Posted 9 January

PlayStation Mobile spotlight – Haunt the House: Terrortown

Hey everyone, this is SFB Games! We’re two brothers; Adam and Tom Vian, from London. We’ve been making games for many years (mostly for browsers, under the name “The Super Flash Bros.”) and this is our first opportunity to make a game that can be enjoyed on a real handheld console.

When we heard about PlayStation Mobile and thought about the PS Vita as a platform, there was only one game we had in mind. The colourful graphics and simple controls of Haunt the House work perfectly in this context – it’s a really natural fit. The original Haunt the House was a browser game we made for Halloween 2010, so we’ve both come a long way as designers since then.

ship

The basic idea of Haunt the House: you float around as a ghost, possessing any objects you see and use them to perform spooky haunting actions to any humans who are nearby! The aim of the game is to scare every single human away from the town, but this game also has an extra objective…

The first thing we wanted to design was the town itself. We wanted to explore all the best tropes of spooky horror locations! Eventually we settled on a theatre, a hospital, a museum, cruise ship and a clock tower.

Then we asked talented artist Catherine Unger to design the backgrounds for the game. She produced detailed digital paintings of each building and developed an amazing colour palette that gives the game a really unique atmosphere. In the end, we produced vector versions of Catherine’s backgrounds for the final game.

theatre museum

This was Tom’s first project using C#, and he was surprised by how quick and easy it was to switch over from Flash development. He also enjoyed writing a custom tool for exporting Flash animation for PlayStation Mobile, so we didn’t even have to use any new animation tools.

Meanwhile Adam began designing ghosts, people, menus, and hundreds of “possessable” objects to go into the buildings. It was fun thinking up the most interesting objects to go in each room – from chandeliers, telescopes and statues, to tubas, X-ray machines and roulette tables! We aimed for as much variety as possible.

We hired the incredibly talented composer Raphael Benjamin Meyer to produce an original soundtrack to the game. The music is made even more special by the presence of real instruments being played by real musicians.

hospital

Next we asked Kimlinh Tran to act as voice director – since we needed a range of voices for both the ghosts and the human characters. She did a great job and we have a wonderful range of vocal talent on board. Thanks to everyone who helped us out!

The final game is something we’re all incredibly proud of. It’s simple to learn, but offers endless possibilities to play around and discover new things and new situations. We don’t think we’ll ever get bored of it.

The game is available to download later today through the PlayStation Mobile service, priced at £2.79/€3.49.

More information:

SFBGames.com
HauntTheHouse.com

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Comments

18 Comments 5 Author replies
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mikebyrne316 9 January, 2013 @ 1:09 pm   1

Will PSMobile ever be released for Ireland, its been a couple if months now and still not showing in Irish PS Store?

Chaosprower 9 January, 2013 @ 1:10 pm   2

Looks interesting. Shame that Playstation Mobile is just available in a handful of countries and has no PSN features, more people would buy it otherwise.

 
RossyWilson 9 January, 2013 @ 1:11 pm   3

This game looks surprisingly good. I love the whole vector art style youve got going on as well. Will definitly be picking this game up :)

 
Martingutten 9 January, 2013 @ 1:12 pm   4

Yeah, looks cool. Only two problems. Sony said that Asus’ Transformer line would get PlayStation mobile certification – as far as I know this has yet to come to fruition. Second, Sony, being as Sony as they can, don’t understand business. Sony Mobile is a niche product on a very few selected products, so it is hard to sell to many games on it, and by further restricting sales they don’t release Sony Mobile in 97% of the world… So many games I would buy from the service, if they had just let me. I have a Asus TF300T, and love gaming on it, but Sony won’t let me buy the game. With this kind of business sense, it is no wonder that the whole of Sony is going down the drain. To bad, you used to be so good!

 
INS1GHTFUL 9 January, 2013 @ 1:18 pm   5

It does look interesting but I’d like to try and demo or trial. Are there any plans for one?

    Tom Vian 9 January, 2013 @ 6:26 pm    

    No current plans from us for a trial, but you can play the much smaller Flash-based original game for free, just search for Haunt the House!

 

Everything cool and dandy I will download it as soon as it comes on PS Mobile.
Oh, wait…there is no PS Mobile in Poland…or in most European countries…
Way to go Sony, way to go…

 
Brodiesan 9 January, 2013 @ 1:39 pm   7

New year, same ole problems.

Countries: AE, AU, GB, IE, NZ

Please remove this post the Irish channel. PS Mobile is not available in Ireland.

 
Martingutten 9 January, 2013 @ 1:46 pm   8

And this will probably also be a new year with just as few comments on the mobile blogs from people from SCEE…

 

i tink euro blog need also be bi contry like store :)
so we not see howh others are geting more service .

1 word = ridiculous

 
Lee_and_Nomi 9 January, 2013 @ 2:57 pm   10

I REALLY love the artstyle. At £2.79 I’ll just buy it without reading any reviews. From your description it seems the gameplay is similar to Ghost Trick on the DS which was also a cool little game your game looks better though ; )

    Tom Vian 9 January, 2013 @ 6:29 pm    

    Thanks guys! Both Adam and I loved Ghost Trick, it came out just after the original Haunt the House (well, a few months earlier in Japan…). Hope you have fun!

Looking really good. Will buy it later today!

Hmm… no Playstation Mobile support in Sweden….

So… no buy, both you and SCEE lose money.

 
TalllPaul 9 January, 2013 @ 3:10 pm   12

The looks great :D

MiracleStorm 9 January, 2013 @ 5:19 pm   13

Great Job :) . I will recommend this game to all my friends. Good Luck!

 
thehappyworm 9 January, 2013 @ 6:02 pm   14

Looks gorgeous!

…Have to say, I’m disappointed that it’s 2013 and Playstation Mobile has yet to be extended to Ireland’s PSN store.

When I purchased my Vita last summer, it was partly in anticipation of Playstation Mobile and lots of App Store-style gaming — but with buttons. Now, those old Playstation Mobile press releases feel like a bait-and-switch, to be honest.

Sony, how about a rough date that we can expect to be able to play these games? Or even just explaining why you can’t give them to us yet?

 

I like the look of this so may pick it up. Looks more like a psn game!
Any news on when Trophies are coming to PSM and if you’ll patch them in later??

    Tom Vian 9 January, 2013 @ 6:38 pm    

    Thanks, that’s very kind of you!

    If and when trophies come to PSM, we’re ready and waiting to add them in and send out an update!

 

Looks like a fun little game. Well done SFB Games. Looking forward to see what else you guys bring to the PlayStation Mobile.

MONTENERO 10 January, 2013 @ 2:57 pm   17

Looks good, seriously! Art style is reminiscent of Sneak Bandit on iOS. Speaking of which, I would have purchased this game on iOS. Or at least as PSN “mini” in order to be able to play on ALL my PlayStation devices (PSP/PS3/Vita), not just one (Vita). PlayStation Mobile looks like a failure, and I don’t think you would shift a lot of copies.

 
Loopu1987 11 January, 2013 @ 6:13 pm   18

when will assanin’s creed 3 be available for ps Vita?????