ILL: Developing a Brutal Horror Game with Dismemberment Mechanic

The Clout Games team briefly talked about ILL, their new horror title in development.

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About Clout Games

We have four people on the team: Oleg Vdovenko and Vadim Vdovenko (Tula), Alexey Mikhailov (St. Petersburg), and Maxim Verekhin (Canada). The first two graduated only from high school, Alexey graduated from a vocational school as a cabinetmaker, and Maxim studied to be an artist somewhere near Volgograd. 


Old horror movies from childhood, games, comics – inspiration comes from that, like for everyone else. These are things that are hard not to fall in love with.

Everyone on our team loves horror, that is how we met 11 years ago when we were drawing monster stuff on the same websites. But movies are probably the main source of inspiration.

About ILL

Where Did the Idea Come From?

We have wanted to make a horror game together for a long time. We made a concept to get some feedback, to see whether people liked this topic. Prior to that, we had successfully implemented three projects (Rush Fight, Flippy Hills, and Bouncy Hills) with the same crew. These projects were an excellent ‘run-in’ of the team.

In Short, What Is It About?

It is a survival horror with an unofficial slogan "You can dismember the enemy, but you will regret it".

Dismemberment Mechanic

The complete dismemberment of any enemy is difficult, but it is one of the main things that we will implement. There are different ways to do so, including the substitution of models, ‘pre-divided’ characters, and many other tricks. One of the challenges is to do it in a realistic way so that when you shoot a leg, it just does not just simply fall off like a carrot. But the most important thing we saved for later.

Transformation Tests

For the transformation scene, we had to make four characters at different stages and additional body parts. We used various techniques, like replacing the geometry and transforming the rig. Since it was a research task, it took quite some time.

Creating the Atmosphere of Horror

We don't want to make the players feel like superheroes – we will place them in a grim unpredictable environment, show them shocking scenes, and wrap everything in proper sound design. The players should always feel that everything that's happening around them is real. Also, we are not against screamers but it is important to think them through, place them correctly, and not to overdo it. And the most crucial point – ‘no drug trips’! Hallucinations and other psychedelic things are common in many games but it is difficult for those who are not on hard drugs to put themselves in the shoes of the main character and empathize with them. Horror movies are often full of such elements, and that leaves no room for tangible monsters and brutal body horror.

What Are You Planning Next?

Now we are making a demo, and at the same time, we are negotiating with the investors. Patreon is needed to cover minor expenses, such as a lawyer, etc. So far, there are no particular difficulties with ILL, so we are doing just fine.

Clout Games, Game Developers

Interview conducted by Arti Sergeev

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