Those Who Remain will be making its way to the PlayStation 4 later this year so we got in touch with Camel 101 to talk a bit about the game and its current development status.
PS4Blog: Morning! Welcome to PS4Blog.net. Could you please get us started by introducing yourself to our readers and telling them a bit about yourself and your work?
Hello there! My name is Ricardo Cesteiro, and I’m one of the founders of Camel 101.
We’re a 3-man team who’s been working together since 2005: me, my brother Bruno and Boris Raguza.
I take care of production and game design, Bruno is the lead programmer and tech expert, and Boris is the 3d guy. He handles modeling, animation, and level design.
We already have several titles on the market. The first games were more casual oriented, but after a while, we eventually decided that we were ready to try different things.
So we made two sci-fi wargames that were released on Steam, and then on 2015, we started working on our first multi-platform title: Syndrome, a survival horror game.
PS4B: You’re hard at work on Those Who Remain, which will be releasing later this year. How would you describe the game to someone who’s never heard about it?
Those Who Remain is a psychological thriller that takes place in what seems like a typical American town. When the protagonist arrives in town, he finds out that the place is anything but typical.
Without spoiling much of the story, the town has been cursed by a demon, and everything is shrouded in darkness. Anyone who goes into the dark dies.
This is one of the main mechanics of the game, so the player must stay in the light. Sometimes he’ll have to find a light source, turn on a light, something that can provide a safe passage through the dark.
The other main mechanic is what we call the “mirror worlds.” The player will find portals that connect to a different world, that looks like a weird version of our own.
But actions taken in one place have a consequence in the other, which means that some puzzles require the player to act in both worlds.
Adding to this, there’s a great narrative that addresses some powerful subjects like bullying, infidelity, injustice, guilt, and suicide. It’s a dark adventure at its core.
PS4B: After working on Syndrome, what drew you to work on a game in which darkness itself is pretty much the danger that lurks around every corner? What sets this one apart from the experience in Syndrome?
With Syndrome we wanted to create a classic survival horror experience: give the player some weapons, not that much ammo and lots of monsters.
Now it’s a different take on the genre: thee protagonist isn’t a soldier, there are no weapons or means of defense, since the enemy here is ethereal.
The player doesn’t need to be quick on the trigger, he needs to think to find a solution to the problem at hand. But at the same time, the threat is always there, the enemies always lurking in the shadows.
There’s a constant presence that adds to the general feeling of unease.
This is the main difference between the games: physical monsters vs. ethereal threats, combat vs. puzzle solving.
PS4B: How long has the team been working on Those Who Remain? Has the game changed much between its initial concept and the build you’re currently working on?
We’ve been working on the game for about a year.
There have been some changes, but the initial concept is basically the same.
One example is the threat of the dark: on paper, we were thinking that the player would die as soon as he stepped in the dark. But after implementing, we saw that it didn’t work, it wasn’t fun. It was almost like stepping on a mine field, because it wasn’t clear when it was “dark enough” to die or to be safe.
So we decided to put enemies in the dark that attack when the player gets close. This was the player understands what’s going on, and he knows where he can be safe or not.
The core is still the same, but there’ve been a few improvements and tweaks here and there.
PS4B: And now it is time for us to go. Is there something else you’d like to add before we end this?
First, thank you for this opportunity. It’s always a pleasure to talk about our games and what we do. More than a job, it’s a passion.
We put a lot of ourselves in our games, and each title that we do is special in its own way.
Those Who Remain is the culmination of years of work, and it’s probably our most ambitious project until now.
We hope what we’re creating will be a memorable experience, and above all, that our players will have a blast playing it.