How Narrative and Lore Makes Caffeine Different From Other Survival Horror Games

By   /   Apr 10, 2014

We recently wrote a piece on Caffeine, the survival horror indie game that is being developed for PC using Unreal Engine 4.

Although the game has received a couple of videos but apart from the basic discussions, a lot still needed to be told with regards to the horror title. To make a better understanding of the game, We decided to ask few questions to Dylan Browne, the developer behind the game.

When we asked Dylan whether Dead Space has anything to do with the setting of the game, he said: “Not particularly, I have played a little of Dead Space but I never really got into it, I’m not sure why but who knows I may go back and play them some day!”

Moving on, we have been told that there will be no other humans in the game and the only interaction with them would be the pictures that the player sees or the audio clips that he hears.

Talking of interaction with the environment, we asked Browne to shed some light on the matter:

“The interaction with the environment in Caffeine is in the early planning stage, it will include using various doors, machinery and even being able to re-arrange parts of the station. In addition there will be quite a few simple puzzle / platforming sections within the station.”

That being said, the next question that comes to mind is about enemies. Will there be any? What kind of enemies would they be? He responded with a cautious answer that will need some more elaboration before something can be made of it:

“Yes there will be enemies… but not in the standard sense, I can’t really elaborate more on that at this time, as it would spoil some things!”

Three games have been mentioned in lieu of the inspiration for Caffeine, and these are Doom, Condemned and Fear. Luckily, Browne decided to share with us what elements of the game are inspired from these games.

“Ahh yes, the three have influenced me in different ways. Doom was a more visual influence in terms of pipes, and bare metal environments.

Condemned was a sound influence, specifically the amazingly immersive “distant” sounds you hear such as footsteps, creaking and voices being heard as if they were close but just behind a wall or one floor above you.

Lastly FEAR influenced a heap of the great scare moments and to an extent the atmosphere”.

All that is good, but what makes this game more than just another entry in the heap of survival horror games? One might ask. There have of course been quite a lot of games in that genre in the last couple of years. Browne believes that Caffeine’s lore and narrative will make it tick.

“I believe Caffeine will be different from other Indie Horror offerings in the way that the narrative and lore will be heavily detailed and diverse. The station is going to feel lived in and people not even related to the main storyline will have background story to discover!”

From the looks of it, Caffeine makes me feel a little lonely; I mean there are no humans, and the two trailers have been all corridors; I wondered how expansive the game would be so that we would know that exploration would keep us busy. We have been told that the main storyline will be five to eight hours – make of it what you will.

“So the plan for the main storyline will be 5-8 hours, but there will be areas where you can go, read lore, explore the backgrounds of the people who worked there etc, so it could last much longer.

My plan has always been to have the entire station accessible, I don’t have a size figure at the moment, but once everything is locked in I will let everyone know!”

We asked him to discuss how much importance the audio of the game will have, seeing that it is a survival horror, and the entire thrill is in the aura of the game.

He shared that although the tracks will be simple, they will have a sense of tension around them. He has been provided with some tracks from the Bay Drive Sound Studios, and the rest are being developed by him.

“Guys over at Bay Drive Sound Studios have provided me with a few awesome ambient pieces which are very simplistic but convey a great sense of tension and at times exploration.

In terms of sound effects, I am recording some of those myself which include some awesome very quiet creaks and footsteps. At the end of the day I really enjoy pushing the surround sound right up, as I find that knowing which direction the sound is coming from really enhances the uncertainness”.

We haven’t been told as to when Caffeine will be released, but from the looks of it, I think the game is going to make us want to look out for it. Don’t you think?

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