So why should we care about another indie horror game that plays to our sense of nostalgia? “Well, there is quite a lot coming out soon, but all of them seem to be focused on the whole ‘isn’t it scary when a killer is stalking you’ thing. And that’s where Camp Sunshine is different. Sure, we have a killer stalking you and it’s scary, but we also have a really awesome back-story (the whole diary pages thing) that allows you to see through the eyes of Isaac as you go through key moments in his life.” Paul says. He is also quick to add, “Plus we have lots of pixelated blood!”
They also have a bear suit-wearing killer. When writing the backstory of Camp Sunshine, Fossil Games wanted to make sure they had something more than a “simple bad guy”. They credit some of their favorite films, Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Evil Dead, Candyman, and Braindead, as inspiration. Paul wouldn’t dish out why the killer, Isaac Illerman, was costumed, but he assured us that all would be answered within the game. The end goal was to have a killer that the player wanted to know more about, and I must admit, if a bear suit doesn’t do that for you, nothing will.
As the player, you assume the role of Jez, a camper who wakes in the middle of the night to find the place covered in blood and everyone is missing. When asking for a rundown on the game’s mechanics, Paul assured me that the list could be quite lengthy. “I’ll keep it brief and mysterious. First off, Jez is a hapless camp-going teen so [he] is completely at the mercy of Isaac. If Isaac gets you, that’s it. So you really have to be careful. Secondly, Jez is armed with his trusty flashlight which is both a help and a hindrance. Sure, you can see better with it turned on, but that means Isaac can see you too. Oh, and of course Jez can hide in a variety of things too! Finally, as in this is last thing we want to give away, is that you traverse the Summer Camp looking for diary pages. Each one tells a different chapter in Isaac’s life and eventually answers all the questions you have about him, the bear suit and why he does what he does.” Their IndieGoGo campaign page also hints at puzzle solving and inventory management aspects.
It’s clear that the guys at Fossil Games have a passion for this medium. They’ve all continuously worked full time jobs in order to keep progress moving forward with Camp Sunshine. Paul even jokes about getting a backer’s name tattooed on his arm for the right amount (keep your eyes out for a guy with a Modern Horrors tattoo!). They’ve created custom art, a rich environment, and even commissioned a unique soundtrack for the game. Camp Sunshine is selling a lot more than simple nostalgia. This is solid game design in an old-school packaging. Camp Sunshine will be available on PC, Mac, and mobile– it also recently hit Steam Greenlight.