Friday, 8 March 2013


Thwacke, a group of researchers and scientists providing insights to the gaming industry, and Red Barrels have announced a partnership through which Thwacke is contributing real-world data on mental illness and how humans experience terror to create an authentic experience in Outlast, the PC survival-horror game set in the Mount Massive Insane Asylum.

“The survival horror genre has seen many changes over the years, but the core is always a cerebral experience that capitalizes on anxiety and startles the player,” said Dr. Maral Tajerian Ph.D., neuroscientist and pain researcher. “Due to the background of certain patients in the Outlast asylum, there are a lot of interesting behaviors that could be unsettling to a player. We believe there is tremendous space to help Red Barrels get creative beyond portraying asylum patients as thugs.”
                                                                   
“By providing us with research and insights on criminally-insane patients, as well as historical asylum layouts and techniques, Thwacke is helping us make Outlast’s gameplay both scary and scientifically grounded,” said Philippe Morin, Red Barrels co-founder. “The more grounded it is, the more believable the world we’re building will be.”

The traditionally oppressive atmosphere of an asylum did not typically start and end with the mentally ill; another factor was the often-questionable research carried out by asylum caretakers. In order to immerse the player in this atmosphere, the team at Red Barrels has taken full advantage of history by translating several aspects of real-world research facilities into Outlast.

“We think with an accurate depiction of facilities, we’ll be able to explain more methods to the madness happening in Outlast,” added Kevin Neibert, pharmacologist.

"They've been a seemingly bottomless font of everything I need for this story: psychoses, paranoia, and violent perversion,” said J.T. Petty, Outlast scriptwriter. “With their experience in psychology and emerging technologies, Thwacke has brought the ideas we reveal frighteningly close to the realm of the possible."

In equally exciting news, Red Barrels will be demoing Outlast later this month at PAX East. More details about their attendance, as well as the demo, will be announced next week.

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