Benjamin Rivers, the man behind indie horror game Home, has hopes to create a psychological dating sim, he told Joystiq.
River's next game was based on a joke he originally made on Twitter, which described a new horror title with dating-sim elements.
"I made a joke on Twitter like a month ago," Rivers explained, "where I was like 'Hey guys, if I did a horror game with a dating-sim element, would people play it?' and people were like 'Yeah!' Playing things like Mass Effect while finishing this game, playing Persona, that element of a really relationship-based game where you chase stuff like that, that's kind of my new jam."
The new title will likely follow the same art style as Home — a two-dimensional, pixel-based game — and will psychologically influence the player, with the goal of instilling terror in them.
"It's not a grinding game or anything like that, but I want to take a lot of what you do in those relationship games like Persona and offload some of that to people," Rivers said, explaining that the ultimate goal will be to have the player become honestly and emotionally invested, rather than solely caring about the gamification of satisfying a social link, or maxing out relationship points.
"I want to basically take a game that makes you feel as cool as you do in Persona, as far as relationships, [being] as connected," Rivers continued, "but see if I can do it without making it so video game-y, but still make it where people maybe even have a more powerful reaction because they buy in."
This is the first new title from Rivers in three years. Home received an 8 out of 10 from Polygon, in a review that states: "Like the best horror tales, it doesn't leave you with all of the answers. But Home invites you to do more than just discuss its unsettling ambiguities; you get to help create them."