it's going off of what We kind of know and then making it fit Into kind of that world and how we want To make the player kind of feel in that Moment confusion is an important part of Horror and providing information maybe Misinformation or taking away Information or making information Abstract and we can ramp that up or dial

It back I mean if it was brightly lit You feel safe you know you're like in a Hospital everything is white and Sanitary but in the dark in the basement You can't see even peripherally what Might be coming up at you one part of Tension is what's around the corner a Lot of times we're designing very Claustrophobic places in concept we kind Of are casting Shadows that could Possibly look like some monster hiding Around the corner Glenn wanted to create Different entryways for the monsters to Come out Third person So you'd have a sense that there is a Back and you can't see what's behind you Or what's beyond the frame to the right Or the left it's not just going to be You know one door opens and they're Right there it's coming out from Different um Vents and pipes and uh Sometimes you hear something in the Background and you don't notice it but Then you do as the audience member In the 50s and 60s there was a filmmaker By the name of William castle and he Understood that enhancing shock and fear Could be more fun I love William Castle I'm very attracted to those Kind of Larger than Life personalities People who are you know they may be Doing something cheesy and you know low Art but um they're pushing the envelope

There he developed this thing called a Precepto buzzer he would have these Buzzers in seats go off While the movie was playing probably During points of tension this was Essentially shocking moviegoers but it Was also very exciting for them Uh The new PlayStation controller is Amazing right it's the combination of Being able to feel your heartbeat and The footsteps and everything around you And so that puts it right in your lap And your hands and so we've been able to Amplify everything the same way with the Buzzers under the seats we can buzz you And on the flip side on some of the kind Of body Gore stuff where you can feel Bone breaking when you Lop it off and Stuff and it's that type of stuff that Makes you kind of winch a little bit It's it's really satisfying but then Being able to have the speaker built Into that controller as well it kind of Gives you a whole new tool in your Toolbox you know like what it you could Be walking down a hallway and here Whispering and be like well the exactly Coming from right and it just kind of Trickles out of that speaker you know be Able to kind of use that to build Atmosphere and tension it's like a kid In a candy store with stuff like that For for a game like this

All right [Applause] Using elements of sound in order to Create fear is I think brilliant you Know not just the sounds of the Creatures which are terrifying on their Own right but the sounds of the Environment and the music and and the Part that that plays Cameron told me that that he felt that 40 of the visual impact of Any Given Shot or image is sound and that's a Substantial proportion audio plays a Huge role in this and supporting what Otherwise is just empty hallway and the Ability to engineer horror is a lot Easier in my opinion you know being able To walk down a hall and just hear Something even if you can't see it hear Something walking or hear something fall Or hear something scratching and not Knowing what's going to happen Foreign Those are the type of things that they Can send a shiver down your spine Without having to see anything at all I Gotta say Glenn spends an amazing amount Of time focused on the audio the music To me is 80 of the audio you've got to Have this music in which You're tense making People feel scared is kind of like What we're hired to do on this right Guys

We've done a lot of things with our Apprehension engine the apprehension Engine is something that Hollywood has Used it's brand new it's this crazy Invention right it's a weird looking Thing and it's got metal on it and Strings and stuff and the sounds it Makes are just awful foreign There are only a handful of them built And it's got a variety of things that You can do with it for me the Apprehension engine is it's like a chaos Playground [Music] [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] Foreign [Music] Box and there's kind of a three string Kind of cello component the most basic Thing is it's got a Reverb spring in it You can just flick it with your finger Like this and make the loudest noise you Have ever heard it's so disturbing it's In Dr sleep actually several times it Comes with a little bow And with that you know there's like These rulers that it has and each one is A different length so you can get Different pitches and bend the rulers as If that wasn't enough then it's got a Basically a hurdy-gurdy built into it

And the Hurdy Gurdy can be played either With a slide or you can play individual Notes I think I watched YouTube videos To figure out how to even put it Together because the instruction manual Is really minimal and once you start Playing it you realize you're like oh Well it's just gonna tell you what you Know you're gonna just react with it and There's no like right way to play it and I think it's it made so much more sense After spending some time with it it's Like of course yeah it's just like Whatever you You know put into it it's gonna sort of Give you that kind of like weird tension Vibe energy back and it's just gonna Create this kind of like feedback loop Of hellscape sounds that come out of it [Music] All right I'm sure this has been done But I feel like someone needs to do like A Hollywood Bowl show where it's just Like one individual up there and it's Just you know act one is you know Beautiful sounds because you can get Some Interestingly beautiful sounds rhythms Out of it yeah yeah Um but then act two would be you know Everyone it's time to go home like let's Get aggressive I do [Applause] Oh

Foreign Every project you're trying to make it Is is fresh and unique and and something People haven't heard before and it it Makes it really really challenging but Also incredibly fun too because you know It's great to to do crazy things that People have and maybe haven't heard as Much and you get away with that like Crazy in in the horror genre having the Creative freedom to be experimental like No Boundaries is so It's so freeing on it you know Especially with an instrument like this Like not many other projects would be Cool with it [Music] Knowing when to use those tools I think It's key to sort of manipulating you Know the the audience I mean it is just Amazing the amount of audio and the Amount of layers and the amount that the Player feels like this is a real world I Think if we're able to connect to the Point that we can make our players jump In their seats We are on a good path It's terrifying but it's beautiful what They created this world I mean I love The Sci-Fi outer space aspect of it you Know and then the intimacy of the prison And all the stuff that happens within That and how they designed all that to Me they created this world that is

Awesome and and also very scary I want The quality of the content that we're Delivering to be on par With any Film [Music]

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