Amnesia may not be the scariest game of all time, however, you can't deny its impact on the industry and how it spawned many horror games where players couldn't fight back against the nightmare. they encountered. But why did Frictional Games decide to return to this creepy world now - almost 10 years after the last game was released. What do they think of The Chinese Room's sequel to Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs? And how do they make players fearful? Game informer spoke to Frictional Games to find out all of this.
What made you come back to Amnesia with Rebirth?
Thomas Grip [Creative Director] : The setting of the first game took place only in the old castle, but players could find enough notes about other more exotic locations in it. It would be pointless to hint at something that they could never see. This was the initial motivation for returning to the universe of the game.
How did you choose the Algerian desert for the Rebirth?
Ian Thomas [writer] : 1937, Tasi is alone in the middle of the desert. As you can imagine, there is no GPS or even a radio, so its prospects are not encouraging. This should give rise to new fears, and in many ways prompted a change of scenery. The rest came from Amnesia: The Dark Descent - some of the lore was about Algeria, and we wanted to significantly develop the story.
What can you tell us about Tasi? What character is she?
Thomas : Tasi is going through hard times. She is French, originally from Paris, has spent a lot of time abroad working on engineering projects. At the time of the game, she is already an experienced traveler, but now she is not herself. Tasi is not an action hero, soldier or paranormal researcher - she is just a person who has gone through a lot in life and is now just trying to survive.
In the press release, you call the new part an evolutionary leap. What makes Rebirth a big step forward?
Grip: In Amnesia, we had a main theme that we wanted to get across, but we weren't very good at it. First of all, the game was based on good gameplay, and this was its main advantage. In SOMA we managed to weave the narrative really well, but we never had episodic gameplay that was unusual.
In Rebirth, we combine these two things. Our goal is to create a game that puts a lot of emphasis on quality storytelling, but still has a solid gameplay foundation. Players shouldn't expect them to see something that changed the world in terms of core gameplay. We based it on what they liked the most about The Dark Descent, and then did our best to make it look fresh in 10 years. A distinctive feature of the game is that it is at a much higher level. Completing this game will shape the player's journey in a completely new experience, combined with a high level of storytelling.
SOMA taught us how to create an emotional journey that will take hours, and we use this knowledge to the best of our ability. Think of our game as recent horror films like Babadook and Reincarnation. While they are nothing new, the level of storytelling is good enough.
What do you guys think of the sequel to Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs, from The Chinese Room? Will you bring any elements from this game into the new one?
Grip: I really liked the game. The Chinese Room had the atmosphere, story and visuals, and the music was amazing. I think the problems were due to the fact that many did not realize that this was not a direct sequel to The Dark Descent, which made people suffer from mistaken expectations. Rebirth will be a much truer successor to The Dark Descent with many improved original mechanics.
As such, A Machine for Pigs will not influence history. However, we have learned a lot from how this game managed to create amazing environments and used similar moments for inspiration.
Since the release of the first Amnesia, many other games have followed in this horror-free survival formula. What do you think about the state of the genre now?
Fredrik Olsson [creative director]: The main goal of games without combat mechanics is to make the player feel insecure and vulnerable. There are probably many ways in which you can still innovate mechanics in general, but for us it all comes down to what the game is and what you want the player to experience. The question is not how cool the idea itself is, but how using it affects how we want the player to feel and think.
We have a couple of new features in Rebirth that we think add detail to the main plot and theme of the game, but I can't go into details without spoiling the plot. In general, innovation in mechanics without combat is not our goal. We would prefer that the core and perceived experience of our games determine its evolution.
How do you make games scary?
Grip: The trick is to let the players scare themselves. You want to create a mood and setting that puts the player's imagination to play. Then you push the player in the right direction without saying or showing too much. In the case of Amnesia: The Dark Descent, this approach was almost completely implemented. In Rebirth, we want these obsessive thoughts to arise and remain for a much longer period. This allows us to reach larger scales and impact players on a deeper level.
Amnesia and SOMA are in the same universe?
Grip : No. Aside from having learned a lot while designing SOMA, there are no thematic or plot connections.
We heard that you have several projects in the works. When can we expect you to show us the next project?
Olsson: It's very difficult to answer right now. We just finished the first project of our new two-project studio formula, and many new processes and systems were constantly being introduced and adjusted during development. It was difficult, but so far everything seems to be really promising. The next step after release will be for most of the team to move to start production on the next project, while at the same time launching new pre-production for the "third" project.
It is very difficult to predict when we will start teasing the next game. To be honest, every project is unique. Some projects [for example, Amnesia: Rebirth] go a relatively short way from the beginning of creation to full announcement and release. Whereas other games take longer to generate interest and excitement by release day. It really comes down to strategy, and I'm not sure if we have already chosen it for the next game. However, I can say that we are not going to spend another five years between releases. This is the whole point of the formula.
The Topic of Article: Why did Frictional Games return to Amnesia with Rebirth?.