Heaven and Earth
Tone of the Game
The pervading mood of the game can be summed up with three words: horror, surrealism, and absurdity
Horror scares through suspense and mounting tension. Things should be disturbing and creepy, producing feelings of fear and dread. A person’s own imagination is the best facilitator of this. It will paint a picture far more horrific than any words or images can describe. In other words, what is unknown and unseen is far more frightening than anything else.
Surrealism is a storytelling technique designed to simulate the bizarre, nonsensical nature of dreams. Dreams have a logic all their own and can take the sleeper on strange and sometimes disjointed rides into the world of the odd. Dreams are difficult to explain the next day, yet make perfect sense while happening. Surrealism is the application of these dream-like qualities to waking events.
When things are so bizarre, so off-kilter that they become almost comical, that is absurdity. While something that is absurd is meant to be funny, it isn’t slapstick funny. Rather, it’s strange and quirky. The audience laughs because something is so out of place it strikes them as funny, though it’s a disturbing, uncomfortable laughter. In this game, absurdity helps emphasize mood, contributing to an existing level of weirdness in the game world, thereby making things all the more disturbing. The comical moments created through absurdity can also provide some lightheartedness to an otherwise dark story. Used properly, absurdity grants respite from horror and enhances it at the same time.