Edge of Sanity PAX Preview with Kat from Daedalic Entertainment
The beast in the East that is the Penny Arcade expo was an absolute blast! And as I am wont to do, dear reader, I spent the event hitting the showroom floor to look at every horror game, and talk about quite a few, some you’ve heard of, perhaps a few you haven’t. The first title I will be talking about is an upcoming horror-survival game, developed by Vixa games and published by Daedalic entertainment titled Edge of Sanity. While combing through the litany of emails I had gotten before taking the train into Boston, Edge of Sanity stood out to me due to its emphasis on confronting not only the unseen horrors of Lovecraftian creatures, but also the harsh Alaskan wilderness. Curious to learn more about the title, I met with Kat, the influencer manager for Daedalic entertainment, and she opened my mind to the eldritch and environmental horrors of Edge of Sanity.
Starting off, I asked Kat to give us a short rundown of the title.
Kat: Edge of Sanity is a game that we have coming up, hopefully this year, but it’s a survival horror game, like you said, Lovecraftian in style, but kind of a mix of walking simulator, story, and base management stuff. So a lot of crafting, a lot of exploring and trying to find different puzzles and things that you can bring back to your base to continue to build it up.
I commented that it was cool to see that it really felt like the scavenging and survival made up a big part of the game, as opposed to just being something for the player to do between monster encounters.
Kat: Yeah, it’s kind of a mix of a couple different genres, which is why I think it makes kind of a unique take on the horror genre. But yeah, people like bleak [games] and like, it’s set in Alaska, which is obviously a very unforgiving landscape. So if you’d like to kind of, you know, be out in the wilderness, you have nothing else but you know, your own campfire to really build off of you’ll like this for sure.
One thing I was wondering was what exactly Lovecraftian meant to the dev team. So I asked Kat, was this a more cerebral experience, leaving the player more paranoid about the unknown, or was it more extra-terrestrial, with the player facing creatures that will reach right into his brain, or drive them mad from just the sight?
Kat: Definitely the mystery. You don’t quite know what’s going on until you’ve gotten further into it. You’re kind of finding a story as you go, but also trying to make sure you survive the next day. So it’s kind of just, not quite sure if it’s real or not real or something else is going on.
I again reiterated that it was cool to see that the survival mechanics were first and foremost, leaving the player constantly canvassing the area for the means to make it through one more day.
Kat: yeah, it’s kind of that idea that you’re doing all this work to survive. But actually, there’s a story underlining everything that you start to kind of unravel as you go.
I was in the middle of my next question, but this point, as we watched someone play through the demo, a monstrous creature came from the left side of the screen, and sent the player scrambling, to which I bluntly said “Oh geez, what’s this thing? Oh lord, that looks hideous”
Kat: So you’re starting to see that Lovecraftian stuff come in.
Afterwards, I finished my question. I asked Kat if there were any considerations made to ensure that the player would not be able to over-prep and hoard materials and trivialize the survival and construction aspects of the game?
Kat: Yeah. So there’s a lot of limits to what you can, for instance, horde, you have inventory limits that you need to kind of unlock as you go and craft extra stuff to continue to build up that base that you come back to, so that you can kind of see how you develop throughout the game instead of getting everything from the get-go.
On a similar note, I asked if the base that the player built would be persistent, or would the player be expected to abandon one safehouse to traverse further away to another?
Kat: Yeah, so obviously, we’re still in the early days of the build, I’m not sure that the Dev is going to change that. But for what it is right now you have that constant base from the beginning, that you’re kind of building off as you go. So that you can continue to adventure as far as you’d like. But you still come back.
Having spoken a little bit about the economy of scavenging and scurrying to survive, I wanted to know if the player would be completely helpless against the creatures that stalked them in the dark, cold nights, so I asked Kat if there would be any combat aspects to the title, even if it was as simple as lighting a flare to keep the enemies at arms length?
Kat: Yeah, so there’s obviously like, you saw some enemies that came along, but it’s more running away at this stage, especially early on when you’re just surviving? I’m unsure. To be honest, if much combat comes up later in the game. But from the beginning, it’s more just running for your life.
To clarify, I said that regardless of the possibility of the developers changing some things, the player should not expect to ever take the offensive against the monsters.
Kat: No, I wouldn’t. Yeah, it’s definitely more of a survival crafting than a combat game.
I was excited to keep my eyes on the project and give the final product another look when it launched, to wrap things up, I asked Kat if she had a hopeful release window for the title, and if there was anything else she wanted our dear readers to know about the game?
Kat: Yeah, hopefully by the end of the year, but we’ll definitely have more information throughout the rest of the next couple quarters as we kind of see how it develops. But yeah… I just think if people like horror games, if they like things like Oxen Free free, that kind of mystery type game, they’ll like this one for sure.
With that I again thanked Kat for her time and left her to her work at the Daedalic entertainment booth. If Edge of Sanity looks like something you’d love to lose your mind over, be sure to wishlist the title on Steam so you can be know as soon as the game drops, hopefully this year. And as always, to see more PAX picks and general spooky scoops, head back to DreadXP and read more of our frightful features!