FANDOM


(Locations)
(I have to undo this edit because the heading for "Rainy Hall" no longer shows up. For some reason there's a massive gap and the heading is missing. Sorry bro.)
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{{Spoiler}}
 
{{Spoiler}}
   
=== [[Rainy Hall|Rainyl]] ===
+
=== [[Rainy Hall]] ===
 
*In the same room [[Daniel]] wakes up in.
 
*In the same room [[Daniel]] wakes up in.
   
Line 79: Line 79:
 
"''Not that many in visual appeal as in internal stuff, like data structures and handling.''"
 
"''Not that many in visual appeal as in internal stuff, like data structures and handling.''"
   
"''This happened mostly because at the beginning, we only knew the basic stuff that needed to be in there, a''''nd as they grew in features and functionality, they started to kind of fall apart, m''ostly due'' to my big lack of previous experience in projects like this.''"
+
"''This happened mostly because at the beginning, we only knew the basic stuff that needed to be in there, a''''nd as they grew in features and functionality, they started to kind of fall apart, m''ostly due'' to my big lack of previous experience in projects like this.''"'''
   
 
"''Right now a loud "what the hell" still sounds in my head when I look at some parts of the code, but I am still proud of them.''"
 
"''Right now a loud "what the hell" still sounds in my head when I look at some parts of the code, but I am still proud of them.''"
   
"''They kind of get a bit buggy at times, but hopefully these won't happen again in the future, a''''nd I already got some nice ideas for the next iteration of the tools''"
+
"''They kind of get a bit buggy at times, but hopefully these won't happen again in the future, a''''nd I already got some nice ideas for the next iteration of the tools''"'''
   
 
*Two more microphones can be found in the room with [http://amnesia.wikia.com/wiki/Notes_%28The_Dark_Descent%29#Daniel.27s_Note_to_Self Daniel's Note to Self].
 
*Two more microphones can be found in the room with [http://amnesia.wikia.com/wiki/Notes_%28The_Dark_Descent%29#Daniel.27s_Note_to_Self Daniel's Note to Self].
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"''To finish this little overview of our tools, I must mention the material editor, available both stand alone, and built into the other editors.''"
 
"''To finish this little overview of our tools, I must mention the material editor, available both stand alone, and built into the other editors.''"
   
"''The program itself is very simple to use. You have some material types, defined by the engine, and you can throw in textures to reuse for diffuse, normal maps, height maps..., a''''s well as some variables to control specific parameters for a material type.''"
+
"''The program itself is very simple to use. You have some material types, defined by the engine, and you can throw in textures to reuse for diffuse, normal maps, height maps..., a''''s well as some variables to control specific parameters for a material type.''"'''
   
 
"''When I was writing it, I could just stare while the preview model rotated around itself and the parallax mapping effect was on when testing, just for fun.''"
 
"''When I was writing it, I could just stare while the preview model rotated around itself and the parallax mapping effect was on when testing, just for fun.''"
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"''The fishes that can be found were also inspired by the real thing.''"
 
"''The fishes that can be found were also inspired by the real thing.''"
   
=== [[Morgue]] ===
+
=== [[Morgue]] ===
   
 
*Immediately in front of you as you walk down the corridor.
 
*Immediately in front of you as you walk down the corridor.
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"''That's why there is so much about the last few weeks, and so little about the history of [[Alexander of Brennenburg|Alexander]].''"
 
"''That's why there is so much about the last few weeks, and so little about the history of [[Alexander of Brennenburg|Alexander]].''"
   
"''Because after all, since we're playing [[Daniel]], and he seems to want to get back at [[Alexander of Brennenburg|Alexander]], we, the player, want to know how bad he really was, and decide for ourselves if we think he should be punished.''"
+
"''Because after all, since we're playing [[Daniel]], and he seems to want to get back at [[Alexander of Brennenburg|Alexander]], we, the player, want to know how bad he really was, and decide for ourselves if we think he should be punished.''"
   
 
*Outside of the room where the supposedly dead man was held in.
 
*Outside of the room where the supposedly dead man was held in.
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"''We really wanted to approach the stuff with respect, and not just show it and exploit it in fashion.''"
 
"''We really wanted to approach the stuff with respect, and not just show it and exploit it in fashion.''"
   
"''I hope that shows when you play the game.''"
+
"''I hope that shows when you play the game.''"
   
=== [[Sewer]] ===
+
=== [[Sewer]] ===
   
 
*To your left as soon as you descend from the ladder
 
*To your left as soon as you descend from the ladder
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"''It was supposed to be a blue-tinted level with a feeling of being cold and damp, but it stood out too much to fit in with the other levels.''"
 
"''It was supposed to be a blue-tinted level with a feeling of being cold and damp, but it stood out too much to fit in with the other levels.''"
   
"''We settled for a green-tint on a round dungeon set, as it worked nicely as a transition between a cistern's green stone, and the brown torture [[Nave|nave]] level.''"
+
"''We settled for a green-tint on a round dungeon set, as it worked nicely as a transition between a cistern's green stone, and the brown torture [[Nave|nave]] level.''"
   
 
*Next to the spinning wheel that must be jammed.
 
*Next to the spinning wheel that must be jammed.
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"''It is actually a lot of fun, and it allows for quite a bit of creativity.''"
 
"''It is actually a lot of fun, and it allows for quite a bit of creativity.''"
   
"''This particular puzzle is about having to jam a kind of water mill to be able to get through it, but it first needs to be slowed down somehow.''"
+
"''This particular puzzle is about having to jam a kind of water mill to be able to get through it, but it first needs to be slowed down somehow.''"
   
 
*Next to the broken pipe
 
*Next to the broken pipe
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"''If you enable the debug window, you can see this area when activating the draw physics debug option.''"
 
"''If you enable the debug window, you can see this area when activating the draw physics debug option.''"
   
"''When this variable reached a given value, it triggers the breakage of the pipe, spawning the broken pipe item, and that's how it works.''"
+
"''When this variable reached a given value, it triggers the breakage of the pipe, spawning the broken pipe item, and that's how it works.''"
   
 
*In the room with the two levers that control the noisy machine.
 
*In the room with the two levers that control the noisy machine.
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"''How wrong I was!''"
 
"''How wrong I was!''"
   
"''It was unbearable to say the least, so I just ended up removing all the placeholders, and leaving a to-do note in the script.''"
+
"''It was unbearable to say the least, so I just ended up removing all the placeholders, and leaving a to-do note in the script.''"
   
 
*In the room with the deceased [[Servant Grunt|grunt]].
 
*In the room with the deceased [[Servant Grunt|grunt]].
Line 1,003: Line 1,003:
 
"''I wanted it to be very metallic since it has metallic things in its body, and it should be a very heavy, scary guy.''"
 
"''I wanted it to be very metallic since it has metallic things in its body, and it should be a very heavy, scary guy.''"
   
"''I was a little bit worried about how the high-pitched screeching would work, but it actually turned out great with the music, because the music is a very low fragrance and the movement is high fragrance, so there is not a better sound.''"
+
"''I was a little bit worried about how the high-pitched screeching would work, but it actually turned out great with the music, because the music is a very low fragrance and the movement is high fragrance, so there is not a better sound.''"
   
 
"''Together, they make the [[Servant Brute|brute]] even SCARIER!''"
 
"''Together, they make the [[Servant Brute|brute]] even SCARIER!''"
Line 1,171: Line 1,171:
 
"''There is a whole area to the east consisting of two very detailed rooms.''"
 
"''There is a whole area to the east consisting of two very detailed rooms.''"
   
"''So if you end up being captured on your first visit, make sure to come visit again.''"
+
"''So if you end up being captured on your first visit, make sure to come visit again.''"
   
 
*In the center of the four pathways.
 
*In the center of the four pathways.
Line 1,187: Line 1,187:
 
"''As a contrast to the mystic shrines, we have an electric barrier in the back of the level.''"
 
"''As a contrast to the mystic shrines, we have an electric barrier in the back of the level.''"
   
"''The idea in the design of this bit is a montage to the movie, 'Event Horizon'.''"
+
"''The idea in the design of this bit is a montage to the movie, 'Event Horizon'.''"
   
 
==== Redux ====
 
==== Redux ====
Line 1,215: Line 1,215:
 
"''With the orb explosion at the end, or perhaps the implosion of the orb, it was important to have a sound that would work when standing next to it, as well as being far away, because the orb will explode when you wreck the machine for the tunnel.''"
 
"''With the orb explosion at the end, or perhaps the implosion of the orb, it was important to have a sound that would work when standing next to it, as well as being far away, because the orb will explode when you wreck the machine for the tunnel.''"
   
"''With this in mind, it is a very powerful but very damp and dull sound when the orb breaks.''"
+
"''With this in mind, it is a very powerful but very damp and dull sound when the orb breaks.''"
   
 
'''Luis Rodero: Don't cross the streams!'''
 
'''Luis Rodero: Don't cross the streams!'''
Line 1,227: Line 1,227:
 
"''This way, I just made the start gathering part that happens right at the barrier passage, a mid-stream part'''' that I just repeated using areas and synchronized using timers in the scripts so it looks like a single stream, and'''' the end part, when it gets to the orb. Then Thomas added some more details, and this, what you can see here, is the result of that.''"
 
