Hellblade, DMC Dev Announces Experimental "Project: Mara"

Ninja Theory has been interested in using the interactive aspect of video games to explore issues surrounding mental health, and now the studio has announced a new project along those lines called Project: Mara. In a short introductory video, the team explains the goals of Mara and how it ties into its overall vision.

Project: Mara is described as a representation of “mental terror,” recreated realistically. The team says it only features one character, and one location, and acknowledges that it’s an experimental idea. It hopes that this will help forge a new storytelling medium. No platforms were announced for Mara, but it’s in the early stages so it may be targeting the next generation of console hardware power. Ninja Theory was acquired by Microsoft in 2018.

In a video accompanying the announcement, Ninja Theory’s Dom Matthews and Tameem Antoniades explain that the company is dividing itself into a series of small teams, in a studio structure it calls “Dreadnaught.” These teams are currently pursuing the recently announced Hellblade 2, the mental well-being experiment Project Insight, and now Project: Mara. It says that it has fulfilled its prior commitments from before being picked up by Microsoft, so now it can focus on these key projects.

The brief dev diary also shared some more insight on Hellblade 2, which was announced at the 2019 Game Awards. The studio has a slightly larger team at work on it than the first Hellblade, but still significantly smaller than a standard AAA release. It says it hopes to prove that a small team can create a triple-A scale by making use of procedural tools.

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