Don’t Knock Twice Coming to PS VR: An Inside Look at Creating Virtual Horror

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Don’t Knock Twice Coming to PS VR: An Inside Look at Creating Virtual Horror

You have a lot of power when you're making a horror game in virtual reality. The team behind Don't Knock Twice want to wield that power responsibly.

A big hello from Wales! It’s Ben Tester here from Wales Interactive, the studio that brought you Late Shift, The Bunker and Soul Axiom. Today I’m here to announce the launch of our upcoming horror, Don’t Knock Twice on PS VR and PS4, with an inside scoop on the development of a horror game in VR.

Don’t Knock Twice is a first-person horror based on a psychologically terrifying urban legend. To save her estranged daughter, a guilt-ridden mother must uncover the frightening truth behind the urban tale of a vengeful, demonic witch. You won’t be waiting long for this one as it lands on PS VR September 5th with the option to play in non-VR also!

Don't Knock Twice for PS VR

Excited? Good. Nervous? You should be! With every copy of the game comes the option to play in both VR and non-VR, should anyone be too scared to play in virtual reality space.

As developers, we have the power to draw the line on when and where to scare you, and there are many tricks up our sleeves to turn up the heat or tone down anything that gets a little… too terrifying. It all starts with an immersive and believable environment that has no limitations and no signs of repetitiveness. In Don’t Knock Twice, we created a grand manor house environment which was based off of the genuine location used in the recent Don’t Knock Twice horror film, starring Katee Sackhoff (of Battlestar Galactica). Our main goal was to focus on creating a realistic environment that doesn’t break you out of immersion and is optimised for a smooth experience with which also combats any motion-sickness. This, with high-quality 3D sounds, is enough to raises the hairs on the back of your neck, before we’ve even started on the real scary bits.

Don't Knock Twice for PS VR

Don't Knock Twice for PS VRDon't Knock Twice for PS VR

During development, we had some great scare moments, some laughable ones and even some that have brought grown men to the ground. The not-so-scary ones, which of course didn’t make the cut, were usually down to the limitations of set pieces in VR. For example, it’s difficult to trigger an animation at a particular point when you have less control over the player position. Without giving anything away, we had one player teleport themselves too far into the environment, essentially spawning behind a particular spooky section and watched it all unfold from the complete wrong angle.

However, VR does offer huge advantages for those scary moments. One in particular involved the use of head tracking which forced the player to put their head into a place they wished they didn’t look into, this created a “Here’s Johnny” moment which would have been impossible to create in a standard “flat” experience without forcing the players head.

With all this said, Don’t Knock Twice does also support a non-VR mode and we’ve balanced the scares for both scenarios to create a VR horror that’s accessible and enjoyed by all. For those with a PS VR, we’ve implemented support for either a standard controller, single or dual PlayStation Move controllers, and you can even play seated, standing or room-scale. Don’t Knock Twice is a 2-3 hour game with adventure horror style gameplay driven by narrative clues, an intuitive control system featuring stretchy hands and a one-click 180° rotate button, hidden collectables and trophies, two ending scenarios and of course, a Platinum Trophy.

Don't Knock Twice for PS VRDon't Knock Twice for PS VR

The game will offer localisation across multiple languages including English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese (Simplified), Polish, Russian and Welsh.

Don’t Knock Twice will launch on September 5th for $19.99 and so I hope you’re all prepared for what’s about to come! If you have any questions, or comments on horror in VR, drop them below. Thank you for reading!

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5 Author Replies

  • Why make it less scary? I want something to truly scare me, Resident Evil and Here They Lie were good and certainly made me anxious but didn’t scare, waiting on Paranormal Activity on Wed so I hope it takes it a level up I’m keeping an eye on this too but I’m sure it’s teleport mechanics so it’ll ruin the immersion, hope they got locomotion too!

    • A part of our responsibility as developers is about not crossing boundaries. It’s very possible to go too far in VR horror, to the point where the game is unplayable by most and this is something we want to avoid. However, there are the exceptions to some who are completely comfortable with all degrees of horror. Perhaps these sort of games could feature various levels of horror as an in-game option instead of difficulty of game. What do you think? Should VR horrors feature this?

      What I can say is that even in the early stages of DKT some people were unable to play it in VR. We knew we hit the right mark then, and we hope you agree if you get the chance to play it :)

  • I absolutely adored The Bunker and Late Shift. This return of FMV games is something I was hoping would be a continuing Trend I would like to see you guys make more.

    However I am also a huge fan of horror and VR. Definitely excited for this.

    Would you advise watching the movie before playing the game? Also, will you be allowing let’s plays?

    I also have to say I’m impressed by the concept of room scale on Playstation VR. I’m assuming it works the same way as job simulator where you can freely move around but you’re limited to where the camera can see you?

    • Thank you so much for your kind comments :) Any fan of the FMV genre is a friend of ours!

      It’s entirely up to you. There is no need to watch or play either version before the other. What I would say is that we have targeted this game to those who haven’t seen the film, so a lot of narrative clues are about understanding what it is that haunts you. So in that sense I would suggest playing this first and follow up with the movie.

      You’re exactly right, you’re free to move around within the play-area and you can teleport freely anywhere in the environment to change the play-area.

      Thanks for reading!

      P.S. We will have some news to announce very soon regarding a certain physical boxed edition ;)

  • Ooh this sounds interesting. Also, more be games csnt be a bad thing

  • Will there be a physical release as well???

  • “and a one-click 180° rotate button” – Thank you! Thank you as well for supporting both standard and Move controllers.

    Will the game follow the plot of the movie, or we’ll be rewarded with two scary experiences? :D

    • You’re very welcome! It loosely follows the film but certainly not a direct copy, and does end with some… twists. You’ll be rewarded by playing/watching both for sure :)

  • I played a demo of this game on the Vive a while ago and it was really awesome. Scary and immersive as hell xD

  • I watched the movie the other night on Netflix based on the fact this is coming to PSVR. As a huge horror lover I was really surprised how good the film was and how genuinely scary it was in places. Now I’m really excited, but nervous, about the VR experience!

  • I can’t wait to pick up this game and then get too scared to play it… my m.o. with many good horror games, especially in VR! ;)

  • Can you expand a little more on the various control options and the locomotion options available? How does Move controller support factor into gameplay (i.e., object manipulation) vs. traditional controller support?

  • How long will gameplay run?

  • Where are the PS Vita news?

  • More FMV games please :)

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