Alisa | Casper Croes - Written Interview

A 90’s Horror Themed Adventure

The final quarter of 2020 is set to be a major moment in the evolution of gaming. With two major consoles, and a slew of brand new games on the way it’s hard to hold back the excitement. Yet, as gamers look to the future, one developer is branching out and taking a step almost thirty years backwards in time.


Developed as a hybrid of Švankmajer's Alice and the original Resident Evil, and designed to resemble the classics of 1994’s Playstation. PM had the opportunity to dive into the upcoming title with developer Casper Croes, and talk everything from gameplay mechanics to a certain puppet named Pol. Here’s our interview with developer Casper Croes talking the upcoming epic title, Alisa.

It’s time to go back to the Future

1.)  To start things off let’s take a look at the games origins! What was the inspiration behind combining the feel of a 90’s PlayStation 1 title, with a horror action adventure?


It all started as a concept to combine Resident Evil (1996) with a horror Alice in Wonderland type or world like Svankmajer's Alice.

Svankmajer is an old classical animator. He uses all kinds of materials to animate with. Mostly clay. Lot's of spooky stuff.
I did not get inspired by American MC Gee's Alice like some might think.


2.)  Will Alisa lean more towards run and gun horror shooters such as FEAR and Dead Space, or will it include puzzle based gameplay with a heavier focus on the survival aspect similar to Resident Evil and Silent Hill?


It will lean close to the classic Resident Evil type of games, but with no inventory or bullet management. Instead you go to a "safe room" and build your loadout at the wardrobe, and go for your next goal.
Of course, you still need to find bullets and items or buy supplies at a puppet hiding in the walls called Pol.


3.)  How many different sectors/levels will players be traversing in Alisa, and how will each of these effect gameplay, strategy, and load out choices?


There is a total of 5 zones. All unique in theme. Of course everything is still in the same mansion. Every sector has their own unlockable armor/dress and weapons.


4.)  Explain Alisa’s currency system to me, what items will be purchase-able in game (Health/modifications/outfits ect.) and what items will only be accessible instead through character ranking?


The currency in the game is called "Toothwheels", they are like cogs/gears that are dropped when you kill the doll creatures in the game.

With these Toothwheels you can buy ammo, healing items, weapons, armors and modifications.
Of course these supplies are not limitless. They can get sold out but stock and assortment can change after completing a chapter.


5.)  As the game progresses you can upgrade Alisa with different body modifications like Quick Strings or Gear implants. Talk to me about all the different mods available to players. How do they effect gameplay? And can you upgrade them as you progress?


The body modifications will give Alisa an extra ability to activate. Probably with a cooldown. Some are are defensive, others are for offense.
These mods will become available from a certain part in the story. Somewhere after chapter 2 or so.
Skin Lacquer gives a temporary defence and resistance boost, Quick Strings will give you a dodge ability and Gear Implants is a bit more complicated. This one is more passive than an active skill.


6.)  Talk to me about the different weapons available throughout the game. How do players gain access to all the options available? And will they be able to unlock or find attachments throughout the map for theses weapons?


The weapons will be unlocked by progressing in the game but also by defeating bosses and exchanging a boss material to get a unique "boss weapon" just like in the Soulsborne games.
This is where NG+ becomes interesting to be able collect all the weapons and gear in the game. But on top of that, there are extra weapons and armors to get in NG+.


7.)  Besides its standard difficulty mode will Alisa include a nightmare or hardcore mode similar to something like The Evil Within’s AKUMU mode? 


There will be no difficulty setting. But NG+ wil make things more difficult. And so there is NG+, NG++, NG+++, and so on.


8.)  What character, level, or boss in Alisa stuck out as your personal favorite to create, and why? 


That's a difficult question. I love everything I made so far and what I will make. But I guess the puppet Pol is my most favorite. And Alisa of course!


9.)  How will health regeneration work in Alisa? Will it auto regenerate similar to CoD, will players have to buy and carry health in their inventory? Or will the game employ something similar to Bloodborne’s ‘Rally’ where players must counter attack to regain health?


Health will not auto regenerate. It'll be with healing items. This way it becomes more scary when you fall short on those.


10.)  Launch may still be a ways off for Alisa, but are there any plans for bonus DLC content, levels, skins, or weapons after the games release?


Since the stretch goal for the extra mission was very close, 6% was needed to reach it, This will most likely become a DLC after the game releases.
And just like the demo had some exclusive holiday versions, So there will be seasonal holiday costume/cosmetic DLCs.

The Final Fantastic Details 

With a four hour campaign chalked full of different enemies, and character dresses, as well as three possible endings, Alisa is set to be a worthy addition to the gaming world. Set to release in May of 2021, Alisa will launch on Windows and Linux, with potential later releases on MacOS, Xbox, Playstation, and Nintendo Switch.


Get the demo on Alisa's official website, and while its Kickstarter campaign has come to an end, the page has even more information worth checking out. Make sure to check out Casper Croes on twitter, take a look at the gameplay teaser below, and let us know what you think about the upcoming title!

-August 21, 2020 2:00 am EDT-
By : Nick Lehner