Characters in horror have been known to make some pretty mindless decisions in a time of crisis, often leading to their demise. Despite this, even the most avid horror fan can be found shouting at the tv in hopes that their beloved character will actually run out the front door instead of upstairs. But alas, there is hope!! An upcoming project, Zombie Office, puts the YOU in charge and the fate of the cast is in your hands. Can you handle the pressure or will you succumb to the same, panic driven decisions, we endure in every horror film?
I had the opportunity to chat with Jean-François Rouzé, creator of Zombie Office, to get the inside scoop on this game changing concept and I can honestly say I am 100% on board with this project!! In this first official interview, we discuss what to expect from Zombie Office and their upcoming Kick-starter!!
Interview With Jean-François Rouzé
1. Who am I speaking with today and what role do you play in the production of Zombie Office?
Hi, my name is Jean-François Rouzé (@jeffrouze) and I am the creator of Zombie Office.
2. What exactly is Zombie Office?
Zombie Office is an interactive game for Mobile, Tablets, PC, Smart TVs & Virtual Reality Devices. Compared to 3D graphics video games, Zombie Office has been filmed as a movie, but designed as a game.
Users will have the opportunity to interact with the characters and choose how the story will change multiple times until the end. If they survive, of course!
The action will take place in a big office, during a zombie outbreak. Users will have the opportunity to control different characters.
Their mission is to survive and get out of the building alive, using the stairs or elevators, jumping from a rooftop or hiding in the parking lots, and fighting using various weapons (from fire axes to old Mac keyboards – spoiler). The choice will be totally on the users.
3. What was the inspiration for this idea?
Well, I remember reading this “make your own story” books when I was a kid, where readers could decide how events would unfold simply by jumping from page 34 to 89.
I really enjoyed those horror books – it was a lot of fun to read them and they were very special to me.
Then, the first idea of creating an “interactive zombie story” for smartphones and tablets came in 2009. But back then we didn’t have the necessary technologies and people to make it real, so the actual work started only in 2011. By then, I created a digital production company, and started working on the design and the story.
4. Zombie Office is such a different concept, how do you feel people will respond to it?
There are lots of zombie movies and series coming out every year, but in the end it’s always one and the same scenario. You’re sitting and watching your favourite characters die, one by one, while the ones you don’t care about survive.
After talking with many zombie and horror fans, I arrived at the conclusion that everyone is tired of watching characters take wrong decisions all the time. Tired of having one scenario. And I think we can change this – give the viewer the power to decide who’s got the right to survive and who has to die.
I have no idea how people will react! It’s a massive shift from the classic manner in which everyone is used to watch horrors. But I believe we will find like-minded people. There’s so much possible today with technology, we just need to prove that “tomorrow” is already here.
5. You have a kick-starter coming soon, is there an official launch date?
The official launch date for the campaign hasn’t been set yet, but it will definitely be between June- July, 2016.
6. Are there any incentives for contributing to this project? T-shirt, signed posters or perhaps a coffee mug?
Yes, of course! Our design team has already made T-shirts, posters and coffee mugs, as well as customised VR Google Cardboard for the VR zombie experience.
We also are working on the Augmented Reality board game. Rewards will be available on KS, and online shop is coming soon on our website, www.zombieoffice.com.
7. When you reach your kick starter goal, how soon do you expect to officially release Zombie Office?
Depending on how many stretch goals we will reach, we’ve estimated that it will take around 5~6 months to release Zombie Office.
This will include 1 month of pre-production (casting, filming locations, script changes, camera testings, etc), 1~2 months of filming, and the final 1~2 months of post-production and programming.
8. Will this be an app based game or will it be available on other platforms such as xbox, Play station etc.
The original app will be launched for iOS, Android, Steam, Oculus and Samsung Gear VR.
If we reach the $500,000 goal or higher, the game will become available for Xbox, Playstation and Smart TVs.
9. Is there anything else you would like the readers to know about this project??
Yes, as I mentioned earlier, we are also planning to launch the Zombie Office Board Game featuring augmented reality. So through the Zombie Office App, players will be able to unlock not only extra episodes for the interactive game – but also extra features for the Board Game. We are trying to create the whole interactive zombie environment, where users will have full control of the story. No more passive watching, now you will be able to make the decisions – and it will be fun!
Don’t forget to check out their website http://zombieoffice.com You can check out the cast, see the making of chapter 1 and much, much more!! Stay tuned for the Kick-starter launch date and be sure to pledge your support!!
This is a bold but exciting move for the horror genre and I’m eager to see how it turns out. Most of all I want to play it!! Critics love to hate on horror, especially when the films are full of cliches or cheesy acting, so I commend Zombie Office for thinking outside of the box and approaching it from a new angle. After watching “The Making of Chapter 1” it’s clear that they are not only having fun but they are completely dedicated to this production. I will pledge my support once their KS opens. This movie/game mashup is going to be HUGE!!!
I’d like to thank Jean-François Rouzé for taking the time to chat with me and wish him and his team the best of luck!!
Here is the trailer for Zombie Office, spread the word, it will be EPIC!!!
Thanks for reading!!!