SOMA is the next game from Amnesia: The Dark Descent studio Frictional Games. It’s coming to PC and PS4 in 2015, but the team has just posted a new teaser trailer and some details about horror game’s core principles.
You can check out the first SOMA trailer and screens through the link.
Here’s the new clip:
Frictional lists SOMA’s five design pillars as ‘everything is story,’ ‘take the world seriously,’ ‘the player is in charge,’ ‘trust the player,’ and, ‘thematics emerge through play.’
On SOMA’s underlying themes and player interaction, Frictional wrote, “SOMA is meant to explore deep subjects such as consciousness and the nature of existence. We could have done this with cutscenes and long conversations, but we chose not to. We want players to become immersed in these thematics, and the discussions to emerge from within themselves.
“It feels wrong to just shove information down the player’s throat. What I find so exciting about having these thematics in a game is that the player is an active participant. There are plenty of books and movies that cover these sort of subjects, but videogames provide a personal involvement that other mediums lack. We want to explore this to the fullest degree.”
Of course, we all play differently, so Frictional understand that not everyone will dance to SOMA’s tune as intended, and may likely have a different experience than its makers planned.
On that note, Frictional still wants players to feel in control of progression. It adds, “We do not force players to notice events by use of cutscenes and similar, but assume they will properly explore the environment and act in a rational fashion. We simply set up situations and then let the player have full control over their actions.
“This means that we will let players do stupid things even if they might break the experience a bit. For instance, if they skip talking to a character with important information then they are on their own after that. And if they get hints that a dangerous creature is approaching, they need to figure out that hiding is the best course of action by themselves.
“While we do our utmost to make the narrative unfold in a fluent and intuitive way, we will not cater to players that make irrational decisions. The environment is set up to be taken seriously and we expect the players to do so too.”
What do you make of the above?