Interview: CONFINED: Leaving OKB-134 Free Demo Is Planned For Release In July

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Confined Leaving OKB-134 - via Fiend Games

Confined: Leaving OKB-134 is an upcoming Survival-Horror video game for both PC and VR. Unlike most horror video games, Confined: Leaving OKB-134 is a uniquely designed interactive world that feels almost real. The surroundings are filled with items to discover and feel the presence of entities. 

The game features multiple rooms and each feels unique with atmospheric effects. Even better, the game allows players to interact with the objects with physics-based mechanics. With such advanced player engagement, we interviewed Gabriel Mittermair from Fiend Games to learn more about development details and what to expect from a demo release shortly. 

Confined Leaving OKB-134 - via Fiend Games
Confined Leaving OKB-134 – via Fiend Games

Please introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your role on Confined: Leaving OKB-134

Gabriel: My name is Gabriel Mittermair and I’m a solo developer from Austria. I founded Fiend Games in early 2024 intending to create quality independent games. I’m currently working on my debut title CONFINED: Leaving OKB-134 for over three years now, a Survival-Horror game for PC and VR set in an abandoned soviet bunker.

What sets CONFINED: Leaving OKB-134 apart from other survival-horror games on the market?

Gabriel: While CONFINED: Leaving OKB-134 picks up on the Amnesia formula, what truly sets it apart is the high interactability, as well as the support for VR. All mechanics were designed and developed from the ground up to feel great on both platforms.

Residues from former times, buttons, hatches, toilet flushes – if it looks like you can interact with it, you can. On PC as well as in VR. You can even switch between PC and VR directly from the pause menu without the need to quit the game.

Confined Leaving OKB-134 - via Fiend Games
Confined Leaving OKB-134 – via Fiend Games

What was the design approach behind balancing the elements of horror and puzzle-solving?

Gabriel: In general, I’m trying to find the sweet spot between tension and relief by alternating between horror and puzzle/story elements, while occasionally mixing them for when the player already feels comfortable with introduced tasks and mechanics.

But from a developers’ perspective, it’s actually hard to tell sometimes. Passages may turn out too intense, or not scary enough since I’m constantly looking behind the scenes while working on the game.

That’s why I plan to release a free demo in July to get the feedback I need to push the game in the right direction.

How important is stealth in the game, and what strategies can players use to stay hidden?

Gabriel: One of the main tasks throughout the game is finding ways to reactivate power, lights, and machinery. The player can turn a dangerous and horrifying area into a safe place to explore by managing to turn on the lights again.

In the darkness, however, it’s best advised to stay silent… that’s not always easy considering the tasks given. I don’t want to reveal too much just now, but in the darkness, the player will often have to hide and stay out of sight, while keeping quiet.

Confined Leaving OKB-134 - via Fiend Games
Confined Leaving OKB-134 – via Fiend Games

What influenced the design of the game's sound and visual elements to create a horror atmosphere?

Gabriel: I have used a lot of photographs of real abandoned underground facilities and military bunkers as a reference to create a believable environment. It’s my goal to push the players’ immersion, and therefore increase an oppressive feeling while skulking the aisles of an authentic soviet bunker.

As for the sound design, I’m glad there is a lot to learn from free GDC talks on the internet. There is only a very subtle ambient in the bunker deep underneath the woods. An eerie silence makes even your smallest moves sound loud and insistent. And when rumbling sounds start reaching you through the vent system you might get the feeling you are not alone down here.

Can you elaborate on the physics-based interactions and how they enhance the gameplay experience?

Gabriel: The physics-based interactions let you feel the weight of objects. Dragging open a heavy gate feels slow and loud while a simple door can slowly and silently be opened to take a peek at what’s behind. It increases the feeling of presence and adds a lot to the experience, especially when played in VR.

Confined Leaving OKB-134 - via Fiend Games
Confined Leaving OKB-134 – via Fiend Games

Are there any specific stories or secrets hidden in the game that you are particularly excited for players to discover?

Gabriel: Of course, I can’t wait to see what players will think of the main plot or the many side stories from long-gone personnel. But most of all it gives me great pleasure to watch players trying to figure out the boundaries of interactability in the game.

Them trying out stuff unrelated to progressing in the story or the main mechanics and finding out that I thought about and implemented it is equally fun to me, as to the players.

How do the game's narrative and environmental storytelling contribute to the overall sense of dread and mystery?

Gabriel: Every room in the game tells a story. About its purpose, its former staff, the topics they were bothered about, and the problems they had to face working there. Sometimes, you enter a room, and you immediately see what must have happened there before this place was left behind.

Letters and audio recordings give an insight into gossip, private conversations, relationships, and hardships. But everything hints at one common opinion: Not everything in the facility is what it seems to be. A dark secret is kept even from the personnel.

Confined Leaving OKB-134 - via Fiend Games
Confined Leaving OKB-134 – via Fiend Games

Can you discuss the technical challenges involved in implementing realistic physics-based interactions?

Gabriel: I use the Unreal Engine, which makes it even possible for me to make a game with features like physics-based interactions. But it still comes with a lot of work just to make sure everything feels stable enough. It’s not avoidable to have some physics-related bugs you wouldn’t have otherwise, but I think it’s worth the hassle.

Most of the time it’s important to have a fallback plan for the rare occasions when physics objects start acting weird or falling off the map after glitching through a wall for some reason. Detecting and resetting stuff like this is crucial to not break the game and frustrate the player.

What advice would you give to aspiring game developers looking to create a horror game?

Gabriel: I think a horror game is a good genre to start with. It’s fun to design and easier to market (although I’m struggling with this part). I believe it’s important to be aware of what you are capable of and scale your game idea accordingly. A small, finished game is way better than a huge, unfinished one.

Even seemingly small design decisions can double your development time (like me choosing to also support VR) and therefore reduce your chance of finishing it significantly. But this is my debut title, which is not finished yet. That’s why I don’t feel comfortable yet to give too many tips on how to do stuff. Be brave and just start prototyping your project. You can make it.

Anything else you would like to share with the readers?

Gabriel: My Steam page is live, so if you’re interested in the game, feel free to Wishlist CONFINED Leaving OKB-134! And as I already mentioned, I will try to release a free demo in July, which contains the first 30 minutes of the game.

I would love to hear your feedback on that! Also, if a friend comes to mind, who enjoys playing games like this, please spread the word. You would help me a lot. Thank you for reading!

Confined: Leaving OKB-134 is Survival Horror, under development by Fiend Games. The game is planned to release in early 2025, for PC. 

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