- Interrogating “Her Story” Creator Sam Barlow and Actress Viva Seifert (Interview) at App Unwrapper (by App Unwrapper)
- Interrogating “Her Story” Creator Sam Barlow and Actress Viva Seifert (Interview), Page 2 at App Unwrapper (by App Unwrapper)
- By App Unwrapper, Sam Barlow, Viva Seifert, and App Unwrapper
And I like how you put that. While I do love my share of supernatural stories, I prefer the ones that are more grounded in reality. My favorites are those that offer a believable “what if” — speculative fiction, if you will, over straight-out science fiction. So I do think that’s one of the aspects of “Her Story” that drew me in — some parts might be unlikely, but they’re still believable enough without resorting to time travel or aliens to explain it all away. Were you ever tempted to take it a bit further with the supernatural elements? (Now I’m starting to imagine a hidden three-second clip in which an alien bursts out of her chest.)SB: Hmm, not in this case — I think after work on the dark fantasy of Legacy of Kain a few years back I was definitely ready to focus on something that didn’t have any fantastical or supernatural elements. That said, the format would work perfectly if you threw in some Gene Wolfe tropes — shape shifters, werewolves, etc. A version of Her Story where there’s a clip that’s essentially the ending of The Howling would be fantastic.
AU: I can totally see Her Story alternate endings being a thing… maybe?I just realized that Legacy of Kain is the game you and Viva were working on that got cancelled. How did that influence your future work? Was that the only scrapped project you ever worked on?
SB: I can’t say too much about that project specifically. Its biggest influence was probably that we put a lot of effort into creating interesting characters and have them speak in as succinct a way as possible, pushing a lot of their stuff into subtext. This was before Game of Thrones had hit big and so it wasn’t necessarily the obvious direction to take a fantasy action adventure. There’s a small chance that some of its themes carried over to Her Story, on a very different scale.That game was the most time I’ve spent on a project before it was cancelled. I also worked on a game called Elveon, which was my first chance to create a game story from scratch — and had a fun time creating a noir world war two espionage story with Elves. That one was reasonably far in before the project was cancelled. And lots of other smaller projects or pitches that had an amount of work put into them but never moved into full development. All of it is useful experience — Elveon was a chance to learn a lot of technical know how that went directly into Shattered Memories. ...
People noticed some other mistakes (on Sam’s part), but I think that just says a lot about the effect the game’s had on everyone. These details were only caught because players got so invested, instead of just playing and moving on. So I guess you should be flattered? 😉
I’ll have to keep an eye out for that album. This is your first solo project, right?What about acting? Were you doing much of that before Her Story and do you plan to do more since its success? Sam mentioned Legacy of Kain: Dead Sun, the game you worked on together that got scrapped. Did that experience affect your willingness to work on video games in the future?
VS: Yes thank you very much I think we should do that!! It was deliberate…ahem.Maybe if we had a bigger budget then we’d have someone solely on continuity or we could reshoot, who knows…and yes, the investment of the player is so substantial and necessary with this game. Every tiny movement or tap on my behalf becomes so important….did that eyebrow raise mean something other etc? So some serious scrutiny has been going on…
The music I’m working on is my first solo project. It’s fun! I love losing myself in it and being solely responsible for my own work. But I have to be disciplined which I must say is hard…it’s too easy to be distracted with life things that get in the way when you don’t have a schedule to work to….but it’s coming along. (again, hats off to Barlow who did do it all on his own…he’s a bit annoying actually ;-)…No!! Inspirational!) )
Acting wise, I have been acting on and off for years doing commercials in between touring and albums. The interesting projects are obviously the best so I was really fortunate to meet Sam. I remember when I went for that first audition for Legacy of Kain: Dead Sun. I had no idea what I was walking into. I gave my audition piece my best shot and then there were a lot of smiles in the room…i didn’t know if they were smiling because they liked me or because they were laughing at me…..I got the job. Then my part grew which was very complimentary and exciting, but the fact that it got scrapped didn’t phase me at all. Each installment of the project was a mini job in itself. Then we’d go off for a year and come back and do a bit more.
I never got to see what we did but I got to work with Sam and some seriously great actors so that actually brought me out of myself and gave me a confidence and belief that I didn’t have before.
So video games/ theatre/movies/albums = yes please! ...