The Quarry excels as a teen horror experience that should be right up the alley of fans of the 2015 interactive horror drama, Until Dawn.
Speaking with SegmentNext in a recent interview, game director Will Byles discussed what it took to write the script of the game. The Quarry features nine characters, all of whom have multiple junctions where players will make a choice to decide their fate. With over a hundred different endings, you can well imagine how challenging it would have been to write the story of every single character.
Until Dawn received a rail shooter spin-off for PlayStation VR around a year after the release of the base game. If developer Supermassive Games is planning the same for The Quarry, Byles isn’t ready to say but he noted that they are “always excited by any new tech that’s coming out”.
The Quarry releases on June 10 for PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and S, and PC. While discussing the post-release plans for the game, Byles said, “The ‘80s Throwback character outfits will be available shortly after launch – you’ll be able to send the camp counselors’ looks back in time! Aside from that, we don’t have anything additional to share at this moment”.
SN: Having worked with Sony and Bandai Namco for the previous two horror games, how has it been working with 2K Games for The Quarry? Was there something particular 2K wanted or were you given all the freedom to do as you please?
WB: 2K has been a great partner to work with and really understands what we’re trying to do with The Quarry, whether it’s the teen horror angle that’s being reflected in the trailers or our mutual focus and admiration of the stellar cast we have in the game.
SN: How does The Quarry compare to your previous works in terms of horror and storytelling? Are you dialing up jumpscares or overall horror for example?
WB: We’re really focused on making The Quarry a teen horror experience. The Quarry is created by many of the award-winning teams that created Until Dawn – if you were a fan of that game, The Quarry will be right up your alley.
With The Quarry and teen horror, you’ll find plenty of humor and suspense – the things that naturally occur when nine teenage camp counselors find themselves stuck in a summer camp for one last night!
SN: With nine playable characters and each of them dying in a dozen different ways, just how many endings are there in the game? How difficult was it to write the script for what would be a messy flowchart?
WB: The Quarry features multiple unique endings, each of which can have permutations across the nine counselors – ranging from everyone being alive, everyone being dead, somewhere in between, and more.
For the story, I started off by writing what is essentially a screenplay – in the same way you would approach a movie. From there, we look at the story for points that have interesting choices one might make if they were in control.
One of the biggest challenges to writing these stories is just keeping track of where everyone is and what choices they’ve made that have an impact now or later on. In that way, we needed to make sure that the story of The Quarry doesn’t collapse if just one character dies.
We have some great tools in the studio to help us with this. How your story plays out is something you’ll have to find out when the game comes out on June 10!
SN: Can you share more details about the Death Rewind system? Is it similar to replaying a chapter or will we be taken to the precise decision-making moment which led to someone’s death?
WB: Death Rewind is a retry mechanic that unlocks after you’ve gone through the story, or if you purchase the Deluxe Edition of the game.
You’re essentially granted three “lives” that enable you to avoid a character death at the cost of using one of the lives. You’ll be taken back to the moment you made a critical choice that results in the character’s death so that you can make a different choice.
SN: Any special feats The Quarry will be pulling off on the new-gen consoles compared to the old ones? Will you be incorporating DualSense tech?
WB: We’re really proud of the graphical fidelity featured in The Quarry, and players on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X can expect a visible bump in the resolution that helps us display the game at its very best. Yes, we have incorporated DualSense for things like trigger pulls.
SN: I know you cannot share a specific number with us but to get an idea, how long a single playthrough of The Quarry is expected to last?
WB: Depending on the player, a single playthrough of The Quarry can take about ten hours. The game is also designed to be highly replayable, as we think many will want to go down alternate paths and make different choices. If you’re looking to experience every permutation of the story for The Quarry, you will find yourself playing for a very long time!
SN: For a narrative-driven game like The Quarry, it’s very important to have the right cast for each character. Were you able to get all the cast choices right? How challenging was it to cast all those big names?
WB: Honestly, the cast we have is the cast we wanted all along. We’re beyond thrilled with the wonderful performances that our ensemble cast brought to life.
The biggest challenge we faced was getting everyone’s schedules aligned and of course, COVID interrupting much of the schedule. Ultimately, for fans playing The Quarry – we’re excited for you to step into the shoes of each teenage camp counselor and see how you fare!