The Vanishing of Ethan Carter Isn’t The Usual Horror, Inspired by To The Moon
Creative director Adrian Chmielarz talks about the game’s influences and atmosphere.
Adrian Chmielarz may have been doing some incredible things at People Can Fly with Bulletstorm and Gears of War: Judgment but now the Creative Director and Co-owner of The Astronauts has a highly intriguing horror title coming soon with The Vanishing of Ethan Carter.
GamingBolt spoke to Chmielarz about the game, particularly its premise which reminded us a lot of Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective and Minority Report. Did either game influence him in the concept stage given their similarities? “No, not at all. I was inspired by many things, from the XIX century weird fiction writers to games like To the Moon, but these two titles don’t really have much to do with Ethan Carter.
“After I had the design for Ethan done, I did learn about Ghost Trick and tried to play it to see how they dealt with the detective mechanics. But despite my repeated attempts I just could never get into the game. I don’t have the patience nor will to deal with time-limited puzzles anymore.
“I’m sure it’s a fun game for a lot of people, but it just wasn’t for me, even from the research point of view.Which made me sad, because I am a big fan of detective games on NDS – from the Phoenix Wright series to Hotel Dusk and its sequel – and I was hoping for another cool detective game to add to the collection.
The Astronauts are also working to ensure that the game delivers on its spooky atmosphere and premise. What will be done to make sure it doesn’t falter in that area? According to Chmieralz, “The short answer is: everything we can. Because you’re right, the atmosphere is absolutely crucial to the experience. I know a designer who claims that the atmosphere is more important than the story, and even though I do not fully agree, I believe there’s a certain truth in that.
“It’s worth nothing, though, that Ethan Carter is not scary in a way that a monster chasing you in the dark is. If pure horror is a hand with the bloodied knife, Ethan Carter is a misty forest.”
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is currently to release this year for the PC. What do you make of it thus far? Let us know in the comments.