Thursday, April 30, 2015

Virtual reality + horror

"Using the flashlight, camera, and display of your device (plus: it’s best to plug in your headphones), you can explore your own home. The story is vague, something about an eight-year-old girl trapped in ghost-land, but a lot of survival horror games unfold from a vague premise, so that’s not an indicator of quality. The draw remains that you’re walking around your own house and the app will manipulate things in the environment and produce ghostly apparitions.  
The development team is shooting practical ghost effects that will be composited into your house in real time. So you walk into your bathroom and see something in the darkness behind you. It also alters the sound of the game to match the reverb of different rooms, and places noises in surround sound. So you walk out of your bathroom and something is pounding on your door and shrieking. It sounds like it could be that perfect mix of fun and terrifying. Until you really think about it. Then it’s just terrifying."
This might be interesting. Where was stuff like this in my Reagan-era childhood?

*     *    *
Although it doesn't utilize your smartphone, you might want to check out my latest horror novel: Twelve Hours of Halloween:

The year is 1980. Jeff Schaeffer, Leah Carter, and Bobby Nagel decide to go out for "one last Halloween" before adolescence takes away their childhood forever.

But this Halloween is different, they soon discover; and an outing that was supposed to be light-hearted and fun becomes a battle for sanity--and perhaps even survival.

From the author of the reader-acclaimed “Eleven Miles of Night”, “12 Hours of Halloween” is a coming-of-age tale unlike any you have ever read.

A sinister teenager known as “the ghost boy” declares that Jeff Schaeffer and his friends will endure “twelve hours of trial” on Halloween. The three young people subsequently find their once familiar suburban surroundings transformed into a bizarre and terrifying landscape.

They discover that just beneath the surface of their middle-American neighborhood lies a secret realm of haunted houses, demonically possessed trees, and spirits with unfinished business. One entity, called the “head collector”, lurks the darkened streets in search of grisly trophies.

At the same time, Jeff is forced to confront new feelings for both of his old friends.

He believes that he is in love with Leah, but does Leah feel the same way?

Meanwhile, his friend Bobby, who had always protected him from local bullies, now seems to harbor a dark agenda that threatens to divide and possibly destroy them all.

12 Hours of Halloween: Prologue through Chapter 3