Posts Tagged ‘SOMA’

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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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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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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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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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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