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Lucius: Developer Interview

Born on June 6th, 1966, Lucius seemed to be normal to the eyes of others…save for the exorbitant wealth his family possesses.  Growing up in his luxurious manor, Lucius has many staff at his beck and call including several maids, the family’s own butcher and Lucius’ private teacher.

When Lucius turned 6, things turned for the horrific: The Devil appeared in his dreams the night before his birthday, revealing that Lucius was in fact his son.

And that’s how The Devil managed to bring a descendant back to the Earth.  Being the spawn of Satan isn’t all fun and games.  Lucius’ missions on Earth are the basest plans of the Evil: to gain control over the world. First thing’s first though.  To make his family’s wealth and powers his own, Lucius needs to get rid of all his family members and the service staff in the manor.

To serve that end, Lucius uses a host of supernatural powers to terrorize and maim the denizens of his family manor.  Using Lucifer’s gifts of telekinesis and mind control, Lucius begins thinning the population of the mansion one “unfortunate accident” at a time.  Johannes Aikio, the Lead Game Designer for Lucius and CEO of Shiver Games was gracious enough to grant us an interview about their interactive bloodbath!

How does the design methodology differ from making a traditional horror game, to making a game where THE PLAYER is “the horror”? 

Johannes Aikio: Well I guess the main difference would be the fact that we are not really looking ways to scare the player at anyway. When the player is actually “the horror” we are carefully constructing atmosphere that slightly might shock the player on the actions of someone. (player) We have seen this in a lot of “Stephen King” type of horror movies. Still providing the thrilling atmosphere and disturbing actions without going for the “cheap” scare.

How do you handle compelling the player to play a role of a character they might otherwise dislike and/or engage them (even make them ENJOY) performing actions they find “bad” or “wrong” ?

JA: What the player should always remember that it is just entertainment and just a game. Alot of people actually might just enjoy being the bad guy for once and what better stage to act out this fantasy than in a constructed environment of a computer game. That being said none of the characters that Lucius meets are really angels themselves. You could say that there is a reason why the “Devil” wants their souls…

The characters and storytelling seem reminiscent of the classic film The Omen. Was that something you were drawing inspiration from with Lucius?

JA: In terms of the main setting of the game yes, but there are alot of other inspirations in the game too. The player can find several references to different horror movies of that time and we kind of like to add small “easter eggs” or even larger situations where the player can spot their favorite flick.

What other games inspired your team in making Lucius?

JA: We have been looking alot of references how things are done right. There has not really been any single game we have been drawing inspiration from, because of our unique setting. In terms of quality and working similar gameplay we looked on games like “Hitman”, “Uncharted” or “Mafia”. Specially when trying to create atmospheric and realistic cutscenes.

Were there any gameplay elements you’d hoped to get in to Lucius that didn’t quite make it?

JA: Sure. If we could we would probably be adding gameplay elements forever. But basically our initial design was much more simple than the game is now. So we have ended up adding more than we planned.

How open ended is Lucius?

JA: Slightly after the beginning you can start investigating the whole gamearea freely. You can also pretty much already orchestrate alot of the “traps/accidents” before hand in oreder you like it is just the actual order of the deaths that we have determined for the player so we can actually create a well scripted and compelling story behind the game. There are also alot to do in the mansion that does not actually forward the main plot line but can help you in some otherways.


What possibilities/hindrances is there to having a child as a protagonist? Have you encountered/anticipated any controversies in this decision?

JA: Well some people find it somewhat disturbing. I guess that would be the reason why they love to use creepy children in horror movies so much. But not everyone will think “Lucius” just as entertainment, but thats what it is and should have no more controversies than similar movies.

For more information on Lucius, follow them on their Facebook page at  facebook.com/LuciusTheGame [2], by following @LaceMambaGlobal [3] on Twitter or on the games dedicated website lucius.shivergames.com [4]. Lucius is scheduled to be released on PC March 09, 2012.