YouTube Grandma’s passion for CRYENGINE-powered horror game

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Image We interview Shirley Curry, the “Grandma of YouTube,” about her passion for gaming and CRYENGINE horror games The Land of Pain and The Alien Cube.
Shirley Curry, an 84-year-old Grandma, living in Ohio, USA, has over 900,000 subscribers to her channel, where she records playthroughs of her favorite games and reads excerpts from books to her online fan base of “grandkids.” The “Grandma of YouTube” is a fan of Alessandro Guzzo’s CRYENGINE-powered Lovecraftian horror adventure The Land of Pain, and she is also excited for the early 2021 release of his next game, The Alien Cube.

Check out part one of Shirley’s playthrough of the Alien Cube demo below:


With The Alien Cube releasing soon, we caught up with Shirley to find out her thoughts about the game, learn about her passion for gaming, and find out how she became a wholesome internet sensation!

Hey Grandma Shirley! Thanks for joining us. When did you start gaming?

I started gaming in the mid-l990's with a top-down game called Civilization II. I played through all the Civ games until 2014 when my son introduced me to Skyrim, and that has been my main passion ever since, even though I have tried lots of other games over the years. People kept asking me to record my playthroughs. I was kind of shy to try, but my son helped me set it up and showed me how to record and upload videos, and so on. I never edit the videos because I want them to be natural. My shows are never scripted, and I use my own name and face because I want people to know me. It took off like a rocket with the first video. One of the viewers put it on Reddit, and it went viral! What everyone likes is that I'm older, I play slower, and I don't rush from one quest to another, or scream and yell or cuss. They enjoy the way I tell stories.

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What did you enjoy about The Land of Pain?

Let me say this first; most horror games aren't spooky and don't have an atmosphere to make you feel scared or fearful. All they do is use jump scares. Now on to Alessandro!! He knows how to make me feel fear and be afraid! I have gotten so tired of the developers of “so-called” horror games who wouldn’t seem to know “horror” if it bit them! I love Mr. Guzzo's use of atmosphere, music, and tonal sounds to make me feel the fear and anticipation. He doesn't throw silly scares at my face, which have nothing to do with the story and have no reason for being, except to make me jump, which isn't horror. Alessandro is a great game developer, and I hope he makes many more games for me and everyone to enjoy! I love his games! I found the Land of Pain on Steam. That is the only place I buy and download games to go into my Library. I am constantly searching! I loved it from the beginning because it provided me with all the feelings of horror and spookiness that I look for and never find.

What were your favorite moments in the game?

The atmosphere and ambiance is everything to me. If you can make everything feel spooky with just music, tones, and creepiness, I'm happy to keep playing. I like tunnels, I like following paths in the dark, I liked it in the woods when a ghostly black thing would be after me, and I didn't quite know where to run. I also loved the transition from the beautiful trek to the cabin, with the mood slowly changing and the fear beginning.

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The Alien Cube is coming soon. How did you enjoy the demo?

I found it to my liking, the same as the first game. It begins with a beautiful walk in the world, then the transition, driven by mood, not by stupid zombies that other games just keep copying and copying! I’m looking forward to the release of the game. I want to find the papers and journals that you’re told to get rid of, so I can look at them, read them, and hopefully find out what is going on. I want to know if my character wrote some of those notes, in the past or the future, or if someone else was writing them, and so on. There certainly seems to be more than one person involved!

We’ll find out soon! Thanks, Grandma Shirley!

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We wholeheartedly recommend subscribing to Shirley’s YouTube channel for all of her brilliant content, and so you too can become part of her “grandkids” community. Like Shirley, you’ll be able to discover the mysteries that lie within The Alien Cube when it releases early next year, so play the demo on Steam if you haven’t already and add the game to your wishlist.

As ever, we look forward to your feedback on all things CRYENGINE in the comments, on the forum, or via Facebook and Twitter. You can ask questions, pick up tips and tricks, and more by joining our community and the CRYENGINE development team over on our official CRYENGINE Discord channel. If you find a bug in the engine, please report it directly on GitHub, which helps us to process the issue quickly and efficiently. Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel, where we host a range of content, including tutorials covering all aspects of the engine and game design.

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