In case you didn’t know, THQ Nordic is helping with the horror remake revolution with the upcoming revival of Alone in the Dark. The 1992 horror classic — which many consider to be the granddaddy of survival horror — is being developed by Pieces Interactive for an October 25 release.
MP1st was fortunate enough to have a quick chat about the project with Associate Producer of Alone in the Dark, Andreas Schmiedecker.
MP1st: People are getting a bit confused as to what Alone in the Dark 2023 really is. Is this Alone in the Dark a remake? A reboot? A mix of both?
Schmiedecker: Alone in the Dark 2023 is a re-imagination of the first game, to deliver an experience that is both faithful to the original and exciting for new players.
At the core, the original game is a haunted house – experience: A creepy mansion that you get to explore step by step as you uncover the plot of the game. Mechanically, we conserve the classic survival horror elements of (scary) exploration, challenging puzzles, fraught combat and a deep story (in the best tradition of Silent Hill and earlier Resident Evil games) with the presentation of a contemporary 3rd-person game.
And while many other games go more into the “terror”-part of survival horror, we see ourselves more in the tradition of psychological horror – and in that regard we’re lucky to have David Harbour and Jodie Comer on board, whose spellbinding performances will convince everybody who’s here for the story-experience.
MP1st: How did David Harbour and Jodie Comer become a part of the game?
Schmiedecker: The characters were designed first, then we cast David Harbour and Jodie Comer for the respective roles. Casting David and Jodie in the lead roles has been a great inspiration for writers and artists alike. First, both of them have a distinctive physicality that helped us get the movement and the cutscenes right and fitting for the characters. Even more importantly, how they chose to act with their faces and voices gave feedback on the development of the characters and allowed the writers to adapt the characters to the actors playing them. So it was an inspiring and beneficial process.
MP1st: Just to clarify, we’re getting both a digital and physical release of Alone in the Dark, right?
MP1st: What are some of the major differences (aside from the audio and graphics) from the original? Are there any sections cut? Alone in the Dark originally came out over 30 years ago. Obviously, technology has grown immensely since, with some games even having near-photorealistic visuals. But games and tech have always been more about the visuals, so we’re curious, with the long history of Alone in the Dark, what are some of the things that technology has brought to the table for the team, that has not only modernized the series, but also help blend in elements of the past, to help build this new telling of the game.
Schmiedecker: While we play a lot with elements and characters from the 1992 game and our story starts a lot like the original, we actually have a unique story that takes the original’s premise to all new places. If you remember the original story, you’ll find a lot of hints and references, but also a couple of surprises; while new players will get to enjoy the story without the need for any prior knowledge.
MP1st: Are the DualSense’s haptic feedback and other features used in the game?
Schmiedecker: Yes, the game will support the PlayStation 5’s DualSense haptic feedback.
MP1st: The original Alone in the Dark (1992) is a game many consider to be the granddaddy of the survival-horror genre (in a way) that paved the way for games like Resident Evil, Silent Hill, etc. How are Pieces handling the idea that they are recreating a game that basically spawned a whole new genre? Is there a lot of pressure, given a lot of games are being remade today?
Schmiedecker The team of Pieces Interactive is a great mix of eager newcomers and seasoned developers that came up with an exciting pitch for the project. We’re happy that we could get Mikael Hedberg, writer of beloved Horror Games Amnesia: The Dark Descent and SOMA on board as writer and creative director. This combination, together with the admiration the team showed for the original game sold us on the pitch.
MP1st: Can we expect alternate endings, or will the two stories all converge to one definite conclusion?
Schmiedecker: The player will get to see exclusive levels and parts of the mansion depending on your chosen protagonist. So it’s a great incentive to play through the game more than once. If you go for a second playthrough with the other characters, there will be slight influences in your game depending on which items you found in your first playthrough.
Alone in the Dark is set for release this Oct. 25 on the PS5, Xbox Series X|S and PC.