PAMELA-Observer-Scan
Exclusive Interviews

Fallen Utopia: Surviving in the Beautiful and Deadly World of PAMELA

[vc_row full_width=”” parallax=”” parallax_image=”” gradient_background=”” full_height_enabled=”” midnight_logo=”” fixed_background_enabled=”” top_svg=”” bottom_svg=”” background_pattern=”” parallax_enabled=”” border_radius=”” col_height=””][vc_column width=”1/1″ gradient_background=”” border_radius=”” border_column=”” icon_size=”64px” icon_color=”#666″ icon_position=”fa-bg-center-center”][vc_column_text]In a genre dominated by bleak and desolate wastelands, NVYVE Studios is looking to bring a touch of colour to survival horror.

In this interview with studio director Adam Simonar, we’ll get a better view of PAMELA’s intricate gameplay systems, veiled story, and beautiful world.

With PAMELA, the Toronto-based NVYVE Studios have a difficult balancing act on their hands. There’s a divide in horror gaming – on one side, genre purists lament the loss of true terror as established franchises succumb to diversification, implementing more and more action-focussed and empowering mechanics – while others just seem content to “hit the lever”, as Silent Hills is cancelled, Alone in the Dark: Illumination shuffles to a score of 18 on Metacritic, and Resident Evil 5 and 6 make a Street Fighter sandwich to become the 1st and 3rd best-selling Capcom games to date. By mixing first-person armed combat with scavenging, scarcity, exploration and a humanity-stripping disease, PAMELA hopes to create an engaging formula that suits a variety of tastes and playstyles.

Whereas a lot of indie studios are exclusively staffed by industry veterans or new starters, NVYVE came about in a slightly different way, which continues to shape their approach to funding and development.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row full_width=”” parallax=”” parallax_image=”” gradient_background=”” full_height_enabled=”” midnight_logo=”” fixed_background_enabled=”” top_svg=”” bottom_svg=”” background_pattern=”” parallax_enabled=”” border_radius=”” col_height=””][vc_column width=”1/1″ gradient_background=”” border_radius=”” border_column=”” icon_size=”64px” icon_color=”#666″ icon_position=”fa-bg-center-center”][vc_text_separator title=”NVYVE Studios” title_align=”separator_align_center” align=”align_center” color=”sky” heading_tag=”h2″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row full_width=”” parallax=”” parallax_image=”” gradient_background=”” full_height_enabled=”” midnight_logo=”” fixed_background_enabled=”” top_svg=”” bottom_svg=”” background_pattern=”” parallax_enabled=”” border_radius=”” col_height=””][vc_column width=”1/1″ gradient_background=”” border_radius=”” border_column=”” icon_size=”64px” icon_color=”#666″ icon_position=”fa-bg-center-center”][vc_column_text]“My background is actually in architecture,” says Simonar. “I did years of architecture school before realising that while I liked designing buildings, I was more interested in digital representations than real ones, so I ended up getting into architectural rendering, 3D animation and what not.

“From there, we started using the Unity engine to do visualisations, where you could walk through and explore spaces in real time, like a game, but for showing off a condo you might be buying.

“I’ve been a lifelong gamer, and it’s always been something that I’ve wanted to pursue as a career, and we got to this point where we were like, ‘We’re already using this technology that’s used to make games anyway’. NVYVE is the company that we did the architectural rendering under, and a few of us broke off and started this project as an offshoot at the end of last year. There were four of us in the beginning, and after our announcement at GDC, we’ve expanded to six people, and that’s probably about as big as we’re going to get.”

If, like me, you’re having trouble pronouncing NVYVE in your head, think Nvidia. It’s a problem which Simonar hopes will get less common as the studio gets better known.

