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Found 8 results

  1. Frictional Games, the developers behind Penumbra and Soma, have released a free update for their most famous title to date. Amnesia: The Dark Descent revolutionized horror with its physics-based gameplay and use of tension to make it feel like an ominous presence constantly pursues the player as they progress through a haunted castle. It was so successful that the classic first-person horror game changed the way games handled horror for years. The update adds a hard mode to the game for veterans looking for a new experience while replaying their dark descent. The hard mode disables autosaves, but don't worry! Players can still save - in exchange for four tinderboxes, the items that allow players to light the very important torches that illuminate the environment and restore sanity. In hard mode, dropping to zero sanity will kill the player. There will also be fewer tinderboxes and oil refills. Monsters will be faster, more alert, stronger, and more persistent when it comes time for them to hunt. And those hunts? They'll be more dangerous than ever with the removal of music cues announcing their presence.... If you're planning on conquering that hard mode, good luck. Since its initial announcement last week for traditional PCs and Xbox One, the update has been slowly extended across other platforms like Mac and Linux. Currently, Frictional has partnered with Blit Works to bring the mode to PlayStation 4 in the near future. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  2. Frictional Games, the developers behind Penumbra and Soma, have released a free update for their most famous title to date. Amnesia: The Dark Descent revolutionized horror with its physics-based gameplay and use of tension to make it feel like an ominous presence constantly pursues the player as they progress through a haunted castle. It was so successful that the classic first-person horror game changed the way games handled horror for years. The update adds a hard mode to the game for veterans looking for a new experience while replaying their dark descent. The hard mode disables autosaves, but don't worry! Players can still save - in exchange for four tinderboxes, the items that allow players to light the very important torches that illuminate the environment and restore sanity. In hard mode, dropping to zero sanity will kill the player. There will also be fewer tinderboxes and oil refills. Monsters will be faster, more alert, stronger, and more persistent when it comes time for them to hunt. And those hunts? They'll be more dangerous than ever with the removal of music cues announcing their presence.... If you're planning on conquering that hard mode, good luck. Since its initial announcement last week for traditional PCs and Xbox One, the update has been slowly extended across other platforms like Mac and Linux. Currently, Frictional has partnered with Blit Works to bring the mode to PlayStation 4 in the near future. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  3. It's almost Halloween! In honor of the scariest of holidays, we tackle Frictional Games' landmark horror title Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Developed by a small team that had previously created the Penumbra series, Amnesia: The Dark Descent released in 2010 arguably creating the biggest waves in the waning horror genre since the release of the original Resident Evil. It featured Daniel, an amnesiac who awakens in a gloomy castle with a note from his past self urging him to make his way to the heart of the castle complex while avoiding a malevolent entity bent on his destruction. It possessed no combat mechanics, instead purposefully disempowering players, encouraging them to run and hide from the various dangers throughout Castle Brennenburg. Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Splatterhouse 3 'Call of the Mask' by Beckett007 (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR01772) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is (sometimes) available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday
  4. It's almost Halloween! In honor of the scariest of holidays, we tackle Frictional Games' landmark horror title Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Developed by a small team that had previously created the Penumbra series, Amnesia: The Dark Descent released in 2010 arguably creating the biggest waves in the waning horror genre since the release of the original Resident Evil. It featured Daniel, an amnesiac who awakens in a gloomy castle with a note from his past self urging him to make his way to the heart of the castle complex while avoiding a malevolent entity bent on his destruction. It possessed no combat mechanics, instead purposefully disempowering players, encouraging them to run and hide from the various dangers throughout Castle Brennenburg. Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Splatterhouse 3 'Call of the Mask' by Beckett007 (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR01772) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is (sometimes) available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday View full article
