Frictional lets imaginations run wild in this SOMA video

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A look at where the bad things will take place

Its just over a minute of in-engine footage, but it’s SOMA footage nonetheless. This is the new sci-fi horror title from Frictional Games, makers of Amnesia: The Dark Descent, in case you missed those teasers. The video itself is a brief look at the environments which even in a barren state manage to come across as unsettling — like something’s out there, lurking in the shadows.

In a blog post, the studio talks us through five of its design goals that are meant to serve as a foundation for SOMA: “Everything is story”; “take the world seriously”; “the player is in charge”; “trust the player”; and “thematics emerge through play.” In other words, Frictional wants us to become deeply invested in the world but won’t resort to forcing it on us.

“The game never tells the player exactly how to progress,” writes the developer. “There may be hints and other implicit guidance, but in the end it must be the player that figures out what to do next. If a game is constantly flashing up cues with objectives or showing arrows pointing where to go, the player will never take on the world at a deeper level.”

The Five Foundational Design Pillars Of SOMA [Frictional Games]