Layers of Worry 2: Designing a “Hidden Horror” Hit

Welcome to an inside look into the design course of for Layers of Worry 2, launching on PS4 Tuesday. We’ve got a particular imaginative and prescient for the video games we create, we name it ‘hidden horror.’ It has solely two guiding rules: 1) it has to have a topic (most frequently psychological or sociological in nature); 2) enjoying the sport ought to deliver a cathartic expertise, however not solely as a approach of relieving us from concern but in addition as a method of rising our self-understanding — we offer ethical dilemmas in selections and conditions offered within the sport in hopes that individuals will cease for a second and really ponder on the implications. We name it Catharsis 2.zero.

In Layers of Worry 2, we use this stage to inform the story of an actor who’s shedding his grip on actuality as he struggles together with his personal identification, each as a performer and an individual. Pushed to his appearing limits by an eccentric and demanding director, the protagonist might want to stay by way of his private nightmare. The world shifts, rooms change based mostly in your viewpoint, and nothing ought to ever be thought-about absolute.

From Le Voyage dans la lune (A Journey to the Moon) by Georges Méliès — a piece we admire to such an extent that it was the code-name for this mission — to Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, shut observers will discover many callbacks to a number of the best movies within the historical past of cinematography from apparent references, to much more refined ones. It will take somebody very educated in a long time of movie to see all of them and know them for what they’re. We take these scenes as inspiration and regulate them, generally twist them, that will help you perceive the psychological viewpoint of the protagonist. You aren’t essentially seeing the world as it’s; you’re seeing it by way of the eyes of this particular individual, with their particular historical past. What you see might not all the time be what’s there, however does that make it any much less actual?

With Layers of Worry 2, there are not any easy solutions to the conditions you encounter. We don’t need to inform you what is true or unsuitable. We would like you to make selections after which see how your selections have decided the place you find yourself. This permits everybody who performs to expertise one thing which may be comparable, but it surely impacts us in numerous methods. Our underlying ideas alter what we take away from the sport, and that may be a lovely factor. Our aim is to have you consider what your selections can be in the identical kind of state of affairs, seemingly with much less supernatural circumstances, and act upon them, or not. The selection is yours, as is your interpretation of what we’ve created.

Layers of Worry 2 will launch on PS4 subsequent Tuesday, and is accessible to pre-order proper now at PlayStation Retailer.

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