Interview with The Escapists’ Chris Davis

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The Escapists a prison break game that allows the player the ‘freedom’ to live the life of a prison inmate, ultimately planning and pulling off an escape.

Luckily, Chris Davis’ prison (aka his room) accepts e-mails, and I managed to ask him a few questions about The Escapists, a game that he is working on behind bars.

When did you get started with playing games, and what was the first game you remember?

My first console was the Atari 2600 with Centipede, Space Invaders and all them classics. A friend had a ZX Spectrum, and we’d go through the Dizzy games, Back to Skool etc.

How did you get started with developing games?

Growing up I’ve always made little games. Paper games, card games, video games on paper (???) etc. I found a program called Klik & Play when I got my first PC in about 1996, which was the perfect tool to unleash my creativity.

Previously, you successfully managed to raise money for another game, on Kickstarter, called Spuds Quest. What, if anything, has been different this time round?

Well now I have a rep as someone who can finish what they promise to. I guess I also have a lil Spud flavored fan-base who are probably interested in what I do next. The concept behind The Escapists is a lot more unique, so the base idea has more of a pulling factor.

The Escapists Riot

For those who haven’t seen your Kickstarter, can you describe The Escapists in a single paragraph?

It’s a prison break game that allows the player the ‘freedom’ to live the life of a prison inmate, ultimately planning and pulling off an escape. You’ll have to stick to a schedule to avoid arousing suspicion, craft the tools you’ll need from stuff lying around the prison (or, instead, steal them), make use of/stay off the radar of your fellow cons and guards, and eventually build your own escape tunnel while keeping it hidden from the people that might reasonably want to cave it in.

What has been your inspiration while developing The Escapists?

I wouldn’t say there’s been a source of inspiration because there’s no real games that do it quite the same. It’s just a good idea that I thought would be good to roll with.

What research have you done to ensure a sense of realism during the game-play experience?

I’ve been watching as many prison break programs and films as I can lay my hands on. The graphics are kinda retro so I don’t imagine it being completely realistic. It’ll balance realism with fun – something prison isn’t.

The Escapists Exercise

Is there any plans for Easter eggs from prison break films and series?

Spud’s Quest was laden with little nods to games, music etc. I’m sure I’ll throw a load in The Escapists too.

You are close to hitting your funding goals, are there any stretch goals planned? If not, what will you do with the extra money?

It’s just about funded now. Currently I don’t have any stretch goals really. The funding was pretty low. There are things I could use it on should extra funding come along. For instance, my laptop I use to develop could explode any minute.

If you could recommend one prison break game for someone to play, what would it be and why?

Hmm, there’s only about 3 I think, I haven’t really played any properly. I had a quick go on Prisoner of War on the PS2, but not at any length. Great Escape on the Spectrum is regarded as a classic though.

Check out The Escapists on Kickstarter

– Callum

Callum Goss

Callum Goss is a current BTEC IT student who rarely talks about himself in third-person, loves games, tweets about random shizz, and believed he had invented the word ‘shizz’ until he Googled it.

View all contributions by Callum Goss


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