How “Sations” will attempt to bring back classic horror

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SATIONS is being developed by MintCookie Games for a 2017 release on the Nintendo Wii U, Playstation Vita and PC platforms (through Steam and GOG).

While the developer is carefully keeping in game videos and screenshots a secret until the official, non soft, reveal, many details have been released by me, Cameron Rogers, who is MintCookie Games marketing director.

Sations is a reboot of the very obscure and long lost “Sations” series by Taptu, a Japanese company that operated under several different trade names from early 1989 to 2011 when it went defunct. After going defunct, the Sations IP was sold through auction to MintCookie Games, an Indie developer with prior history in publishing games through the Ouya marketplace for several different indie devs.

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A shot of the Saturn case. It was only sold through Mail Orders, making its number of copies less than 1000. Probably one of the rarest Saturn Games unheard of!

A little about MintCookie Games:

Founded by a group of friends in 2010, everyone at MintCookie Games has prior experience with other companies. While our company is small (6 people, including me), two of us worked at Sega Of America from 1996-2002. Another worked at Capcom of America for two years, another at Insomniac Games for one and a half years, and one last one working at Electronic Arts Chicago for five years. Me? I worked solo, developing game engines and middleware. I had my own game studio for two years, but that ended badly. 😉 We all got together as a collective and started MintCookie Games, a small indie studio dedicated to Horror and Horror Only. We are all hard core fans of classic horror franchises, such as Atari’s Alone In The Dark, Capcoms Resident Evil and Dino Crisis, and Team Silents Silent Hill series. We also enjoy many niche horror titles; such as Extermination, Obscure and Parasites Eve. This is why Sations is being developed, with them all as inspiration. Sations borrows many ideas from these horror series as well.

Now, lets got on with it!

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A proof of concept shot of the inventory system.

Sations uses an inventory system similar to Resident Evil, Dino Crisis, and more. The inventory system features four slots for random items (keys, health, etc), one slot at the top for the special item (such as a lighter), and the slot at the bottom for expansion if you find a backpack or holster. The system also shows the player character, the state of health, and the players information. In this case, John, has his drivers license shown, and it is shown that he is infected!

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Taking obvious inspiration from Resident Evil, Sations is played using an isometric perspective at an angle of the hallway, room, etc. This is, like Resident Evil, intended to make it hard for the player to see whats near them, to cause fear and anxiety when turning a corner, because you never know! There could be a zombie on the otherside!

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Image (c) Capcom. Resident Evil 2 ProtoType.

Sations has two playable characters to choose from. John, and Lynn. Similar to Resident Evil 1.5, the option to choose your character will look similar to the above photo, where you choose Leon or Elza. Taking more inspiration from the cancelled version of Resident Evil 2 is visible damage. The only place that shows your health is your inventory menu. But what about in game? Yes, you can see the player limping, but what about that nasty scratch? Well, after a few hits and such, John/Lynn start showing blood, rips, etc on their outfits. This is a mechanic done to add realism and fear to the game.

Sations also borrows ideas from Silent Hill as well. John exclusively has his own feature that Lynn doesn’t. John used to be a reporter. He LOVES having his trusty radio/tape recorder on him at all times to record his thoughts. While it wont work on Zombies and many big monsters, paranormal creatures like Ghosts will make the radio go crazy with static! Again, this is done to scare the player.

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The mapping system is also similar to Resident Evil. Green rooms mean they are explored. Bright red means they are not explored, and dark red means they are no longer accessible.

John and Lynn can check the map to see where they are in the game world. Sometimes a map may not be available, however. One last thing I will say that is borrowed from Resident Evil and Silent Hill (1999) are CGI cutscenes. To stay true to the 90s feel, our cutscenes will be pre rendered using CGI.

We have so much we want to share, but cant, to keep it secret! But we can hint something: A Resident Evil alum has said he/she will voice a certain character in game when ready. Yes, thanks to our connections with prior game development, someone who has voiced a popular Resident Evil character in the past will be voicing a character in Sations. But WHO?!

You will have to see.

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