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Interview: Cult-hit Camp Sunshine prequel in development

Written by Ryan Noble

You may have heard about the 16-bit horror RPG, Camp Sunshine, a cult hit amongst lovers of slashers. This game followed Jez, an unlucky teenager dropped off at the doomed Summer Camp on the very night that things take a bloody turn.

Now, Fossil Games are working on Sunshine Manor, a prequel to this gory story, and they were gracious enough to answer a few of my questions about why you should be getting excited.

Ryan Noble: Firstly, forgetting this exciting prequel we need to discuss… With everything going on, how’s the team doing?

We’re doing alright, especially when you consider the world is in such a mess! Because one of us in the UK and the other is in the US we are motoring along with the game and are happy with how it’s shaping up.

RN: Tell us a little about Fossil Games and its upcoming game, Sunshine Manor…

Well, we started Fossil Games because we both love retro games and noticed that there are a lot of pixel-art based games being released, but nothing that really captured the spirit of consoles such as the NES. So, we wanted to create games that we hoped would make gamers like us feel all nostalgic and gooey. Sunshine Manor is the prequel to Camp Sunshine, a game we originally released in 2016. In Sunshine Manor, you go back to where it all began.

RN: Why did you decide on Sunshine Manor as a prequel, rather than a sequel?

Back when we were writing the story behind Camp Sunshine, we knew that there was so much more we’d need to get out of our heads, and onto the screens. We had pages upon pages of ideas, storylines and ‘lore’ that doing one game was never going to answer everything we had cooked up.

RN: Does the story of Sunshine Manor tie directly into the events of Camp Sunshine?

It absolutely does, with Sunshine Manor we go back in time very slightly and find out exactly what happened to the original Mr. Sunshine himself.

RN: Where is the team currently at in development?

At the minute, I’d say we’re about 40% completed. All the core engine elements are done and now we’re onto the fun stuff like the storyline, quests, combat and creating all the weird and wonderful characters you’re going to meet … and fight!

Images from Camp Sunshine. Click to enlarge.

RN: If Camp Sunshine was inspired by 80’s slashers, where would you say Sunshine Manor draws its inspirations from?

Oh man, there’s way too many. The big one would have to be From Beyond (1986). I can remember watching that on a horrendous VHS copy when I was about 10 years old and just being utterly horrified by the concept of there being this ‘other world’ filled with weird monsters that drive people insane. Then you throw in films like Dolls, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Candyman and games like Resident Evil and Silent Hill, and I think you’ll get a good grip on Sunshine Manor.

RN: What do you think fans of Camp Sunshine will be most excited for in the prequel?

The ability to fight back! In Camp Sunshine you really were at the mercy of a deranged killer, but now we’ve given you tools to fight back with … psychic powers! We also give players a complete look at the demon realm responsible for the happenings at Camp Sunshine, too.

RN: Is there anything you didn’t get to do in Camp Sunshine which you’re including in Sunshine Manor?

Oh, there was so much we wanted to include but kept out of the original game because it detracted from the fact it was a love letter to 80s slasher movies. Now we’re moving into weirder territory, where we’re able to show off more of what is going on in the demon realm, which is so exciting!

Images from Sunshine Manor. Click to enlarge.

RN: As we’re all massive horror fans here, I have to ask… Do you have a favourite horror film, game, or book of 2020 so far?

This year has been an odd one so far for horror movies, but I’d have to say that The Invisible Man was great, the tension built up in that movie was the scariest thing I’d seen for a good while. Also, The Vast of the Night was fantastic for a low-budget indie film – the visuals in that film and the dialogue were just superb and man those single shot takes just blew us both away!

Games-wise we both played Resident Evil 3 and being 100% honest we preferred the original! But that’s probably because we’re just old farts who love retro games so much. I’m looking forward to reading Malorie when it’s released; Bird Box was a great novel (note that I didn’t say film!) and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next!

RN: Final question, and it’s a big one. Which is scarier… A murderer or a ghost?

Oh, that’s easy… The ghost of a murderer.

On that absolutely perfect answer, I want to thank the team at Fossil Games for taking the time to answer these questions and give us a bit more info about their upcoming game. Sunshine Manor, the prequel to the cult-hit Camp Sunshine, comes to PC and Mac on 31 October 2021. For all you need to know, check their official website to sign up for updates, add it to your wishlist on Steam, or follow Fossil Games on Twitter for updates.

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