For the uninitiated, Night Trap is a full-motion video (FMV) game that was originally released on Sega CD back in 1992. It saw players monitor a slumber party via hidden cameras in order to protect its attendees from, er, evil ninja vampires. You know, like you do.
It was also the silliest, campiest, most preposterously awkward thing.
So of course, it became a lightning rod for controversy. And by "so of course," I mean, "I still can't fully comprehend what happened there, and it's been more than 20 years." Shortly after its release, Night Trap was declared the antichrist to violent video gaming's devil music apocalypse rock and roll band.
Despite containing very little blood and no acts of extreme violence, senators like (most notoriously) Joseph Lieberman accused it of promoting "an effort to trap and kill women." This even though your main objective in the game was to prevent that exact thing, but oh well.
That's not to say Night Trap was some shining beacon of unassailable tastefulness (it was weird/voyeuristic conceptually, not to mention sexist in its leanings), but it didn't really belong in the same viscera-strewn woodshed as games like Mortal Kombat and Doom. Even so, as a result of congressional hearings around those games, the ESRB video game rating system was born.
The '90s sure were a hoot, huh folks? OK, history lesson over. Now many of Night Trap's original creators have gotten back together to kickstart an HD version of the FMV trap-'em-up and — pending its success — possibly create a sequel. Right now, however, they're focusing all fire on the HD remake, which apparently requires $US330,000 to get off the ground. That's quite an asking price for an up-rezzed version of a musty, dusty video game relic, but they explain it like this:
"The $US330,000 we are seeking is enough to cover the coding, manufacturing and fulfillment of the rewards we are offering. If we raise additional sums, our intention is to acquire the rights to as many other Digital Pictures' titles as possible and release them as well. We are also considering the creation of Night Trap II, although hopefully we will come up with a more clever title."
However, somewhat oddly, it sounds like a lot of work on this remaster is already complete. The game's creators expect it will be out and giving a whole new generation of senators fits a mere six months after the Kickstarter winds down.
"Crafting an HD version of the game is moderately challenging, although the biggest task — creating a digital HD transfer of the elements — has already been completed. We've also identified and reached agreement with the developer we will use to complete the game. We feel comfortable saying that we'll be able to finish the new version and have it in the hands of supporters within six months of the close of this campaign. We're planning to make Night Trap available on four different platforms (PC, Mac, PlayStation, and Xbox), and we anticipate no show-stopping problems in engineering the game to fit the requirements of the different systems."
A whopping four months of that time, then, will be spent making sure the footage is as "pristine" as possible.
Still though, $US330,000 seems like kinda a lot for this sort of thing, even if the Kickstarter is also a not-super-thinly-veiled attempt at gauging interest in future projects. I'm gonna try and get in touch with the developers for more information. Their contact info has been weirdly difficult to come by so far, but maybe if I just ask my questions out loud, they will hear me. They're always watching, after all.