What Makes The Black Glove Tick: Interview With Day For Night Studios

I dig deeper into the world of The Black Glove with Day For Night's Joe Fielder

Day For Night was founded by designers who were let go from Irrational Games earlier this year. Their project, The Black Glove, is set in a very peculiar theatre, where the current attractions are not doing so well. In order to fix this, you as the player have to traverse time to change the lives of the acts to influence their work in a multitude ways. While you journey to the past, you also have to deal with warped reality within the theatre and even battle with a menacing monster know as the Space Minotaur.

Recently, I did a news piece on Day For Night's gaming project, that highlights their campaigning on Kickstarter to realize their goal. After writing this, I reached out to them to see if I could gleam a little more info from them on the game. When I was contacted back by Joe Fielder, a writer on The Black Glove, I was pleased with the response.

Jay Prodigious: I have been curious, where did the idea for Black Glove come from? Was it something Day for Night had always wanted to do while working on BioShock  or was it a new idea formed after working on the series?

Joe Fiedler: It’s something that came after we left Irrational Games. The broad strokes of it came from thinking about how to spotlight and challenge the talents of our team, who have years of experience creating immersive 3D worlds like BioShock Infinite’s Columbia and BioShock’s Rapture. 

The play Sleep No More was also a big early influence. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a series of scenes played out concurrently in a large, old school or hotel. It’s amazing and you can spend hours just exploring and observing, but being a gamer, I wanted to have interactivity. It got me thinking about how interesting it would be to give the player direct control over changing the narrative and world around them.

From there, as we started talking about it more, it was clear that it would be fun to dig into an eerie, surrealistic atmosphere like the works of Jean Cocteau, David Lynch, and Alan Resnais. And we also found a way to riff off our love for Jack Kirby, Williams S Burroughs, Groucho Marx, and "so-bad-it’s-good” elements like black velvet paintings, sad-eyed clown art, and b-movies.

JP: I noticed a few aspects that could be linked to BioShock, but I was wondering if there was any influence from outside sources for this project? Any other games that might have been considered while working on the concepts we've seen in the KickStarter?

JF: BioShock is a huge influence. Mostly because we [spent] so many years learning about creating “magically real” environments and telling compelling game narrative while working on that series.

JP: Altering reality and time travel are fairly deep themes, has tackling these metaphysical elements been challenging for the team?

JF: Getting a chance to re-examine characters multiple times through their varied life choices is pretty fun territory for us, both narratively and visually. It’s definitely challenging, but if you’re not challenged creatively, then your work ends up being dull. And if the work is dull, it’s no fun to play. 

BioShock is a huge influence. Mostly because we [spent] so many years learning about creating “magically real” environments and telling compelling game narrative while working on that series.

JP: I noticed a distinct focus on artistic aspects (a theater, music, paintings, etc.). Has there been any reason the focus been pointed at the art world?

JF: We’re also planning on digging into gaming as a topic within each of those three areas. It seemed like you’d be pretty remiss to make a game where the player had a hand in creating art without including games into the mix in some way. I’d say more, but they’re meant to be fun surprises.

JP: I have talked to quite a few gamers and recently did an interview with James Beech of Neon Serpent, who have all said that gaming has always been a form of art. How does Day for Night feel gaming relates to art as whole?

JF: I think that’s a personal decision for everyone to decide for themselves and wouldn’t try to impose my own thoughts on anyone about it. But hell, it’s a foregone conclusion to me. Every time a new art form emerges, it takes years for people to accept it. Maybe the advent of VR will shake people out of their preconceived notions. 

JP: Finally, if the Black Glove is successful on KickStarter, do you have any future game projects in mind? 

JF: If The Black Glove is successful on Kickstarter, I’ll have nearly every waking thought focused on it for the next year. After that though, we’ll see! 
 
Every time a new art form emerges, it takes years for people to accept it. Maybe the advent of VR will shake people out of their preconceived notions. 

The interview went great. While I understood the time constraint Fielder had involved writing for the game and fielding interviews was a challenge for him, I'm very happy he took the time to chat with me.

From the interview, we can see the game is still full of surprises. Those of us who played BioShock might also get a strange case of Deja Vu. With talented minds at the helm of The Black Glove it's safe to say this could be a fun title to play. 

If you liked what you heard and want to learn more about the project, go check out Day For Night's Kickstarter page. It has potential and if you want this game realized, shoot some support their way.

All Images provided by Day For Night Games.

Contributor

Have been writing since I can remember, have always loved reviews (gaming mostly), and have a knack for the written word.

Published Oct. 24th 2014

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