The 7th Guest was one of the defining titles of the early CD-ROM era. Blending pre-rendered backdrops -- which animated smoothly as you moved between them rather than simply flipping to a new screen -- with full-motion video and some devious puzzles, the original game and its sequel The 11th Hour were enjoyable -- if rather cheesy -- horror adventures.
Now developer Trilobyte Games is trying again to get a third installment made after a an overly ambitious crowdfunding campaign failed last November. This time around, however, Trilobyte has been working hard behind the scenes, and has also reconsidered how it is going to go about making the new game.
There's going to be a new crowdfunding campaign, for starters, but this time around, rather than asking for nearly half a million dollars, the team is instead seeking just $65,000. This will be enough to allow the team to create their beta version of the new game, known as The 7th Guest 3: The First Story. A number of the original game's team members -- including actor Robert Hischboeck, who played crazy toymaker and primary antagonist Henry Stauf, and musician Tommy Tallarico have signed up to work on the project, and George Alistair Sanger (better known as "The Fat Man") has allowed his original music to be incorporated into the new game.
Interestingly, the new crowdfunding campaign will not be run through Kickstarter, as is the "norm" these days. Rather, it will be using a new platform called CrowdtiltOpen, a platform that allows the team at Trilobyte to divide funding and development goals into discrete stages -- hence the desire to make "The First Story" first. Once the initial funding stages are over, Trilobyte will have the opportunity to extend the campaign and take aim at finishing the project once and for all.
The project will doubtless be helped by new licensing agreements entered into with Angel Valley Media, which will potentially result in film and television adaptations of the series. Plans for these adaptations haven't been discussed in detail yet, but it sounds as if the intention is to explore the wider universe of the series rather than simply retell the stories of the games.
The new game itself sounds like an intriguing horror adventure. Still incorporating the original game's trademark blend of exploration, puzzle solving and narrative development, this time around you'll have to manipulate the structure of Henry Stauf's mansion so that you can eventually escape from its confines. In keeping with its original incarnation, much of the game will be presented as pre-rendered scenes overlaid with full-motion video, though the puzzles this time around will incorporate real-time graphics and physics rather than the pre-rendered animations of the original. This will allow for greater flexibility in puzzle design while still remaining authentic to its source material.
If you'd like to find out more or pledge your support to the new game, check out the Crowdtilt page.