“Back when we were first throwing out ideas for the name,” he says. “We wanted a play on ‘vive’ as life, and then ‘N-vive’ was supposed to be new life. Nothing super deep and philosophical or anything, but that’s what we ended up going with. It’s not the easiest name for people to guess how to pronounce.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row full_width=”” parallax=”” parallax_image=”” gradient_background=”” full_height_enabled=”” midnight_logo=”” fixed_background_enabled=”” top_svg=”” bottom_svg=”” background_pattern=”” parallax_enabled=”” border_radius=”” col_height=””][vc_column width=”2/3″ gradient_background=”” border_radius=”” border_column=”” icon_size=”64px” icon_color=”#666″ icon_position=”fa-bg-center-center”][vc_column_text]Right now, PAMELA’s self-funded – a perk of working under a successful architectural planning company, which produces 3D representations of everything from tower blocks to fridges. The small team take on a variety of tasks to get the job done, and can draw inspiration from the thriving Canadian indie scene.

“At the moment, we don’t have any plans for Kickstarter,” says Simonar. “We’re self-funded from the other side of the business and work we’ve done in the past. So no plans – yet.

“I’ve been a lifelong gamer, and it’s always been something that I’ve wanted to pursue as a career, and we got to this point where we were like, ‘We’re already using this technology that’s used to make games anyway’.

“I’m the studio director and environment artist, among other things. Then we have two other 3D artists who do a bunch of prop modelling and characters, that kind of thing. Everything that you’ll see in the game’s modelled by those two guys. There’s a couple of talented developers, who do the programming and technical stuff – that’s one of the only things in game development that I don’t get into, the programming side of it. And then we have the creative direct and concept artist, she does all of the high-level design – how the world works, how the gameplay systems work. We all, as is necessary in a small team like this, jump into different areas of the project.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″ gradient_background=”” border_radius=”” border_column=”” icon_size=”64px” icon_color=”#666″ icon_position=”fa-bg-center-center”][vc_single_image image=”65304″ border_color=”grey” img_link_large=”” img_link_target=”_self” scroll_hover_maxheight=”300px” scroll_hover=”” scale_hover=”” css=”.vc_custom_1445358905895{margin-right: -125px !important;background-position: center !important;background-repeat: no-repeat !important;background-size: cover !important;}” img_size=”350×420″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row full_width=”” parallax=”” parallax_image=”” gradient_background=”” full_height_enabled=”” midnight_logo=”” fixed_background_enabled=”” top_svg=”” bottom_svg=”” background_pattern=”” parallax_enabled=”” border_radius=”” col_height=””][vc_column width=”1/1″ gradient_background=”” border_radius=”” border_column=”” icon_size=”64px” icon_color=”#666″ icon_position=”fa-bg-center-center”][vc_column_text]“We get some of the same kind of tax benefits [from the Canadian government] and that sort of thing. Indie in Toronto is actually growing quite a bit. There’re a couple of schools around here that’ve been producing game programmers and it’s starting to be seen as a viable place to do this sort of thing. There’re also some big studios here like Ubisoft Toronto and Rockstar, just like in Montreal. But I think that the indie scene is definitely growing with some events coming up later this year which, if we have the time, we’re thinking about going to – local game shows, the Canadian Video Game Awards, that kind of stuff. Not as big as other cities, but from what I’ve seen, it’s pretty good.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row full_height_enabled=”” midnight_logo=”” fixed_background_enabled=”” parallax_enabled=”” col_height=”” css=”.vc_custom_1445359138056{margin-right: -175px !important;margin-left: -175px !important;padding-top: 100px !important;padding-bottom: 100px !important;background-image: url(http://www.onlysp.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/PAMELA-Cryo-Lobby-Gif.gif?id=65305) !important;background-position: center !important;background-repeat: no-repeat !important;background-size: cover !important;}”][vc_column width=”1/1″ gradient_background=”” border_radius=”” border_column=”” icon_size=”64px” icon_color=”#666″ icon_position=”fa-bg-center-center”][vc_text_separator title=”P.A.M.E.L.A.” title_align=”separator_align_center” align=”align_center” color=”peacoc” heading_tag=”h1″ heading_color=”#ffffff”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row full_width=”” parallax=”” parallax_image=”” gradient_background=”” full_height_enabled=”” midnight_logo=”” fixed_background_enabled=”” top_svg=”” bottom_svg=”” background_pattern=”” parallax_enabled=”” border_radius=”” col_height=””][vc_column width=”1/1″ gradient_background=”” border_radius=”” border_column=”” icon_size=”64px” icon_color=”#666″ icon_position=”fa-bg-center-center”][vc_column_text]PAMELA itself aims to deliver a modern take on the survival horror genre, blending heart-pounding chases and scrabbling exploration with a futuristic setting and weaponry. Games like Dead Space and Alien: Isolation have shown that star ships and Plasma Cutters aren’t always at odds with a spooky atmosphere, whatever tools are at your disposal.

