Date: March 22, 2021
Sanity of Morris is a psychological horror adventure game from Dutch developers Alterego games and publisher Stickylock Studios, set to release March 23rd on PC, XBox One and PlayStation 4. The game combines elements from the detective genre with psychological horror to tell the story of a young man trying to stay sane in the search for his deranged father, consumed by conspiracy theories about the government and alien signals.
I got a chance to ask the Sanity of Morris team some questions pre-release; check out their responses below!
There seem to be some Lovecraftian elements in Sanity of Morris. Is that a deliberate choice? Are there any sources of inspiration for the game’s style and story you can share?
Although ‘Lovecraft’ was never a direct inspiration, one of the early things we said when creating the game was ‘weird fiction’ which isn’t all that far away from the Lovecraftian theme. We read a lot about Stephen King’s work on horror, which was a great help to the team that was actually quite new to the genre when we started out.
On the subject of inspiration, there’s a few different gameplay elements in SoM: Stealth, detective work/puzzles, and the sanity element. Are there any games that inspired the team that you’d like to shout-out?
Although we mightily look up to ‘What Remains of Edith Finch’ I think the final product is closer to a Gone Home / Alien Isolation, with a bit of Alterego Games plot twist added to the mix.
I understand that working remotely during the pandemic made communication difficult for the team. Besides that, what would you say the biggest challenge(s) were while developing SoM?
Working remotely during the pandemic was a major issue indeed. Besides from that, the genre was new to us, so a lot of time was spent doing research on that, which left less time to develop some of the features we started out with. In the end, good game design is about knowing which darling to kill. But I think we pulled it off!
I found that while playing, I was able to stealth past enemies consistently by crouching and moving directly in front of them. Is this intended?
The game aims to cater to quite a casual audience. With the horror too; some scenes are quite scary, but we didn’t go all out on blood & gore. When crouching, the stealth mechanic is quite forgiving, but only if you turn of your flashlight. That helps us emphasize one of the main game mechanics, balancing when to use your flashlight.
Following up on the last question: is the build I played the final, release build, or will there be bug-fixes and/or other changes on release day? Any plans for patches/content updates post launch?
It is the release build. Playtesting showed a very stable game build. Undoubtedly there will be some bug reports coming in after launch, that’s inevitable, but for now: no day 1 patch!
Last question: What’s next for Alterego/StickyLock? Can you give any hints or teasers about an upcoming project?
I can’t tell you a lot… but StickyLock is working on an AMAZING project that will be a real head-spinner, they’ll announce more on that soon! And Alterego Games is designing another adventure game with a mystery story twist, but is looking towards the Steampunk settings this time. More on that later!
Let us know what you thought of the interview in the comments below. Our Sanity of Morris review will drop later today, so keep an eye out for that if you’re interested!