Just taking one look at Supermassive Games’ The Quarry reveals a number of obvious horror influences: the summer camp setting of Sleepaway Camp, the gruesome deaths of Final Destination, and the self-referential nature of Scream. But the surprising inspiration in this spiritual successor to Until Dawn comes from a show that operates with a more family-friendly level of horror.
“Weirdly, when I very first wrote it, the characters in my head were kind of out of Scooby Doo,” Will Byles, creative director of The Quarry, told IGN.
That doesn’t mean you can expect giant sandwiches, cheesy unmaskings, and a flower-laden van in The Quarry. Rather, Byles took inspiration from the personalities of Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy, and Scoob and channeled them into some of The Quarry’s characters.
“There’s something about that group of kids going around,” Byles said. “Velma is my favorite character… one of the first [characters] you see is Laura, that was originally Velma in my head. We want to have those… kinds of stereotype characters, kind of the jock, the nerd. They’re in every teen horror that you ever see. And we do that on purpose because we want people to feel familiar with it. Then we try and change that a little bit.”
And change is certainly another theme at play in The Quarry. The game will have 186 different endings, with each individual character arc ranging from what Byles describes as “the douche arc” and the “kind of hero arc.” Player decisions throughout the game will have a ripple effect on the outcome, as has become the standard from Supermassive Games’ horror offerings.
The Quarry Screenshots
The Quarry is really leaning into those teen horror tropes, which is what makes the game distinct from Supermassive Games’ other horror series, The Dark Pictures Anthology. That series has already released three games, with the fourth title due out later this year.
Instead, The Quarry is more in line with Until Dawn, the 2015 PS4 exclusive that followed a group of teenagers who must survive on Blackwood Mountain until… dawn. Byles told IGN that The Quarry follows a specific set of horror rules that differentiate it from Dark Pictures.
“Scream is like this, the first kind of overtly… self-referential film. It’s kind of like it knows what it is. And it’s telling the audience it knows what it is and they should understand from that. So we use that kind of, that knowledge, that’s not innate, but that’s a learnt knowledge of what you can expect if you do a bunch of stuff. We use that very much on purpose.”
Scream is a clear influence, as franchise star David Arquette is a part of The Quarry’s ensemble cast that also includes Evil Dead’s Ted Raimi.
“We’ve got Ted Raimi in it who’s in Evil Dead. And Sam, his brother, directed it obviously. So the amazing camera angles, but also there’s humor, even with all the grossness… it’s definitely not serious.”
The Quarry is out today on PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, and Xbox One. For more coverage, check out our video on how a single creepy scene was created.
Logan Plant is a freelance writer for IGN. You can find him on Twitter @LoganJPlant.