"''This way, I just made the start gathering part that happens right at the barrier passage, a mid-stream part'''' that I just repeated using areas and synchronized using timers in the scripts so it looks like a single stream, and'''' the end part, when it gets to the orb. Then Thomas added some more details, and this, what you can see here, is the result of that.''"
   
"''I must say I like how it ended up to be.''"
+
"''I must say I like how it ended up to be.''"
   
 
=== [[Transept]] ===
 
=== [[Transept]] ===
Line 1,245: Line 1,245:
 
"''Even in present days, for example, the Strappado is still a common torture method.''"
 
"''Even in present days, for example, the Strappado is still a common torture method.''"
   
"''As discussing on other commentaries, we tried to take the setup seriously, and stay away from just engulfing gore and stuff.''"
+
"''As discussing on other commentaries, we tried to take the setup seriously, and stay away from just engulfing gore and stuff.''"
   
 
*In the small room above the spiral staircase.
 
*In the small room above the spiral staircase.
Line 1,255: Line 1,255:
 
"''It's kind of fun, or perhaps you should say, disturbing, that the method [[Alexander of Brennenburg|Alexander]] describes in the note, could almost be used to describe how we do horror.''"
 
"''It's kind of fun, or perhaps you should say, disturbing, that the method [[Alexander of Brennenburg|Alexander]] describes in the note, could almost be used to describe how we do horror.''"
   
"''I will let you draw your own conclusions from that.''"
+
"''I will let you draw your own conclusions from that.''"
   
 
=== [[Choir]] ===
 
=== [[Choir]] ===
Line 1,279: Line 1,279:
 
"''In fact, in all Penumbra games, I am fairly certain there is a chance here and there.''"
 
"''In fact, in all Penumbra games, I am fairly certain there is a chance here and there.''"
   
"''But nothing prior has been so disturbing to work with, as in this vision, when having to tweak the flow and style of the events, and at the same time having to hear your own panicking, pleading muffled voice.''"
+
"''But nothing prior has been so disturbing to work with, as in this vision, when having to tweak the flow and style of the events, and at the same time having to hear your own panicking, pleading muffled voice.''"
   
 
==== [[Choir - Main Hall|Main Hall]] ====
 
==== [[Choir - Main Hall|Main Hall]] ====
Line 1,299: Line 1,299:
 
"''In this level, it's immense that you should follow the pipes.''"
 
"''In this level, it's immense that you should follow the pipes.''"
   
"''This was not very apparent to all people though, and that's why there's a little event at the start.''"
+
"''This was not very apparent to all people though, and that's why there's a little event at the start.''"
   
=== [[Cells]] ===
+
=== [[Cells]] ===
   
 
*In the cell you wake up in
 
*In the cell you wake up in
Line 1,339: Line 1,339:
 
"''This is true for other parts of the game too, but I think it's most apparent in this section.''"
 
"''This is true for other parts of the game too, but I think it's most apparent in this section.''"
   
"''This hopefully means that however you play the sequence, it ends up being thrilling, and not annoying.''"
+
"''This hopefully means that however you play the sequence, it ends up being thrilling, and not annoying.''"
   
 
=== [[Inner Sanctum]] ===
 
=== [[Inner Sanctum]] ===
Line 1,371: Line 1,371:
 
"''And I just invented words which sounded 'cool'. <Audible>''"
 
"''And I just invented words which sounded 'cool'. <Audible>''"
   
"''So don't bother to think what they are singing, that's a waste of time.''"
+
"''So don't bother to think what they are singing, that's a waste of time.''"
   
=== [[Orb Chamber]] ===
+
=== [[Orb Chamber]] ===
   
 
*In the left area of the massive room.
 
*In the left area of the massive room.
Line 1,389: Line 1,389:
 
"''If you listen to the music, you will notice that halfway through the count down of the portal opening, it changes to a more intense and stressful version.''"
 
"''If you listen to the music, you will notice that halfway through the count down of the portal opening, it changes to a more intense and stressful version.''"
   
"''There are also the monoliths rotating in the air that has a deep grinding sound that gets quicker and louder the closer you get to the end.''"
+
"''There are also the monoliths rotating in the air that has a deep grinding sound that gets quicker and louder the closer you get to the end.''"
   
 
==Trivia==
 
==Trivia==
Line 1,400: Line 1,400:
 
*Thomas Grip's "inspiration" in the [[Cistern]] states that the level was inspired by him visiting the Basilica cistern in Istanbul, which was formerly known as Constantinople (Before Islamic forces took over). The same term "Constantinople" is found in one of the [[Loading Screens|loading screens]] for [[Amnesia: The Dark Descent]].
 
*Thomas Grip's "inspiration" in the [[Cistern]] states that the level was inspired by him visiting the Basilica cistern in Istanbul, which was formerly known as Constantinople (Before Islamic forces took over). The same term "Constantinople" is found in one of the [[Loading Screens|loading screens]] for [[Amnesia: The Dark Descent]].
   
*There is another developer commentary node that appears to have a sound file, but not an appearance in the game. The file is titled "03_marcus_start", implying that it might have been intended to be in the [[Archives]] and an introduction for Marcus Johansson, but may have been removed accidentally.
+
*There is another developer commentary node that appears to have a sound file, but not an appearance in the game. The file is titled "03_marcus_start", implying that it might have been intended to be in the [[Archives]] and an introduction for Marcus Johansson, but may have been removed accidentally.
 
**You can listen to the sound file [[Media:Marcus Johansson - Introduction.ogg|here]].
 
**You can listen to the sound file [[Media:Marcus Johansson - Introduction.ogg|here]].
   

Revision as of 00:08, June 10, 2015

Developer Commentary - Rainy Hall 01

A developer commentary microphone found in the Rainy Hall.

Developer Commentary are microphone-like entities found in Frictional Games's Amnesia: The Dark Descent. They consist of the developers of the game explaining each level and how they wanted the player to "feel."

To enable developer commentary, you must enable the "Commentary" option.

Appearance

Developer Commentary appear to be a yellowish-golden microphone encompassed in a yellow cogwheel that spins counterclockwise when touched.

Locations


Rainy Hall

  • In the same room Daniel wakes up in.

Thomas Grip: Introduction

Thomas Grip: Introduction (Click for audio)

"Hi. My name is Thomas Grip, and I am one of the co-founders of Frictional Games."

"I work with engine code, game play code, the design, and many other things for amnesia."

"In my commentaries, I will mainly focus on the design behind the different parts of the game."

"I hope you'll enjoy them."

  • In the room with the great door.

Thomas Grip: Rainy Hall

Thomas Grip: Rainy Hall (Click for audio)

"The name of this level is Rainy Hall, and it is supposed to be a combination of atmosphere sound and tutorial for the player."

"We wanted the player to start the game in a slow way, so they could settle in, and get used to how the game works."

"Amnesia is not a game with constant action happening all the time, and we wanted it to have a constrain map where the player gets used to this."

"The only thing you need to do is to follow the track and get to the end of the level."

"Also, following tracks is something that becomes very useful in lower levels, so we try to teach players to use this from the start."

Old Archives

  • Immediately in front of you once you enter the Old Archives.

Thomas Grip: Dismembered archives

Thomas Grip: Dismembered Archives (Click for audio)

"This is one of the first levels that we created for the game and was initially part of the Archives level which we will reach in a bit."

"Amnesia started out with a pretty different design and when we redesigned it, the maps did not fit."

"This cost us to split them up and scatter them out."

"So in the first design, after this corridor, the Archives level were supposed to follow, and the room lying there now was built much later. In fact, the first design did not have Daniel waking up with Amnesia at all. Luis actually added it later on."

"In the first story draft, Daniel still had his memories, but he was still unaware of this at the start of the story."

"However, as we redesigned things, we found him waking up with Amnesia thingy all of a bit touch'e, much more fitting."

  • A pair can be found in the room where the lantern is found.

Luis Rodero: Introduction

Luis Rodero: Introduction (Click for audio)

"Hi there. My name is Luis Rodero. I am mostly the tools programmer, level scripter at times, and perhaps the main reason why the rest of the core team of Frictional Games is pretty much forced to speak English at our internal meetings, as I am the only non-Swede here."

"Now, what a Spaniard is doing with a bunch of Swedish guys, is a whole different story we will be discussing today. By the way, I will mostly be talking mostly about tools and scripting. I hope you like. "

Luis Rodero: Almost as planned

Luis Rodero: Almost as planned (Click for audio)

"The editors themselves went through a lot of design changes during the development."

"Not that many in visual appeal as in internal stuff, like data structures and handling."

"This happened mostly because at the beginning, we only knew the basic stuff that needed to be in there, a'nd as they grew in features and functionality, they started to kind of fall apart, mostly due to my big lack of previous experience in projects like this."

"Right now a loud "what the hell" still sounds in my head when I look at some parts of the code, but I am still proud of them."

