Just recently I got the chance to do an interview with Invader Studios Michele Giannone (co-founder, PR and Business Developer for Invader Studios). So we talked about everything from “Daymare: 1998“, “Resident Evil 2: Reborn”, Invader Studios plans for the future to Capcom’s support for the “Daymare: 1998” project. So without further ado, please enjoy our interview with Giannone =)

invader studios

Invader Studios was funded in July 2016, but the studio has operated since 2014.

Robin TGG
Would you be so kind and give our readers a proper introduction of yourself =)

Invader Studios
Hello everybody! I’m Michele Giannone, co-founder, PR and Business Developer for Invader Studios. Few years ago, I was a video game journalist (I attended many events and met a lot of international producers – visiting their studios all over the world), and I’m probably one of the most fanatics of Resident Evil brand since 1996. So these two important points brought me to this new, amazing adventure with my friends and colleagues in Invader Studios just few years ago.


Robin TGG

Could you tell us how Invader Studios and Daymare: 1998 came to be?

Invader Studios
It all begun with a group of friends and lovers of Resident Evil saga. We all were professionals and one day we decide to do something together, a celebration to Resident Evil 2. We worked on the unofficial Resident Evil 2 remake that brought us incredible success and also a meeting with Capcom in Osaka after the millions views of the project on Youtube. After that, we decided to fund our company and work on a new IP connected to the past and to the Resident Evil’s atmospheres and emotions (but also to other 90’s games, movies and series).

Robin TGG
What was the Kickstarter experience like from your point of view? And what do you think went wrong along the way? (what could have been done differently?).

Invader Studios
It has been a really amazing experience to be honest. We thought that the best way to present the game’s new features, and also the incredible vips that are among us for the game development – Kazuhiro Aoyama and Satoshi Nakai over all – would have been the crowdfunding campaign. So even though we didn’t get the requested budget, we reached 40.000 euros, and that is a very large amount of money for a young, talented studio without a release and working on their first IP. Furthermore, the campaign was useful to open more doors for the game financing/publishing, with the worldwide press, with the fans from all over the world as well as to reach the Steam Greenlight approval (D98 was voted as 15th on 3000 games in few weeks) and the Microsoft [email protected] Program access. For this reason, I can say and repeat that the campaign was really successful also if we didn’t win.

Probably Kickstarter is not always the best way to raise the founds for make a good videogame. This is also a suggestion for all the studios like us

Robin TGG
How has your relationship been with Capcom so far? And what does Capcom think about “Daymare: 1998”? (are they just as excited as everyone else?).

Invader Studios
They are amazing. Capcom is supporting us in this period, with official posts on their social and helping us to connect with important companies. We are really grateful to them, first to have originated the most important brand of our life (Resident Evil), but mostly for what they have done and what they are doing for us from a professional point of view. Daymare: 1998 is, in part, the result of that meeting, where they showed us the pros and cons of our ideas and direct us in the better way to make a true survival horror. About the future and the possible collaborations with them, we can’t say more, but who knows =)

Robin TGG
What thoughts went through your mind when “Daymare: 1998” got greenlit on Steam greenlight back in March this year?

Invader Studios
That the people still love this kind of game, and that we have an incredible community waiting for Daymare: 1998. This is stunning, and we are really honored to have all these people writing and following us everyday. They are our strength. And we have been also proud and happy when Microsoft accepted Daymare: 1998 in the Xbox One Program.

Robin TGG
What was the transition from the Resident Evil 2: Reborn project to the “Daymare: 1998” project like? And did you ever in your wildest dream think that Capcom would reach out to you?

Invader Studios
With the unofficial remake, we understood that the people want this kind of game. Then, we decided to create something new like a personal celebration to the 90s, show to the people what is our vision of the true survival horror. About Capcom, as I said, I can’t say more… Anyways, we have the attention of a lot of people, and this is the dream of all the indie studios.

unreal engine 4 logo

“Daymare: 1998” has been developed with the help of Unreal Engine 4.

Robin TGG
Was there any specific reason behind your decision to use Unreal Engine 4 for Daymare: 1998? (I do recall that you used UE4 for your Resident Evil 2 Reborn project).

Invader Studios
Because is the perfect engine for what we want and what we would like to offer to the players. This is amazing from all the points of view.

Robin TGG
It’s no secret that I’m really excited for “Daymare: 1998”, as I’ve written plenty of posts about the game since its announcement in September last year. That’s also why I would like to ask you which games have inspired “Daymare: 1998”? And is it true that you aim to take us back to the survival horror roots from the 90s with the game? (think old-school “Resident Evil” and “Silent Hill”).

