Posts Tagged ‘frictional games’

SOMA’s Grip On YouTube Screamers, The Future Of Horror

By Nathan Grayson on April 14th, 2014.

I played Amnesia: The Dark Descent spiritual/ghooooostual successor SOMA, and it didn’t really do it for me. That said, Frictional creative director Thomas Grip’s plans for the wetter-is-deader stroll into the maw of madness are quite interesting, though whether he can pull it all off remains to be seen. Today we continue on from our previous discussion, pushing doggedly forward into Grip’s plan for possibly the longest build-up (five hours!) in horror gaming history, YouTube culture’s effect on horror, procedurally generated scares and why they both aid and mortally wound true terror, modern horror’s over-reliance on samey settings and tropes, and where Grip sees the genre heading in the future.

Agree or disagree, the man has some extremely illuminating perspectives, and you can’t fault him for wanting to break away from the played-out influence of his own previous game. It’s all below.

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SOMA’s Grip On BioShock Comparisons, Indie Influences

By Nathan Grayson on April 10th, 2014.

SOMA didn’t scare the scuba suit off me, but I did find a creeping sort of potential in its soaked-to-the-bone corridors. Amnesia: The Dark Descent 2 this ain’t. Or at least, it’s not aiming to be. Currently, it still feels a lot like a slower-paced, less-monster-packed Amnesia in a different (though still very traditionally survival-horror-y) setting, but Frictional creative director Thomas Grip has big plans. I spoke with him about how he hopes to evolve the game, inevitable comparisons to the Big Daddy of gaming’s small undersea pond, BioShock, why simple monster AI is better than more sophisticated options, the mundanity of death, and how SOMA’s been pretty profoundly influenced by indie mega-hits like Dear Esther and Gone Home.

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Hands-On Impressions: Amnesia Follow-Up SOMA

By Nathan Grayson on April 4th, 2014.

It’s not that I feel like SOMA is poorly made. On the contrary: for a demo of a game that’s at least a year out, the Amnesia spiritual successor practically sparkles beneath its grimy, moss-encrusted shell. I just feel like, despite a very unexpected setting, I’ve been here before. Crept through these halls, turned these nobs, let these tidal waves of otherworldly sound crash into me as I press ever onward, slightly on-edge but no worse for the wear.

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Level With Me, Thomas Grip

By Robert Yang on November 8th, 2013.

Level With Me is a series of interviews with game developers about their games, work process, and design philosophy. At the end of each interview, they design part of a small first person game. You can play this game at the very end of the series.

Thomas Grip is creative director of Frictional Games, based in Helsingborg, Sweden. They’re known mostly for the Penumbra (a first person horror game series) and Amnesia (another first person horror game series), and they’re currently working on another first person horror game called SOMA (a first person horror game). Astute readers may sense a pattern.
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Play Gone Home’s Original Prototype… In Amnesia

By Nathan Grayson on October 24th, 2013.

On the left: 'Ahhhhhhh, finally home!' On the right: 'DON'T GO IN THERE DON'T GO IN THERE DON'T GO'

Everything starts somewhere. Even the greatest of successes have humble beginnings, and Gone Home’s previously known origins were already pretty darn grassroots. That makes this revelation about its start as an Amnesia: The Dark Descent mod double-humble, as far as I’m concerned. What I’m saying is, Gone Home could be in a Humble Bundle all by itself. It is that humble. But anyway. Frictional and Fullbright have unearthed the very, very early Gone Home Amnesia prototype, and you can play it right now. Details after the break.

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CRT Of Evil: Frictional’s Next Game Is SOMA

By Craig Pearson on October 1st, 2013.


I’ve spent the past few days F5ing Frictional’s teaser site for their next game, which has been promising a new sci-fi game from Amnesia chaps. Well, my patience has finally been rewarded. The site is live with a scant amount of data about a thing called SOMA. All the information is based on the game’s fiction, so there’s no context to what we’re seeing. All I know is it’s sci-fi, and the machine at the heart of all this looks like a kid’s TV bad guy: it is an evil monitor. Live action trailer entitled “Vivarium” is below.
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Wot I Think: Amnesia – A Machine For Pigs

By Jim Rossignol on September 9th, 2013.


Fear is the event of the season. We shouldn’t be surprised. As Ol’ Grandfather Gillen pointed out so long ago, it’s something that games are good at. It might be the thing that they are best at. Amnesia: The Dark Descent was one of the highlights in that regard: a world where vulnerability and atmospherics smothered you like the pillow in the hands of a maniac. Its sequel, A Machine For Pigs, wants to pull off the same tricks. Only more. Only worse.

The horror? The horror? Here’s wot I feel.

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Squeal – Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs Out Next Month

By Nathan Grayson on August 19th, 2013.

I bet there is candy down there. I'm nearly sure of it.

How long have we been waiting for Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs now? Has it been years? Decades? Centuries? Eons? I forget. Perhaps it’s because I HAVE AMNESIA. No, no, that’s not actually true. I just don’t feel like looking it up. But today is a good day, because there’s finally a dim, ominously flickering light at the end of the tunnel. Though the machine might be intended for pigs, we’ll be able to wrap our non-cloven hands around it early next month.

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Amnesia: Another Delay For Pigs

By Nathan Grayson on June 5th, 2013.

I am the jolly laughing hippo of your fears.

I do not have amnesia, but I just nearly rewrote the intro from my last post about an Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs delay, so that’s kind of eerie. Also, indicative! Thechineseroom’s slow-roasting, pork-flavored reinvention of Frictional’s modern classic has missed the mark a few times now, and it’s all starting to kind of run together. Granted, the last slippage yielded a larger, much more Amnesia-esque experience, so delays definitely aren’t silently slurping this one’s bones in the dark. At this point, it’s all about polish, and the dynamic developer duo would much rather be great than fast.

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TCR: Machine For Pigs Now ‘Much More’ Like Amnesia

By Nathan Grayson on March 12th, 2013.

After spending many eerily silent ages in the dark, Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs is finally just about ready to see the light of day. Games, however, don’t usually stew in the boiling juices of development because it feels nice. (That’s why I do it, but shush, don’t tell anyone.) Thechineseroom’s take on Frictional tour de force of terror, then, has fleshvomited all manner of new appendages, morphing itself into an entirely different beast than originally conceived. But what, exactly, does that entail? During a recent interview with RPS, thechineseroom creative director Dan Pinchbeck outlined what’s happened and explained why A Machine For Pigs ultimately ended up a far more natural successor to Amnesia: The Dark Descent than anyone – himself included – expected.

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Pig(s) Out – Amnesia: Machine For Pigs’ Release In Sight

By Nathan Grayson on February 20th, 2013.

This is actually an entirely accurate depiction of how I will play this game. I plan to stand in one spot with a light and never move.

Machines are hard to build. So many nuts and bolts and gears and rubber bands and ceaseless triathlete hamsters to arrange. But machines for pigs? They make regular ol’ mazes of mechanical madness look easy. I say this, of course, not from a place of personal experience, but from watching Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs slip ‘n’ slide from Halloween last year all the way into the indiscriminate reaches of 2013. But now, finally, it’s gracefully pirouetting into place, and Frictional’s seen fit to both paint a target and explain exactly what took so long in the first place.

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