"They kind of get a bit buggy at times, but hopefully these won't happen again in the future, a'nd I already got some nice ideas for the next iteration of the tools"

Mikael Hedberg: Introduction

Mikael Hedberg: Introduction (Click for audio)

"Hello everyone, my name is Mikael, and I am the writer for Amnesia: The Dark Descent."

Mikael Hedberg: Getting the Story Going

Mikael Hedberg: Getting the Story Going (Click for audio)

"I think we can all feel the story kick starting as we finish the letter from Daniel."

"The game itself is just filled with confusion, and I think we are really doing the player a service keeping it simple in the beginning, basically try to take your revenge on Alexander, that is the premise of the game."

"You don't really need to dive any deeper than that, but hoping that the player will care about the story, they have the entire game ahead of them to decide if killing Alexander is just a fight or not."

Entrance Hall

  • A whole three microphones can be found in the vast room leading to the Refinery.

Marc Nicander: Introduction

Marc Nicander: Introduction (Click for audio)

"Hello. My name is Marc Nicander, I'm a 3D artist and level creator of Frictional Games."

"I started out as a helper, during Penumbra: Overture, and was finally hired as full-time artist in a later part of Penumbra: Black Plague."

Marc Nicander: Entrance Hall

Marc Nicander: Entrance Hall (Click for audio)

"The Entrance Hall was first shown in our first game play trailer. While layout hasn't changed, the detail certainly has."

"We build our levels in sets of pieces, in this case, the custom base set."

"While carefully planned set bases made the level builder mirror easy, the levels became very similar, and we had to make special pieces for the levels."

"Now, a year and a half later, the special piece maker but halved the pieces in custom base set. We made changes to incorporate these changes into the earlier levels. An example of this can be seen if compare the hole in the roof now with the one from first trailer."

"A new roof was made in the middle of the project. We built level 9: Back Hall. A special version was made to give the roof hole in the Entrance Hall more depth and detail."

Luis Rodero: Know your latin

Luis Rodero Know your latin (Click for audio)

"Scattered throughout the game, you can see some signs written in Latin. The reason for using it, is that it was considered a language of culture and science."

"As most scientific and philosophy authors wrote their work, and treaties in it."

"As we are dealing with a castle dwelled by a pretty smart guy that has been around since the renaissance period, Latin all around the place was something we should expect."

"Being the only guy on the team that had direct contact with Latin, in highschool, to be more precise. Well, it was kind of logical that any translation to be done will have my name on it."

"Translating stuff into Latin was kind of strange and fun task to do- at first, I had a classic Latin dictionary, so if I had to translate any modern term, I will have to track its etymology down to the Latin equivalent, or look for a synonym or similar expression that had a direct translation."

"Then I had the luck to come across some dictionary for modern stuff online, that addressed most of this stuff for a huge lot of terms, so it couldn't have come at a better time."

"Some days, I would have Sebastian dropping a list of nine or so entries to be translated."

"And before finding this dictionary, it was quite a lot of work. On a side note, we even had a "choose your Latin" poll on a couple entries, just to pick the one that sounded better for everyone."

"Results were pretty unanimous by the way. For some final words on this, I must confess that, while I was pretty good at this in high school, that was like fifteen years ago, so right now, I am not one hundred percent sure translations are correct at all, but I took the time to make them at least plausible. My apologies go in advance to any Latin guru up there playing the game as I myself, get on the verge of losing my temper when I see stuff like this obviously made up."

  • Another microphone explaining the level editor can be found on the second floor, near the room that has collapsed underneath The Shadow.

Luis Rodero: A whole new toolset

Luis Rodero: A whole new toolset (Click for audio)

"If you haven't followed our development blog back when we started, you might have missed one of the biggest changes in our production pipeline. Two years back, we started a toolset side project to ease and speed up the content creation for the game."

"I'd say the Level Editor which is what we, or most specifically Jens, Marc and Marcus, have used to build all the halls and corridors you are walking through right now."

"It is the big star of the pack. Its workings in a nutshell, while all the models and assets are actually made in software like Maya or Blender, everything geometry-wise in the levels is put together in it."

"Then lighting and sweet details, like decals and fog are added in. While this approach might sound simple, really nice stuff can come out from it, as you can see in the game."

  • A last microphone can be found near the entrance to the Refinery, right next to the tissue that needs to be dissolved.

Thomas Grip: Hubs

Thomas Grip: Hubs (Click for audio)

"This is one of the many hub levels in the game. And this is the sound concept we started out with Penumbra."

"The idea is to give the player some freedom where to go, but at the same time give some clear objective."

"In this level, the slime obstacle is the thing that the player needs to get past, and all other levels have things needed to do so."

"The slime itself is one of the few puzzles left from the initial designs, and the one I'm probably the least proud of."

"Now that slime appears all around, it feels a bit forced that you need to have a potion on the slime."

"Many testers also complained that they wanted options of getting rid of the slime like burning it. However, creating a potion was the setting for this hub so we had to let it be."

"I don't think it's that bad, but we probably could have redesigned it if we had time."

Archives

  • Two microphones can be found in the room with Wilhelm's contract.

Luis Rodero: It's a material world

Luis Rodero: It's a material world (Click for audio)

"To finish this little overview of our tools, I must mention the material editor, available both stand alone, and built into the other editors."

"The program itself is very simple to use. You have some material types, defined by the engine, and you can throw in textures to reuse for diffuse, normal maps, height maps..., a's well as some variables to control specific parameters for a material type."

"When I was writing it, I could just stare while the preview model rotated around itself and the parallax mapping effect was on when testing, just for fun."

Luis Rodero: Fun with furniture

Luis Rodero: Fun with furniture (Click for audio)

"Another piece of the tool set is the model editor, used to create the entities you are interacting with while playing."

"Basically, we take a model and set up some parameters like physical bodies, joints, and user defined variables."

"We can also attach some entities to them, like lights, particle systems."

"When an entity is finally set up, it is ready to be placed in a level using the level editor."

"Examples of entities here are doors, lamps, most furniture, critters."

  • In the room where the brute is first heard whimpering.

Thomas Grip: Problems with not being fun

Thomas Grip: Problems with not being fun (Click for audio)

"This level was changed a lot and I think it's one of the most tweaked levels that we got."

"Not only was it part of the big Archives level that we had to split up, but it was also hard to get it engaging enough."

"The problem here is that we don't have any sort of fun mechanic to rely on that make the game engaging. Instead, we work on story, atmosphere and environment."

"This is true for many other levels, and the game as a whole, but this was one of the larger levels that we made, and also one that didn't have much puzzles and stuff."

"So, when testing it, we quickly get bored with it, and we wanted to add more spooky events to spice it up."

"But then, later on, testing proved that these events weren't that necessary, and, we also felt that it was a bit lame and not fitting, so we decided to remove them."

"Then, at the back part of the level, we wanted to make a more linear experience with the current player getting trapped and all, forcing the player to solve the destroyed wall, and find secret door puzzles."

"Previous testers confessed that they can solve these problems."

"The level is now very different from the earlier designs."

  • Just inside of the room which will soon collapse underneath The Shadow.

Mikael Hedberg: Writing from the beginning

Mikael Hedberg: Writing from the beginning (Click for audio)

"When I started writing, I had only the outline and the framework for the story, and the first few levels in the game design document, so I ended up finalizing a lot of material for the first levels, and then when those were done, we planned out the last two-thirds or so."

"This had a funny effect since I had to not only cater to the story, but to stay true to the stuff I've written for the first two levels."

"Usually you can go back and forth, while writing and changing things, but if you had already recorded voices, you really shouldn't because of the costs."

"So the first text really shaped the rest of the material in an interesting way, and made them matter in a way I hadn't thought about. I really like how this thickens the story elements, as I am really able to jump back into the material, and keep using and reinforcing certain concepts."

"A group biased of course, the most extreme effect of this method which grew from a small reference grew to be one of the most important characters in the game." (Alexander?)

Wine Cellar

  • Just ahead of you as you enter the room.

Thomas Grip: Themes and creatures

Thomas Grip: Themes and creatures (Click for audio)

"A major design guideline for us was to give each level a unique theme, something that puzzles, events, and a general atmosphere was built upon."

"This makes each level a little piece of theme and story and theme at large, and also gives them focus, so the player is not distracted with too much information."

"The theme in this level is the strange creatures that lurk in the castle. The player first spots them momentarily in the Archives, so here is the perfect place the build some fear."

"There is never any real threat in this level, but it's much darker than any before, and there's a constant pressure with boards creaking. The flashbacks also give hints of where the strange creatures come from, making them all focus on the level's central theme."

  • Two more microphones can be found to your right as you leave the stairs.

Jens Nilsson: Introduction

Jens Nilsson: Introduction (Click for audio)

"Hello. I'm Jens Nilsson, co-founder of Frictional Games. I work mainly on sound, game play and event scripting in Amnesia. For my commentary in this game, I'll jump back and forth between the topics of sound, puzzle creation, and even talk about making this commentary."

Jens Nilsson: My past, a Level crafter

Jens Nilsson: My past, a Level crafter (Click for audio)

"The basic structure of the earlier levels in the game has been built by me. I have not created models or anything like that, but I have built the levels with the graphics from the artists used our level editor. This was the very reason for us to create the level editor, as it would allow for the whole team to work on levels, building them from scratch, if so needed."

