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Edge|July 2021
Behind the scenes of Ghosts, an FMV-based game that can only be played once per day

Hideo Kojima’s Boktai: The Sun Is In Your Hand and Ghostwatch, the cult ‘90s BBC faux documentary, are two things not often mentioned in the same breath. But they’re among the reference points raised during our conversation with Jed Shepherd, the filmmaker taking his first step into videogames with Ghosts. And if these inspirations seem an unlikely crossover, then the Venn diagram required to fully encompass Ghosts’ conceit – a “real-time live-action horror videogame” involving the makers of both Siren Head and Big Bird – is outright inconceivable.

Shepherd is certainly no stranger to high-concept horror. He was the co-writer of Host, a 2020 found-footage movie about a séance which played out entirely within a Zoom window. He’s reuniting with the core of that film’s cast for this project, where they’ll once again play five women pitted against a ghostly threat – in this case, the so-called ‘Long Lady’, a figure of urban legend said to appear at times of great tragedy, haunting one south London street in particular.

The cast – and player – find themselves on that street thanks to a Most Haunted-style TV series on a struggling cable channel. (That Ghostwatch comparison may be starting to make itself clearer.) You will take on the role of “an overworked, underpaid producer” sitting in an outside broadcast van, with full control over the show’s live feed. You’ll be able to cut between footage from static cameras in each room, a roaming camera on the street outside, and the feed from each presenter’s phone as they explore the house, and to switch to pre-recorded interviews and “sketchy footage” of your supernatural quarry – or even just throw to adverts.

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