Alone in the Dark (1992)

Alone in the Dark (DOS)  1992


First 3D survival horror

Alone in the Dark 1992

Gameplay video

Alone in the Dark 1992
picture from manual

Earliest review - ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) (1992)

"Gut, hübsch sind sie nicht, unsere Helden, aber das läßt die schaurig-schöne Atmosphäre des Spukhauses sehr schnell vergessen. Nicht nur die Hintergrundmusiken passen zu dem gruseligen Szenario, auch und besonders die Soundeffekte hauen da voll mit rein. Wenn wieder irgendwo krachend ein Fenster zersplittert, ein Werwolfheulen die Wände erzittern läßt, die Bodendielen knarren und unerwartet die Tür hinter einem ins Schloß knallt, dann zuckt nicht nur die Spielfigur zusammen, da laufen auch dem Spieler kalte Schauer den Rücken hinunter. Wer sich Alone in the Dark abends im dunklen Zimmer mit aufgedrehtem Sound reinzieht, der wird sich schnell in einen (Horror)-Film wiederfinden und die Wirklichkeit vergessen."


Earliest english Magazine review - Game Players (1993)
"The concept of being imprisoned inside an evil house has been used in dozens of horror movies, and Alone in the Dark succeeds wildly in creating the nervous, claustrophobic terror of being both trapped and pursued."

1) In 1989, Frederick Raynal, a staff programmer at Infogrames, was assigned to port the early 3D game Alpha Waves, Working on the game inspired him to begin programming a tool for the creation and animation of 3D characters, with help from Franck De Girolami. In 1991, Infogrames CEO Bruno Bonnell proposed a game in which the player would use matches to gain snapshot views of an otherwise completely dark environment. An aficionado of horror films such as Dawn of the Dead, Raynal saw in this proposal the opportunity to create a horror-based game, and was given permission to lead the project. this time Raynal already had decided that the game would make use of text to convey the backstory, as he felt computer graphics at the time were not advanced enough to be frightening on their own. Initially he planned to create the game's backgrounds using scanned photos of an actual mansion built in the 1920s, but this idea proved too ambitious for the 3D rendering tools available, and the team had to use hand-drawn bitmaps instead.
2) Alone in the Dark was met with great critical acclaim. Computer Gaming World's Charles Ardai praised the game, citing its multiple viewpoints and stating that no previous game had caused him to "jump in fright at the slightest sound .. I feel that I have been inside a real house".
3) In 2009, Empire included Alone in the Dark on their list of 100 greatest video games of all time for its "ingenious approach coming closer than any game had before to photo-realism, and inspiring other developers to experiment with fresh approaches to presentation."

4) First survival horror game is Haunted House (1981).

5) First poligonal 3D survival horror (first 3D survival horror was 3D Monster Maze (1982) for Sinclair ZX81.

6) Emulated in: DOSBox

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