The Series: All The Awesome Immortality Interviews, Here In One Place

By Ronald Gordon

For the last two weeks of October, the talented interns of the Critics Circle had been conducting interviews. Aiming at getting the juicy details of Immortality and how it came about, the various names and faces we talked with were all wonderful people with lots to say on the game. With the horror-oriented offering coming soon to Netflix, thanks to the company’s moves into the gaming industry, Immortality will soon be available for anyone to play regardless of possession of a console. It will also be on Android and iOS phones. So of course, it’s a great opportunity for us to provide knowledge that most people wouldn’t know about before they take to playing the game. The process of making Immortality is deep indeed, as you’ll see.

I interviewed Sam Barlow on YouTube at this link: the Director of Half Mermaid is the main man behind Immortality. Having worked on Silent Hill: Shattered Memories in the past and two other games, Sam had lots to say about Immortality and how it was his task to change a lot of what he already knew about game design. What I enjoyed most about Sam was his passion for games, movies, and good literature, but more importantly how he wanted to make the player have questions. “But definitely there’s a quality to a Gene Wolf book, what it feels like to be reading it where you’re kind of swept up in it but you always have questions. There’s always a little bit of confusion or questions that you have, but there is this sense that it’s there below the surface. That was definitely the thing we were trying to plug into,” I hope to see Immortality reach the masses on a newer scale once it’s playable through Netflix, a feat which Sam is excited for as it continues to break down the walls between games and mainstream entertainment.

Isaac Espinosa interviewed Natalie Watson on YouTube. She’s the Producer at Half Mermaid who’s all about video games having worked at Vice prior to joining the company. From her love of video games like Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, to how Immortality was pieced together, Natalie’s long talk with Isaac enlightens you on what really went on behind the scenes and how it was all pieced together. She talks about having to use a Master Spreadsheet to keep everything together and in working order, and how the importance of maintaining the feeling of tension all throughout was vital to the gameplay experience of it. “Like this is a scary, freaky… scary game. And I was like, really? I was surprised by it. But then I watched some people play and I was like, yeah, if you have no idea what’s lingering beneath the surface, it is quite disorienting and unsettling,”

Khloe Wilkerson interviewed Connor Carson on YouTube and at this link. Connor was the programmer for Immortality who made sure the gameplay experience was smooth and felt enjoyable. Growing up with a Sega Genesis she played with her family, Connor barely even knew people could get a career in Video Games until her eyes were opened to the possibilities through an elective class on games. Having learned much working with Sam and the rest of Half Mermaid on Immortality, Connor says she has “No regrets. Definitely a lot of lessons. Especially for me just to have you know, it being the first game I’ve launched. Professionally, a lot of lessons learned in so far as working without source teams are concerned.” Immortality and its match cut system was a challenge that Connor was not going to back down from. Its complexity to program was fun for her nonetheless. 

Makeda Byfield interviewed Manon Gage on YouTube and for our site. Manon plays Marissa Marcel and is face of Immortality. Starting out at a young age, Manon has been acting professionally since 15 and hasn’t stopped yet. Her performance within Immortality, which alone is the equivalent of three whole movies, was stunning all throughout. Hearing her talk about her love of acting during development is astoundingly inspiring. Despite wanting to do theater at first, Manon was quick to explore TV and Movies as she worked through the challenging process of graduating from Juilliard.

Valeisha Jackson interviewed Nainita Desai, on YouTube and our site. Nainita’s the composer of the beautiful music in Immortality and the movies within the game. Saying that “music has always been in my DNA,” shows that Nainita takes music as seriously as she does her own flesh and blood. Having been obsessed with music and film all her life, Nainita not only built her own recording studio, but also made her own sound collection before she even started working professionally in sound editing and design. After hundreds of films and shows, her work on Immortality was one of the only times she was given a story to read rather than visuals to observe, which made for a more in depth and personal structure to the music. As you listen, you can tell just how much work Nainita put into making the themes feel alive and essential parts of Immortality.

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