Thechineseroom's creative director Dan Pinchbeck has spoken of the difficulties in balancing the horror of Amnesia: The Dark Descent with raised expectations, and a desire to provide a fresh experience for the upcoming sequel - Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs.
"The thing is, if we don't frighten people as much as the original, then we've failed. But now we have to frighten people that know what to expect," Pinchbeck said, talking to Gamasutra. "The big design challenge is: How do we protect the things that make Amnesia great, and how do we evolve everything else to make a really fresh experience?"
Pinchbeck spoke of the dev team trying to walk the fine line between wanting to scare the pants off of people, whilst also creating a compelling experience that makes the player want to continue out of sheer curiosity.
"With this new game, we want to create a world that is so rich and dramatic and beautiful that the player is constantly torn between wanting to go around the corner to see what's there and not wanting to go around the corner because they're frightened of what's there," he said.
"With Amnesia, it's not just about a superficial level of fear, it's about feeling that something has burrowed into your head and is just scratching its nails at you. But you're so hooked. Inside, you're peeling away like bodies from a pile and you just can't stop yourself."
Not that the Dear Esther developers, who've taken over development from Frictional Games for the sequel, are in any quandary about the most paramount requirement of their game.
"We want this game to be absolutely skin-crawlingly, heart-shatteringly, and nerve-jarringly terrifying -- that's the target. Everything is geared around that. Just turning people to complete ice and making them have complete meltdowns," Pinchbeck declared.
We'll be stocking up on extra underwear, then.