Arkane Studios wears its love of sci-fi on its sleeve, and that’s quite fitting — the upcoming Prey is firmly rooted in the genre. Stevivor sat down with Arkane’s Ricardo Bare and Susan Kath during a studio tour in Austin, Texas late last year to discuss those influences.
“I’ve always been big into sci-fi since I was a kid and discovered Frank Herbert’s Dune and going from there to Stranger in a Strange Land, actually I would say Stranger in a Strange Land probably had some influence on Prey,” said Kath, a Producer on the title.
“We did do a number of books around the studio passed around with influences but I think the thing with sci-fi to is it’s easy to wander into territory that feels derivative.”
Lead Designer Ricardo Bare also acknowledged that potential stumbling block.
“So a lot of it starts with us being conscious of what has already been done and trying not to repeat anything that’s too obvious,” he told Stevivor. “We are huge fans of movies like Alien and Aliens but at the same time were trying to put Arkane’s own unique stamp on it.
“I use the analogy sometimes for writing there’s the sort of archetypal stories like boy meets girl. No one’s going to be like, ‘Hey guys, I just wrote a new story about this boy that falls in love with this girl — I bet you’ve never heard of that before,’ yet we don’t ever get tired of that because what a particular author can do that is unique is bring their own voice to it their own stamp. That’s what were trying to do with science fiction.
“There have been games about space stations before and games with aliens before, but these games have never been made by Arkane before,” Bare continued. “We bring our own voice to it.
“I also did a lot of reading on parapsychological stuff. There are groups of scientists, who some people would call pseudoscientists, who believe that parapsychological phenomena is real; they have all these books where they have these studies and meta analysis where they try to prove it. So I kind of emerged myself in that stuff just so that it could form a believable background and basis for what is taking place aboard this space station.”
Publisher Bethesda has partnered with GameStop in the United States to run an event called Influences of Prey. Taking place at Alamo Drafthouse locations across Austin, San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles, the event will give gamers the chance to check out Prey alongside a screening of either Moon, Starship Troopers, Total Recall or The Matrix, titles also listed as inspirational to Arkane’s latest.