Interview with the studio behind Those Who Remain

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I confess I’m not the biggest fan of horror genre, but Those Who Remain has got me interested and I’m ready to lose my spirit several times while I’m playing it. This is the latest project from Portuguese studio Camel 101, also responsible for games like Syndrome, Gemini Wars, among others.

I hope you enjoy the interview and that this is another game to add to your backlog. 🙂

 

– Before I start, I want to get this question out of the way so I can continue without stress. Is this game inappropriate for the faint of heart or am I safe? 🙂

All right, entrance to kill 🙂

We don’t consider Those Who Remain a horror game. We don’t use jump scares or tricks to scare the player in a spontaneous way.

However, the game is tense and has a very frightening environment. We’ve seen some testers get scared in places where it wasn’t supposed to be scary, and even some more sensitive ones saying that the game was too heavy for them.

So yeah, maybe it’s just a little inappropriate for the faint of heart.

 

– Okay, I’m still worried about my heart, but there’s no choice but to continue. For those who don’t know the game yet, can you explain what is Those Who Remain?

Those Who Remain is a psychological adventure / thriller focused on narrative, exploration and puzzle solving, which has two main mechanics: stay in the light and jump between “realities”.

The city where the game takes place is involved in supernatural darkness, where dark figures armed with knives, axes, and all kinds of sharp objects, move around. If the player approaches the dark, he will be killed by these entities. The only way to survive is to find, or manipulate, objects that generate light in order to get these figures away.

Besides this “danger in the dark”, there are also portals scattered around the city, which transport the player to an alternative reality, almost like a mirrored but corrupted version of our world. These two realities are interconnected, which means that what happens in one of them is reflected in the other.

It is a dark story that addresses heavy themes such as bullying, infidelity, suicide and whose central theme is choices, and the consequences that come from those. Of course, having such a theme, we will also force the player to make some choices and suffer the consequences.

 

 

– What are your sources of inspiration for this work?

Interestingly, the main inspirations are not games, but stories from other types of media. The city of Dormont, where the action takes place, could easily be compared to Twin Peaks. Both appear to be peaceful and quiet, and both have dark secrets buried beneath this supposed quietness. Twin Peaks also addressed the existence of other realities and in this part, we also picked up a bit of Stranger Things. There’s also a bit of Stephen King in the game – it’s impossible to look at the figures in the dark and not immediately think about The Fog.

The team is completely horror-junkie and it’s easy to identify inspirations or find references to other stories or universes. Some more obvious than others – we’ve put some easter eggs in the game for the biggest fans of those.

 

– Apparently, the main character is friends with a good whiskey. Are the enemies you see in trailers psychological or do they really exist? 🙂

It’s true, he likes to drink. Unfortunately, he likes (or needs) too much of it. But answering the question, if those enemies catch the main character, he really dies. And with this, I think I’ve said it all 🙂

 

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– Is excessive drinking the result of some tragic event? If so, can you talk about it or will it be revealed during the game?

Yes, it is the result of a traumatic event that the main character (Edward) went through. I can’t go into spoilers, but this event has pushed our character into a spiral of self-destruction, which culminates in what we see at the beginning of the game: Edward alone in a hotel, drinking, looking at a picture of his past and picking up a gun.
– In one of the trailers, you see the character with a gun in his hand. Is it possible to use it?

No, it’s not possible to use the gun, and there’s no fighting in the game. It’s just part of the story.

 

– Does the game take place only during the darkness of the night or are there moments of natural light? For those who tremble with fear of these games, this is quite important. 🙂

The whole city is involved in a supernatural darkness that has lasted for quite some time. Even so, there are places that are more enlightened than others. Truth be told, there is not much natural light in the game, no.

Ok, there is in one of the endings. 😊

 

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– Some of the trailers emphasize the physics of some objects. Are we facing paranormal events or will we be able to control some of them?

Both.

Not only will we be able to control objects (pick, drop, shoot), but we will have to do it to be able to solve some puzzles and situations.
– In terms of game length, how many hours are we talking about?

The average should be something between 5 to 6 hours of gameplay. We’ve seen some testers playing 8 hours without reaching the end, but the average should be 5 – 6.

 

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– The game is scheduled to come out in the first quarter of 2020, which is already halfway through. Assuming everything is going according to plan, the launch is very soon, no?

It’s very soon, yes. In fact, the launch date is about to be announced.
– And to finish, let’s play a game. Given the theme of Those Who Remain, I suppose most people involved in the project enjoy good horror entertainment. Say some of your favorite names, whether it’s games, movies, books, or something associated with this theme.

Well, I could write a page just to answer this question, but I’ll summarize.

When you talk about terror, I automatically get the name “The Thing.” One of my dreams is to be able one day to make a game that can convey the same feeling of claustrophobia and distrust as the film. Another name is Alien, an unbeatable classic.

In literature, I’m a fan of Lovecraft, Poe, Stephen King and Clive Barker. If I had to pick some games: Amnesia, Resident Evil, The Evil Within, Silent Hill and Outlast.
Those Who Remain will be out soon for PC, Playstation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.

Autor: Pedro Simões

Um apaixonado por videojogos e apreciador de anime. Por vezes, possuidor de opiniões pouco populares. @bakum4tsu

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