The developers from Frictional Games have taken to the PlayStation Blogs to share more details about the upcoming Horror game Amnesia: Rebirth. The game is coming to PC, PS4 and Xbox One on October 20th.
The team mentions wanting to make sure that Rebirth retained as much of the feel of Amnesia: The Dark Descent as possible while also feeling like a fresh experience. The blog post reveals that the developers want to simulate the player being the lead character in a horror book or movie.
In our case, we try to simulate Gothic horror, especially of the type from masters like Poe, Stoker, and Lovecraft. These stories usually involve vulnerable protagonists exploring unsettling environments and confronting all sorts of disturbing stuff. So when trying to simulate these sorts of narratives, you want to have systems that support that.
One of such systems is the ability to light up a dark environment. Amnesia: Rebirth uses matches that the player needs to light before using them on a candle or lamp. This allows the player to light many nearby light sources at the same time and also lets the matches serve as an additional light source.
Another system brought up by developers is the sanity system, reiterated for Rebirth. Having some generic idea of ‘sanity’ that got lower also felt a bit simplistic so the team decided that the protagonist, Tasi, is afflicted by a mysterious disease, which is all part of the story. The more afraid Tasi becomes, from darkness or terrifying sights, the worse the symptoms get.
One more system being carried over from the Dark Descent with a major upgrade is the failure system. The Dark Descent approached this in the following way: if the player was taken down by a monster, players didn’t have to do a traditional restart. Instead they were teleported back a bit, and something changed in the environment. Sometimes a new monster appeared, sometimes it was replaced by another scare, and sometimes no threat was left. This removed frustration, avoided repetition, and worked well. That is, as long as the player didn’t catch on to how the system worked. When they did, they could easily bypass any hurdle by simply running straight at it many times.
We knew we had to make some changes to this. The solution was to tie it into the fear system. If Tasi becomes too frightened, her affliction will take a harsh turn for the worse. There will be very visible changes to her appearance, and worse still, it will have immense narrative significance. If the affliction goes too far, not only will it threaten the life of herself, but also of her loved ones.