A Year of Nightmares

Kristina Pelz

A YEAR OF NIGHTMARES ist ein Science-Fiction-Horrorspiel, in dem eine Stadt von einer Entität namens „der Nebel“ in die Quarantäne gezwungen wird. Der:die Spieler:in übernimmt die Rolle einer jungen Frau namens Thea, welche versucht den Ursprung „des Nebels“ herauszufinden und gleichzeitig ihren Alltag in der neuen Situation meistern muss. 
Im Spielverlauf muss der:die Spieler:in für sich selbst entscheiden, was real ist und was nicht, da die Handlung durch die Augen einer psychisch kranken Person erlebt wird. A YEAR OF NIGHTMARES folgte als Projekt auf die Thesis, die sich mit der Darstellung psychischer Störungen im Medium Videospiel beschäftigte. Insbesondere im Fokus stand das Spiel „Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice", in dem die Protagonistin an einer Psychose leidet. Das Spiel ist kostenlos auf ich.io in englischer Sprache erhältlich (siehe Links).

Kristina Pelz

Kristina Pelz is an aspiring narrative designer and speculative fiction author with focus on dark fantasy/cyberpunk fiction. In terms of game development, her focus is on making narrative driven, narrative heavy games, often in the form of visual novels. She considers herself a connoisseur of fine media—like books, manga, video games, and animated TV shows—and enjoys playing and mastering Dungeons & Dragons in her limited free time.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?

Working in a stable job that pays my rent. Or living under a bridge, both is equally as likely in this economy.

What is a good design for you?

“Good Design” is a term so vague that it means everything and nothing at the same time, so let me give an equally vague answer: For me, good game design means something that is intuitive to the player, but innovative; design that is hidden in plain sight, but penetrates every layer of the development process.

What was the most challenging experience during your studies?

It's hard to list just one, so let's pick this one for fun: Making a game with coherent art design, game design, coding, UI, project management, sound, and assets in one semester.

Who or what inspires you?

Inspiration can be found anywhere and it is important to find it outside of one's own media subfield; that is what keeps the creative flow going. I, personally, find inspiration in music, comic books, and dreams.

How do you approach a new project?

A new project idea is like a fish that you're trying to catch with your bare hands. As soon as you have it, you need to hold onto it until you can make out what exactly it wants to and has to be in order to work.

What advice would you give to students who just started studying in your programme?

Your physical and mental well-being is more important than crunch.

Have you changed during your studies? How?

I've gotten grey hair.

Why did you choose to study in your programme?

Games are such a unique medium through their interactivity and thus provide so many more ways of storytelling. Also, games are fun and I always wanted to make one before I enrolled in the program.

What are you not going to miss in your studies?

The mandatory theory classes.

How are you going to celebrate your graduation?

I am going to sleep through all of it probably, to make up for the sleep lost before the deadlines.

Say hi!

Oxana Salzmann