"For our previous Penumbra games, you could perhaps tweak a level a little bit, but making the level was the job for an artist, and no one else."

"In the early days of the Amnesia project, the artists had our hands full with making graphics. And so, I was the one building the levels."

"Looking at the levels now, a lot of things have changed, and improved, but the base is still there, showing that the idea to create the level editor was a sound one."

"One of the few things, in fact, with the Amnesia project that has not been scrapped, reworked, or modified heavily."

Laboratory

  • In a corner near the stairs

Luis Rodero: (Almost) everything is particles

Luis Rodero: (Almost) everything is particles (Click for audio)

"The particle editor is also a fine part of the tool bundle, and it is what we use to create particle effects for maps and events."

"We use particles to do nice effects, like the flames in torches, and the smoke that comes out from them."

"All we have to do is add one or more particle emitters, set up some parameters, like starting position and speed, and all sorts of fadings in size, color or speed."

"It's funny how you can simulate all kinds of effects with such simple elements. I very much recommend you to try it yourself."

  • Above the drainage pipe with the Kaernk in it.

Thomas Grip: From wine to acid

Thomas Grip: From wine to acid (Click for audio)

"In early concepts, this was meant to be some sort of wine testing room, and directly connected to the Wine Cellar."

"The reason for the whole wine testing thingy, was that we planned on having more laboratories in the later levels, so a lab here as well felt kind of strange."

"Then things changed, and only one lab was left and assigned, so we changed the name to Laboratory instead. The whole wine-testing facility that could maintain dangerous acid felt kind of strange anyways."

Refinery

  • Directly in front of you as you enter the level.

Thomas Grip: How names come about

Thomas Grip: How names come about (Click for audio)

"This level was first called the Distillery, and if you check the data file, it is still named as such."

"Now for some reason, I told Mikael, a writer that it was called refinery, and the voice over was recorded with the wrong name."

"Since it's easier to change a name than a piece of voice data, we had to rename it."

"I am glad that it was a Refinery though, and not 'King's Hall' or 'Grandma's vegetable patch'. That would not have been as fitting." (A joke?)

  • In the area with the pulley contraption.

Jens Nilsson: Piece of wood

Jens Nilsson: Piece of wood (Click for audio)

"The end puzzle with the crank and pulley contraption was a tricky puzzle. Not to create or on a technical level, but purely a noticeable level."

"We added stuff to the puzzle perhaps four or five times, because after each test session, we kept having testers that did not see the piece of wood that you are to break to complete the puzzle."

"Originally, you could only break it, so we added the option to pull it out as well. Then we added a faint light, to draw the attention to it, and also tweaked the description of the crank."

"After that, we added so that when you pull the crank, there is a bit of dust falling from the piece of wood, and we also did a slight change in the angle of the piece of wood, and changed the color and the texture, all to make it as notable as possible."

"So, the question is, did you notice the piece of wood?"

Cellar Archives

  • A pair can be found on top of some crates just as you enter the level (Appears only after the area has been flooded).

Mikko Tarmia: Introduction

Mikko Tarmia: Introduction (Click for audio)

"Hello. I am Mikko Tarmia, the composer from Amnesia: The Dark Descent. You may have heard my music before if you have played the Penumbra game series, and I did a couple of tracks for Penumbra Tech Demo too."

"So this is my fifth project with Frictional Games, and I am happy to be a part of the team."

Mikko Tarmia: Guardian theme

Mikko Tarmia: Guardian theme (Click for audio)

"The guardian monster has its own musical theme, which you can hear in many situations in the game, even if the guardian is not physically present."

"Actually, it's more like a noise/sound than certain melody, and I've played it with my best tune. The team has many forms, and this one is almost the direct sound coming from the instrument. <Audible>"

"And this one which sounds like screaming, is a highly modified version of it. <Audible>"

  • Near the gate leading to the second large room.

Thomas Grip: The lurker hears!

Thomas Grip: The lurker hears! (Click for audio)

"At first the creature in the water, affectionately called "Lurky" here at Frictional Games, Did not have a sense of sound."

"Later on, we wanted to add it though, so the player could lure it away by throwing stuff in the water. When I added this, something unexpected happened. "Lurky" started following me."

"When you jump on a crate, it hears the sound you make when you land, and it goes to it to investigate."

"This was very fun emergent behavior, and I think it made him even more menacing."

"I wanna add that "Lurky" was kind of inspired by my favorite movie as a child, The Tremors. I guess this early obsession might also explain some creatures in our older games."

Archive Tunnels

  • Immediately ahead of you, two microphones are seen in the same room, obviously being only in this location because of the chase.

Thomas Grip: Playing with the player

Thomas Grip: Playing with the player (Click for audio)

"This level is the high point of the lurker buildup. We should have started an entrance level with the slime appearing."

"It's supposed to be a sort of 'roller-coaster' ride and is designed to be easy enough to complete it on the first try." (Explaining that the Kaernk on this level is a lot slower and weaker.

"Yet, it should also be stressful. Many of the things in a level that seems like you barely make it, are just scripted to be that way. But it's nothing you notice because they're blended in with the truly deadly stuff."

Tapio Liukkonen: Sound Creation of the Waterlurker

Tapio Liukkonen: Sound Creation of the Waterlurker (Click for audio)

"Hi, I am Tapio, and I made monster sounds, and vision sounds for this game."

"Yeah, I just left this monster, and I think it was pretty fun to make, because there were underwater sounds as well as sounds from the above. I think I wanted it to sound like a very big monster, but still very fast, and I thought that the voice itself needed a bit screaming, because water is splashing around messing other sounds."

"Actually, a great example is that the 'accent' they speak, water splash as it comes from the water. At the same time you can hear a short scream sound which is made from the cat sounds, and I think it works great."

"I think other great sounds, is when it is eating in the level. You can hear it eating meat, and hear the bones crushing under the water."

"I made the eating sounds by walking in the water, and breaking dry wood and sticks. The sound itself didn't need much processing or editing, because it sounded almost like you hear it now."

"Well, this is the water monster, so I recorded a lot of water sounds. For example, the pull sounds are made from a watering can as it is sunk in the water. And when it sees the player, its movement is made by a big rock, which I just dropped in the lake. It feels like it is running after you, or hitting its big hands underwater."

"I think there is lots of power in this monster."

Back Hall

  • Directly in front of the fountain as you walk up the stairs.

Thomas Grip: Contrasts

Thomas Grip: Contrasts (Click for audio)

"This is the second hub level of the game, and is supposed to give some contrast to this stressful lurker encounter."

"We think building up contrast like this is extremely important for the horror mood. Only by seeing a bright level can you appreciate the dark one, and so on. If you do not do this, the player will get used to the stuff, and effect the lesson greatly."

Mikael Hedberg: Writing Herbert

Mikael Hedberg: Writing Herbert (Click for audio)

"In the original pitch, Herbert was a very important character, but he really didn't reflect in the game, so we tried a few different things to incorporate him, but it never really made any sense."

"Herbert was important to Daniel's background, but in the end, he didn't have any impact on the story happening right now. That is the conflict between Daniel and Alexander, so most of his things were cut during the last stage of production."

Marc Nicander: Building the elevator

Marc Nicander: Building the elevator (Click for audio)

"When I first started working on the elevator, I had detailed tons of doc to space my work. This is both a blessing and a curse."

"Tons of doc saves a lot of time for us artists, as we are to cut work we see from a picture, but it also takes away some fun parts of our work, as we don't have to design anything ourselves."

"In this case, the tons of doc were very detailed and there wasn't much to change. However, I noticed that the roof part of the castle was dark and dull, so that's where I could add details of my own. I added <Inaudible> to fill out their empty space. I wanted them to fit with the 'eastern' feel of the elevator, and took inspiration from Arabic windows."

"In the end, it's not a very big addition, but it adds to the overall impression of the elevator, or something exotic. It doesn't really fit in with the blue-ray stillness of Brennenburg."

Guest Room

  • Two microphones can be found in the room you first enter.

Thomas Grip: Connections

Thomas Grip: Connections (Click for audio)

"In this room, everything is connected to destruction and home. This was Daniel's home as Alexander's guest, and the diary entries are about Daniel being home in London, and things falling apart."

"These sort of connections are not something that we wanted the player to 'get'. Part of it should end up in the subconscious, and work toward building the mood."

"Also worth noting is this focus, as explained in the commentary of the Wine Cellar, why we want the player's attention on a certain aspect."

"We hope this makes the story clearer. The idea is to slowly build it up one part at a time, giving the player time to digest, and think about it."

Mikael Hedberg: Writing Daniel

Mikael Hedberg: Writing Daniel (Click for audio)

"Daniel is a pretty complicated character to write for, as, we didn't want the player to feel that they were losing control by having feelings imposed on them."

"After the amnesia kicks in, everything which is Daniel is essentially gone. The player is the new Daniel, and he should be able to act the way he pleases, and even reject his own background as he discovers it."

