Amnesia: Rebirth has a new Story and Environments Trailer up that highlights the plot as well as the tense world and locations featured in the game.
In an interview with Playstation Blog, Frictional Games creative director Thomas Grip described why making the environments of the game was both a challenge and crucial to creating a whole different experience compared to their past games:
Creating this many environments was one of the hardest things that we did during development. When making the first Amnesia game everything took place inside an old castle. The whole game was based inside the same basic structure. This means that we could use the same door at almost any place in the game.
Things are not that simple in Amnesia: Rebirth. The problem is that many of the environments don’t have much in common. This leads to the first big issue we ran into: we couldn’t really share resources between levels. In Amnesia: The Dark Descent, and to a certain extent our latest game, SOMA, most basic resources – for example floors, walls, and pipes – could fit anywhere in the game. Rebirth has it much trickier. Most of the assets for the caves really only work within those caves, and so on. So when we needed an interior for the fort, we had to create everything from scratch.
The problems don’t stop there. Another issue is that it is hard to even re-use similar gameplay elements between the maps. For example, we can’t have a lot of doors when running around in caves; and the sort of containers you might find in old ruins would be very different from those found inside a fort. This was made worse by the fact that we have a bunch of gameplay systems that rely on these kinds of assets. So we often needed to rethink how basic gameplay would work in the different environments. How do I hide if there are no doors? What light sources can be lit in an environment where no-one has candles or oil lamps? What resources would it make sense to find here?
I think this will be a great boost for the player experience as it means there is always variety as you go from one level to another. But it was a huge strain on us when trying to build it all. In the end though I think it was worth it.
Be sure to check out our recent feature on Amnesia: Rebirth’s gameplay trailer. The game will hit PS4 and PC this October 20.