Invader Studios
First of all, thank you for your affection and support.

As the title of the game suggests, Daymare: 1998 is meant to bring back the atmosphere, the feeling and the mood of the 80s’ and 90s’ most beloved video games and movies. In those years, we saw the boom of the horror genre. The gameplay follows the classic styles of the genre, getting numerous contaminations from several classic titles, more or less recent. We learned a lot from Dead Space and The Evil Within (or better Resident Evil 4 before them) for the game mechanics (over the shoulder camera), but we put them in the Resident Evil first games’ mood and atmosphere, forging a mix of these features so distant but perfectly synergistic at the same time. So it’s a usual action-game gameplay reinvented for a true, classic survival horror game. Daymare: 1998 is a modern-day classic.

kazuhiro aoyama resident evil 3

Kazuhiro Aoyama worked at Capcom between 1995 to 2014 (Aoyama is mostly known for his role as the director of “Resident Evil 3”), and now his the producer associate of “Daymare: 1998”.

Robin TGG
What has it been like having Kazuhiro Aoyama (the director of Resident Evil Director’s Cut and Resident Evil 3) as the producer associate of Daymare: 1998?

Invader Studios
This is one of the most incredible things that we would have been ever imagine, to have the support of the person who directed our favorite game in the history is amazing. We can say that if we are doing this job is also for what Resident Evil 3: Nemesis gave us in the 90s years, then this is stunning. We thank him everyday for the suggestions and opinions that he gives us everyday.

satoshi nakai invader studios

Satoshi Nakai worked on character creature sketching for “Resident Evil Code: Veronica”, and now his creating monsters for Invader Studios.

Robin TGG
I do know that Satoshi Nakai (Invader Studio’s enemy designer) is a part of the Daymare: 1998 team, but who else is involved in the project today? Furthermore, did you get Akari Kaida to do the soundtrack for the game? If not, then who’s working on the soundtrack?

Invader Studios
We are working to have amazing professionals with us for Daymare: 1998, but in the past we presented Satoshi Nakai for the work he done on the game’s enemies and Kazuhiro Aoyama for his advices. Other names are still in dealing.

killing floor 2

“Daymare: 1998” looks and feels like a mix of “Killing Floor”, “The Thing” and “Resident Evil 3”.

Robin TGG
Do you have rough idea of how scary, dark and gory you want to make Daymare: 1998? (the final version), and I take it that the game will be a +18 title on release? On a personal level, the game made me think about a mix of “Resident Evil 3”, “The Thing” and “Killing Floor”.

Invader Studios
You’re perfectly right. Daymare: 1998 will be frightening and scary, but also fun to play. Probably the game will have a +18 rating, also because we are putting several gore and violent scenes.

Robin TGG
How many hours of gameplay could the players expect from the full release of the game? (roughly calculated).

Invader Studios
five or six hours for the main experience, but there will be a lot of collectibles and secondary quests that will extend the longevity and the replayability of the game. Obviously, we count to sell the game with the best price for an experience like this.

daymare 1998 monsters

There will be a lot of monsters and whatnot that could kill you in the world of “Daymare: 1998”. However, the same cannot be said about ammo and weapons. In other words, save ammo and make every bullet count!

Robin TGG
Can we expect to see a lot of different weapons, weapon upgrades and ways to kill our enemies in Daymare: 1998?

Invader Studios
No. We put few weapons and few ammo in the game. We want a realistic experience, then the player can use only the weapons you can actually find in a small U.S. city during the 90’s.

resident evil 3 cars

***Spoiler warning!*** somewhere in the beginning of “Resident Evil 3” there is a zombie that camps inside of a car. So, don’t let your guards down no matter what happens!

Robin TGG
You know, just the other night I was playing Resident Evil 3 on my PS2, and while I was doing that. I just couldn’t help to think for myself “Which Resident Evil jump scare scenes have scared me the most throughout the years?”, and since I was playing RE3 at the time. I remember that one scene where a zombie is camping inside of a car, and you go past that car so many times before the bastard finally jumped out like that damn rabbit from Monty Python’s “Holy grail” movie.

So I would like to ask you if “Daymare: 1998” will contain any jump scare moments of that kind? (it doesn’t exactly have to be like the car zombie camper from RE3, but you get my idea).

Invader Studios
Haha we have not zombies into a car, but the game will have many, different old-style jump scare. We studied movies and games for months to learn the best way to scare people and players. Hope you’ll enjoy.

daymare 1998 soldier

It’s said that “Daymare: 1998” will offer five or six hours of gameplay value for the main experience. I know that it may not sound like a lot, but there will also be a lot of collectibles and secondary quests as well.

