"We Wouldn’t Give The Silent Hill IP To A Team Like Yours" - Dementium: The Ward's Origins And Switch Return
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Dementium: The Ward’s Origins And Switch Return – Why We Refuse to Entrust the Silent Hill IP to a Team Like Yours

# Nintendo Life: Dementium: The Ward Coming to Switch with Enhanced Features

Nintendo fans will soon have the chance to experience the creepy world of Dementium: The Ward on the Switch. Originally released in 2007 for the DS, with a remastered version for the 3DS in 2015, the game is now making its way to the popular hybrid console. But what is it about this unsettling world that keeps drawing players back in?

Jools Watsham, co-founder of Renegade Kid and one of the minds behind Dementium: The Ward, explains that the game was their first independent creation as a studio. Their goal was to create a truly creepy experience for players, and they succeeded. Watsham admits that he hadn’t had a chance to play the game in many years due to other commitments, but the opportunity to remaster it for the 3DS reignited his love for the Dementium universe. Now, with the upcoming Switch release, he’s excited to bring updated features and more to the game.

One interesting tidbit from the game’s history is that Watsham originally pitched Dementium: The Ward to Konami as a potential Silent Hill project. However, the meeting didn’t go as planned, with the representative from Konami dismissing the idea. Watsham reflects on this, saying that while the game could have been significantly different with the Silent Hill IP, he’s glad that they were able to continue developing their own creations with Gamecock.

So, what can Switch players expect from this new version of Dementium: The Ward? Watsham explains that a lot of effort went into making the gameplay feel smooth and responsive on a controller, as this is the first time the game is not tethered to dual-screen touch controls. The interactive screens from the 3DS version had to be adapted to work as a single-screen experience for the Switch. Additionally, the team added some quality-of-life updates, such as highlighting save locations on the player’s maps, to ensure a comfortable yet unsettling experience.

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When it comes to the visuals on the Switch, the team aimed to retain the original game’s charm while taking advantage of the console’s 16:9 aspect ratio and maintaining a smooth 60fps. The result is an atmospheric retro FPS revival that feels both familiar and fresh.

The rights to Dementium went through a delicate process of transfer and were eventually regained by Atooi, the company founded by Gregg Hargrove, Watsham’s late co-founder of Renegade Kid. Watsham approached Hargrove’s widow to discuss the future of Dementium, and they were able to come to an agreement that benefits everyone involved.

In recent years, big-budget horror remakes like Resident Evil have dominated the conversation. When asked about this trend, Watsham believes that there’s a place for both big-budget and low-budget horror. The important thing is how the material is handled and what is done with it.

In other Atooi news, the release date for Hatch Tales has been announced. The development of this game has had its fair share of challenges, with criticism from Kickstarter backers over communication. Watsham admits to making mistakes in handling the communication with the Kickstarter community during the game’s development. However, they were able to overcome these obstacles and create a game they are proud of.

Looking ahead, Watsham mentions the possibility of revisiting Dementium II and creating a brand new third entry in the series. While nothing is planned at the moment, these ideas are still possibilities for the future.

When it comes to horror games that have influenced Watsham’s work, he mentions The Mortuary Assistant as a recent standout. He also reveals that he has a few ideas for a new Dementium game that he believes will offer a fresh experience.

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The resurgence of DS games on the Switch, such as The World Ends With You and Ghost Trick, has been well-received by fans. Adapting Dementium: The Ward’s two-screen nature to a single-screen format was a lot of work, but it was well worth it.

Influenced by modern classics like Scream, Watsham designed Dementium with a formula that establishes a “credible threat” early on, creating an intense and memorable experience for players.

In conclusion, Dementium: The Ward is making its way to the Switch with enhanced features and gameplay tweaks. Jools Watsham and the team at Atooi have put a lot of effort into adapting the game for the console, ensuring a smooth and atmospheric experience. With the possibility of future entries in the series and other exciting projects on the horizon, fans of horror games have a lot to look forward to.

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Written by Benjamin Bartlett

A veteran gamer since the age of 5, Benjamin has traversed the digital realms of Azeroth to the streets of Los Santos. With a master's in Game Design from Stanford, hi penned three best-selling books on the evolution of gaming culture.

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