“Go back to the 80s and solve the mystery of what really happened in the events that unfurled before the Camp Sunshine massacre years later.” – Fossil Games
Camp Sunshine, available now on Steam, is a riotous return to the glory of ’80s slasher films, which is my absolute favorite genre! Fossil Games created one helluva fun experience!
Expectations are high for their upcoming title, Sunshine Manor , a prequel to the previous game. After playing Camp Sunshine (which has gone on to sell over a 100K copies!) I can’t wait to see what gory surprises the team has in store for us next. I had the privilege of sitting down with Fossil Games to get to know the madness behind the magic.
About the Games
Manic Exorcism: After playing Camp Sunshine it’s abundantly clear you guys are horror fans. Not just that, but there is a lot of love for ‘80s culture and ‘80s slashers in this game. When making the game what movies were most influential over the project?
Fossil Games: Definitely Friday the 13th, as that’s how the game began life (as a fan game). I’d have to say Part 4 and Part 6 are my favourites and that’s what really inspired everything but then we began adding more, and more, and more and eventually it became something in its’ own right!
Manic Exorcism: Being horror fans yourselves, what are your personal favorite movies?
Fossil Games: There’s honestly just so many, most recently we really enjoyed Host and The Invisible Man. A little further back it was anything Ari Aster had put out … but after those it’s all about the ’80s horror movies for us! Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Child’s Play – all of them!
ME: And each of those titles find themselves in the game.
ME: One of the first things I noticed was the plethora of Easter Eggs. Made me fall in love with it that much more right away. What were some of your favorite Easter Eggs to include?
FG: Oh man, all of them were great fun. From the sweater in the boiler room, to Bigfoot, the Aliens and all of the posters. It was great fun trying to cram as many in there as possible!
ME: I was glad to find the Silver Shamrock Masks.
ME: On the topic of Easter Eggs were there any you couldn’t include and wish you had? For that matter, do they get an appearance in the upcoming Sunshine Manor?
FG: For Camp Sunshine we kind of reached a limit where they began to become obvious, so the ones we canned we put to one side and they’re going to be in Sunshine Manor.
ME: Another thing that stood out was the soundtrack. Perfectly eerie! Who was behind that and what were the inspirations?
FG: That would be us! We’re huge retro synth fans and so writing the music was so much fun! We grew up listening to bands like Tangerine Dream etc. so it kind of comes naturally.
ME: So Sunshine Manor is a prequel to Camp Sunshine. Do you recommend playing both games in any particular order?
FG: Nope, you can play them in whichever order you like!
ME: What do you want fans to take away from both games?
FG: From Camp Sunshine we’d like people to feel on edge, and vulnerable. You have no weapons and are being hunted down all the time.
FG: For Sunshine Manor we want the player to feel trapped and on edge, this time around you do have psychic powers to protect you – but there are a whole lot more enemies on the look out for you and even more dastardly tricks that we haven’t revealed yet!
ME: What connects both games?
FG: Now this is going to be difficult without giving the plot away completely! However in Sunshine Manor we go through the story of Clement Aitken, our universes Mr. Rogers and what he did to gain his fame … and what it ultimately cost.
ME: How do both games differ from each other?
FG: In Camp Sunshine, you were very much unarmed and vulnerable whilst a maniac with a large knife was hunting you down. In Sunshine Manor you now have Psychic Powers that you can call upon to cast out the nasties in the demon realm, and also give yourself a little bit of breathing room from the evolving Mansion and Shadow Man.
FG: The two stories are intrinsically linked though, and each game sheds light on the other. It’s been fun!
ME: The RPG style of gameplay and art design can’t help but remind me of some classic retro games – namely SNES titles. Earthbound readily come to mind. The NES Friday the 13th too. What video games most influenced you?
FG: Definitely Earthbound, but then others like Zombies Ate My Neighbours too – the NES was just a classic machine with it’s own look and feel to each game so there was just so much to choose from!
ME: Given the chance to introduce newcomers to the blood-splattered environments of your games, what other games would you compare the Sunshine games to?
FG: One of our discord members said it the best … Earthbound meets Splatterhouse
ME: That’s perfect!
ME: I might already have guessed this one, based on the copious amount of guts and gore, but what audience are both games targeted towards? And let it be known, those of us here at Nightmare Nostalgia love blood, guts, and gore.
FG: Well the guts and gore are pixellated which I think takes away the real-ness of it really, but we’d have to say if you have a weak stomach or are averse to some weird stuff going on then maybe our games aren’t the best choice … we like to get weird!
ME: We love it weird! Our readers can handle this no problem.
ME: Are there any plans for Sunshine merchandise?
FG: Oh definitely, at the moment we have our Sunshine Anthology which includes a soundtrack cassette, sweatbands and a VHS case but we have been looking at other things too. We’d love your suggestions!
ME: I love that kind of stuff. Maybe a comic book?
ME: Do you manage any social media pages for fan discussion and announcements?
ME: Any plans for DLC?
FG: DLC isn’t something we’d ever look at doing. All of our games (so far) have been complete stories so adding in content has never been something we’ve wanted to do.
ME: Do you see these games becoming a franchise? Are there plans for a sequel? Where would you like to see the games go?
FG: They were always going to be a series of games with a set story – and yes, we have plans for a third game. Every good horror franchise has to have a trilogy!
ME: Are there secret endings?
FG: There are a boatload of secrets in each game, it’s one of things we really like doing – seeing what we can get away with. Even after four years from release, there are still secrets in Camp Sunshine that (as far as we’re aware) no-one has found.
ME: What should gamers be most excited about for Sunshine Manor?
FG: Honestly, I think it’s going to be the tension we’re aiming for. Of course there are going to be scares and spooks, but there is always this pervading tension that is bubbling away with everything you do … it’s almost like the Mansion is waking up!
ME: Even though it’s a long way off can you share anything about the third game in the series?
FG: Oh we can tell you a little bit … it’s going to have the word Sunshine in the title!
ME: What would be a dream project come to life for you?
FG: Oh man, there’s way too many! Finishing off this trilogy will be an absolute dream and then we’ve definitely got ideas for some weird and wonderful stuff in the coming years too!
“Sunshine Manor is the eagerly awaited prequel to the cult horror RPG smash, Camp Sunshine – which sold over 100K copies worldwide on PC and is set to release on all major formats in 2021. There’s also a playable prologue chapter available of the game on Steam – so players really can play before they pledge on this very special title.” – Fossil Games
I’ve had a blast playing Camp Sunshine for hours. It was my horror game fix this October. Looking forward to seeing what the team brings us in the years to come. Sunshine is definitely Manic approved.
I want to thank Fossil Games for taking the time to let me sneak behind the curtain and see what all they’re up to. Stay tuned, Nasties for all of those retro goodies and horror fixes.