How Remothered: Broken Porcelain Defies Horror Tropes in the Light of Day Interview 1

Alongside Resident Evil 3, there's one more survival horror experience on its way to PlayStation 4 later this year that we're hotly anticipating here at Push Square. Remothered: Broken Porcelain is the sequel to a game which showed so much promise upon its summer 2018 launch on Sony's console -- delivering on a lot of fronts and welcoming a flock of fans into the world of protagonist Rosemary Reed in the process. However, with a new character in the driving seat, the follow-up is primed to be better than ever. To learn more about Remothered: Broken Porcelain, we were armed and ready with questions as a catch up with the development team revealed all.

Push Square: To kick things off, could you please introduce yourselves to the Push Square community and explain your role at Stormind Games?

Chris Darril: Hello everyone! I am Chris Darril, Game and Creative Director of Remothered and Darril Arts. Basically, Remothered is my brainchild - I started thinking about it a long time ago, around 2009, when I was still at school. Then, after several years of experience in the field of video games and cinema – which forged my skills and allowed me to enrich my experience as a team leader – I decided to start my own business and founded Darril Arts, together with three close friends of mine: it all started from there. Subsequently, after I re-wrote and re-designed the whole project, I asked my friends at Stormind Games to join forces: so we partnered and started working on the game. And now, after the unexpected success of Tormented Fathers, we're already close to finishing the second title, Remothered: Broken Porcelain!

Antonio Cannata: Hello! I’m Antonio Cannata, Co-Founder and CEO of Stormind Games. In 2012, when I met Chris Darril and his project Remothered, I immediately thought that the game had a great potential. So in 2016, when I founded Stormind Games together with my business partner Federico, who is also the company’s Art Director, we had no doubt as to which game to develop first. Today I can confirm it was the right choice!

Could you explain what type of game Remothered: Broken Porcelain is for those who don't know?

Chris: Remothered: Broken Porcelain is the second title (after Remothered: Tormented Fathers) of the Remothered saga, and it’s a survival horror game. I’ve always loved the horror genre, both in movies and video games, but I definitely did not want to create something that was merely based on horror clichés, such as gratuitous gore or jumpscares, or even tropes that have been used over and over in the last few years (zombies, anyone?). Remothered is defined as “the pure and realistic survival horror game” because it makes you feel that, on certain conditions, you could actually live the same dangers as its characters, because the enemies are not based on unlikely fantasies but on the evil nature of humanity. But it also goes deeper and deeper: disguised as a thriller-horror game, Remothered: Tormented Fathers further analyzes the theory by Kant regarding the memory as “the ability to be present in the past” and the conflict between consciousness and memory.

With Remothered: Broken Porcelain being a sequel, what did you learn across the development of
Tormented Fathers? Is there anything you wish you could have done in the original game which has
been fully implemented in Broken Porcelain?

Antonio: Well, the development of the first title of the saga taught us how to make production and task management more efficient, and the team’s technical competence has definitely improved - although I cannot disclose much about it yet, there are new mechanics and features that will make the game even more enjoyable. We all have more experience now and, from what I’ve seen, I know for a fact that Broken Porcelain will be superior to Tormented Fathers. Anyway, that does not mean we have regrets: you are just never done learning!

In the same vein, Remothered: Tormented Fathers reviewed fairly positively on PS4, but was received in an even better light by its community. Has fan feedback influenced development of the sequel at all?

Antonio: Fans are what allowed us to go on and produce a new title of the game: if Tormented Fathers had not been received so well, there would be no reason to make Broken Porcelain. The game is for them, so their feedback is essential for us to know whether we are on the right path, and we are happy whenever we can follow their advice. For example, Broken Porcelain will be longer than the first title, because we wanted to please all those fans who loved the game so much that they made a wish to “play more”.

When we played the original game, perhaps one of its most striking elements was the constant sense of dread and intensity we felt as we crept about Richard Felton's household. Have you iterated on this aspect at all to come up with even more original scares and horror elements?

Chris: As I said, that’s what I think makes horror really scary: not easy clichés, but a general credible atmosphere that makes you feel the imminent, almost tangible danger. This happens with Tormented Fathers and will happen in Broken Porcelain too: as a matter of fact, even though the setting is different, it won’t be less scary than Felton’s mansion. If anything, the Ashmann Inn will be even creepier thanks to the “interesting” people lurking around the place!

I can’t reveal all of the game’s new features, but what I can say is that it will defy one of the most classical horror clichés: darkness. As a homage to Kubrick's The Shining, the game will be set in a hotel and during the day. Although this is an interesting challenge, because darkness makes it easier to create a creepy atmosphere, it will also help us create an unsettling feeling of distress. Also, light can serve as a tool to give more power to certain elements that would get lost with darkness.

Do you recommend that players experience the first game before diving into Broken Porcelain? Or will those checking out Remothered for the first time not feel left behind narrative-wise?

Chris: Being two titles of the same saga, Tormented Fathers and Broken Porcelain are undeniably connected, but they can definitely be played separately. They are set in the same narrative universe, so people who have already experienced the first one will find references and have more keys to solve the mysteries they have started learning with Tormented Fathers. That said, environments, characters and story are almost completely different and new, so Broken Porcelain can be seen as another game on its own: playing the first title is not propaedeutic to it!

Would you like to share anything else about Remothered: Broken Porcelain with the Push Square
audience? Why should they be excited?

Chris: All I can say is that Broken Porcelain is going to be an emotional journey that will involve fear and at the same time tragedy and love. You will find yourselves facing something completely unexpected, your emotions will be ferociously punched and turned upside down. You will be scared, yes, and also very anxious. You will have to live with a constant feeling of tension and distress. You will cry a lot, you will have fun and, with time, you will think back on the game experience in itself and what it will have left you. And, maybe, it will have unexpectedly changed forever your own perception of an entire genre. Get ready to join Jennifer in this terrifying experience!

Antonio: We are working hard to give you a game that is worth the anticipation. We can't wait to terrify you again!

We would like to thank Chris Darrill and Antonio Cannata for taking the time to answer our questions, and Matthew Pellett of Dead Good Media for making the interview possible. Remothered: Broken Porcelain is scheduled to release on PS4 at some point in 2020.