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SOMA - Are you ready to NOPE?


revlob
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Frictional Games have a blog where every so often they post interesting material about game development, storytelling, and the horror genre. Their post about the SOMA reveal is worth a read if you're interested in how much the gameplay trailer above will represent the final game, how the live action trailers were made, and what their influences for SOMA are (yes, SCP was one of them :)).

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  • 3 months later...

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-12-13-another-look-at-soma-frictionals-new-pc-and-ps4-horror-game

Amnesia developer Frictional Games has released a new trailer for SOMA, its next horror game due out in 2015 for PC and PlayStation 4.

The video, below, shows off an environment captured directly from within the game. To coincide with the release the Swedish developer published a blog post revealing detail on its design philosophy for the game.

"We want the player to constantly feel as if they are inside a flowing narrative," designer Thomas Grip wrote.

"It is so common that a game is distinctly split into story and puzzle/action moments. We want to blur the boundaries here and make it impossible to distinguish between the two. Whatever the player does it should feel as if it is part of the story. We do not want to have sections that simply feel like blockers to the next narrative moment. From start to finish the player should be drenched in a living, breathing world of storytelling.

"A good example is how we design puzzles. Instead of having the puzzle by itself, as a separate activity, it always springs from and is connected to some aspect of the story. For instance, if the player encounters a locked door, there are more reasons for getting it open than simply to progress. There are always short term narrative reasons and rewards for getting it unlocked. On top of this, the very act of solving it results in the player taking part of a narrative scene.

"Encounters with hostile beings are handled in the same way. A creature will never attack you without good reason; they never do it out of pure gameplay necessity. We want every encounter to feel like a bit of storytelling is happening. To get this working properly, almost every single creature has unique AI."

Then there's a note on thematics.

"SOMA is meant to explore deep subjects such as consciousness and the nature of existence," Grip continued.

"We could have done this with cutscenes and long conversations, but we chose not to. We want players to become immersed in these thematics, and the discussions to emerge from within themselves.

"It feels wrong to just shove information down the player's throat. What I find so exciting about having these thematics in a game is that the player is an active participant. There are plenty of books and movies that cover these sort of subjects, but video games provide a personal involvement that other mediums lack. We want to explore this to the fullest degree

"Just like all of the other design goals, there is a bit of risk in this. It requires the player to approach the game in a certain way and it will be impossible to make it work for everyone. But for those people where it succeeds, it will be a much more profound experience. I also find that it is when you are dealing with uncertainties that you are doing the most with the medium, and am extremely excited to see how far it will take us."

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Amnesia: The Dark Descent developers Frictional Games have announced their upcoming horror game, SOMA, due in 2015 for the PC and PS4. This is what they've been working on while they let The Chinese Room play ghost stories with A Machine for Pigs:

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-10-11-amnesia-dev-reveals-soma-for-pc-and-playstation-4

Something very, very sickly and uncomfortable about that.

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  • 2 months later...

Beware of spoilers, but RPS have played a demo. I couldn't read beyond the first few paragraphs, because after that the blogger goes into great detail about the events in the demo, but he does mention at the start that despite the newly revealed setting for the game (or perhaps because of it?), it all feels a little too familiar, which is a little worrying. Having played all of Frictional's games I'm aware that they all stick to a very similar formula, but I'm okay with that, because it's a recipe which works so well. I'd be very happy with Amnesia 2: This Time it's in the Future, but perhaps I'm so eager for more games in this genre I'm willing to overlook a developer capitalising on tried and tested mechanics and design aspects.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It actually doesn't look that terrifying, not on an Amnesia level or anything and it does look really interesting like I really want to know what the intrigue, the mystery is. However, I'm currently can't even play Destiny because I find it too tense so it's not like I'll be giving it a go.

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Ever since Sonic 2 I have hated underwater segments in games, and by hate I mean been absolutely fucking terrified of. I wouldn't say I have a particular fear of water or drowning, but there's something about being underwater, when there's the possibility of running out of air, that I just find incredibly uncomfortable. Maybe it's kind of claustrophobia. The underwater parts of that trailer set it off.

I don't think the stalking thing in this looks as scary as the one in Amnesia, but the atmosphere and environment will be the real foes here, I reckon.

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  • 3 months later...

I'm getting this day one, totally missed the boat for Amnesia and by the time I played it there was no mystery or scares to be had because I pretty much knew what the game was about. I still enjoyed it though and A machine for pigs, I'm ready for the aqua horror.

One dilemma though, GoG or Steam? I'm thinking GoG, its cheaper and I couldn't care less about cards or achievements but I do appreciate Steam cloud save.

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