A strange and rather hectic weekend prevented me from keeping up on the latest developments with Slender: Source, the multiplayer Source engine horror mod inspired by Mark “AgentParsec” Hadley’s Slender. Did I say Slender: Source? Scratch that, it’s called “The Operator” now. Oh wait, nope, it seems they can’t call it The Operator either for legal reasons. They do say third time’s the charm though and the mod’s newest title, “Faceless”, seems to be sticking.
Ethereal Entertainment’s main reason for a name change in the first place was they felt Slender: Source was “too bland” and unoriginal a title for their promising mod. Having Source in the title is supposedly a barrier to getting greenlit on Steam, something the team have been strongly pushing for, so that definitely had to go. In addition the name “Slender” has been copyrighted by someone, presumably Slender creator Mark Hadley who recently expressed his intent to make a bigger, better, commercial version of Slender. “The Operator” was also out of the question, being what the loveable goons behind the brilliant internet video horror series Marble Hornets call their interpretation of Slenderman. Needless to say that’s also copyrighted, so Faceless it is.
Y’know what though? I really dig the new name. Dropping “Slender” from the title removes a lot of associated mental baggage and helps the mod to stand out on its own merits. Particularly with so many other Slenderman-inspired games shambling out of the woods to try and put the willies up people, some bringing more unique ideas to the abandoned campsite table than others. It should hopefully also nix the sadly still-common misconception that members of the Slender: Source (now Faceless) team also worked on Slender, and vice versa.
Ethereal Entertainment can call it “Running Through the Woods Shitting Your Pants and Screaming For Your Friends” (RTtWSYPaSFYF, or Rut-Wisp-a-Fiff) for all I care, so long as it still scares the bejeezus out of me. And if the following quote from the team’s moddb page is any indicator it should bloody well do just that.
We’ve been working on content, and getting our Slender-man to be a most terrifying sight. He’s in-game, and has been killing dev members off in a variety of frightening ways. Some of the devs were hunkered down in a building, and decided to make a run for it. All you heard were screams as bodies began collapsing to the ground…and silence. True story!
In the meantime you can still enjoy my Q&A with project lead Justin Ross as long as you mentally replace every mention of “Slender: Source” with “Faceless” instead. Or “Rus-Wisp-a-Fiff” if you so desire.