  5. To the dismay of many, the newly announced Amnesia: The Collection for PlayStation 4 will not be putting the fear of mind-shattering darkness into players until after the spookiest day of the year. However, for the first time ever Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs, and Justine will be playable on console . PlayStation 4 owners will be able to experience the game that I once called "the best way to paint your pants brown" on November 22. The announcement on the PlayStation blog was made by Thomas Grip himself, the creative director at Frictional Games, who proceeded to delve into the history of how Amnesia came to be. The studio was struggling to create a game called Lux Tenebras and had almost run out of funds back in 2009. The vision for Lux Tenebras was "to make a Super Mario version of a horror game; something that could be enjoyed in bite-sized chunks, was replayable, and mostly relied on easily repeatable gameplay mechanics." Unfortunately, Lux Tenebras wasn't coming together as smoothly as Frictional had predicted. Outside funding ran out in 2009 after two years of working on the project and the studio was looking like it would soon be closing down. Then, a minor miracle changed everything. Frictional Games' niche horror series, Penumbra, went on sale and the studio saw a small influx of cash and fans. The feedback they got from those enamored with their style of scares and additional money inspired some desperate number crunching. Frictional came up with a plan to save the studio. If everyone took a 50% pay cut, they would have one year to make a successful game. "The trouble was that [Lux Tenebras] just wasn’t very good, explained Grip, "but the recent sale had almost doubled our fan base, and everyone praised the horror aspects of our past titles. It seemed that we knew how to scare people — and more importantly, it was something people wanted more of. Our goal became to make the most frightening game we possibly could." Taking the assets and framework they had developed for Lux Tenebras, Frictional began cutting away all the elements that got in the way of scaring players. They conjured their knowledge of physics-based object interactions from Penumbra and took away the ability to fight off dangers. They added insanity, sound effects, anything and everything they could think of to induce unease and enhance the sensation of horror. One year later, Frictional Games released Amnesia: The Dark Descent and it went viral. Let's Plays latched onto the game and exposed it to millions of people around the world. Frictional didn't just manage to survive; they managed to thrive. The small studio basked in the limelight and used it wisely. They managed to put out a standalone expansion called Justine and worked with The Chinese Room to create a short, unique horror game set in the same universe called Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs. Frictional had enough success that they were able to spend over ten times as much money on the studio's follow up, Soma. Amnesia: The Collection might not release until almost a month after Halloween, but the game series that might very well be the contender for scariest of all time should certainly be on your radar if a game hasn't made you shiver alone in the dark.
  6. To the dismay of many, the newly announced Amnesia: The Collection for PlayStation 4 will not be putting the fear of mind-shattering darkness into players until after the spookiest day of the year. However, for the first time ever Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs, and Justine will be playable on console . PlayStation 4 owners will be able to experience the game that I once called "the best way to paint your pants brown" on November 22. The announcement on the PlayStation blog was made by Thomas Grip himself, the creative director at Frictional Games, who proceeded to delve into the history of how Amnesia came to be. The studio was struggling to create a game called Lux Tenebras and had almost run out of funds back in 2009. The vision for Lux Tenebras was "to make a Super Mario version of a horror game; something that could be enjoyed in bite-sized chunks, was replayable, and mostly relied on easily repeatable gameplay mechanics." Unfortunately, Lux Tenebras wasn't coming together as smoothly as Frictional had predicted. Outside funding ran out in 2009 after two years of working on the project and the studio was looking like it would soon be closing down. Then, a minor miracle changed everything. Frictional Games' niche horror series, Penumbra, went on sale and the studio saw a small influx of cash and fans. The feedback they got from those enamored with their style of scares and additional money inspired some desperate number crunching. Frictional came up with a plan to save the studio. If everyone took a 50% pay cut, they would have one year to make a successful game. "The trouble was that [Lux Tenebras] just wasn’t very good, explained Grip, "but the recent sale had almost doubled our fan base, and everyone praised the horror aspects of our past titles. It seemed that we knew how to scare people — and more importantly, it was something people wanted more of. Our goal became to make the most frightening game we possibly could." Taking the assets and framework they had developed for Lux Tenebras, Frictional began cutting away all the elements that got in the way of scaring players. They conjured their knowledge of physics-based object interactions from Penumbra and took away the ability to fight off dangers. They added insanity, sound effects, anything and everything they could think of to induce unease and enhance the sensation of horror. One year later, Frictional Games released Amnesia: The Dark Descent