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The folks at Frictional Games provided a progress update for their latest game, SOMA, via Facebook. Content-wise, SOMA is pretty much a finished product.
“Next week will be the last one before the game goes into Content Lock. After this, no new non-trivial content can be added to the game,” says the developer.
Once Content Lock is reached, the entire development effort will shift into “bug fixing, tweaking details and low-level optimization.”
Frictional Games goes on to talk about the importance of Content Lock.
“Having this kind of lock is vital as things that might seem really simple additions could have ramifications that cause all sort of unforeseen consequences.”
Frictional Games wants the last few weeks of development to be fixing current issues, not creating new ones. This week is acting as “a buffer zone in case something unexpected shows up, instead of a frantic race against time.”
It sounds like the final push in SOMA’s development has come together nicely.
“After such a long development time, five whole years, it feels insane to be this close to the finishing line,” says Frictional. “In just a month we will have unleashed our game, and all of you will be able to play it.”
Five years sounds like development hell. But, we have to remember Frictional isn’t a Triple-A developer. Just over a dozen people work at the company. Plus, Frictional Games collaborated with The Chinese Room to release Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs in 2013.
Frictional is no stranger to horror games
SOMA is a survival horror game, a genre Frictional knows well. Frictional Games first title was Penumbra: Overture. They would go on to make two expansion packs for Penumbra before developing the game most gamers recognize the company for – Amnesia: The Dark Descent.