Robin TGG
When can fans expect to see the full release of Daymare: 1998? (to which formats? And to which price?). I would also like to ask if there’s any chance at all for us to see a Nintendo Switch version of the game in the future?

Invader Studios
Daymare: 1998 will be released in the first half of 2018 for PC (Steam and Windows 10), Xbox ONE and PlayStation 4. So there is no Switch version expected at the moment.

Robin TGG
Is there any possibility at all for a co-op or online mode at all? Furthermore, will there be a Linux and MAC version of Daymare: 1998 in the future?

Invader Studios
Absolutely no. Daymare: 1998 is a single player story driven experience, than it won’t have a multiplayer mode. Also the Linux and MAC versions are not expected at the moment.

resident evil 4

The “Daymare: 1998” over the shoulder camera made me think about the camera from “Resident Evil 4”.

Robin TGG
The following feature is said to be a part of the game:

“Third person character with over the shoulder camera oriented controller”

So does that mean that we will get a Resident Evil 4:ish kind of experience? Well, at least that’s the vibes that I’ve felt from the videos that I have seen so far.

Invader Studios
The mechanics are closer to Dead Space than to Resi4, also if this game inaugurated this kind of gameplay. Both are landmarks that we love and that influenced our decisions about Daymare: 1998. Furthermore, we put several original features in the game as well.

invader studios hq

Will there be a “Daymare: 1998” collector’s edition? Maybe, time will tell.

Robin TGG
Do you have any plans for a big launch party? And will there be any nice pre-order deals, collector’s editions and such?

Invader Studios
It’s too early to think about that at the moment, but we will celebrate it for sure! So we will probably have a few physical versions for the great event.

daymare 1998 monster

“Daymare: 1998” has a rather interesting story, plot and setting.

Robin TGG
Can you tell us anything about the story, plot and main character of the game? And why did you pick the name “Daymare: 1998”? (what does it even mean?).

Invader Studios
It all begun on August 19th, 1998, following the devastating accident that took place inside the Aegis Laboratories located on the North Blue Two Island (Northfall Islands, Washington State). So Tte US Government arranges an urgent air transport of chemical and viral material to the nearby Hexacore Biogenetics facility located in Keen Sight, a small town in Idaho, North-West of the USA. During the return flight, however, something goes wrong and the lethal load is spread on Keen Sight town, hitting the unsuspecting population.

The tranquility and gladness of a festive summer evening is abruptly interrupted by a terrifying and unexpected event: the huge cylinders of toxic gas loads crashing to the ground, spreading deadly fumes into houses and around the streets, and infecting the inhabitants of the town in Idaho. From that moment, every single person has breathed the chemical agent vapors is a victim of an inhuman mutation into horrible creatures, wounded by an acid produced by the body itself and twisted in its tissues, now dissolved and liquefied. An ironic fate is the one that belongs to Keen Sight town, that after the as mysterious as disturbing events that have affected over decades. Well, Keen Sight is now faced with a new last waking nightmare which has turned it into a ghost town.

So, from a hellis theater which the few survivors of the chemical agent dissemination try to escape, avoiding being torn apart by the deformed creatures that have turned those people with whom we shared the daily life. Here begins the bloody struggle for survival of the three protagonists of Daymare: 1998. Liev (the special agent H.A.D.E.S. – Hexacore Advanced Division for Extraction and Search-), Raven (the pilot of H.A.F. – Hexacore Air Force -) and Samuel (the U.S.F.S. Forest Guard agent). Their paths will intertwine with each other up to find out what lurks in the dark past of Keen Sight and, above all, who is responsible for the tragic accident that destroyed thousands of lives in a single night.

About the word “Daymare” is real, and the meaning is “a nightmarish fantasy experienced while awake”. This meaning will have an important role for one character in particular.

daymare 1998 invader studios

Iinvader studios got a lot of plans for the future. So I wish them the best of luck with everything.

Robin TGG
What’s your plans, hopes and expectations for the rest of this year? And is there anything else that you would like to say to our readers?

Invader Studios
First of all,First of all we have to work all the summer on the game’s prologue, that is also the next demo we will present in October during the Milan Games Week. It will be stunning, light-years ahead compared to the first demo. About your readers and our fans, I just would like to thank them all in behalf of all the team for support us everyday in this amazing journey!

tgg author avatar robin ek
Robin “V-Act” Ek
Editor in chief
The Gaming Ground
Twitter: @TheGamingGround

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