"That is why everything concerning Daniel is flashbacks, even the diary entries are read as what is being told that is happening right now, that is, it is the old Daniel telling the story, and not the player reading it."

  • The last two speakers are found in the room with Daniel's bed in it.

Mikko Tarmia: Character Themes

Mikko Tarmia: Character Themes (Click for audio)

"If you listen to the music tracks more carefully, you may find that characters have their own musical themes, which can usually be heard when you read papers during the game."

"These themes appear in many of areas, so it's not always easy to recognize them immediately."

"And in the end of the game, some of these themes will go quite insane."

"Oh and that's Daniel's theme which you can hear in the game's menu screen. Let me play it to you with my piano. <Audible>"

Marcus Johansson: About creating props

Marcus Johansson: About creating props (Click for audio)

"When we create props, we usually have concept pictures, or reference images, to look at while modeling the object, just to make sure it stays within the arch style that we are going for."

"When creating a chair, a table, or a bookcase, just to name a few, we usually have to plan measurements before we get them into the game, because, having something in the game that isn't the right size can break the emotion."

"Sometimes, we have to cheat that, and test it out, because the camera perspective can really trick you."

"I have the perfect example of the camera tricking you sometimes. Take out the lantern in game, and look at the wall, or an object in the same height as the lantern, and try guessing how big the lantern would be next to that object, and walk up as close as you can, to that object and compare."

"To get a good example out of this, you'll see that the hand of the lantern is, in fact, very small, but it fits right, when it's close to the camera, but we don't want to go on a gut feeling of the measurements of every object, that could really get out of hand quickly, and a lot of things could feel out of place."

"So it's basically a matter of changing the scale if it feels weird."

"When modeling the prop, we tried to make it as close as the reference images as we can, or, if we got a scetch, that is."

"It's often a quite simple process that usually doesn't take that much time, but it completely depends what it is, and if the scetch we have are detailed."

"Before giving the model a texture, or working on that, we need to create a <Inaudible> map for it."

"A <Inaudible> map can best be described as an image with painted and edited details to it, that is wrapped around the object. So the texture for a cardboard box, for example, will look like a box that you have unfolded onto the ground."

"After the map has been created, we started to work on the texture, and here you should have started with adding untouched materials, like wood, or metal. These are from free photos, found on the internet."

"We also painted in corners, highlights on the edges."

"You can also make an <Inaudible> to the texture, which is basically a process where the computer calculates where the texture should be dark, and where it should be light."

"We also generate a normal map, based on certain details and texture. Normal map uses light. Bumps or <Inaudible>, without using more polygons on an object."

"For special maps, we reach out for the intensity level of the map, that reach out and determine the power of it."

"After all the textures are done, we export them to data format, and import them to our editors."

"Then, we set material values, create properties for collision, and stuff like that."

Study

  • A node can be found near the window that leads to the outside of the castle.

Marcus Johansson: Filling out and making breakable objects

Marcus Johansson: Filling out and making breakable objects (Click for audio)

"This map, was one of the most fun to make, because of the rooms, and more objects that we usually have in a level."

"I think the first two rooms were pretty good just because of this."

"In fact that, these many objects aren't seen in every room of the game, because, that would, first of all, would be very demanding on new pieces performance, and a lot of our players don't have gaming rigs."

"Secondly, it wouldn't make sense if every room or corridor was a storage. We also tried very hard to vary the levels, rooms as much as we can do."

"This level, was also the first time in the game the player had any conflict with outside, so at this part, I had to make a couple of wall pieces, a pine tree, and a breakable version of the window, and I can talk a little bit more about breaking a window here."

"When creating breakable objects like this, we have to first of all, break the model by splitting parts up, and creating pieces, like on this window, it has a lot of wood parts that are loose after it breaks. Those parts are remodeled into broken versions, and in the broken version of the window, they're actually hanging in the air at the same place the where when the window was whole."

"After modeling those, and exporting the model into data format, which our engine handles, I use our in-house Model Editor, set each wood part up with a body for collision, and I also add weight for it to be realistic."

"I also had a material type. In this case, wood. And that is what it would sound as played, when a piece hits something, and also set up some advanced stuff like how it would behave in water, how fast it can travel, and how fast the speed will decay."

"But also, a lot of other settings as well. But when that broken version is done, I also set up a special entity of the original window, where I set it to break at a certain force, and when that happens, another entity will load, and this one will disappear. In this case, we load the broken version of the window."

"We also set it up, so our particle system with glass shards, is going to be played as well as the break sound. And as soon as you break that window, and all of that is happening, and since you probably threw something at the window, the force of that object would make the wood pieces fly, not fall straight to the ground, as they would otherwise."

"That is pretty much how we do it with most breakable entities. Of course, creating a particle system and sounds where it is needed, too. And in this level, you can also see a lot of props that I made earlier, before we started making maps, and these objects like chests, tables, chairs, paintings, etc."

"But of course, I didn't make all the objects on this level."

  • One last microphone can be found in the room that is first entered by the window. This is also the room where the dead pigs can be seen hanging on low sanity.

Thomas Grip: The joy of travel

Thomas Grip: The joy of travel (Click for audio)

"The decision to have the player go outside on this map started out as a quick and dirty idea for some sort of puzzle, however, it turned out very nicely, and to see the trees really gives a feeling of being in a castle, not just on some set."

"The first idea was not even to have the player break the window, but to just have it opened directly instead."

"But when we added it, we felt it gave a really nice 'feel' and reward for finishing the puzzle."

"In retrospect, we should have had more moments where the player ventures outside, and it gives this feel of being a part of a larger world."

Storage

  • A speaker can be found directly ahead as you enter the level.

Thomas Grip: Darkness

Thomas Grip: Darkness (Click for audio)

"Again, there's a lot of elements here working together. Not only does the player enter the darkest level yet, they'll also come across a dark part of Daniel's memories."

"We've tried to have all aspects of the level to work towards this goal. Hopefully it creates an oppressive and disturbing feel to it."

  • One last microphone can be found in the area directly after the rocks have been removed with the explosive mixture.

Mikael Hedberg: From Scare to Plot-Point

Mikael Hedberg: From Score to Plot-Point (Click for audio)

"At first, the hunted girl sequence was just another scare, but as the story took shape, it just became a great plot point, which was, this is when Daniel snapped."

"He does all these weird and evil things, but, he tells himself, the ends justify the means."

"But when he finally kills the girl, he just can't make up excuses anymore, so he goes mad, and as a final attempt of saving himself, he drinks the Amnesia potion. Of course, the player wouldn't realize this as he encounters this per sequence, but it becomes more clear when he finds the last diary pages, explaining the situation, making it all come full circle."

Machine Room

  • Immediately in front of you as you enter the level.

Thomas Grip: More on contrast

Thomas Grip: More on contrast (Click for audio)

"This is another one of those contrast levels. This time calming the player down for what will happen when the elevator is finally running."

"The map is still dark though, giving a bit of foreboding for what is about to happen."

  • A final one can be found just outside of the room with the flow rods.

Marcus Johansson: Becoming the plummer

Marcus Johansson: Becoming the plummer (Click for audio)

"When I first started concept art for this level, I was pretty happy because I think it looked very interesting, with all the pipes coming from random places, and, going throughout the level."

"But I was also a little bit worried, because it looked so time-consuming to create all of the pieces, and placing them in the level."

"And then, I was right about that because it did take a lot of time to make everything fit together."

"But I also think it was worth it because it's a very interesting-looking level, and we also used the same pipes in the later levels."

"As for all the pipes in this level, I modeled and textured... I think there are twenty-six different pieces of pipes that I made."

"I had to import the wall pieces used in this level into my level editor as well, to make a temporarily little map, to check if the pipes were correct length and all."

"I also had to make sure all the pipes snap and align well at 0.25 meters in every axis, otherwise, placing all the pipes in the level would be nearly impossible."

"As for creating the texture for the pipes, it was pretty easy because, I went with a simple kind of rusty metal look. And, when that was done, I started with the pipework in the level. As you can see, there are a lot of pipes in this level."

"After this map was done, you can say I pretty much become the plummer of the team, and for some reason, I had most of the pipe-related levels scheduled to me."

Elevator

  • In the same room as you.

Thomas Grip: Like at a theme park

Thomas Grip: Like at a theme park (Click for audio)

"This elevator ride is actually constructed like one at the Swedish-theme park. It's not the elevator that moves, but the walls."

"I assume movies used the same trick a lot."

Prison

Southern Block

  • To the left after the elevator breaks down.

Marc Nicander: The Dungeonbase set

Marc Nicander: The Dungeonbase set (Click for audio)

"The second chapter introduces the dungeon base set. It was assigned to look older and more worn than the castle base set."

"It's supposed to show the original pieces of the castle that hasn't been built over time like the newer areas."

"Original pieces for the set were a bit blockey due to the tiling, but as special pieces were added, you can start to build more varied levels."

"In the final game, we're using a dungeon base set, for prisons, shrines, and sewers."

  • At the end of the corridor where a brute can he heard savagely beating a man.

Thomas Grip: The danger is real

Thomas Grip: The danger is real (Click for audio)

"Previously in the game, it has been all about the events in the past, but with these prison levels, we wanted to bring it to the present, and many events that are experienced are happening here and now."

