Back in October, indie horror studio Frictional Games officially announced its next survival horror title, Soma. In contrast to the developer’s past Amnesia games, Soma has a sci-fi setting and a decidedly different feel about it.
The game’s reveal didn’t show much in the way of story, though creative director Thomas Grip did throw out some themes he was focusing on for the project, including the interplay between free will and consciousness. Today Frictional further previewed Soma with a look at the game’s environment and a rundown of the developers’ philosophy for the game.
According to a new post on the Frictional Games blog, the team developing Soma is holding to five “pillars” of design for the game. These pillars are “everything is story,” “take the world seriously,” “the player is in charge,” “trust the player,” and “thematics emerge through play.”
The post explains that what Frictional is shooting for with Soma is to immerse players in a “flowing narrative” that combines story, gameplay, and puzzle-solving. To accomplish this, the developers hope to integrate the environment heavily into the story, making details in the player’s surroundings into possible clues. All this without exerting too much control over player actions and allowing them to piece together the game’s themes themselves.
Obviously, this is a tall task for any developer and Frictional will have its work cut out for it in the months leading up to Soma‘s 2015 release. However, the studio has almost single-handedly revived the survival horror genre in recent years, and already seems to have gotten the dark atmosphere of the game down, if this latest teaser is anything to go by: