Releasing on Nintendo Switch: Unattainable dream to reality

This is one of my earliest memories. Eons ago, when I was about 5, my dad took me with him to his work, a department store. He then proceeded to dump me in the electronics department.

Nowadays you can find game test booths everywhere, but back in the day this was definitely not the case. Instead every single item was locked inside a glass cupboard. Usually these cupboards remained locked unless you bought something… but that day was different. Tony, my dad’s co-worker, let me try out a game.

As I trembled with the excitement of a 5-year-old boy, he jangled his keys, and took out the showcase version of a grey box called the Nintendo Entertainment System.

Ice Climber for the NES was my first video game experience, and from that moment I was hooked.

Since that watershed moment, Nintendo games have always had a special place in my heart. Super Mario, Zelda, Mega Man, Battle Toads, Blaster Master and many others were all a part of my childhood magic. The plastic feel of the controller, the chunky cartridges, and instant-booting games still evoke fuzzy feelings in me.

Because of these magical childhood memories, and how video games were perceived back in the day, Nintendo has always had a certain mysterious feel to it – like an enchanted factory in a far-away country, creating games through some sort of wizardry.

When I started making games myself, some 20 years back, I never thought the hobby would evolve into anything bigger. It felt highly unlikely that people would want to buy anything I produced. But, eventually, what started as a hobby turned into a job. That felt so surreal. There I was, with my stupid hobby, except it was suddenly a source of income to me. Game development still felt like that enchanted factory, full of people who knew a lot more than me with tech I couldn’t possibly afford to have. But it was real, as I came to realize over time.

Yet consoles, and especially Nintendo, retained a very illusory feel. While I released my games on Steam and similar stores, the birthplace of my childhood magic felt far off.

That’s why it’s so special to announce the following:

AMNESIA: COLLECTION IS NOW OUT ON THE NINTENDO SWITCH

Finally – Frictional Games has made it to a Nintendo console! What had, for most of my life, felt like a distant and far-fetched dream, has now become reality. Sure, it’s not shipped on one of those fantastic grey cartridges, nor will it have a Nintendo “seal of quality” slapped on top, but I’ll take what I can.

If the 5-year-old me heard about this, he would never believe me.

But this is by no means the end of a journey for me – quite the opposite! It’s thrilling to think just how far the company has come, and it makes me super excited for what the future will hold.

A huge thank you to our friends at BlitWorks for making the port possible, and Evolve PR (with special thanks to Ryan!) for the great trailer!

What is Amnesia’s Hard Mode?

A year ago we brought SOMA to the Xbox One, and along with it the Safe Mode. The optional mode removed the hostility of enemies and let players explore Pathos-II in relative peace. Most  players were pleased with it, and at best it meant that players that hadn’t dared to traverse the Atlantic ocean floor before now had a chance to experience it.

Now finally releasing the Amnesia: Collection on Xbox One, and decided to also spice it up with a little treat. We bring you the polar opposite of the Safe Mode: the Hard Mode!

Amnesia: Collection will be released on Xbox One on the 28th of September, after which the mode will be available on Xbox and PC.

What is the Hard Mode?

It is really just as the title suggests: a mode that makes it harder to beat the game. You know, in case The Dark Descent wasn’t stressful enough for you.

The Hard Mode has the following features:

  • Autosaves are disabled, and manual saving costs 4 tinderboxes
  • Sanity dropping to zero results in death
  • Less oil and tinderboxes throughout the levels
  • Monsters are faster, spot the player more easily, deal more damage and stay around for longer
  • There is no danger music when the monsters are near.

So in summary: the environments are harsher, the monsters more unforgiving, insanity is deadly, and death is final – unless you pay a toll.

You can pick between normal mode and Hard Mode when starting a new game of Amnesia: The Dark Descent. The mode changes some fundamental elements of the game, and therefore can’t be changed halfway through.

A Machine for Pigs and Justine do not feature this mode.

How does this affect achievements/trophies?

Beating the game on Hard Mode will earn you a new trophy called Masochist. Because, you know, you pretty much have to be one to complete the mode.

The mode affects the Illuminatus achievement, which you can’t get during playing in Hard Mode as it reduces the amount of tinderboxes throughout the level.

Will it be on all platforms?

Yes! The Hard Mode will launch on Xbox and PC versions (Steam, GOG, Humble Bundle) simultaneously. We have started working on the PS4 version with our porting partner, and hope to have it out soon.

Extra

Want a Hard Mode wallpaper? Download a 4K version with and without the logo on our public Drive folder.

Amnesia Collection PS4 – A FAQ

After our announcement last week that the Amnesia: Collection was coming to the PS4, a bunch of questions appeared across the internet. Because of this, it feels like time for a little FAQ. In case you missed it, here’s the trailer:

When is the game coming out?

On November the 22nd!

How much will it cost?

It will cost 29.99 dollars and have a 10% discount for PS+ members the first couple of weeks.

Will there be any differences compared to the PC version?

The biggest difference is that the game will have trophies on PS4. There will also be some minor changes to menus and GUI to make it a bit more console friendly. Other than that the game will look and sound exactly the same as on PC.

Will it come to Xbox One as well?

We would like it to, but for this release we only had the resources to handle one platform at a time, and we’re already familiar with the PS4.

What about a physical release?

It would be awesome to do that, but there are a bunch of complications. We’ve already had a few publishers mail us to express interest in a boxed version, so we’ll pursue those and see what happens.

What languages are supported?

English voice only, and subtitles for English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese and Russian.

Will there be mod support?

Afraid not, it is simply too difficult for a number of tech and legal reasons.

Will Amnesia have VR support soon?

We’re not planning VR support for Amnesia. It would require substantial re-engineering, not to mention redesign of the gameplay.

What is the resolution and framerate?

All games will be 1080p. The Dark Descent and Justine will run at 60 fps. We are having some performance issues with A Machine for Pigs and might have to settle with 30 fps for it. Our porting team is working hard to get it up to 60 fps though, but we cannot promise we can do it.

Will the game have a frame around it like in the trailer?

No. That was just to make it clear that it wasn’t our footage being shown, it belonged to the streamers we featured. Sorry if we made this unclear.

Why does the trailer only contain old Youtube footage?

There’s already a huge amount of gameplay footage for Amnesia online and it felt boring to just do another standard trailer. We felt we wanted to make something different and got the idea of showing off some early Let’s Plays, given that Amnesia was released around the time of the first explosion of the Let’s Play phenomenon. The idea was to make something similar to this one for the movie [Rec].

Why does the trailer only contain The Dark Descent footage?

Because the other two games came afterwards when Let’s Plays were already a widespread phenomenon. We wanted some early videos that captured more “genuine” reactions. We’ll release a proper trailer closer to publish date.

That should cover most of it! You can also find more information in this Playstation blog post. And if you have more questions, ask them in the comments!