Middle of Nowhere Interview – Taking a Walk on the Wilde Side

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We’ve been covering Middle of Nowhere, from it’s earlier incarnations to the recently launched kickstarter campaign for the game.

Now, I had a chance to fire some hard boiled questions at their boss, Aaron Wilde, and he was kind enough to spare some time to answer them.

Niche Gamer: For our readers who have not been following Middle of Nowhere, can you briefly go over the concept and inspirations for your game?

aaron wilde shot 1Aaron Wilde: Sure! Middle of Nowhere is a game inspired by generations of survival horror games. We aim to bring a unique first person story driven experience inspired by the likes of Silent Hill, Resident Evil and Dino Crisis just to name a few. Middle of Nowhere is the result of our passion and experience in the genre and we can’t wait to bring a game that will stay with players forever.

 

NG: How long have you personally been working on Middle of Nowhere?

Wilde: I personally got the idea for Middle of Nowhere last year while playing a survival horror game. I came away thinking how much the genre had changed over the last 10-15 years, not to say that’s a good or a bad change, it just is what it is; change. This year I took it into very early concept and around 4 months ago, VisionArts started to form and this is very much where the game stopped being an idea and an actual WIP that had to happen.

NG: Is everyone on your team based out of London?

Wilde: Nope. Me and the Co-Developer live in London at the moment and others are based around the world. We don’t want to limit our team to just being from the UK, we’d like to expand with some talented team members across the world.

NG: Are you going to reveal the name of the town, does the town even have a name, or is that a part of the story?

Wilde: We do plan to release the name but not at this time. That to us is kind of a big thing and we want to make it as memorable as we can. Names are currently being thought about and we will definitely be releasing the name in the future.

NG: So you play as Isaac Newman, brother of Aleister Newman. Will the search for his brother change up the emotional experience?

Wilde: Absolutely. Something we are talking about are flashbacks of past conversations. Though this is survival horror, I think there’s a lot of emotion to be found within it and we’d like to attach that emotion to players directly. I always enjoy games with an emotional charge and especially with choices that make you feel something afterwards. So there’s a lot of talk going on about this for sure.

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NG: Isaac is described as a broken man with little self regard. Can you go into further details about how careless he really is?

Wilde: Well Isaac is a man who had major belief in destiny but lost it all when his wife and daughter were killed in a fatal car crash. The impact this had on his belief and personality has been drastic and we hope to find a great voice actor to perform his character. We very much focus on Isaac, how he sounds, what he looks like and how he reacts and I think he has very much became fearless but at the same time scared of what lies ahead. He is a man struggling to retain his belief because of his past tragedies.

NG: Can you give us some teasers about Emily’s personality?

Wilde: At this time, we don’t want to announce anything about Emily as we kept this short for in game story reasons. We will definitely be announcing more in the future though.

NG: You describe the game as being non-linear, but with an emphasis on story and survival. Can you give an example of recovering health? Can you eat stuff?

Wilde: Yeah sure. A perfect example of this is that I find when I’m playing a game, something drastic will happen where the player loses health but he gets up and carries on his journey. In Middle of Nowhere, we want to give more of a realistic approach. For example, lets say you fell from a bridge, your player was hurt. We will make players have to find something such as a special plant to heal their wounds before they progress. We are also thinking about thirst and hunger systems but its too early for us to say what’s final with those. From some of our feedback when we previously had those systems people said that it could become an annoying mechanic to have to eat or find food to survive and that got me thinking about one game in particular; Dead Rising 2. I had so much fun in that game but one thing I hated doing was realizing the time was almost out to find Zombrex. So we want to listen to our fans and maybe try to incorporate things like eating and drinking at a satisfactory level.

NG: You also mention building shelter, can you go further into detail about how this is accomplished?

Wilde: This feature will have the goal of reviving your health to full. We will make players have to find certain parts and when they have them all they can build a shelter to restore their health. It won’t be easy however but it’sa nice reward when your playing through the game and want to explore.

NG: Could you describe a puzzle scenario that a player could encounter in Middle of Nowhere?

Wilde: I’m very much a puzzle fan in survival horror. A good example would be one that we recently put into the free demo. Players get locked inside a room and have to find a way out. Sometimes players will get a hint but sometimes they also won’t so it will be difficult to figure out but will also feel rewarding when you do. I love making people have to think so we’re always thinking about puzzles. In fact, though we can’t give it away yet, the starting scene of chapter 1 in the game will have a puzzle right away.

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NG: Using guns in the game seems to be discouraged, are there ways that players can possibly be punished from abusing guns, i.e. sound triggering enemies?

Wilde: Guns will be a reward in Middle of Nowhere. They are very hard to find or very expensive and the ammo itself can only be purchased in safe places in the game which again players need to save up for. Even when having them, killing enemies won’t be a walk in the park depending on your gun so we are taking a different approach with guns and I think players will still have the feeling of fighting for their lives with them.

NG: The music samples sound excellent and haunting, can you describe how you go about your composing process?

Wilde: Sure. I have 4 tb’s (4000gb’s) of sounds and personalized sounds. I use a DAW (digital audio workstation)  to compose with these sounds digitally and sometimes often experiment with recording random sounds and designing them to sound like something very different. I have a home studio setup with professional equipment and have taught myself music since the age of 10 so I have a great amount of experience with it. The samples I’ve released are actually only rough versions of the songs, they are yet to be mixed and mastered which enhances them to sound their best.

NG: How integral will music and sound be in Middle of Nowhere?

Wilde: Well my dream job has always been to compose for film and game, I spend a tremendous amount of time on my craft. That’s also going to be a main feature of Middle of Nowhere. I want to show everyone my dedication and ability in music and sound and give them a soundtrack they will look up and love to listen to on repeat. This area of the game happens to also be one of the most important to the survival horror genre so I can’t wait to take people to another place with it.

NG: Should your kickstarter be funded, do you think you’re still on track for the early 2014 release?

Wilde: Not early 2014, we think around May 2014 as an estimate. Games do take time and we want to make sure everything works as it should and is the best of our ability. With that said, with Kickstarter raised I’m sure we will be on track for a dedicated year or a little less for this game.

NG: Lastly, do you have anything further to say for supporters and potential pledges?

Wilde: I just want to say, thank you so much for you belief in not only the project but us as well. I know it’s hard to put your faith into people without a bunch of known titles behind them but this game will happen and we can’t wait to bring it to all of you.

You can check out their pledge video from their kickstarter below:

VisionArts currently have a demo for the game up on their kickstarter page, and if you want to pledge to their game, you can do so on their kickstarter  .

Brandon Orselli

About

Big Papa Overlord at Niche Gamer. Italian. Dad. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. I also write about music, food, & beer. Also an IT guy.