#568: Horror & Gore in VR: Designing ‘Killing Floor: Incursion’

Leland-ScaliKilling Floor: Incursion is a horror game featuring lots of gore that is sure to evoke visceral reactions in players. I had a chance to play a demo at GDC, and I can say that it’s definitely an experience has stuck with me. The mechanics of beating enemies with their dismembered limbs had an extreme amount of blood splattering that it was a mix of being at the same time grossly disturbing and ridiculously comic. I had a chance to talk with project lead Leland Scali about the horror genre in VR, pushing the boundaries of how far to take gore within immersive VR, and their deeper game design process of creating an experience within their Killing Floor universe.

Scali admits that they’re treading a fine line of it being funny or amusing versus taking it too far, and so it’ll be interesting to see how VR gamers and the larger media react to this experience as it could be a catalyst to larger discussions about the impact embodied experiences of gory violence within virtual reality. He says that this is not an experience about rainbows and happiness, but rather one that’s gory & dark with a dash of quirky humor. Ultimately it seems to be about power — specifically giving the player the power to complete the task, and assaulting them heavily to see if they can handle it.


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Music: Fatality & Summer Trip