The Park Wants To Feel Like A Stephen King Novel

MMORPG specialists Funcom have revealed more details about their ominous theme park-set single-player outing The Park [official site]. Although it’s the studio’s first solo-playing venture in nine years – Dreamfall: The Longest Journey in 2006 being the last – The Park takes place in The Secret World‘s wider universe.

The latest trailer asks ‘What is The Park?’, before taking a behind-the-scenes peak beyond the rope barrier as it arrives at an answer.

Whilst Funcom note Gone Home and The Vanishing Of Ethan Carter as narrative comparisons here, the abandoned amusement park-cum-searching parent/lost child conceit very much reminds me of the Silent Hill series, which, within the bounds of a psychological horror game, is most likely a good thing.

The Park will take players an hour or two to conclude and will have a distinct focus on the emotional story arc of protagonist Lorraine as it hopes to “capture the feeling of a Stephen King novel,” according to creative director Joel Bylos. He also had this to say:

For the last ten years, Funcom has been focused on making massively multiplayer online games, so ‘The Park’ is our first single-player experience in a long time. It has been an incredibly fun and rewarding process working on ‘The Park’. What initially started out as a prototype and a way for us to learn new development tools, has evolved into a short and intense psychological horror experience which we are all very excited to share with gamers out there.

The Park has a tentative “October 2015” release date, according its website.


  1. Premium User Badge

    gritz says:

    It’ll be interesting to see what Funcom can do without Ragnar.

    Though based on the quality Dreamfall Chapters, they didn’t lose much talent to Red Thread.

  2. Zallgrin says:

    I was impressed by how interesting the environments looked, although the character model left much to be wished. Still, looks like a pretty enjoyable creepy experience!

    On a different note, I hope to see many more single-player games set in the Secret World universe.

    • Premium User Badge

      john_silence says:

      While The Secret World is soloable, its MMORPGyness really gets in the way of immersion. But what a great foundation for single-player spin-offs, exploring some of its wonderful pockets of weirdness…

  3. BillyBumbler says:

    I just finished Doctor Sleep by Stephen King. It’s an awesome book and the sequel to The Shining.

    I had mixed feelings about the trailer for this game.

  4. plugav says:

    I was sceptical when I first heard about it, but now I’m intrigued. Even though The Secret World has become a bit cartoonish since it first launched and I can’t help but imagine Lorraine encountering a half-naked man in a zebra mask who gives her a ride on his hoverboard.

    And speaking of encounters, I’m also a little worried that there are no other characters around in the bits they show. The park is deserted, yes, but Solomon Island isn’t and it would be a shame if none of its living inhabitants made an appearance.

  5. Hauskamies says:

    So it’s not a game but an “experience”.

    • liquid3am says:

      Joel dropped Gone Home and The Vanishing of Ethan Carter as comparison. Are you saying Gone Home is not a game you violent misogynist? :D

  6. GamesBrit says:

    Alan Wake = Stephen King: The Game (though the gameplay sucked).

  7. racccoon says:

    For a 2hr or so game, it wins on shortness and the attention to detail. I just hope the voice does not get to annoying.

  8. Geebs says:

    I imagine how this project actually got started was that one of the Funcom executives was caught with a big bag of coke in the office and the best excuse they could come up with on the spot was “we’re going to make a Stephen King game, I’m just trying to get in character”.

    • PoulWrist says:

      Pretty sure noone at FC can afford cocaine, and the reason why the game got started was “We have no money, noone is playing our games, our MMOs are all extremely niche and we have no projects that aren’t MMOs coming. Can we do anything with this fuckton of assets and technology we have lying around to make some quick money?”

  9. Kala says:

    Good! My takeaway from Secret World is that the ideas and setting would’ve been more suitable and enjoyable in a single player game.

    Now to see if I’m right :)

  10. Tiltowait says:

    i wonder if they will include the boogeyman, he killed me around 20 times b4 i finally got my revenge.

  11. The Ultimate Clone of The Ultimate Warrior says:

    There’s a lot to like about the Secret world but I feel being an MMO hindered it more than anything. It would of been cool if they just threw out combat. Had more puzzle missions and made it single-player. Hopefully the Park is what I wanted the Secret World to be.