Bureau of Contacts Interview

Recently I spoke with creatives for the upcoming game.

1) What is the background and setting for the game?

The setting is 1930-1950, USA/Britain, Victorian era.

2) Where did the idea for the game arise?

We started thinking about the idea in the summer of 2023.

Then it took a few months to research the market, after which we determined that co-op games and the horror genre are popular in recent years. From this point we decided to proceed.

Then it was a matter of thinking over the concept, analyzing the existing horror games of recent years, identifying their weaknesses and features, and the reasons for success and failure. So the idea was born – why not make a horror game about paranormal and ghosts, in which we eliminate the shortcomings and strengthen the weaknesses of similar games, take the best from them and add something of our own? So we decided to do it.

3) What sets it apart for other games in the genre?

We asked ourselves this question when we were working on the concept of “Bureau of Contacts”.

At the same time we thought about the dilemma – to make a game popular, is it enough for it to be just qualitative and interesting, or should it be something surprising? In the end we decided not to guess, but to bet on both options.


It just so happened that it was the period when generative technologies (Chat GPT, Midjourney, etc.) were growing in popularity, which made us think – why don’t we use something similar in our game?

At that time, the number of games using generative technologies on the market could be counted on the fingers of one hand, but on these examples we saw that the neural network works quite well as an interlocutor without going beyond the plot.


Then we asked ourselves: “OK, so these mechanics work. But what else can we get out of the neural network? How else can it be used?” Team’s brainstorming helped to achieve, as we thought, an interesting solution to make it so that the neural network influences the flow and outcome of the game session, acting as a hidden scriptwriter.


The “Bureau of Contacts” slogan sounds like “we trained the neural network to kill” and it’s true, because this network determines the behavior of ghosts in the game based on the words and actions of players, and also varies the different temperaments of the ghost.

Thus, the player through voice communication can get information from the ghost / neural network, useful for the successful passing of the session…or he can go to the edge and get an adequate response.

4) What have been some of the biggest challenges and triumphs in developing the game?

Perhaps as difficult as coming up with a тnotable features of the game was figuring out how to appropriately bring it to life, because no one has ever done that before.

Especially considering that we are making a horror game, where all the elements should help to create a tense atmosphere and complement it.


Luckily it’s not the first time for us to be pioneers in something. Let’s say, we gathered in a team just around something new technological. I mean VR, with which we’ve done something that turned out to be “for the first time”, whether it was first in Ukraine or in whole post-Soviet space. We believe that we can do something for the first time again.


As for the victories, at the development stage, it was probably unexpectable and nice to see an interest in the game in among our Discord audience in Discord, just in project’s infancy – we received about a hundred ideas and solutions from gamers, a couple hundred people willing to try the game in the early stages. We discussed and continue to work with them to solve issues for which it is important to have more smart heads and the opinion of those for whom we create the game. They also chose the title of the game by the way)

5) How does co-op work in the game?
Technically, it is already working almost perfectly, and we bring it to a better state by internal testing every week. We decide on some things as we go along, such as the optimal number of players per session (we choose between 2 and 4).

6) What have been the biggest changes in the game as development unfolded?

During development, we thought it would be nice to participate in Summer Next Fest this year, so we had to adjust the demo content to the deadline for that event, as well as the content for the Early Access version.

We also decided to add a single player mode as well, to make it easier for people to try it out without being dependent on other participants.


7) What can you tell us about the music and sound effects in the game?

You can’t get anywhere without working with sound in a horror game. It is an essential element of what in games of this genre is called atmosphere.

And so that you understand our attitude to it, I would like to add that a separate person in our team deals with sound specifically.

8) How has the conflict in your region impacted your work?
The war in Ukraine rather gives us an incentive to keep working and creating new games for the whole world, showing the unbrokenness of our spirit. And when you are passionate about something and create, it allows you to distract yourself from the negative things that are happening outside.

During the whole time of the full-scale war our studio suspended its work only for 3 days – at the very beginning of the war. Since then, no matter how difficult it was, we have been working steadily.

9) What do you have upcoming?
“Bureau of Contacts” is scheduled for an early access release this summer and its success will show us the right path.

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