"An example of this is a prisoner being dragged off at the start of the level."

"Here also starts the most counter-intense part of the game, and we were unsure how much enemies we could add."

"We added what we thought was enough, but after some testing and feedback, we decided to add even more."

"The amount of encounters experienced depends on how you play a level, but hopefully you should feel constantly oppressed."

"Since this was the last level that this enemy has a greater part in, we're not fearing in overusing it either, so I think the amount of enemies here is pretty nice."

Northern Block

  • Immediately in front of you as you exit the tunnels.

Thomas Grip: Claustrophobia

Thomas Grip: Claustrophobia (Click for audio)

"A goal with this level is trying to get the player to feel a bit claustrophobic."

"First off, we start the level in a tight space, letting the feeling hit you directly."

"Then the idea was to actually decrease the horizontal view, squeezing the few together."

"But it became a bit problematic, and we felt that the design of the level was enough."

"It is very dark, and can be hard to find your way, which is actually kind of surprising, since the level has a really simple design, but because of some dead-ends, and some similar-looking locations, it can be hard to navigate."

"In the end, we also put up some signs to help the player along and get the right balance between annoyance, and disorientation."

"It's quite hard, when you want to expose the player to negative feelings, and we might make them quit the game."

"But it's a fine length of thread, and I'm sure not everybody will get the right experience, but I guess, that's once of those risks that you will have to take in interactive media."

  • Next to the acid barrel in the kitchen.

Marcus Johansson: Creating the Pig Corpse with ragdoll

Marcus Johansson: Creating the Pig Corpse with ragdoll (Click for audio)

"This pig was the first object that I ever tried to rig as a ragdoll, and I'm pretty satisfied with the end result."

"I'm a little rusty when it comes to making organic creatures like this, so, this was basically the only model that I had as an ongoing project that I could get back to work on when I had some time off from other work."

"All other models are pretty much on a tight deadline, so it was nice to have this model that I could get back to work on from time to time."

"Almost as practice, when I started to model the pig corpse, I thought right away that I had to do it right from the beginning, so I googled a lot of pig pictures."

"Since we wanted a rotten look to it, you can imagine I found a lot of weird pictures."

"Other than the look of the model, the only difference from creating a prop, is the fact that you have to plan the measure, so it's nice for animations as well as its good for important sculpting programs."

"Like <Inaudible>, those applications you add details to the model, pretty much like a plain sculptor, and then you transfer those changes to the normal map that you use for the in game model."

"I used T-brush, in this case, and I was happy to use it because my skills in that application started to fade away."

"Creating the texture for the pig wasn't the easiest thing to do, because it isn't easy to find good reference pictures of rotten pigs, with mostly skin."

"The biggest issue, was in fact, getting the skin to look unhealthy, but I think it turned out pretty nice, even though it could need a little bit more work."

"But to be able to put in more work, we need to have more time and resources, and being a small gaming company, that isn't something we have."

"For the ragdoll, I had to first set it up with a program I use called <Inaudible>."

"I created a skeleton for the pig, skinned it so that each part of the big model moves with the correct bone."

"After that, I used our in-house Model-Editor to set it up with bodies, with ways for each individual part, like legs, head, and body."

"Then, I connected it all together using joints."

"When done right, with the correct weights for each body part, it... works quite nicely."

Cistern Entrance

  • Close to the entrance of the Sewers

Thomas Grip: Finally, Light!

Thomas Grip: Finally, Light! (Click for audio)

"After the Prison level, some light is needed, and that is what we wanted to give the player right now."

"We also wanted to have an environment that did not look like anything else the player has seen so far."

"When the player has endured the dark and gloomy dungeon levels, we wanted to give some sort of reward for coming so far, and this level is supposed to be that award."

"The sound of water is found quite soothing for most people, so we wanted them to relax, and calm down."

"Only to be more susceptible for more scares, of course."

  • On top of the drop-down ladder

Jens Nilsson: Making of Commentary

Jens Nilsson: Making of Commentary (Click for audio)

"I figured I'd add a little something about the commentary, why it is in the game and how we did it."

"As you probably have noticed by now, the quality of the recordings are a bit different."

"We tried our best, but as we do not have an office, everyone had to care for their own voice recording, and make due with the equipment that they have."

"For me, as a sound artist, and for Mikko and Tapio, this was not really much of a problem, we all got our sound gear to rely on."

"But for the rest, they really had to work to make the best out of their shit microphones."

"They even got a checklist of things to do, such as put a sock on the microphone, and, what angle towards the microphones to speak at."

"The reason as to why we did the commentary to being with, was that when we were working on Amnesia, we started taking pre-orders of the game, and we put up a meter on the websites saying that if we got 2,000 pre-orders, we would add a commentary to the game."

"I suppose you know the answer to the question if we met that goal or not."

Control Room

  • On the left hand side of the room you enter.

Jens Nilsson: Sloppy testing

Jens Nilsson: Sloppy testing (Click for audio)

"This level consists of three parts of a puzzle."

"For each part you complete, you get one step closer to getting the machinery running."

"It does not matter what order you do it in, so you can complete the level as you like."

"When I scripted this level, I made a basic function for completing a puzzle."

"Then I added specific tweaks to each puzzle, to make them unique, and then finally a grand version of a complete puzzle function, to make it really noticeable when you finish all three of them."

"I got surprised when several testers said that it was not clear as to when they completed the whole level."

"But on the first puzzle, it was really nice, but that on the second or third puzzle, they did not really notice that they had accomplished something successfully."

"As I was about to start working on this, I noticed something really strange."

"I had for testing purposes, made it when completing the first puzzle, you would get the grand puzzle completion function, which meant that the first puzzle had a big bang of events, while the other two would only have the minor small puzzle completion events."

"It had been like this since I finished the level, so no one had actually experienced the actual sequence of events meant to take place."

"This type of perks are pretty nice to fix, because you only fix your own stupid mistake, and then, all is done."

Cistern

  • Just around the corner as you enter the room.

Thomas Grip: Dark Themes

Thomas Grip: Dark Themes (Click for audio)

"This map is all about themes and actions the player does, that are meant to reflect what happens in the diary entries."

"The player needs to turn the valves in order to progress, but at the same time, things go bad every time this is done."

"The level gets darker, the sound of someone being trapped gets louder, and the water lurker seems to be getting closer."

"Everything tells the player not to turn the valves, yet it must be done."

"Something that reflects how Daniel feels in the diaries."

  • Near the tank with the (supposedly) drowning man.

Thomas Grip: Inspiration

Thomas Grip: Inspiration (Cistern) (Click for audio)

"The inspiration of this level came from me visiting the Basilica cistern in Istanbul."

"The concept artists who drew the design had also visited it the same summer, so we knew precisely what I was after."

"The fishes that can be found were also inspired by the real thing."

Morgue

  • Immediately in front of you as you walk down the corridor.

Mikael Hedberg: Writing Alexander

Mikeal Hedberg: Writing Alexander (Click for audio)

"Alexander along with Daniel makes up the foundation for the entire story."

"Together, they make the core conflict."

"There was a lot of background for this character, and, as he, is in a sense, is the villain, so I wanted to do everything that I could, to make him likeable, and have people sympathize with him."

"It's just the best way to make a bad guy."

"If we can make the player feel for their opponent, they might start questioning their own actions."

"Alexander's story is quite interesting in its own right."

"But in the end, it was important to have the story deal with the relationship between Daniel and Alexander."

"That's why there is so much about the last few weeks, and so little about the history of Alexander."

"Because after all, since we're playing Daniel, and he seems to want to get back at Alexander, we, the player, want to know how bad he really was, and decide for ourselves if we think he should be punished."

  • Outside of the room where the supposedly dead man was held in.

Thomas Grip: Based on true events

Thomas Grip: Based on true events (Click for audio)

"The flashback of the guy trapped is actually an aspired but true event."

"During the gruesome plague outbreaks, people were buried so quickly, that it was not always checked that they were probably dead."

"This meant that people sometimes woke up finding themselves locked up, entombed, surrounded by corpses."

"Scratches on doors and walls of such rooms have been found, confirming that it did happen."

  • Next to the corpse with the vaccine injection

Thomas Grip: Respect for the dead

Thomas Grip: Respect for the dead (Click for audio)

"As with the cistern, this takes the player closer to Daniel's dark past."

"It was important here that the corpses did not have the normal gory, shocked value, but was more true to reality and disturbing."

"We really wanted to approach the stuff with respect, and not just show it and exploit it in fashion."

"I hope that shows when you play the game."

Sewer

  • To your left as soon as you descend from the ladder

Marc Nicander: The Sewers

Marc Nicander: The Sewers (Click for audio)

"Somehow, every adventurer finds them self in a sewer at some point in their life, and Daniel is no different."

"Usually, these levels tend to be a bit dull, but this one turned out quite okay."

"It's quite a step up from the last sewer I created in Penumbra: Requiem."

"It was supposed to be a blue-tinted level with a feeling of being cold and damp, but it stood out too much to fit in with the other levels."

