In the days leading up to Dolmen‘s release today on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S, we had the opportunity to talk in more detail with the community about the choices we made on this project. One of the most interesting and controversial points, given the number of opinions we found, was the decision to implement a multiplayer mode only available for boss fights.
At first one might think that this choice is a safe way out or that it would require less work on the part of developers, but this is not the case. When we’re talking about a horror game, one of the most important elements that needs to be considered is loneliness. This feeling is a commonly used catalyst to amplify a person’s fear and apprehension.
Imagine, for example, that you hear a strange noise in your home while eating dinner with your family. It’s concerning for sure, but hearing those strange noises at home when alone is even worse, and real fear begins to set in. The same thing applies to horror games. Venturing into an alien, hostile world with strange creatures, sounds and events can be scary, but when that same adventure is done with three friends, the immersion and fear is suppressed, and it becomes a walk in the park – especially if they’re a much higher level than you and decked out in epic equipment!
Wouldn’t it be easier, then, to simply take out multiplayer and make the experience a true test of resilience and skill? Well, yes, that would be easier for sure… but it wouldn’t be good.
One of the things we learned years ago during an Xbox meeting at the BGS (Brazil Game Show) was the importance of creating a community around our projects. Xbox, as part of Microsoft, has a policy that aims not only to offer services, but to create inclusion and interactions that are healthy for everyone.
Keeping blogs, partnerships with journalists, developers, professional players, distributors, representatives and, of course, multiplayer games, are examples of how to bring people together. What would basketball or football be if they couldn’t be broadcast to a much larger audience than the one playing? What would these sports be if there were no competition and collaboration between players? Likewise, what would the gaming industry be if they weren’t multiplayer games to help build amazing communities around them?
We embraced this concept and thank Xbox for sharing this vision. We hope to contribute to the growth of the community without diminishing the horror to come in Revion Prime. See you soon!