Interview: Classic Horror Returns in SIMULACRUM

Just when you thought the world of classic horror was coming to a close for the new line up of style with horror games, there comes a duo of indie developers creating a game with the classic style, game play, and aesthetics of the games from time passed.

Prymordium is a indie development studio of two people, Andrew Carr and Christopher Summer. Together they have been working on a game they call Simulacrum, which is heavily influenced and actually being made to look like the old Silent Hill classic games. With the atmosphere, story concept, menu, controls, puzzles and so much more looking and acting the same as the classics, this game is looking like every Silent Hill fans dream; a new game that matches and feels like the now-extinct Silent Hill series.

The game will be launched in chapters; the first one expected to launch during Q2 of 2017. The good news is that the first chapter will be completely free! I asked them to summarize the story and they responded with, "Trapped in a dark world, Abigail must find her way back home by solving riddles to escape a hellish nightmare and discover the roots of her past."

Check out the Gameplay: 

Q&A with Carr and Summer

Why did you decide to launch episodically?

"For pragmatic reasons. Basically, it is difficult enough for us to make even just a tiny game, so getting a more compact frame for the primary step of the development makes development easier. As everything remains smaller and we won't get lost in the huge scale of the game." - Summer
"It also allows us to gather feedback for the game and act on that feedback immediately. The chapter method makes development a lot more pleasant, that we can focus intensively on a part of the game, polish, release and repeat with gained experience." - Carr

Sounds like a calculated decision. How much are you looking to price each chapter?

"The first chapter is going to be free! We are not too sure on the others. We are waiting to see the reception and audience first, but we can't imagine that they will be particularly pricey. We are treating them as parts of the same game, rather than several separate ones. Chapter One is more of an introduction to the atmosphere and gameplay. The story does take a backseat there, so a certain sense of mystery is created. But as the game in its entirety progresses, things will start to piece and come together." - Carr

Oh cool, what can players expect while playing your game?

"Gameplay is basically a homage to classic Silent Hill, same goes for the style. Although we are only inspired by it, and can hardly expect to achieve the same brilliance, obviously. Let's be humble." - Summer
"Fans of Silent Hill will see familiar concepts within new ideas and environments, but overall, players will find an intense puzzle-solving experience within a horror environment and wrapped around an intriguing story. Story and puzzles are very much the focus for Simulacrum." - Carr

Oh that's interesting. I have been a big fan of the Silent Hill series for a long time now myself! So, you called it Simulacrum because that's exactly what it is?

"There are many reasons. But that, while true, was rather an afterthought, I would say." - Summer
"Good catch! Admittedly, not the only coincidental afterthought." - Carr

Then what was the reason you named it as such?

"Well, there are story-related reasons for why Carr came up with the name. One early idea involved paintings playing a role for the story, and a painting is, as a depiction, a replica of something; a simulacrum." - Summer
"I really wanted a title that was a bit unusual. A word you don't normally see while being connected to some of the ideas in the game." - Carr

That's cool and unique, haha! Will there be Easter Eggs of Silent Hill?

"I think, being developed by two very strong fans of Silent Hill, that there might be one, or three." - Carr

Haha of course! How difficult do you think your puzzles will be?

"I think that is hard to say. That is dependant on the person playing I think. We don't have puzzle difficulty settings, but we have tried to offer a variety of puzzle strengths in the game. Some will be easier, or more simple, than others. This could change when our game goes out for testing though." - Carr
"Varying. The puzzles generally get harder the further you get and evolve from "use screwdriver with screws" to stuff you might just as well expect from Myst." - Summer

Alright, and what about the enemies? Can they expect horrid looking monsters like Silent Hill as well?

"In Chapter One, loneliness plays a key role, so don't expect to have too much company, but we have worked out some designs. Whether we catch the morbid beauty of Silent Hill is, of course, up to the recipients to decide. But we definitely looked at Masahiro Ito's work and drew from that as best as we could." - Carr

But in future chapters there will be more enemies?

"Yes, future chapters are planned to feature more enemies." - Summer

Would you like to share a finished enemy sketch?

"As much as we'd love to share some enemy art, it's important to us that we keep the enemies as secret as we can so they are socking and intriguing when revealed in the game." - Carr
"Actually, if you look closely, I'd say the trailer probably shows you a glimpse of the true enemy... from a theological standpoint." - Summer

How deep would you say the story goes?

"It's something we have spent a lot of time, and arguments, on developing. As it is very important to us that it is meaningful and expressed well in the game." - Carr
"There are many topics included, but many of them would play a bigger and more important role in future chapters. However, our protagonist is a relatively complex character. Her apartment at the beginning of the game gives a lot of hints about her conflicted personality, torn between her religious upbringing and a will to conform to the world. The story involves cults, that is is no spoiler, after all, this is inspired by Silent Hill, and you can derive from that topic what morbid themes might be part of the story." - Summer

Check out the Trailer: 

You can follow for more updates on Facebook and YouTube. The game will launch on the Gamejolt website, so be sure to follow on there as well!

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