Ninja Theory, the studio behind Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, has revealed the making of a new horror game titled Project: Mara. It is meant to be psychological and realistic in its approach, taking inspiration from the real world.
“Based on real lived experience accounts and in-depth research, our aim is to recreate the horrors of the mind as accurately and realistically as possible,” Ninja Theory commercial director Dom Matthews wrote on xbox.com. “Project: Mara will be an experimental title and a showcase of what could become a new storytelling medium.”
“[Project: Mara] will be heavily based on research, interviews, and first-hand accounts to recreate the horrors of the mind as accurately and believably as possible,” Ninja Theory co-founder Tameem Antoniades says in a behind-the-scenes development video diary. “At the heart of it is the character that drives it. The game only features one character and one location.”
Alongside making this trippy title that is aiming to give players nightmares, the studio has another focus. Antoniades goes into detail about The Insight Project, a new piece of technology that will utilize video games to tackle issues of mental illness.
“We’re asking a question: Could we combine the best of game design and technology with cutting edge clinical neuroscience and psychiatry to help with mental suffering and to promote mental well being? This became the Insight Project.” professor Paul Fletcher of the University of Cambridge says in the video.”
The studio has tapped into mental health before these two new projects. In Hellblade, the protagonist had psychosis, which was studied during development and given insight from experts along with people who suffer from the illness. This movement in the industry is trending, hence last year’s Sea of Solitude.
The studio is currently developing Hellblade 2, which was announced last year. The sequel will build upon the themes of its predecessor. There is no known date, but it will release on PC and Xbox Series X.