“PAMELA is an open-world, utopian, survival horror game, where you wake up in a fallen city and have to find out what happened, while surviving in this beautiful, but dangerous environment,”Simonar says. “It’s filled with all kinds of other people and entities that you’ll have to contend with as you explore the city.”

The player-character in PAMELA isn’t the star of the show, but functions more as a proxy which facilitates the experience.

“The player’s woken up from cryosleep,” explains Simonar. “And you’re not really an important character necessarily, your identity isn’t an important part of the story. What happens is that PAMELA, she’s the AI overseer of the city, who, when everything was well, watched out for everyone and made sure that life was peaceful. But after this horrible tragedy happened, the city’s fallen into this state where people are shells of their former selves, fighting to survive against a terrible disease. She reaches out to you as a last lifeline for humanity, as someone who’s unaffected, the last whole human on Eden, the city that you’re in.

“There wasn’t a malicious action that led to this, there’s not like a Resident Evil kind of mastermind behind it all. In the game, you have humanity trying to do things which we arguably shouldn’t, and we’re looking at the potential consequences of that. People compare us to System Shock quite a lot, but our AI isn’t rogue, she’s every bit as stuck in this situation as you. She’s helping you to survive because you’re all she has left. It’s not about you vs. the evil machine trying to take you down, which I think is a very important part of the game that can be misconstrued at a glance.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row full_width=”” parallax=”” parallax_image=”” gradient_background=”” full_height_enabled=”” midnight_logo=”” fixed_background_enabled=”” top_svg=”” bottom_svg=”” background_pattern=”” parallax_enabled=”” border_radius=”” col_height=””][vc_column width=”1/1″ gradient_background=”” border_radius=”” border_column=”” icon_size=”64px” icon_color=”#666″ icon_position=”fa-bg-center-center”][vc_single_image image=”65306″ border_color=”grey” img_link_large=”” img_link_target=”_self” scroll_hover_maxheight=”300px” scroll_hover=”” scale_hover=”” css=”.vc_custom_1445359310434{margin-right: -125px !important;margin-left: -125px !important;}”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row full_width=”” parallax=”” parallax_image=”” gradient_background=”” full_height_enabled=”” midnight_logo=”” fixed_background_enabled=”” top_svg=”” bottom_svg=”” background_pattern=”” parallax_enabled=”” border_radius=”” col_height=””][vc_column width=”1/1″ gradient_background=”” border_radius=”” border_column=”” icon_size=”64px” icon_color=”#666″ icon_position=”fa-bg-center-center”][vc_column_text]That doesn’t mean that your life is expendable in PAMELA. NVYVE are counting on the penalties for death endearing players to their avatar, rather than strong characterisation.

“We’re a permadeath game – if you die you die,” Simonar says. “There are a couple of ways that you’ll be able to, sort of, get extra lives, there’s an explanation of it in the story, where you can activate things in the world so that you get a chance to be reborn as someone else after you die. It’s kind of like in Don’t Starve, where there were a few altars that you could respawn from. That’s not what we’re doing, but that’s an example. The permadeath works similarly to other games, you know, Day-Z, The Forest. It gives a sense of immediacy and tension to what you’re doing, so that you’re always paying attention to what’s going on, you’re always conscious that if a powerful enemy gets you in a corner, you’re basically looking at starting from scratch. That aspect is important to establish the tension and emotional connection with the character.

“We’re trying to balance it so that you’re not getting killed by frustrating things that you can’t really control too often. It’s not fun to sink a bunch of hours into a character and get a killed by some random thing you never had a chance against. We’re trying to make it fair, in that sense.”

