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Get ready to relive the whimsical childhood days of dioramas, picture books, and puzzles. From Zoink Games and Thunderful comes Ghost Giant, a charming narrative adventure with humor and heart—now available on Oculus Quest.
In development for roughly 18 months, Ghost Giant puts you in larger-than-life shoes and tasks you with helping a young cat named Louis as he navigates a storybook world. “In the prototype, Louis was actually a bat instead of a cat, and you'd save him from a couple of bullies,” explains Creative Director & Art Director Olov Redmalm. “When Sara B. Elfgren joined the project as a writer, she brought new depth to the story and its characters.”
We sat down with Redmalm to learn more about Ghost Giant and the path that brought it to Quest.
What was the inspiration behind Ghost Giant? How has the game changed over time?
Olov Redmalm: Early on, we talked about how awesome it would feel to enter the role of someone giant, taking care of a little guy who actually sees you and reacts to what you’re doing. In VR, you can really enter the game world in a different way, and we wanted to make the most of that.
For the style and setting of the world, we drew inspiration from building miniature cardboard towns as kids and immersing ourselves in them, wishing that the toys who inhabited them would spring to life. It was a sanctuary, the ultimate escapism.
What can you tell us about the game’s campaign?
OR: Ghost Giant is an emotional three- to five-hour-long puzzle and narrative-driven experience where you help the kid Louis around his daily life. You’ll help him with all sorts of things, from harvesting the sunflowers on his family’s farm to maneuvering cranes and throwing giant boulders. But the most interesting part, to me, is when you get to help him with the smaller stuff. That’s where the true challenge lies. And sometimes, being a giant ghost with super powers just isn’t enough, and all you can do is to be there for someone.
What was it like working with Sara B. Elfgren?
OR: It was wonderful working with a skilled writer from the start of the project. We kept bouncing ideas for story and puzzles back and forth regularly, making sure the design didn’t clash with the narrative and vice versa. Sara always had strong ideas and opinions while at the same time being unsentimental about them, having no issues with cutting stuff that we just wouldn’t have time to do—well, almost no issues. So working together went very smoothly, a lot of giving and taking. I guess this is a lesson learned for all our future games: Involve the writer from the start!
What influenced the overall look and feel of the game?
OR: We were influenced by the look and feel of a kid’s homemade toys, as well as our memories of building with Lego blocks and creating stories around that. We wanted to tap into that creative innocence, bring back the kid within the player and ourselves—the place in us that sees people and the world around us as something mysterious and magical.
What’s your favorite part of the game and why?
OR: My favorite part, without spoiling too much, is when you get to play around with a cloud while Louis is holding on to it. The music, the feel of it, and where we are in the story—it gets me and the team every time, even though you’d think we’d worked ourselves blind on it.
I love trying out the game on people who’ve never tried VR before. They go into it with a beginner’s amazement and wonder. When they first poke Louis and scare him, they get scared right back. They also try the weirdest stuff to solve puzzles—it’s great!
The best feedback I ever received was from a girl who playtested the game in complete silence until, suddenly, she exclaimed: “Wholesome!”
If people take one thing away from the game, what do you hope it would be and why?
OR: I hope people leave the headset with their hearts open and warm. I hope they feel encouraged and comforted, no matter what hardships they’re going through in life, and with understanding for the pain of others. You can keep being the Ghost Giant for people in the real world... minus the giant. And I guess you wouldn’t be an actual ghost, but you get what I mean.
What’s next for you? Any exciting updates in the works?
OR: At last E3, we unveiled Lost in Random—a dark fairy tale action-adventure about a girl who befriends a living dice. I’m currently co-directing that with Klaus Lyngeled, and we’re having so much fun! It’s not a VR game, and it’s quite different from Ghost Giant, but a lot of the previous cast and crew have joined us for this project as well. We can’t wait to show you more, and we hope that fans will have fun spotting actors from Ghost Giant in it.
Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
OR: The team sends out their heartfelt thanks for all the overwhelmingly positive feedback we’ve received for Ghost Giant. Hearing from someone who pulled through a difficult time while playing our game or felt touched by the experience—it makes us so grateful and humbled. This is what all of the hard work was for. And to our new players: Welcome to Sancourt! We hope you enjoy your stay.
Thanks for giving us the inside scoop, Olov. We can’t wait for the Quest community to meet Louis for themselves.
Step inside a colorful new world with Ghost Giant on Oculus Quest today!