The Shore: An Interview with Aris Dragonis

Discussing The Shore with game designer Aris Dragonis

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Stygian: Reign of the Old Ones, The Last Door, Moons of Madness, Conarium, Call of Cthulhu, The Sinking City all have something in common. Apar from being video games, they are all heavily influenced or straight adaptations of the works of one H. P. Lovecraft. We’ve talked about him before, mentioning his work in Cosmic Horror and the release of the movie Color Out Of Space (2020).

But there is a new game lumbering from out of the cosmos to terrify us. The Shore is an upcoming independently released Lovecraftian Horror game. Recently, PHASR Media recently sat down with the creator, Aris Dragonis to discuss the game and everything Lovecraft.

An Interview with Aris Dragonis

PHASR Media (PM): Where did the idea for ‘The Shore’ come from?

Aris Dragonis (AD): It all started as a fun side project to test my 3d models. I made a few posts and people liked it a lot, so I kept working on it and here we are.

PM: How has the experience of developing the game been? What has been some of the biggest hurdles you’ve come across so far?

AD: As a 3d character modeler and animator, everything went real smooth from the beginning. The only thing that took me some time to understand was blueprints, but YouTube tutorials helped me a lot.

PM: The look of the game, from the trailers and the stills, feels very cinematic and other-wordly. What was designing the world and the creatures like?

AD: Since the beginning my goal was to make every element in the world fit each other, what I mean is that the rocks had to have a certain colour palette in order to fit in with the sand, and the sea to fit with the sky, it’s like a puzzle where all the parts should fit with one another.

PM: What part of the game has been the most fun to come up with?

AD: Environment design. For real it’s been the most fun so far because I’ve been chilling on my PC either listening to music or watching a movie on the second screen while I was crafting the world!

PM: On your website the game is described as “a game that focuses on the mystery of the unknown on a forbidden island with horror elements.” Why set the game on an island?

AD: It just happened I didn’t have any prototype as a started, I was just testing things and it came out nice.

PM: Also you mention that the protagonist must “save your daughter’s life while being haunted; try to survive and uncover the secrets behind the mystery of his own sanity.” Can we expect some hard choices along the way?

AD: There are some really powerful elements of “turn of events” where the protagonist’s ability of choice is limited in this journey. These events are powerful enough to leave the player dumbfounded.

PM: Why create a video game set in the cosmic horror sub-genre and with the Lovecraft mythology?

AD: Because I like the ability it gives me, the limits of cosmic horror are boundless.

PM: What is it that makes Lovecraftian Horror so interesting for you?

AD: It is challenging. It’s difficult to make good Lovecraft horror, most of the games don’t succeed and that’s where I want to step in and change it.

PM: How did you get into H. P. Lovecraft and his works?

AD: Well my very first moment when I came across something Lovecraftish was when I was a little kid and I watched the movie Dagon (2001), since then after I became familiar with the internet I started searching online for the source behind it.

PM: Do you think Lovecraftian horror is more suited to games than movies or tv? Why?

AD: I don’t believe in the stereotypes, I think making a Lovecraft movie or a game only depends on the person’s creativity and mind of how he will express the fear of the unknown and the unique elements of Lovecraftian horror.

PM: I gather that you read Lovecraft while writing the game’s plot. What are your favourite stories from him and why?

AD: I think my favorite one is The Whisperer in Darkness. I like most of his works, and each one of them is unique in their own way. It’s amazing what a person could create back in the 1930s.

PM: When can we expect The Shore and where can everyone find you?

AD: At the moment we are working on the story mode which is going great I have finished 80% of the script and the story itself and lots of gameplay, soon we will run a funding campaign which will help me make much more stuff and even a survival multi-player mode. And they can find me on Facebook.

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