IOI Week is a studio-wide creative tradition. It’s a week where we focus on creativity, innovation and togetherness by creating space for fun and exploration. Disclaimer: Miasma was entirely made in Glacier, reusing HITMAN assets. It was made for exploration and learning and is not related to any IOI game projects. Everything was created in 4 days for IOI Week and presented on August 22nd, 2023.
Intro by Thomas Pulluelo, Senior Level Designer, and Project Lead on Miasma.
Following last year’s Backrooms Prototype Project, 23 ambitious IOI developers collaborated to craft a new, exhilarating project for IOI Week. They united to create an atmospheric horror experience in which players assume the role of a detective entangled in her own nightmares.
As a huge fan of the horror genre, I always wanted to create or work on a horror focused experience. I’m fascinated by all the different technics and tricks this style is using to infuse fear and send shivers down our spines, from the tiniest details to meticulously orchestrated moments. However, crafting horror can be quite challenging, as even a single misstep can shatter the immersion and dispel the fear.
The concept behind Miasma was to create an experience where terror emanates from subconscious spaces, areas that feel strangely familiar yet unsettling. Playing around with this theme and mixing it with the unknown was the perfect match. It allowed a slow atmospheric horror experience where the player has time to think and explore, all that punctuated by intense scripted events. I’m pretty sure a lot of people will recognize all the different references we had for this project!
In terms of the story, True Detective (season one) was a big source of inspiration. The thriller ambiance and mood were a perfect fit, ensuring that the narrative unfolds at the same pace as the horror settles. The investigation and crime theme were also great canvas to create mysteries and unexpected events, it has universal tools that the players understand rapidly which was ideal for our project.
In Miasma, players assume the role of Inspector Silva, a young detective summoned on a rainy night to confront the most challenging case of her career: the murder of someone she knew. As she attempts to unravel the enigma behind the tragedy, she’ll encounter something wholly unexpected – grief and guilt. These feelings will embark her on an horrific journey through the darkest places of her mind. Will she find a way out of her own nightmares?
Like any creative project, it took time, collaboration and diverse perspectives from passionate people to bring Miasma to life.
However, this kind of project is not an easy undertaking. I was fortunate to have three exceptionally talented pals right from the start: Jakob Andkjær Poulsgærd (Environmental Artist), Rasmus Jørgensen (Senior Concept Artist), and Ciaran Devlin-Rushe (Lead Sound Designer). Together, we conceptualized the project’s idea – the same idea that later inspired and motivated 19 other talented people from different departments to join our adventure. I cannot overstate how proud I am of the work we, as a team, accomplished in those four days. It was an absolute blast, and I sincerely hope that you will enjoy it!
- Thomas Pulluelo
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(Technically not Hitman, but is IO Interactive and using Hitman assets so I’ve put in Hitman General for now)