"We settled for a green-tint on a round dungeon set, as it worked nicely as a transition between a cistern's green stone, and the brown torture nave level."

  • Next to the spinning wheel that must be jammed.

Luis Rodero: My first puzzle

Luis Rodero: My first puzzle (Click for audio)

"This here, was my first job at scripting a puzzle."

"I must say that I like working on scripts, but that's probably because I love anything that looks or feels like programming."

"Scripting puzzles does not involve just writing a plain script."

"You also get to edit entities, create particle systems, set up stuff like areas and entities in the level to support the script."

"It is actually a lot of fun, and it allows for quite a bit of creativity."

"This particular puzzle is about having to jam a kind of water mill to be able to get through it, but it first needs to be slowed down somehow."

  • Next to the broken pipe

Luis Rodero: Learning the craft

Luis Rodero: Learning the craft (Click for audio)

"This pipe you see here can be broken to be used later to jam the mill."

"It is actually a model with two bodies joined by a hinge joint."

"To do this part of the puzzle, I first made it so you can break the joint at some point when pulling, but this just felt really strange, so I just asked Jens how we were doing this kind of stuff in the game, and he told me to just add some area that counted hits in the script."

"So every time the pipe collided with this area, a certain variable was increased by one."

"If you enable the debug window, you can see this area when activating the draw physics debug option."

"When this variable reached a given value, it triggers the breakage of the pipe, spawning the broken pipe item, and that's how it works."

  • In the room with the two levers that control the noisy machine.

Luis Rodero: A poor choice

Luis Rodero: A poor choice (Click for audio)

"This is the machinery that controls the mill rotation speed."

"There is not much to say about this part, just a couple levers that change some values when moved, and do stuff when the right value is set."

"As you might already know, playing around with the combination of both levers, you can notice a background sound changing."

"At the time of working on this, there was no proper sound available for these background sounds."

"So I just picked some place holders from what was in there already."

"I thought that creaky sounds that is found when the elevator falls down, will do a nice one for the mill's speed."

"How wrong I was!"

"It was unbearable to say the least, so I just ended up removing all the placeholders, and leaving a to-do note in the script."

  • In the room with the deceased grunt.

Tapio Liukkonen: Sound Creation of the Brute

Tapio Liukkonen: Sound Creation of the Brute (Click for audio)

"When I was looking at the concept art of the brute monster, I thought that it should sound like one long tone, as it is coming from tubes, and because it doesn't have a mouth, it should sound like a hollow theme with, which can make it scarier and complex for collision."

"Firstly, I recorded lots of different kind of dogs, and, I edited them to play as one tone."

"I had lots of discussion with Jens, and I think I got the right idea, but there was a feeling that it was going too close and it wasn't scary and blah blah blah..."

"So, it wasn't really scary, it was just a big mess."

"I think I made something like five or six different versions, but the problems didn't go away."

"Finally, I just removed the dog sounds, and just used my own voice."

"I made it with an old metal sink, speaking through the tube, and putting the microphone in front of the sink, and that way, I got more contour on the voices system, and the tube kind of sound was not <Inaudible> because it was coming from a tall tube."

"I think the brute's movement were the easiest ones for me."

"I knew from the beginning how I wanted it to sound."

"I wanted it to be very metallic since it has metallic things in its body, and it should be a very heavy, scary guy."

"I was a little bit worried about how the high-pitched screeching would work, but it actually turned out great with the music, because the music is a very low fragrance and the movement is high fragrance, so there is not a better sound."

"Together, they make the brute even SCARIER!"

Nave

Original

  • Close to the well that ascends from the Sewers.

Luis Rodero: Level creation for dummies

Luis Rodero: Level creation for dummies (Click for audio)

"After almost two years of continuous development of the editors, this was my very baptism of fire on level creation, my first level edited ever, that is."

"Making the base for this level was my assignment for week eight this year, and I must confess, I was pretty excited about it all."

"You know, not ever having to use the editors in a real-life run, I was wondering how well I was going to do."

  • At the top of the spiral stairs.

Luis Rodero: A feature is born (and a bug is killed)

Luis Rodero: A feature is born (and a bug is killed) (Click for audio)

"A good thing about me using the tools I am dedicated to develop is that I could get a close view on how they feel when working with them."

"And it's easier and quicker to get bugs fixed when working like this."

"As they usually get in the middle of the way, and the only solution is just getting your hands dirty and fix them."

"This also works well for small features that don't take much time to add."

"I'm not sure which one I added from working on this level, but it usually starts like thinking, 'Oh, being able to do this or that would be really nice', and ends up with the feature in the editor."

"Not everything works like this, you know. 'I actually have an endless list of stuff to add to the editors, but there is always so little time... t'hey will come eventually, that's for sure. Or maybe not."

  • Directly in front of you as you enter the massive room with Agrippa in it.

Thomas Grip: Agrippa Inspiration

Thomas Grip: Agrippa Inspiration

"The Agrippa waking sequence is inspired by the movie Seven, when they find the Sloth victim."

"I thought that scene was really disturbing, so stuck to me."

"When writing the design of the Agrippa event, it came to mind instantly."

"A funny thing about Agrippa, is that it was first supposed to be a severed head, that was placed at several locations in the game."

"And then, he layered and turned into the guy in the game now."

"If you wonder why he does not have a lower jaw, then that is because we did not have the resources for voicing."

"It was then worked into the story, though, as Alexander does not want him talking, when he shouldn't."

  • Near the massive door leading to the Transept.

Mikael Hedberg: Writing Agrippa

Mikael Hedberg: Writing Agrippa (Click for audio)

"I told Thomas that I wanted a character that the player could look at, or at least know that someone was talking to him right now, as in no flashbacks, no ghosts, or memories."

"Just something solid that the player could depend on being real."

"However, a character's really expensive stuff, you need a voice, a model, texture, animations, behavior, so we finally came up with this idea about a stationary character so we could chuck down in animations, and behavior."

"At this time, Agrippa was just a character, a real historical character actually, I had used as the writer for a letter found in the first stages of the game."

"But we upgraded him, and made him a part of the plot."

"The reason I find him so valuable is that he joined the ranks of Daniel and Alexander, making this so much more complex, and intriguing."

"And of course, it also quite naturally led to the split ending thing."

  • In the room with the holding cells.

Luis Rodero: A nice experience

Luis Rodero: A nice experience (Click for audio)

"Back on the level editing, it was an interesting experience, to say the least."

"I started with a room with a door leading to level 22, and made my way up from there."

"I managed to build a reasonable base a bit over a week's time."

"It took a bit long, having into account, that not all models needed for the level were available at the time I started working on it."

"And that, blaming my inexperience in level building, I had to remake some parts a lot of times, like the room I started with."

"It was Marcus who took the level from where I left it, and I must say he did an awesome job."

"I'm not sure how much of my original work still stands in there, but the final version looks really sweet."

"I didn't get more level creation assignments after this one, mostly because I am actually more productive in other kinds of tasks."

"But I am happy I had the chance to try."

Redux

  • In front of you as you leave the Cells.

Mikael Hedberg: Who Reads Loading Texts Anyway?

Mikael Hedberg: Who Reads Loading Texts Anyway? (Click for audio)

"One of my favorite additions to the game was the loading screens."

"How they were able to mirror and foreshadow the action of the player."

"Of course, there might not be that many who actually pay attention to these little snips of things, but there were some really good stuff in there."

"There is even one character's life you can influence through the game, which is only mentioned in the loading texts, which is Hazel, Daniel's sister, which will either live or have died when she was young depending on what the player chooses to do in the game."

"The actions don't correlate of course, but it is supposed to show that the way the player acts, is a part of Daniel's real inescapable behavior."

"If the player plays Daniel in a caring way, he will have saved his sister from her death when they were younger, and if the player shows no will to help others, she will have died."

  • Next to the table with the flashback note.

Mikael Hedberg: Outside Brennenburg

Mikael Hedberg: Outside Brennenburg (Click for audio)

"One thing which worried me was that the player would feel trapped within the castle in an artificial way, that is, that they would perhaps realize that they are running around these non-stop levels."

"A good way to disarm this feeling is by adding exterior levels."

"So I asked Thomas, 'Could we show the outside, some how?'."

"He already had some ideas, but he figured they would have to be cut eventually because of the costs."

"So I was really happy to see this making it into the game. It just gives you a reminder that there is a world out there, which is not only made from references."

Jens Nilsson: Too Harsh Design

Jens Nilsson: Too Harsh Design (Click for audio)

"In the original design, the player had to make sure to have all of the ingredients for the Agrippa potion before getting captured earlier in the game, or else it would not be possible to complete the potion in the laboratory."

"After early testing sessions, it was clear that this was way too harsh, as the player can't really escape the capture scene when he has all the six orb pieces."

"Luckily, this level had areas that all suited to add variations to the puzzles from the original ingredient gathering."

"Depending on what ingredients the player has when coming here, there will be extra objects and areas to interact with to gather the missing ingredients, allowing you to complete the sawing off Agrippa's head puzzle."

Chancel

Original

  • On top of the first flight of stairs.

