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.
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.
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.
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.