History and development of Nightfall
“Hundreds of years ago, the elderly made up stories about mythical creatures to scare and prevent children from going out at night,” writes Zeenoh founder J.D. Abenaza in a HaoGamers feature. “Even in this current generation, those ideas still linger on in Filipino customs. However, the horror stories of the past might not be most children’s cup of tea. For me, though, they are something that I still fantasize about.” Hence, the initial inspiration for Nightfall: Escape.
“I had already encountered some of these myths at an early age long before I founded Zeenoh Games. When I was 4 years old, I believed that I had encountered duwendes which often showed me visions of the future. Even back in our province at Samar, Leyte, I remember seeing some of the legendary creatures from the native folklore, such as the manananggal, a ghoul often depicted as a woman that has the ability to detach itself into half, and the notorious man-eating aswang which can change into different animals or even humans,” he continues. “Given the fact that children have far better imaginations than their elders, I didn’t initially think of my encounters as a sign of having sixth sense. But it all became clear to me after I had my second near-death experience in 2013. From then on, I came to believe that I really had the ability to see the future, the supernatural, and even the wandering souls of the dead.”
Abenaza then began his quest to be a game designer our country would be proud of. Braving multiple rejections and negative feedback, he surpassed emotional and financial struggles to achieve his dream. He attended conferences and seminars, visited studios in Silicon Valley, and did his best to learn from the greats and find out how to become successful in looking for project backers on Kickstarter. “Moreover, because of my strong desire to uplift and enhance the downgrading quality and impact of Filipino horror films, I decided to use all of my past experiences to bring to life something that would uphold our country’s culture and history. Linking all these factors and my strong desire together, I somehow came up with the storyline to Nightfall: Escape,” writes Abenaza.
His efforts have obviously paid off so far, because Nightfall: Escape is up on the Square Enix Collective and is now greenlit on Steam. Under Steam’s Early Access, fans can be as directly involved as they want to be in the game’s ongoing progress. This helps the developers get valuable feedback from testers and gamers so that they can better polish and improve the game for public release. The input of the gaming community is crucial to iron out any kinks in the game before its official launch.
According to the developers, “Our aim is to continue Nightfall: Escape as an Early Access version up until September 2015 when the game is in its final iteration and is ready for official release.” But for now, on its Pre-Alpha stage, the game currently costs Php359.95 on Steam, which is an affordable and tempting offer no horror fan will be able to resist. According to Abenaza, “To sum up a long story, experiences, whether good or bad, are proven to be the best source of inspiration to most successful individuals. As for me, my three near-death experiences have not shaken me from my path to my present self. In fact, they even motivated me to become more creative, to think of more concepts to contribute not just in my country but as well as to the world. That’s why I created Nightfall: Escape. It wasn’t just to offer entertainment to people, but also a tool to help cultivate our culture. I believe that with my game and others like it, Filipino culture will start gaining its confidence to keep pace with the other countries’ rich culture.”
So if you’re a big survival horror game junkie, or you simply want our fellow Filipinos to succeed in this endeavor that’s filled with potential, it’s incredibly easy to support the game’s development. Help Nightfall: Escape become a worldwide success by choosing from the donation options on their official website. And if you’re still not convinced, checkout the game’s jaw-dropping trailers.
Images: Nightfall1 and Nightfall2 from Official Website. Nightfall3, Nightfall4, Nightfall5 from Square Enix Collective. Some rights reserved.