The Callisto Protocol developers Striking Distance Studios recently showed off the game at the Summer Game Fest after about a year of silence.
As evident from the trailer that was shown off at the Summer Game Fest, it should come as no surprise to fans that the developers researched real-life horror and gore as inspiration for The Callisto Protocol. In an interview with PCGamesN, Striking Distance Studios’ chief creative officer, Chris Stone, spoke about how they took inspiration from actual horror content when designing the game.
“We’ve found ourselves looking at a lot of real-life examples of horror and gore. While these were a lot less fun to research, it was some of the most memorable and valuable content when it came to creating realistic visuals and experiences,” Stone said.
This is not an uncommon occurrence in video games, especially for some of the current developers at Striking Distance. A few of these developers, namely Glen Schofield, worked on the original Dead Space in 2008. This was a genre-defining horror-space game from which many titles are still taking inspiration, including The Callisto Protocol. During Dead Space’s development, it was revealed that the developers were studying victims of car crashes and war to get a better understanding of what actual deceased people looked like.
It’s unclear if Striking Distance is copying that exact approach, but it seems they are studying similar material to make The Callisto Protocol more realistic. That certainly came through during the gameplay trailer shown off at the Summer Game Fest. There were enemies thrown into fans, exploding them into thousands of graphic bloody pieces while weapons can actually tear off limbs from shooting at them.
As the PCGamesN interview notes, this approach to development hasn’t always been smiled upon by the community. For example, developers who worked on Mortal Kombat 11 needed to watch real videos of people and animals dying as part of their development research. This led to one developer being diagnosed with PTSD, which included having “extremely graphic dreams” and insomnia.
The Callisto Protocol developers aren’t solely researching real-life horror, though. It was revealed they’re also taking “obvious influences” from games like Silent Hill and Resident Evil, along with Dead Space. They also said that movies like The Thing and Event Horizon have been inspiring as well.
The Callisto Protocol has a current release date of Dec. 2, 2022.