What is Among the Sleep?

When big name publishers like Capcom and Konami sometimes fail to bring the real horror to the table, one can always count on independent studios.  It almost seems like they know what makes the horror fan in each of us tick, and they know how to put it up there on screen in a compelling way.

A few weeks ago, we brought you news about an exciting new title from indie developer Krillbite Studio, Among the Sleep. Among the Sleep puts the player in the adorable little shoes of a toddler and pits them up against a rather nightmarish scenario after their parents have put them to bed.

Initially, the game sounds like it would be child’s play. After all, what’s frightening to a two-year-old child isn’t necessarily so for…you know, anyone older than that. But once we gave the trailer a look, our interest was piqued. We were certain that Among the Sleep had the potential to become a great indie horror game.

Eager to learn more about the project, we reached out to Krillbite Studio and received a response back from Adrian, who was happy to elaborate a little on the studio’s first major project.

Interestingly enough, Among the Sleep began its life as a bachelor thesis. Adrian explained to us that most of the people who are currently employed with Krillbite worked on the project in their senior year of university. It was at that time that the team decided that Among the Sleep should be something much larger than a school project.

The group of young developers, having only graduated last summer, filed for funding on the project with the Norwegian Film Institute and received enough funding to establish a studio. The grant money allows Krillbite to remain completely independent, something that Adrian relishes.

 The indie status gives us the freedom to do whatever we want to with Among the Sleep, which is very liberating.

In regards to the game itself, Adrian explained that the trailer is actual game footage. However in addition to crawling around on the floor and hiding from scary monsters, the team is experimenting a lot with physical interaction in the game world. For instance, there’s a light switch that’s just out of your reach – how do you get to it? Well, you could always build yourself a staircase out of dresser drawers. That interaction with the environment does wonders for immersion, which Adrian says the team is focusing very hard on.

So what will make Among the Sleep scary to more than a toddler? Adrian explained to us that the team is trying to nail the all-too-elusive eerie atmosphere. The team has taken inspiration from other horror games which let the atmosphere do a lot of the heavy lifting. What’s around the next corner? What’s right behind you? Sometimes, it’s hard to look.

 …preparing mentally to enter the next room can constitute an interesting mental obstacle as well.

However, the game isn’t just about throwing scary stuff out there. Among the Sleep attempts to tell a compelling story that’s not only interesting but metaphorically related to what provokes fear and confusion in a child. Consulting with both practical and academic professionals in the field of child psychology, they’re confident that Among the Sleep will be a unique experience.

Many thanks to Adrian from Krillbite Studio for speaking with us about Among the Sleep. We’re excited to learn more about the project and of course, will bring you the news when it drops.

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