“Among the Sleep,” a surreal horror/survival adventure from the minds at Krillbite Studio, is taking large (or perhaps child-like would be more appropriate) steps in the genre. In an interview on May 11, 2013, Adrian Husby, a representative of Krillbite Studio, revealed how this unique game came to life.
With gameplay comparable to “Amnesia: The Dark Descent,” the main character will be unable to really fight any monsters encountered. “It really reinforced our belief that our passive protagonist would work out in practice,” Husby said. “Frictional Games demonstrated that a game without competitive mechanics, like combat or scores, would work just as effectively, if not more effectively, in a horror setting.” Husby also said that they are aiming to make the environment as interactive as possible. “You’ll be able to push, pull and climb objects, open and close doors and cupboards, make a staircase out of drawers, peek around corners, carry and place small objects etc. These abilities will definitely be used actively in hectic situations, for finding hiding spots to stay safe.” While in “Amnesia: The Dark Descent” players take over the role of a grown man, “Among the Sleep” has a surprisingly unique protagonist: A two-year-old child.
So where did this idea come from? A dream. Lead Designer Anders Ugland had a first-person dream where a child was fleeing from a monster and eventually hid underneath a set of stairs. “He pitched the concept to the group while we were still students, and just about to start working on our thesis project. Everyone instantly fell in love with the idea,” Husby said. “The concept of a two-year-old’s perspective felt so fresh, and the possibilities so endless. In a way it’s also the logical endpoint of helplessness in horror, and it’s even a premise everyone instantly understands – we’ve all been children after all.”
“Among the Sleep” will also feature a large variety of environments, far more than what is shown in the game’s trailer and alpha version (available free tomorrow.) “[That’s] only one of the earliest chapters, and you will travel a long way from home before the end,” Husby said. “The environments are also inspired by the surreal and unpredictable nature of dreams and imagination, so it will range from things like the house you saw in the gameplay teaser, to an abandoned playground inside a dark cave.”
Husby considers the entire development process to be very rewarding. “Coming straight from our study to full time production on our own project was a steep learning curve, but we’ve come really far now,” Husby said. “It’s incredibly motivating to see how well the project is shaping up, and how many people like the look of it. Until now we’ve only released a small creative side project, so it’s a bit absurd to see so many following the project, sending us emails and creating fan-art etc.”
“Among the Sleep” promises to be an exciting, thrilling adventure into the horror/survival genre and it’s unique choice of main character is definitely an interesting twist. Gamers who are intending to play the public Alpha version would do well to stay as hidden as possible – and make sure to keep a teddy bear close by for comfort.