We recently had to chance to play and preview Layers Of Fear by Bloober Team SA, A psychedelic horror game currently in Early Access on Steam, where players take control of an insane painter in his quest to finish his magnum opus. We also had the chance to put some questions to Bloober Teams Rafal Basaj.
PressA2Join: When did you first come up with the concept or idea to make Layers Of Fear?
Rafal: It’s hard to say when exactly we came up with the idea. We were working on another game when the concept emerged, but we didn’t think of expanding on it at first. With time we grew to believe it’s far too good to be used only as a side story for another project, so we started working on it as a stand-alone game.
PA2J: The setting for the game has great detail with some iconic paintings used, what made you decide to go for that particular era?
Rafal: Our protagonist tries to complete his magnum opus, the masterwork each artists strives to create. It was only logical to add to the game art that is considered truly masterful. We were also heavily inspired by the Art of Ugliness movement, that has started in the late XVI century and is still present up to this day.
PA2J: What kind of Horror games inspire you?
Rafal: The obvious inspiration was P.T. but we never tried to copy the idea, but rather expand on it. From the reviews we have read around the web it seems we have achieved it. Other horror games that might have had an impact on our game were Amnesia, and especially Silent Hill series, that had a unique take on the genre. This are the obvious ones, but games like Eternal Darkness, Fatal Frame 2, or even Dear Esther were also in the back of our heads. Maybe the most interesting inspiration we had were the various horror games made for the VR, like Affected, and a few other titles, that gave us some cool ideas for the mechanics used in Layers of Fear.
PA2J: Can you describe a bit about the dark atmosphere within the game, I found it a little unsettling at times but beautifully done?
Rafal: Our main goal in the game was to scare people using the environment rather than visible enemies. The dark thick atmosphere was a must if we wanted to achieve this goal. We also wanted to make it as insane as possible, make a game that would mess with the player’s head as much as to scare the s**t out of them.
PA2J: What made you decide to release the game onto Early Access and what updates can players expect for the future?
Rafal: First and foremost we knew that horror is a very tricky genre, where even one ill made element of the game might ruin the whole experience, Going for EA was a way to check whether we are on the right path, or should we change something, alter some elements to make it scarier, or in general more pleasing to the audience. Also, after an early external testing of the game it became obvious that there is much potential in this game, we wanted to explore the ideas of the community, as we believe that horror fans could provide us with viable feedback and constructive criticism.
For now we are focusing on techy stuff, like the game’s performance and expanding on the visual and mechanical options that will be available to players, but we have a few bigger updates in mind that will bring some new content to the game. We still don’t want to talk about it, as we don’t know exactly how big will they be, and when we will be able to release them.
PA2J: The reaction on Steam since the release of the game has been overwhelmingly positive, are you surprised by the amazing reaction the game has received?
Rafal: We knew we were doing something good, but in our wildest dreams we couldn’t expect such an outstanding reaction from the community. We are deeply humbled by it, and motivated to make the game even better.
PA2J: The Soundtrack to Layers, helps to set the tone for the game, how important was it to get the score for the game right?
Rafal: Music and sound design may be even more important in setting the mood, than visual effects, so creating a great soundtrack was one of our main priorities. Arkadiusz Reikowski who composed the music for the game did an outstanding job and is highly praised for his work by the community.
PA2J: Are there any plans to release Layers Of Fear onto consoles?
Rafal: We have already announced the release of Layers of Fear for Xbox One.
PA2J: Is there anything else you would like to say to fans of the game or to people who have yet to play it?
Rafal: I would like to take the chance and thank the awesome community that has gathered around our game. They are truly great, giving us constructive criticism that will help shape the game into a better project. They are a dedicated bunch who use their free time to analyze the scarce plot tropes we have left in the game, naming the art used in the game, and playing the game thoroughly in search of bugs. I’m in awe of their dedication. Such a community is a treasure that we will cherish deeply. Once again, thank you guys!
We would like to thank Rafal Basaj and the Bloober Team for taking the time out to chat with us.