Amnesia Postmortem

Amnesia postmortem on the Frictional Games Website reflecting on the first week of availability of the survival horror game from the creators of the Penumbra series (thanks joao). The post outlines a good news/bad news situation. The good news is that, as is reflected by comments in the forums here, the game has been very well received, both by critics, and by gamers, as reviews from both have even exceeded their optimistic expectations. The bad news is that sales of the game are trailing a little below the level they need to remain in business, expressing concern that a day 0 pirate version of the game was available 24 hours before its retail release, as apparently some unscrupulous website leaked their review copy. Here's part of their assessment of this situation: "This is of course not all the income we will make from the game, but is still a bit discouraging when comparing to recent XBLA releases and similar. So why is [sic] not sales [sic] higher? Piracy? People waiting for future massive discounted sales? Game too scary / niched? Right now we have not got a clue, but hopefully it will become clearer further on." Here's their conclusion:
On almost all fronts, we area extremely pleased with this release. It has in many ways exceeded our expectations and it makes all the hard work, pay cuts, etc worth it in the end.

The most distressing thing is the sales though. Even though we are far from complaining, it feels like we do not have the financial security we would like to have, to truly be able to focus on making the best game possible. So what should we do? The things we have discussed include: Increase the cost of the game, doing a console port instead of Linux/Mac, do a less niche title and more. Now is too soon to make a decision though and we have to see how the coming weeks and months go.

Finally, I know I say this a lot but we truly mean it: Thanks to all who have supported us by buying the game, spreading the word, and what not. We hope you all will continue supporting us in the future as well! All of Frictional Games sends their finest regards and thanks for this support!
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Re: Amnesia Postmortem
Sep 19, 2010, 19:50
42.
Re: Amnesia Postmortem Sep 19, 2010, 19:50
Sep 19, 2010, 19:50
 
Those Horror games like Penumbra remove too much "fun" from the gameplay.

"Fun" is purely subjective. If "fun" to you requires shooting enemies in the face and feeling empowered, then survival horror probably isn't your genre. It's not bad game design to make players feel vulnerable in a survival horror game. In fact, it's essential. If you can defeat all enemies with sufficient skill, the horror element is greatly diminished. Dead Space was not scary because if I saw a monster, I just dismembered it. The atmosphere was sometimes creepy due to the lighting and sound but the only time I was ever actually scared was when I was being chased by the invincible monster.

The biggest issue with Amnesia is the completely scripted nature of the enemy encounters. When you hear the growl and scary music starts playing, you just run to the nearest room, close the door and wait for the scary music to stop playing. I would have liked much more dynamic enemy encounters where the enemies stick around and make a more concerted effort to find you. In this regard, I think the Penumbra games were scarier than Amnesia.

In HL2 Raveholm, a level many i know regard as the creepiest level in a game ever (and even after many playthroughs), there is not a SINGLE unwinnable fight.

I imagine they don't play a lot of horror games. Even Thief 3, a non-horror game, had a much scarier level in the Shalebridge Cradle.

This comment was edited on Sep 19, 2010, 19:56.
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