and it went viral. Let's Plays latched onto the game and exposed it to millions of people around the world. Frictional didn't just manage to survive; they managed to thrive. The small studio basked in the limelight and used it wisely. They managed to put out a standalone expansion called Justine and worked with The Chinese Room to create a short, unique horror game set in the same universe called Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs. Frictional had enough success that they were able to spend over ten times as much money on the studio's follow up, Soma. Amnesia: The Collection might not release until almost a month after Halloween, but the game series that might very well be the contender for scariest of all time should certainly be on your radar if a game hasn't made you shiver alone in the dark. View full article
  7. These days games take boatloads of money to create. No one knows that fact better than indie studios, especially those who gamble by developing bigger and bigger games in an effort to grow. In 2015, Frictional Games took one such risk with the horror game of the year, Soma. With a budget ten times bigger than its predecessor, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Soma needed to sell quite a few copies in order for Frictional Games to begin seeing a return on their investment. In a recent developer blog, Frictional Games disclosed that Soma had sold over 450,000 units over the past year, a huge number for an indie studio and over 60,000 more than Amnesia: The Dark Descent sold within the same timeframe. The blog goes on to talk about just how big the risks they took were, like recording dialogue three times over, and commissioning models for creatures that ended up being cut in the final game. The studio was nervous, they explain, and now the strong sales mean that Frictional Games has made back the money they spent making Soma a year after release: This is quite good, in fact it is so good that we have now broken even and then some! I think it is worth to stress just how great this is. We spent over five years making our, by far, most ambitious game ever. We also spent quite a lot of money on various outsourcing such as voice acting, 3d models and animations. For instance, to make sure we got it right, we actually recorded a lot of the game's dialog three times. In the past we have just recorded voices at the end of the project and hoped for the best. With SOMA we knew that nailing the voice acting would be crucial, and spent money accordingly. [...] It is important to understand that SOMA was far from a safe bet. While we had the luxury of having already made a successful horror game, SOMA was not an easy sell. The game relies heavily on getting certain themes across to the player, and communicating this proved to be a hard task indeed. When showcasing Amnesia we could just show how you blocked a door with some rubble and hid in a closet and the game's core experience was neatly summarized. But with SOMA things were way harder. First of all, weaponless horror games are no longer anything special and by no means a stand-out feature. In fact, the "chased by monsters"-gameplay was not even a core part of the SOMA-experience. The whole idea with the game was to give the player a first person perspective on a variety of disturbing philosophical musings. To make matters worse any concrete gameplay example of this would be riddled with spoilers, so all discussion had to be made in an obscure "you'll understand when you play it"-fashion. Even though there were all of those risks and a lot of money sunk on unused voices and monsters, Frictional seems happy with the result. "Despite a bloated budget and tough sell, here we are a year later having earned back every single dime spent," the blog proclaims proudly. How exactly did Frictional manage to turn a profit on Soma? First and foremost, it was able to leverage the name recognition from Amnesia: The Dark Descent to appeal to the hardcore horror crowd the studio had enthralled back in 2010. It also helped that Soma saw a release on the PlayStation 4 in addition to PC. Perhaps the biggest reason behind Soma's profitability lies in the way it was able to stick close to its $30 price point. The majority of Amnesia's sales occurred during sales, with some discounts reaching up to 75% off its $20 price, while Soma hasn't seen nearly as big a discount yet. Essentially, even though Soma cost many orders of magnitude more to make than Amnesia, the higher profile, selling price, and wider reach of the game allowed it to turn a much bigger profit. Not only that, but Frictional Games feels incredibly satisfied with the public reaction to Soma. Though initially worried that many would compare Soma directly with Amnesia (widely regarded as one of the greatest horror games of all time, sitting on Steam with a 10/10 rating), they're happy to see even negative reviews and refund notes containing positive feedback. For example, one refund note read, "I love horror. Soma is distressing. There is a scene where I have to hurt an innocent robot to progress and I don't know why. It made me cry." That distressing, discomforting feeling? Exactly the horror the studio was going for in Soma, which means they've succeeded on more than just a financial level. Looking forward, Frictional Games aims to become a large enough studio to be working on two projects at a time. Their next project goes into production at the end of this year and another has been working its way through research and development. No specifics on either game has been revealed, but they did hint that some smaller stuff might be in the works. DLC for Soma, perhaps? One of those smaller things should be revealed later this year and the other at some point early next year. Horror fans, get ready to see a whole lot more from Frictional Games in the coming years. View full article