He continues: “In the story, your character isn’t really important, it’s more about the environment and the place you find yourself in. If you die and you activated one of these places, you’re born as someone else, who’s also, in the grand scheme of things, not terribly important. That’s one of the themes of the game – the futility of the human evolution that they’ve been trying to pursue in this utopian city, where they’re trying to make humans more than human through bioaugmentation, extending people’s lifespan beyond natural means. Comparisons come up quite often with things like Bioshock and Deus Ex, which have similar themes that explore the dark side of what happens when you try to make humans into something ‘better’. They’re doing all of these things with the best intentions, but they should never have been doing them in the first place.”

We’re a permadeath game – if you die you die.

NVYVE are taking a non-linear path with PAMELA’s plot, choosing to tell a story through the environments as opposed to exposition.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row full_width=”” parallax=”” parallax_image=”” gradient_background=”” full_height_enabled=”” midnight_logo=”” fixed_background_enabled=”” top_svg=”” bottom_svg=”” background_pattern=”” parallax_enabled=”” border_radius=”” col_height=””][vc_column width=”2/3″ gradient_background=”” border_radius=”” border_column=”” icon_size=”64px” icon_color=”#666″ icon_position=”fa-bg-center-center”][vc_column_text]“We’re an open world game, similar to The Forest or Day-Z, so there’s not a linear story that you’re going through,” explains Simonar. “But by exploring the world, you’ll be learning through [PAMELA] how she used to be in this place. PAMELA has a connection to this place, she used to be a protector, but now everything’s gone to hell. She’s a very significant aspect of the lore and story, much more of a grounding point than the actual player character; who is more or less a faceless avatar for you the player.

“Where you find yourself is Eden, which is this kind of utopian sphere that was one of many cities constructed as a bastion for humanity to escape from the overpopulation and energy crises of the mainland, which has become an inhospitable place. You wake up in this society that was utopian, almost perfect, and obviously sometime between then and now, this terrible biological catastrophe has happened.

“It’s really more about finding out about how this society used to work, it’s not necessarily like watching a movie. Don’t take this reference too seriously, it’s a very different kind of game than we are, but in Gone Home you’re exploring this house and finding traces of what happened. We’re not a straight up exploration game like Gone Home. But in a similar way, you’re left to put the pieces together.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″ gradient_background=”” border_radius=”” border_column=”” icon_size=”64px” icon_color=”#666″ icon_position=”fa-bg-center-center”][vc_single_image image=”65307″ border_color=”grey” img_link_large=”” img_link_target=”_self” scroll_hover_maxheight=”300px” scroll_hover=”” scale_hover=”” img_size=”400×500″ css=”.vc_custom_1445359587859{margin-right: -125px !important;background-position: center !important;background-repeat: no-repeat !important;background-size: contain !important;}”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row full_width=”” parallax=”” parallax_image=”” gradient_background=”” full_height_enabled=”” midnight_logo=”” fixed_background_enabled=”” top_svg=”” bottom_svg=”” background_pattern=”” parallax_enabled=”” border_radius=”” col_height=””][vc_column width=”1/1″ gradient_background=”” border_radius=”” border_column=”” icon_size=”64px” icon_color=”#666″ icon_position=”fa-bg-center-center”][vc_text_separator title=”Coming to Life” title_align=”separator_align_center” align=”align_center” color=”sky” heading_tag=”h2″][vc_column_text]Set on a ruined Earth hundreds of years in the future, a lot of work is going into making the city of Eden feel alive. A contributing factor, is that the barbaric citizens who still roam the streets aren’t dead.

“The enemies aren’t zombies,” Simonar says. “They’re people that’re afflicted with this disease that causes disfigurements and puts them in incredible pain. They’re in a tribal state essentially, where they’re still people in a sense, but they can be very aggressive and also very fearful. You’ll be able to discover a bit more about how this happened, we want there to be something that you can find there, it’s not just ‘everyone’s gone crazy’, you’ll be rewarded for exploration as you dive into some of the more hidden areas of the city. There’s going to be a fair bit of story to uncover about how this society used to function.

