Amnesia: The Dark Descent – Frictional Games interview [English]
We didn’t mind the fact that we’ve been scared shitless playing their games – we interviewed swedish development team Frictional Games and talked about their upcoming title Amnesia: The Dark Descent.
Frictional Games: I think the most important part is that Amnesia is not a game that is meant to be played, it is meant to be lived. It is a journey through a dark and disturbing world and we do our best to pull the player into it. Our main goal has been for the players to become the protagonist and for the lost memories discovered to feel as their own. Immersion has been the top priority throughout development and we hope that this shows in the final experience.
Story-wise, it is about a man named Daniel, who wakes up without any memories except for the feeling that something is hunting him. He soon finds out that he has chosen to forget by himself and a finds a letter, where he tells himself to murder a man called Alexander, who resides somwhere in the castle. Daniel, whom the player is supposed to become, now needs to find out what has happened, why Alexander needs to die and try to escape “the shadow” that is hunting him. Amnesia is a horror game, much like your previous and debut title Penumbra. Did you initially planned to develop another game in that “scary fashion”, or were there some other concepts, maybe plans for other genres?
Frictional Games: Our eyes have been set on another horror game even before we finished Penumbra: Black Plague. We felt that there where more to explore in the genre and did not feel like leaving it just yet.We know that Penumbra was kind of unique – it was a fresh take on a survival horor genre. From what we’ve seen, we can expect the same from Amnesia. Speaking from your perspective, what differiates Amnesia from Penumbra? Would you say it’s more scary?
Frictional Games: There are a lot of things that are similar between the games and someone that has played Penumbra should feel right at home in Amnesia. The main difference comes in setting, story and that Amnesia is a lot more polished and streamlined, something that should be very visible in Amnesia’s interaction system. We have also put a lot more focus on immersing the player and tried to make puzzles and other challenges part of the story and experience, instead of just annoying obstacles. We hope that these things will heighten the fear level, but it is hard to say. Early impressions are very promising though.
What can we expect in terms of the storyline? Will the game have multiple endings, and thus better replay value? Is the experience complete this time, or do you intend to use episodic format like you did before?
Frictional Games: The story will be completed at the end of the game and we promise there will be no annoying cliffhangers or the like. Multiple endings is not something I can comment on at this point I’m afraid.Like we sad, your games are pretty unique. Their gameplay is not exactly traditional when compared to other titles which rely hugely on action elements like shooting and hand to hand combat. Does it bother you that this could repulse some gamers and narrow down a market for you and your game?
Frictional Games: Not really. First of all, we create a niche market by doing games like this and thus less competiton in our share of the market. If we where to produce normal first-person shooter, we would be competing against a lot of games and it would be very hard (if not impossible) for us to get noticed. Secondly, we are not really interested in doing things like they are normally done.
We think the videogame medium can be used for a lot more experiences than just the standard challenage-based games that flood the market. We want to take the medium further and feel that the horror genre is a good place for this. Here people will tolerate (and even appluad) that you put as side more gameplay elements for immersion, story and atmosphere. It is when you stray of from the normal, set-out path we feel things get really interesting, and we hope to take our ideas even further in the future. We’ll get to play Amnesia on PC, but we’d like to ask you is there a possibility or any chance of seeing your games on home consoles in the near future?
Frictional Games: We have nothing against consoles, but simply do not have the resources right now. Right now it is best for us to focus on PC, but we hope to expand in the near future.That would be all we wanted to know at this time. We’re already excited about the scary atmosphere of Amnesia: The Dark Descent and we hope it will bring many good things to your development team. Thank you for the time you’ve taken to answer our questions and best of luck in your future projects.
Frictional Games: Thanks for the intrest!
CROATIAN VERSION: Amnesia: The Dark Descent – Frictional Games intervju