Thomas Grip, head of Amnesia: the Dark Descent creators Frictional games, thinks games need to be pushing open more ominous doors to explore new corners of the dilapidated mansion that is the human psyche. "Take just about any big game release and the core concepts of that game is something that a ten-year old can enjoy," he said in an interview with Beefjack . "This means that just about any games that I can enjoy today would also have been enjoyed by my ten-year-old self.
"But when you look at film, movies, music, etc. there are tons of stuff which I like today that my ten-year-old self would not. Sure, there might be some stuff in games that I can enjoy more now that I am older, but this is almost always a minor part of the experience."
Amnesia is not a game for ten-year-olds. But what Grip seems to be arguing for is not that games be made so mature as to scar children for life. Rather, he'd like to see elements in games and their stories that could only be appreciated by a more mature player. The kind of thing that would bore your 12-year-old, Call of Duty addict cousin, rather than just scare him off.
"Actually, this goal to be 'mature' is a problem in many games where you add gore, curse words and a palette of grey, thinking that makes the experience more adult," Grip went on. "But they just end up making it even more childish."
We already know Frictional is currently working on a non-Amnesia horror game (while The Dark Descent's follow-up, A Machine for Pigs, is being crafted by thechineseroom). What plans do they have to make this secret project different, you might ask?
"For our next game, we want to have more thought behind everything that happens, and tie things together so if the player thinks some more about it, it will take things a step further," Grip said. "So we want these extra layers to the gameplay that will really get below the skin of the player. It is also about bringing up certain subjects that make the player think about things they normally would not."
We might not be seeing any new Amnesia/Frictional horror goodness in time for Halloween this year, but give a listen to the most recent PC Gamer US podcast to hear some suggestions from among our favorite horror games of yesteryear.