“The environment’s not procedural. But it’s not static, in the sense that each time you come to an area, there won’t be the same 10 guys that were there last time. NPCs will come and go from different areas, so each time you play, places might be quieter, more abandoned. Then next time, there might be two factions of afflicted fighting each other, so it becomes a much more dangerous place.

“The world is all hand-designed. We have the responsibility there to make sure that it still feels fresh after you’ve been playing for a while. When you’ve explored a decent amount of the city, even when you’re returning to areas, there’re still reasons to come back, surprises to find even after you’ve been playing for an extended amount of time.”

PAMELA-Promenade-Night

Players are encouraged to take what they want from PAMELA, using the absence of a rigid structure as a chance to set personal goals.
“We want people to get the feeling that they’ve played the game for a good amount of time,” says Simonar. “To feel accomplished, like they’ve achieved something. You’ve uncovered this story, you’ve gotten what you wanted out of it and you’ve had a great experience, while at the same time, not having a traditional ending. We want people to challenge themselves as well, to say, ‘I want to survive for 100 days,’ to see where they want to go and set their own goals. It’s a challenging thing, because most games in this genre don’t have an ending, they’re all open ended experiences, which I think make these kind of games exciting. But it can be great too to sink time into a game and have a resolution at the end where you can put the game down. We’re trying to find a good way to touch on both of those needs. I guess we’ll find out as we get closer to release.”

NVYVE are drawing inspiration from the best in their efforts to make Eden an interesting and engaging place to be, both mechanically and visually. Mass Effect and Mirror’s Edge are the most common artistic comparisons, while Eden’s spider web of streets and corridors hope to be more reminiscent of Miyazaki’s Souls series and the Deus Ex franchise.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row full_width=”” parallax=”” parallax_image=”” gradient_background=”” full_height_enabled=”” midnight_logo=”” fixed_background_enabled=”” top_svg=”” bottom_svg=”” background_pattern=”” parallax_enabled=”” border_radius=”” col_height=””][vc_column width=”1/1″ gradient_background=”” border_radius=”” border_column=”” icon_size=”64px” icon_color=”#666″ icon_position=”fa-bg-center-center”][vc_column_text]“It’s weird,” Simonar explains. “We mention a couple of those names because they’re obvious things that a lot of people can identify with. But there’re so many things from all types of media, more recently, things like Elysium, with the crazy, utopian flying ring where everything’s super fancy, clean and futuristic, then you have the Earth where everything’s a complete mess. With influences and inspirations, one of the dangers is that people think that you’re derivative. As we’re designing, we try not to look too much at what other people are doing, but we play all of these games, watch all of these movies; anything that you design is always going to be a product of your own experiences. But I’m not modelling the environment with a screenshot of Mass Effect open. It’s an interesting balance.

“It’s all interconnected. Myself as a designer, I’ve always been really interested in what games like Deus Ex did with their level design. The areas felt so realistic, and you could find all of these different pathways, the way that you explored the environment felt very free-form. Dark Souls and Bloodborne are other examples, they felt very interconnected. You’d play for a few hours and think, ‘oh, the door that I just came from leads back to the beginning area, that’s crazy.” That kind of stuff’s always really interesting to me, so the time we’ve spent designing PAMELA hasn’t necessarily been about making things twice as big, but about making things interconnected and organic.”

