18 year old classic Danish game “Blackout” is set for a re-release for tablets.
One of the first – if not the first – big, Danish game projects was the dark crime-thriller BlackOut. Released in 1997 by Deadline Games, it featured a complex storyline and extremely detailed models for its time. But because of the limited options for animation in 1997, the game was made solely with puppets and stop-motion, Michael Valeur, author of Black Out, explains:
“We rented an apartment, where we built an entire city in 1:32 scale, which we then photographed. Those pictures then became the world that the player moves around in”, he says.
It was obviously a big task back then, but it pays off for the game today, Michael Valeur says:
“Sometimes, these old, classic games can look a bit worn when you play them today. Some games age well, others not so much. I think that Black Out has aged very well”.
The well-aged feeling is also the reason that Blackout is not being remade so much as remastered for the new release. The project is still in its early beginnings, and at the moment, the team behind the game is looking for a programmer to help create a demo. But why now? Well, mainly because the interest for Blackout has remained intact since 1997, but also because the technology today actually fits the game better than it did back then, Michael Valeur explains:
“If you played the original game, you know that there were no buttons and practically no Heads-Up-Display. That goes very well with today’s tablets – actually better than it went with the computers back then. It’s like it was made for tablets”, he says.
One of the things that made Blackout stand out among the games of its time was the heavy focus on storytelling. In short, the game was about a guy with multiple personalities who wakes up from having a blackout and has to piece the events of the last days back together. To support the story, Blackout was released with a novel, describing the story from another person’s view. That novel is, of course, accompanying the new release – one way or another, Michael Valeur says:
“We would like to stick to the original idea with the novel adding to the story of the game. Whether it will be as an e-book or we go old-school and release it as a physical copy, we don’t know yet.”
The remade version of Blackout doesn’t have a release date yet – the team is still looking for a programmer to make the demo. And even though the game had a massive influence in terms of getting the Danish gaming industry going, Michael Valeur’s ambitions for Blackout are modest:
“We’re not expecting this to be a blockbuster, that is not what this project is about. It’s about making one of the most important games of the early Danish gaming industry available again. And I’m still getting mails about how to get hold of it today, so the interest is definitely there”, he says.