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Video: Alone in the Dark: A classic postmortem

Preceding games like Resident Evil and Silent Hill, Infogrames' Alone in the Dark proved to be a landmark for the survival horror genre, and now series creator Frederick Raynal explores how the classic title came to be.
[Note: To access chapter selection, click the fullscreen button or check out the video on the GDC Vault website] Well before classic horror games like Silent Hill or Resident Evil, there was Alone in the Dark -- a seminal PC title that proved video games can be atmospheric, claustrophobic, and just plain scary. The 1992 Infogrames classic is now regarded as one of the progenitors of the survival horror genre, and at this year's Game Developers Conference, Alone in the Dark creator Frederick Raynal pulled back the curtain on how this influential title came to be. That classic postmortem is now available (above) for all to enjoy, courtesy of the GDC Vault. It's a rare chance to learn more about the origins of some of the most popular and effective tropes of the survival horror genre. "I had a lot of ideas about how to scare the player," Raynal says, and he believes that one of his best was to keep players on their toes no matter what they're trying to do. "When you're making an adventure game, you walk 80 percent of the time, and if you want to put big pressure on the player, you should just scare him based on what he does all the time," Raynal says. "That's why in the first corridor the floorboards crack under your feet and you die. Usually in a game you'd never do an unavoidable trap like this, but we did it to put on the pressure, and it worked so well." Raynal has plenty more to share about the creation of Alone in the Dark, and to learn more simply click the Play button on the video above.

About the GDC Vault

In addition to all of this free content, the GDC Vault also offers more than 300 additional lecture videos and hundreds of slide collections from GDC 2012 for GDC Vault subscribers. GDC 2012 All Access pass holders already have full access to GDC Vault, and interested parties can apply for the individual subscription Beta via a GDC Vault inquiry form. Group subscriptions are also available: game-related schools and development studios who sign up for GDC Vault Studio Subscriptions can receive access for their entire office or company. More information on this option is available via an online demonstration, and interested parties can send an email to Gillian Crowley. In addition, current subscribers with access issues can contact GDC Vault admins. Be sure to keep an eye on GDC Vault for even more free content, as GDC organizers will also archive videos, audio, and slides from upcoming 2012 events like GDC Europe, GDC Online, and GDC China. To stay abreast of all the latest updates to GDC Vault, be sure to check out the news feed on the official GDC website, or subscribe to updates via Twitter, Facebook, or RSS. GDC and the GDC Vault are owned and operated by Gamasutra parent company UBM Technology.

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