To achieve this, NVYVE are using the most recent iteration of the Unity engine. This allows for the implementation of complex lighting systems, as well as dynamic weather, which will have a direct and powerful impact on gameplay.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row full_width=”” parallax=”” parallax_image=”” gradient_background=”” full_height_enabled=”” midnight_logo=”” fixed_background_enabled=”” top_svg=”” bottom_svg=”” background_pattern=”” parallax_enabled=”” border_radius=”” col_height=””][vc_column width=”1/1″ gradient_background=”” border_radius=”” border_column=”” icon_size=”64px” icon_color=”#666″ icon_position=”fa-bg-center-center”][vc_single_image image=”65312″ border_color=”grey” img_link_large=”” img_link_target=”_self” scroll_hover_maxheight=”300px” scroll_hover=”” scale_hover=”” css=”.vc_custom_1445360338340{margin-right: -125px !important;margin-left: -125px !important;background-position: center !important;background-repeat: no-repeat !important;background-size: cover !important;}” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row full_width=”” parallax=”” parallax_image=”” gradient_background=”” full_height_enabled=”” midnight_logo=”” fixed_background_enabled=”” top_svg=”” bottom_svg=”” background_pattern=”” parallax_enabled=”” border_radius=”” col_height=””][vc_column width=”1/1″ gradient_background=”” border_radius=”” border_column=”” icon_size=”64px” icon_color=”#666″ icon_position=”fa-bg-center-center”][vc_column_text]“Unity 5 brought some really big advancements in the technology behind the engine,” says Simonar. “Probably the most significant aspect of that is the dynamic global illumination, which is basically the way that the lighting’s done in the engine. As we’re changing times of day, turning off lights in the environment, we get a much more realistic look, whereas traditionally in game engines you have to set up your lighting and bake it to stay one way. It looks really good like that, but then you can’t change much. Now we’re able to do this completely dynamic day/night cycle, where you can turn lights within the city on and off, giving the player a lot more control over what they want to do with the lighting.

“One aspect of the city is that it’s powered by solar cells which regenerate energy over time from the sun and the water. What happens is if it’s cloudy, stormy weather for an extended period of time, they’ll actually stop, or be slower at, generating power. Depending on the weather, if you waste all of your energy, you can be stuck for a while without any way to get more power. That’s a problem when you’re trying to survive – you might want to turn on a light, or interact with certain things in the environment.”

World-building aside, PAMELA’s core loop is survival. Players will have to stay alert and keep healthy to make it through another day.

“The moment-to-moment is that you’re exploring the city,” Simonar says. “Scavenging in different places whether that be a residential area or a shopping area. You’re finding items to improve your survivability, and as well you have to contend with the afflicted citizens and security robots amongst other things. The afflicted citizens can be hostile and dangerous, they can fight with each other or come after you. You can interact with the droids in a couple of different ways. As you’re exploring, you can try to take a stealthier approach and try to sneak past these guys. If you feel confident and have weapons you can fight them, try to kill them and loot them. You can also try and turn them against each other, making the robots and afflicted fight each other, then clean up afterwards.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row full_width=”” parallax=”” parallax_image=”” gradient_background=”” full_height_enabled=”” midnight_logo=”” fixed_background_enabled=”” top_svg=”” bottom_svg=”” background_pattern=”” parallax_enabled=”” border_radius=”” col_height=””][vc_column width=”1/1″ gradient_background=”” border_radius=”” border_column=”” icon_size=”64px” icon_color=”#666″ icon_position=”fa-bg-center-center”][vc_text_separator title=”Survival is Key” title_align=”separator_align_center” align=”align_center” color=”sky” heading_tag=”h2″][vc_column_text]“When it comes to longer term things, you’re trying to find better weapons, bio-augments for yourself. You can upgrade your body at different places in the city to improve your survivability, health and get some special abilities that way.

“We have a building system in the game, so you can construct some basic fortifications for yourself as a safe haven in the city. And also you’ll be able to improve PAMELA’s capabilities too. She’ll be able to help you in a few different ways, both defensively and by helping you to take down enemies.”

But even with all of these systems, PAMELA still has horror at heart, with NVYVE wary never to make the player too powerful.

PAMELA-IVG-Scan

“When you start out you’ll be quite powerless,” says Simonar. “Thrown out into the world to find food and shelter. You’re basically on the defensive right off the bat. As you’re exploring and finding new weapons, becoming a little more empowered, we’ll definitely be making sure that you’re not feeling like you’re on top of the world. Some enemies that you encounter will be very strong, especially if you’re not prepared, and there’re be time where numbers could be overwhelming. We want to find that balance between a meaningful progression, where you feel better off than you were five hours ago, but that you never feel invincible, you can still run out of ammo, out of food. You can still make too much noise and suddenly a bunch of guys are coming at you from all sides.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row full_width=”” parallax=”” parallax_image=”” gradient_background=”” full_height_enabled=”” midnight_logo=”” fixed_background_enabled=”” top_svg=”” bottom_svg=”” background_pattern=”” parallax_enabled=”” border_radius=”” col_height=””][vc_column width=”1/1″ gradient_background=”” border_radius=”” border_column=”” icon_size=”64px” icon_color=”#666″ icon_position=”fa-bg-center-center”][vc_column_text]“And like we’ve said, it’s a permadeath game. If there are situations where you get swarmed, those moments will hopefully be pretty powerful, because you’ll try to defend yourself from losing what you’ve found so far.