  8. These days games take boatloads of money to create. No one knows that fact better than indie studios, especially those who gamble by developing bigger and bigger games in an effort to grow. In 2015, Frictional Games took one such risk with the horror game of the year, Soma. With a budget ten times bigger than its predecessor, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Soma needed to sell quite a few copies in order for Frictional Games to begin seeing a return on their investment. In a recent developer blog, Frictional Games disclosed that Soma had sold over 450,000 units over the past year, a huge number for an indie studio and over 60,000 more than Amnesia: The Dark Descent sold within the same timeframe. The blog goes on to talk about just how big the risks they took were, like recording dialogue three times over, and commissioning models for creatures that ended up being cut in the final game. The studio was nervous, they explain, and now the strong sales mean that Frictional Games has made back the money they spent making Soma a year after release: This is quite good, in fact it is so good that we have now broken even and then some! I think it is worth to stress just how great this is. We spent over five years making our, by far, most ambitious game ever. We also spent quite a lot of money on various outsourcing such as voice acting, 3d models and animations. For instance, to make sure we got it right, we actually recorded a lot of the game's dialog three times. In the past we have just recorded voices at the end of the project and hoped for the best. With SOMA we knew that nailing the voice acting would be crucial, and spent money accordingly. [...] It is important to understand that SOMA was far from a safe bet. While we had the luxury of having already made a successful horror game, SOMA was not an easy sell. The game relies heavily on getting certain themes across to the player, and communicating this proved to be a hard task indeed. When showcasing Amnesia we could just show how you blocked a door with some rubble and hid in a closet and the game's core experience was neatly summarized. But with SOMA things were way harder. First of all, weaponless horror games are no longer anything special and by no means a stand-out feature. In fact, the "chased by monsters"-gameplay was not even a core part of the SOMA-experience. The whole idea with the game was to give the player a first person perspective on a variety of disturbing philosophical musings. To make matters worse any concrete gameplay example of this would be riddled with spoilers, so all discussion had to be made in an obscure "you'll understand when you play it"-fashion. Even though there were all of those risks and a lot of money sunk on unused voices and monsters, Frictional seems happy with the result. "Despite a bloated budget and tough sell, here we are a year later having earned back every single dime spent," the blog proclaims proudly. How exactly did Frictional manage to turn a profit on Soma? First and foremost, it was able to leverage the name recognition from Amnesia: The Dark Descent to appeal to the hardcore horror crowd the studio had enthralled back in 2010. It also helped that Soma saw a release on the PlayStation 4 in addition to PC. Perhaps the biggest reason behind Soma's profitability lies in the way it was able to stick close to its $30 price point. The majority of Amnesia's sales occurred during sales, with some discounts reaching up to 75% off its $20 price, while Soma hasn't seen nearly as big a discount yet. Essentially, even though Soma cost many orders of magnitude more to make than Amnesia, the higher profile, selling price, and wider reach of the game allowed it to turn a much bigger profit. Not only that, but Frictional Games feels incredibly satisfied with the public reaction to Soma. Though initially worried that many would compare Soma directly with Amnesia (widely regarded as one of the greatest horror games of all time, sitting on Steam with a 10/10 rating), they're happy to see even negative reviews and refund notes containing positive feedback. For example, one refund note read, "I love horror. Soma is distressing. There is a scene where I have to hurt an innocent robot to progress and I don't know why. It made me cry." That distressing, discomforting feeling? Exactly the horror the studio was going for in Soma, which means they've succeeded on more than just a financial level. Looking forward, Frictional Games aims to become a large enough studio to be working on two projects at a time. Their next project goes into production at the end of this year and another has been working its way through research and development. No specifics on either game has been revealed, but they did hint that some smaller stuff might be in the works. DLC for Soma, perhaps? One of those smaller things should be revealed later this year and the other at some point early next year. Horror fans, get ready to see a whole lot more from Frictional Games in the coming years.
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