Jens Nilsson: Avoid Capture

Jens Nilsson: Avoid Capture (Click for audio)

"In this level, it is easily done to not see the whole level."

"If you have all the orb pieces when coming here, you will get captured at the start, and will not get a chance to see the rest of the level."

"There is a whole area to the east consisting of two very detailed rooms."

"So if you end up being captured on your first visit, make sure to come visit again."

  • In the center of the four pathways.

Marc Nicander: The Torture Chancel

Marc Nicander: The Torture Chancel (Click for audio)

"The torture Chancel was an interesting level, it made a clear break from all the claustrophobic tunnels that make up the majority of our levels."

"The largest percent of the challenge, is we have to fill in that space with interesting pieces, and still be able to run older computers."

"The idea of the level is to give the player a sense of what is to come, and to give them a feeling that maybe all this was here, even before Alexander" built this castle."

"As a contrast to the mystic shrines, we have an electric barrier in the back of the level."

"The idea in the design of this bit is a montage to the movie, 'Event Horizon'."

Redux

  • Two can be found in the room with the electric barrier.

Jens Nilsson: Tunnel and Orb Sound Design

Jens Nilsson: Tunnel and Orb Sound Design (Click for audio)

"Sometimes, you just can't get completely satisfied with your work."

"This level is one of those for me."

"I tested a lot of different versions for how the electric tunnel should sound, and for how the Orb should explode."

"In the end, I think it turned out okay, but it was definitely not how I imagined it to begin with."

"With the tunnel, I tried to have it a bit mechanical, but also with a wooden type of rotating sound to connect the machinery to the center of the story."

"The same with the electric barrier."

"It is very easy to get into too much of a Sci-Fi mode, with a modeled electric humming type of noise."

"So I did my best to keep it like a simple electric malfunctioning sound."

"With the orb explosion at the end, or perhaps the implosion of the orb, it was important to have a sound that would work when standing next to it, as well as being far away, because the orb will explode when you wreck the machine for the tunnel."

"With this in mind, it is a very powerful but very damp and dull sound when the orb breaks."

Luis Rodero: Don't cross the streams!

Luis Rodero: Don't cross the steams! (Click for audio)

"The energy stream particle system was a pretty fun assignment to work at."

"After thinking a bit about it, I chose to make it in sections and put them together using the Level Editor and script, as creating a so big and complex particle system would have taken a lot of time to pull right."

"This way, I just made the start gathering part that happens right at the barrier passage, a mid-stream part' that I just repeated using areas and synchronized using timers in the scripts so it looks like a single stream, and' the end part, when it gets to the orb. Then Thomas added some more details, and this, what you can see here, is the result of that."

"I must say I like how it ended up to be."

Transept

  • Immediately in front of you as you enter the level.

Thomas Grip: Inspiration

Thomas Grip: Inspiration (Transept) (Click for audio)

"The staircase is inspired by The Haunting, the black and white version."

"I really like spiral staircases and I find there's something ominous about them."

"Also worth noting is the torture devices in the level are all real, and the things to those that depict them, happened in real life."

"Even in present days, for example, the Strappado is still a common torture method."

"As discussing on other commentaries, we tried to take the setup seriously, and stay away from just engulfing gore and stuff."

  • In the small room above the spiral staircase.

Thomas Grip: Is this torture?

Thomas Grip: Is this torture? (Click for audio)

"It's kind of fun, or perhaps you should say, disturbing, that the method Alexander describes in the note, could almost be used to describe how we do horror."

"I will let you draw your own conclusions from that."

Choir

Entrance

  • In the room to your immediate right.

Jens Nilsson: Horror of Your Own Voice

Jens Nilsson: Horror of Your Own Voice (Click for audio)

"For the torture levels, it was not all that fun to make the sounds."

"It has a nerve-wracking feeling to it, and I can't say that it is completely enjoyable to make entertainment out of such horrible contraptions."

"This part of the game is not for show and fun, it's purpose is to create an instinctive feel of horror and repulsion to what these devices are capable of."

"In the vision, as Daniel performs the ritual, the muffled sound of the man on the table is my own voice."

"I do some exclusive appearances throughout the game."

"In fact, in all Penumbra games, I am fairly certain there is a chance here and there."

"But nothing prior has been so disturbing to work with, as in this vision, when having to tweak the flow and style of the events, and at the same time having to hear your own panicking, pleading muffled voice."

Main Hall

  • In front of you as you enter the level.

Thomas Grip: Inspiration

Thomas Grip: Inspiration (Choir - Main Hall) (Click for audio)

"The inspiration for this level came from the first Silent Hill game, when you run around in the town."

"I wanted to recreate the feeling of being lost, knowing that dangerous creatures lurk in the fog."

"I did not like the map in the Silent Hill games though, as you always had to switch back and forth between it."

"So in all our games, we try to come up with better ways to help the player navigate."

"In this level, it's immense that you should follow the pipes."

"This was not very apparent to all people though, and that's why there's a little event at the start."

Cells

  • In the cell you wake up in

Jens Nilsson: Many solutions

Jens Nilsson: Many solutions (Click for audio)

"Escaping the cell has several solutions."

"In the very first version, there was only one solution to everything."

"Then by mistake, we had forgotten to remove the hammer item, so obviously testers tried to use it to break down the wall, complaining loudly to us when it did not work."

"So we added that possibility, and when doing so, all of a sudden, the option was there for the player to have a metal bar item as well."

"So we also added a second solution on how to obtain the key in the pipe."

"You can use the metal bar to push it out."

"The original solution was to get the bucket, fill it with water and pour the water down the pipe."

"There is also a third option for getting out of the cell; do you know how to do it?"

  • Near the door that is unlocked with the rusty key.

Thomas Grip: Making chases un-annoying

Thomas Grip: Making chases un-annoying (Click for audio)

"The player feedback from Penumbra: Overture is that chase scenes, were that all that completed them on the first try liked them, and those who did not, disliked them."

"So in order to make the out coming chase scene engaging, the idea was to make it different every time you failed, instead of forcing the player to repeat the same thing over and over."

"So if you have failed it once, we do our best to make you believe that now is the time when the chase will begin."

"This is true for other parts of the game too, but I think it's most apparent in this section."

"This hopefully means that however you play the sequence, it ends up being thrilling, and not annoying."

Inner Sanctum

  • In the main room consisting of the three doors.

Jens Nilsson: Polish Addictions

Jens Nilsson: Polish Addictions (Click for audio)

"From the beginning, this level was more of a mood level, with not much more to do than to explore it, find the diary and then continue on into the final encounter with Alexander."

"When I started my 'polish' of the level, I felt that as the second last level of the game, it did not really build things up so well."

"It was too simple for this late part of the game."

"So at the start of the level, I've added a chase sequence where the guardian is getting close to you, and you have to run in and close the door."

"It's not a big addition to the level, but it gives that little feeling I hope, that you are running out of time, and that you have to push forward and face Alexander as soon as you can."

  • In the room with Daniel's revenge note.

Mikko Tarmia: Choir Voices

Mikko Tarmia: Choir Voices (Click for audio)

"There are a few music clips which include some choir singing words, and I must tell you, that these words don't mean anything in any language, or at least I didn't intend them to mean anything."

"I used a sample elaboration, which has its own word-building function, so you can have choir-singing words."

"And I just invented words which sounded 'cool'. <Audible>"

"So don't bother to think what they are singing, that's a waste of time."

Orb Chamber

  • In the left area of the massive room.

Jens Nilsson: Audio Levels Predicament

Jens Nilsson: Audio Levels Predicament (Click for audio)

"The main issue with this level, was the buildup of the sound, and balancing that with the voice of Alexander."

"I had to make sure that all the sounds and music in the level start out at a really low volume, so that there is a lot of room for them to get louder, and for more sounds to play as the time is running short and the portal opens."

"I also tweaked it so Alexander's voice is louder at the end than what it is at the beginning, to make sure it is always easy to hear what he has to say."

"If you listen to the music, you will notice that halfway through the count down of the portal opening, it changes to a more intense and stressful version."

"There are also the monoliths rotating in the air that has a deep grinding sound that gets quicker and louder the closer you get to the end."

Trivia

  • As seen on the Level Editor, the names of the developer commentary figures are named "commentary_icon_#".
  • A developer commentary figure can be walked through, as it is not intended to be on object for game play, but for the player's understanding.
  • "Marcus Johansson: Becomming the plummer" located in the Machine Room is spelled incorrectly.
  • Thomas Grip's "inspiration" in the Cistern states that the level was inspired by him visiting the Basilica cistern in Istanbul, which was formerly known as Constantinople (Before Islamic forces took over). The same term "Constantinople" is found in one of the loading screens for Amnesia: The Dark Descent.
  • There is another developer commentary node that appears to have a sound file, but not an appearance in the game. The file is titled "03_marcus_start", implying that it might have been intended to be in the Archives and an introduction for Marcus Johansson, but may have been removed accidentally.
    • You can listen to the sound file here.
  • The commentary "Mikael Hedberg: Outside Brennenburg" is named "25_mikael_zimmerman", suggesting it would be used on level 25, which is the Cells, but is actually used on level 26, which is the redux of the Nave.
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