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Alone in the Dark interview: tech to advance the horror genre

Nick Doerr

The upcoming Alone in the Dark title has a lot to compete with when released late this year or early next year, but it still looks like a step in the right direction for the original survival horror game. Presented in New York with a fictional story ... timeline ... thing, the game sounds kind of like an interactive film noir. Game director David Nadal recently talked about the technology used to make the game a whole new kind of horror. Since we love doing it, we'll summarize the important points below. As always, read the interview if you're particularly interested in the subject.

  • AitD relies on the Twilight engine used in Test Drive Unlimited. This engine will help build a very realistic New York City and it also allows the development team to alter whatever it needs to between consoles and PC with ease -- meaning everyone gets a very professional and polished port.
  • The team has built a completely new rendering engine that delivers "photographic" features for lighting (since the game isn't exactly daylight-friendly), giving an extremely cinematographic look to the game.
  • Physics is key, so advancements have been made on the Twilight engine to take this into consideration -- AI has also been ramped up.
  • The musical score is interactive -- based on what you do, the music will shift. Fire off a shot, and the music will raise in tempo. Explore a dark corridor, expect slow, low-noise suspense music to take over. A nice effect.

As we've said, this is a simple summary. Nadal goes into much more detail about the lighting and physics engines, but we won't bog you down with a bunch of terminology here. The game sound excellent and we're very excited to try it out. Time will tell how it progresses!

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