Less is more: a balance of story and action in fear

As a solo developer and producer who has released several titles for all consoles before, Fear has a special fondness for me because it’s the first title I did with a team, albeit a small team of three talented new developers who helped me explore the narrative aspects of Fear

Having previously developed three horror titles, I realized that in the journey of indie game development pitfalls, balancing story and action is a real hurdle.

As an indie developer, you are not only trying to overcome major hurdles such as budgetary issues, but also technical issues. Fortunately for us, developing for the Xbox consoles has been a very reassuring process. The IDXbox team was very patient and helpful during the certification process of: Fear† Knowing our engine, Unreal Engine 4 to be precise, has also helped us a lot to update our vision.

Our vision for Fear was simple: Create a short, but intense and atmospheric horror experience. We wanted to keep the interactive elements simple from the get-go and wanted players to focus on the narrative concept we were trying to establish. One of the biggest traps for indie horror games is to write the backstory “too much”… The players know that they are playing a relatively short-budgeted indie game, so they want to experience something unique, contrasting and distinctive.

So what did we do it for? Fear was to write a multi-layered and deep story with different characters and create a storyline so that the player could only experience a glimpse of it. It was really hard for us to get the most of our literary material out of it, but it was necessary for us to finish the game the way we envisioned it.

The players will meet several interestingly macabre characters during Fear but will only live a fraction of their lives. This may sound like a risk that could alienate some types of players, but hey, what’s the point of being an independent developer if you can’t be bold enough to take such risks?

In the end, Fear is a short horror game, but it is full of provocative incidents and hair-raising and terrifying characters at every step you take, and for most of the characters you meet in Fearit might be the only time you come across them.

We believe this opens the door to replayability and countless possibilities for a sequel. We eagerly await audience reactions to each layer of the backstory in Fear

Here’s also an interesting question:

If you only encounter an interesting character once in a horror game, how does that character affect you?

The answer is simple: you start imagining things about that character. And we believe that stimulating a player’s imagination in a horror game is the best an indie developer can achieve in this genre. It would be our ultimate reward if developers for Fear. Dive into Fear today – it’s out now on Xbox!

Xbox Live

Fear

Playstige Interactive


26

$5.99

Frighthence is a short, intense first-person horror experience. You’re the janitor who works in the infamous Apartment #17, which is the seed of many fairy tales and heart-pounding urban legends… The apartment recently received an eviction notice, and tonight you’ll need to check each resident’s flat to make sure that everyone has left. Soon you will realize that things are not as they seem in this awful apartment…