When Supermassive gathered us together on a boat in Hamburg for a preview session for Man of Medan, the first game in their Dark Pictures Anthology, we were surprised when we announced that we'd be playing multiplayer for the first time, something that has only just been revealed.
At the event we spoke with game director Tom Heaton and Supermassive's communications director Greg Howson about the feature, both in terms of Shared Story and Movie Night, and the expectations some might have coming into this game after playing Until Dawn.
"Well, we're very happy if people come along with Until Dawn expectations, that would be great," Heaton told us. "So yeah Man of Medan is the first game in The Dark Pictures anthology. All the games will be branching, cinematic, horror narratives," and we were told at the event that each will deal with different subgenres of horror, which we also asked about with regards to Man of Medan.
"There's a couple of subgenres that we're looking at. One is the ghost ship, and kind of the haunted house as well - so a place that's really spooky, that has secrets, that maybe something bad has happened and there's unfinished business. So that's one of them, and there's a couple other genres we're playing with. One is home invasion, where suddenly the place you think is most secure and safe is invaded in often a very violent way, so that's another one we're playing with."
When talking about multiplayer and where this idea came from though, Heaton said:
"We're so happy to be able to talk about multiplayer at last. Multiplayer's been part of the design from day one. The whole game's been built with both multiplayer and solo play in mind. There are two modes - Movie Night and Shared Story. Movie Night arose because of the way we saw players playing Until Dawn. We saw that players were inviting friends round, kind of making a party of it, maybe getting drinks in, sitting together on the sofa, playing the game together, and it was a very social thing."
"What was common was that people would each adopt one character and they would make the decisions for that character, so Movie Night is a reflection of that - we are giving the players the tools to play that [...] every so often in the game we'll give out awards like who's the slowest at QTEs."
"Shared Story mode is our two-player online co-op mode, and we are really excited about this. So imagine if you're playing a branching narrative game like Until Dawn, and you can have a friend come along and play that game with you and play the whole story with you and create that story together. So sometimes you'll find yourselves in the same location doing the same thing, having a conversation, making a difficult decision. Sometimes you're in the same location but you're free to wander apart and explore and play the game your way, and sometimes you're in a totally different location, but you're both still playing the game, you're making the story happen, you're making choices, you're branching the storyline, and then you meet up, tell each other what's gone on, and continue playing together."
"We think it's a very exciting development in narrative games, and we can't wait for people to play it."
Do you like the sound of multiplayer in Man of Medan?
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