Posts Tagged ‘frictional’

Scratching Beneath The Surface: SOMA

By Adam Smith on April 3rd, 2014.

Oh bother. I was inevitably going to find Frictional’s SOMA a troubling proposition, having winced through Penumbra and Amnesia while trembling like a jelly in a jalopy. SOMA’s sci-fi horrors creep me out on a level that spooky castles and mad alchemists don’t – Amnesia was scary because it was dark and the sound design was excellent rather than because the setting or story peeled back the skin and twanged at the nerves. SOMA’s experimentations fill me with dread though and the latest trailer reveals something that had previously been hidden from us. I’ll let you find out for yourself while whimpering underneath my desk.

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Fear In A Handful Of Rust: SOMA

By Adam Smith on March 5th, 2014.

Frictional have updated the SOMA blog with some information regarding the progress they’re making on the sci-fi horror game. There’s a short trailer as well, with voice acting that dismisses some of the doubts about the quality in the first in-game video, but the text contains the bulk of the information. As they say, ‘words paint a thousand pictures’. There are a few paragraphs copied below, including more on world-building:

When creating Amnesia our setting was basically just “Old castle where supernatural stuff happens”. This allowed us to get away with just about anything and explain it with “because, magic”. But in SOMA we are building a world that is supposed to be tied into the real world and to make sense.

Because, science?

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So Much Clanky, Creepy Foreboding In This SOMA Trailer

By Nathan Grayson on December 13th, 2013.

SOMA-uch? No, that doesn't work at all

Everyone knows that the scariest things aren’t actually monsters themselves. It’s the horrors lurking in our own runaway imaginations, creatures of such impossible (and impossibly specific) phobia that our only recourse is to head for the hills long before we ever see them. That’s the power of a great horror environment. SOMA‘s Upsilon research facility, for instance, creaks, groans, and whines quietly to itself like a child who’s afraid of the dark. From there, your mind does the heavy lifting. Watch below, and then read about Amnesia: The Dark Descent developer Frictional’s core design pillars for its sci-fi madhouse.

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Brain Drain: First SOMA Footage

By Adam Smith on October 11th, 2013.

After two live action teasers, Frictional have released the first in-engine footage of SOMA. It’s first-person sci-fi horror, as expected, although there’s a Giger-esque quality to the dripping carapace walls and biomechanical brain-teasing tentacles that the previous media hadn’t hinted at. Story-wise, there’s something unpleasant and experimental happening and it seems to involve some manner of personality transference or sharing. Gray matter has been teased from skulls and yet thinks on. I could do without the main character’s exclamations of the obvious but otherwise, it all looks jolly good. The greatest fear of all is pushed to one side at the end of the trailer, when a logo dismisses the mooted PS4 exclusivity.

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A Second Look At SOMA

By Craig Pearson on October 7th, 2013.


We still don’t know much about SOMA, Amnesia developers Frictional’s next game. But there is a general theme emerging from the teaser videos: the first video showed an engineer attempting to communicate with what appeared to be a H.R. Giger’s CRT monitor. This new video shows the same engineer talking to a disassembled robot. In the game’s fiction, it’s a “standard UH3 articulated robot,” and it “spontaneously developed a desire to socialize from observing human interaction.” It gets creepier. Way creepier.
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Fin De Siècle: Amnesia – A Machine For Pigs

By Adam Smith on September 20th, 2013.

I’ve spent most of the week thinking about Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs. I finished the story at the weekend and spent the last five minutes of the game with a huge grin plastered across my face. Not the reaction that a horror game might hope to elicit but thechineseroom’s cleverly concealed secret, hidden behind the dark curtain of that title, is that in some ways they haven’t really constructed a horror game at all. Thankfully, they’ve made something far more interesting instead.

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Afraid Of The Light? Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs Trailer

By John Walker on October 31st, 2012.

Squint. No, SQUINT. There - you can see something!

It’s been too long since we saw some moving pictures of the Amnesia sequel, A Machine For Pigs, this time developed by the Dear Esther team, thechineseroom. But we need wait no longer, as the fast approach of All Saints Day means spooky footage is of the highest order, and you can see the new trailer below. It’s a bit scary.

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Decrypting & Dehairing Frictional’s ‘A Machine For Pigs’

By Alec Meer on February 21st, 2012.

It's only sleeping

Breaking news, if you were reading the internet a couple of days ago. Following a brief ARG, a tiny, hopeful squeak of detail has emerged for the next game from Amnesia devs Frictional. Frankly anything is more useful than ‘it might be set in China, possibly‘, but in this case we have a couple of pieces of creepy, bloody concept art and a possible title.

That title? ‘A Machine For Pigs.’ Which sounds ever so slightly like a change of direction for George R.R. Martin’s reader-mocking novels, but also appears to refer directly to the abbatoir-esque scenes in the concept art. But is that the real name, or just a codename? I’ve done some research into animal-slaughtering equipment and come up with some EXCITING ALTERNATIVES.
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Frictional: The Horror, Then More Horror

By Adam Smith on August 22nd, 2011.


I remember when Frictional released Amnesia, there appeared to be a lot of talk about whether a game so relentlessly horrible would have a broad appeal. Refreshingly frank about both potential and actual sales figures, the team said 100,000 copies would be a dream figure. What, then, would they make of four times that number? It can only be assumed that dreams have piled upon other dreams, Inception-style, for 400,000 units have been shifted. So, yes, they have their dreams and almost half a million people now have fresh nightmares. I, for one, am now so afraid that doors will not open in the correct direction for a hasty retreat that I must check every single one when entering a new building. Just in case.

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Hide And Shriek: Amnesia – Dark Descent

By John Walker on February 19th, 2010.

Dinner's ready!

Frictional, they behind the fascinating Penumbra series, have put up a teaser trailer for their next game, Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Well, they call it a teaser. It’s almost four minutes of game footage. It reveals that the game is going to work in a similar way to the Penumbras, first-person, but with a cursor on screen for interacting with the world. Which is splendid news, since it’s been my constant lament that no one else in adventure gaming has had the scrap of sense to copy this, or license Frictional’s self-made engine. It makes meaningful use of physics in first-person gaming, rather than leaving you feeling like some balloon-handed drunk crashing into everything. And you can lean. And get scared.

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RPS Interview: Penumbra’s Tom Jubert

By John Walker on July 21st, 2008.

It's still fun to bang the lamp back and forth and watch the shadows change.

Tom Jubert is the lead writer on the Penumbra series of games. After Frictional released the tech demo of their remarkable 3D engine, it became clear that creating a fully-fleshed game was the smart move. To do this well, they’d need to plug a weakness: the narrative. So London-based Jubert was brought on board to work alongside the Swedish developers, and the result was Penumbra: Overture. This was originally intended to be the first of a trilogy, which was then shrunk to a two-parter after difficulties discussed below, with the narrative completed in Penumbra: Black Plague. Now, somewhat confusingly, there is to be a third part – Penumbra Requiem – although we’re told it’s not a sequel, but rather an expansion of Black Plague.

In our chat with Tom Jubert, he explains the collaborative process of taking an amateur tech demo into the professional market, the role of fear in games, which publishers we should be slapping, and some juicy tid-bits about the nature of Penumbra: Requiem’s unique design, further taking advantage of the engine’s stand-out implementation of physics.

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