Not only is Andy Sum a co-founder and director at Hipster Whale, the studio behind hit mobile game Crossy Road, he also made the ear-shattering GAME OF THE YEAR: 420BLAZEIT.
So it makes perfect sense that the Australian developer who’s normally too scared to play horror games is making a psychological horror game of his own. As much sense as you would expect from the mind behind 420BLAZEIT.
Andy Sum makes games, as you’d expect from a game developer. Andy Sum makes weird and interesting games. Not all game developers do that.
“Exploring new ideas and genres stops me getting bored,” said Sum in an email to Kotaku.
After You is Sum’s next project, a psychological horror game where players have no tools, no inventories, no dialogue and no weapons. There are choices. There are consequences. There is a way out. Find it.
Sum is not usually a fan of horror games, quite the opposite they usually frighten him too much. Yet he thinks his inexperience will give him a unique take on the genre, drawing on things outside of normal expectations.
“I’m really interested in how fear works,” he said. “When you play horror games, you’re in a safe environment at home. It’s fiction, it’s not real, and yet you can still become incredibly scared. Why is that? What is it exactly about the experience that is fear inducing?”
Working together with Fillipo De Luca, the pair have been pieces together After You as a series of rooms. They would test each other’s rooms and come against all manner of surprises. Knowing what is going to happen isn’t scary. The anxiety of the unknown, that’s what gets you.
Players of After You are trying to escape a labyrinthine space and it’s entirely possible that they’ll miss the clues left behind about what’s going on. “The game will never tell you what to think, or lay out the truth for you,” said Sum.
After You is scheduled for release on Steam in 2018.