Indie Dev Interview: Peter talks Remorse: The List

What do you want from an indie horror game? Well if gruesome action, terrifying characters and a solid plot are essential requirements, look no further than Remorse: The List 

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Peter has been in gaming for a number of years and graduated from developing smaller games to projects like Remorse: The List. He now is working with his development partner Daniel and a tight knit team to bring the game to Xbox and Switch

Inspired by horror movies and classic horror games like Resident Evil and Silent Hill. Remorse: The List is a classic survival horror game set in suburban Hungary with an inventory system, puzzles, combat mechanics and terrifying creatures.

The game’s narrative is driven by ‘the list’ which draws players further into the murky world as they solve clues and take on challenges. Peter and his team took a great deal of inspiration from the mod community in developing the game and were driven by a desire to terrify YouTubers. 

Want to know more? Read our interview with Peter below and check-out Remorse: The List, which is now available on Xbox, Nintendo Switch and Steam.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8cG3c6ifF4

Please could you introduce yourself?  

I’m Péter and I’ve been playing games on almost every platform since I was a child. In the last 15 years, I’ve also delved deeply into game development and tried my hand at many things, from smaller games to larger projects like Remorse. In the first years, I mainly worked on small jumping games, then came the Half-Life 2 mods, where I started moving along the horror line, and finally, with the help of the Unreal engine and my awesome programming partner Daniel, we moved on to indie development.

And could you introduce your studio?  

We work with a fairly small team, with only two permanent members. Daniel is responsible for programming, scripting and all technical parts, and I work on graphics, game design, and the levels of the game. Stig can also be said to be an almost permanent member, who significantly increased the quality of almost all of our projects with his voice acting. The game’s music was composed by Youness, who created the atmosphere for the game’s dark, dirty streets and abandoned buildings with his brilliant skills. So our team is quite small, but all the more enthusiastic!

Can you tell us about Remorse: The List? 

Remorse is a classic survival horror game with an inventory system, puzzles and many terrifying opponents who can kill our protagonist in an instant. Since I played a lot of Resident Evil and Silent Hill games in my childhood and I also liked horror movies, it was obvious to me that I wanted to create something in this field. I’ve always been attracted to the chaotic, nightmarish presentation in games, as well as the sad and bloody ending stories, which I think are particularly typical of the horror genre. From these, the basic mood of remorse was born, which accompanies the player throughout the entire story.

What drew you to creating an indie horror game? 

I think I liked this category mainly because of the mod community, as I saw how much creativity people are able to put into these creations. These games put together by a handful of people proved that you can create an awesome atmosphere without huge teams and high budgets. Of course, it was also nice to see how the YouTubers had a heart attack after seeing an opponent or a scary scene created by us. These experiences immediately inspire a person to try to create even more depressing and frightening things, surpassing the previous ones.

Indie Dev Interview: Peter talks Remorse: The List

Can you explain the concept of the ‘list’? 

That’s what started it all, as it was a good puzzle in itself. The player is wondering who made the list, what are these seemingly meaningless lines on it? It also helped a lot in the open world, as the player can decide which route to take and where to start solving the story. Then, as we progress through the game, it becomes clear what the list is about and what it wants to tell our protagonist.

The game looks great, how did you build that tension and raise the ‘fear factor’? 

When we started developing the game, we knew right away that it would take place in Hungary, as its atmosphere is close to me. These foggy and semi-dark back streets and alleys, concrete buildings left over from the old socialist era can be very scary at night. 

Hospitals are also somehow much more terrifying and ominous here, which I also wanted to give back with the atmosphere of the game. This interesting setting alone can be exciting for players who mainly play games set in the United States. 

Monsters also matter a lot in creating the atmosphere, as they are very fast and strong, so the player must constantly watch for where something terrible will jump out that wants to tear him apart. After that, all that was needed was the right music and the unique, terrifying atmosphere of the game was ready.

Indie Dev Interview: Peter talks Remorse: The List

The games is coming out on Switch and Xbox, what was behind this format selection? 

We want to see the game on as many platforms as possible, so that players can enjoy Hidegpuszta’s streets and abandoned buildings everywhere. I think the Switch version is my favourite, because there the game creates a huge contrast with Nintendo’s colourful games for children.

How do you hope players will react to the game, sheer terror? 

Yes, we hope that the game will squeeze some screams out of the players, thanks to which they will also enjoy the quieter parts more. I hope the location of the game will also serve as an interesting point, we worked a lot to ensure that the game really reflects the atmosphere of Hungary.

What games/films/narratives inspired the game? 

The game is perhaps mostly inspired by Silent Hill 2, but you can still feel a bit of Resident Evil action in it. We didn’t want to make a very slow, clunky game, so we felt it was important to be able to run and shoot in the game. 

We left out rocket launchers and other things because we didn’t want explosions at every corner, even the Ak rifle seemed too powerful sometimes. It is also worth mentioning the horror mods from fifteen years ago, with the many creepy pasta images and stories circulating there.

Movies such as Jacob’s Ladder, which is still one of my favourite movies, or Session 9 helped create the atmosphere, but I could also include Blair Witch with its dark, forest scenes. What I found specifically in recent years was the work of Junji Ito, from which I tried to transfer a few things into the game in honour of the master.

The characters are pretty gruesome, have you ever given yourself nightmares? 

Fortunately, my monsters don’t give me nightmares, but there was a time when I left a monster on a level I worked on, which made me scream a few days later. 

I remember that once I had a very good monster idea when I was riding my bike home from work, but unfortunately I couldn’t write it down, so I forgot about it. I’ve been regretting since then that I don’t remember what it was, except that it was an awesome idea. 

So if you do something like this, always have a phone or paper nearby, because a lot of good ideas can become a blur if you don’t write them down!

When is it out and how can people stay updated? 

The game is currently available on Xbox, Nintendo Switch and Steam, so if you want a few sleepless nights, get a copy of the game!

Thanks for reading our Indie Dev Interview: Peter talks Remorse: The List, for more interesting articles on the indie games industry, check out the links below. 

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This Article was written by: Harry Cole