“In terms of the horror aspect, we’re not a game like Outlast or something that’s really just about scaring you 24/7. Horror is a part of the experience, but not the only one. It’s interspersed with small moments of peace and quiet, it’s a beautiful environment that you’re in. But when it’s night time, or you’re exploring an area that’s powered down – full of dark corridors – there’ll definitely be a lot of tension as well.”

He continues: “A really important part of any sort of horror is to get the player feeling comfortable in the environment – in a sense. Look at PT. The game’s set in this hallway that’s pretty recognisable, you can place yourself in that environment. But then you take that place, and make it a little bit off. In PT, creepy supernatural stuff starts happening, lights flickering and all that. We’re doing something similar in PAMELA. We’re creating this beautiful utopia that seems like a really nice place to be, but then we’re adding things that make it clear that something really, really bad happened here. Creating that sense of complacency can go a long way towards really hitting hard. You were safe five minutes ago, but you’re not safe anymore.

In terms of the horror aspect, we’re not a game like Outlast or something that’s really just about scaring you 24/7.

On top of eliciting terror, NVYVE are taking on the difficult task of building a believable sci-fi reality – no easy feat, because as Richard Corliss said, “Nothing ages so quickly as yesterday’s vision of the future”.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row full_width=”” parallax=”” parallax_image=”” gradient_background=”” full_height_enabled=”” midnight_logo=”” fixed_background_enabled=”” top_svg=”” bottom_svg=”” background_pattern=”” parallax_enabled=”” border_radius=”” col_height=””][vc_column width=”1/1″ gradient_background=”” border_radius=”” border_column=”” icon_size=”64px” icon_color=”#666″ icon_position=”fa-bg-center-center”][vc_single_image image=”65314″ border_color=”grey” img_link_large=”” img_link_target=”_self” scroll_hover_maxheight=”300px” scroll_hover=”” scale_hover=”” css=”.vc_custom_1445360616298{margin-right: -125px !important;margin-left: -125px !important;background-position: center !important;background-repeat: no-repeat !important;background-size: cover !important;}”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row full_width=”” parallax=”” parallax_image=”” gradient_background=”” full_height_enabled=”” midnight_logo=”” fixed_background_enabled=”” top_svg=”” bottom_svg=”” background_pattern=”” parallax_enabled=”” border_radius=”” col_height=””][vc_column width=”1/1″ gradient_background=”” border_radius=”” border_column=”” icon_size=”64px” icon_color=”#666″ icon_position=”fa-bg-center-center”][vc_column_text]“We’re doing a couple of different things,” Simonar explains. “Like our UI is all based on your arm, this kind of holographic device, envisioning a super-smartphone of the future. Everything’s contained within this one thing; your nerves are all wired in, it’s integrated into your body essentially. In some ways, we’re making these high-tech extrapolations on how things currently are, but we’re not trying to make everything crazy futuristic for the sake of it. We’re taking design conventions that’re relevant to the present day, not reinventing the wheel, so as people are exploring they can recognise where they are. Our approach is to explore certain areas, like have robots walking around that’re sentient beings, which is obviously an advanced idea. But we’re superimposing that onto things that you can relate to.”

PAMELA takes a combinative approach to survival horror, fusing old-fashioned scares with innovative technology and a story that the player can experience as much or as little of as they wish. Tentatively slated for a 2016 release, you can find more on PAMELA at NVYVE Studio’s development blog and official website.

 

Follow OnlySP on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news, reviews and interviews.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

1 Comment
To Top