Frogwares, the Ukrainian-based developer currently working on the H.P. Lovecraft-inspired investigative open-world game The Sinking City, has released a new developer diary for the project.

The diary concerns itself with discussing story details, exploring the title’s existential thematic concerns, and revealing some more concept art and early prototype footage. The developers discuss their passion for Lovecraftian fiction, whilst weaving in a wider discussion on how the genre’s horror concerns itself principally with the fear of the unknown. The video, embedded below, encapsulates the team’s passion for the source material and is further evidence that Frogwares knows how to translate Lovecraft’s unique horror to video games.

The Sinking City is set in 1920s Massachusetts, United States. The player assumes the role of a private detective who arrives in the fictional city of Oakmont, which has suffered extreme weather and natural disasters from supernatural origins. Narratively, the game appears to nail the Lovecraftian mood, but in recent years video games have had difficulty reconciling themselves with the genre, often using the Lovecraftian genre tag as a mere marketing ploy.

However, Frogwares appears to be using Lovecraft’s mythos as more than a marketing tactic, instead placing the author’s universe as the major anchor for the game’s appeal. Frogwares has strong experience translating literature to video games too, after the massive success of its Sherlock Holmes series, which proved to be a very competent contribution to the series’s universe. Judging by the project’s concept art, footage, the team’s experience, and the passion for the source material, The Sinking City is looking like the best game in a long while to respect Lovecraft’s oeuvre.

OnlySP interviewed Frogwares’s CEO, Wael Amr, back in 2016 about the process of transcribing Lovecraft to an on-screen reality.

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Ben Newman

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