Hands up how many of you used to pick spiders off their webs, and from dark corners in sheds, and plonk them overnight in a Millennium Falcon toy – with removable roof – so in the morning you could see which one emerged triumphant?
Come on, own up!
Don’t be shy!
Look, I know this makes me horrible but I was a child! (Who invented the battle royale genre. Stop it Bertie! They’ll never forgive you!)
Point is: whereas I don’t have much of a problem with spiders, many people do, and in some cases, the fear can be so strong as to become a phobia. Arachnophobia is no joke and it can be a real issue playing games.
Games love spiders. Can’t get enough of them. Giant spiders, half-spider-people things, creatures inspired by spiders – caves many game worlds over are filled with them. Imagine an RPG without spiders!
But how many developers stop to think, while eagerly tweaking their latest scuttling animation, about the effect it will have on a spider-phobic audience?
Well, one developer has. It’s Swedish studio Coffee Stain, in new game Satisfactory – and very promising it is too.
There are spiders in Satisfactory, and although they’re relatively small, they move in a flurry of knobbly-jointed legs, eerily like the real thing. This was causing a problem for people working on the game so an Arachnophobia Mode was added – and remains in the game still!
Arachnophobia Mode is a checkbox in the menu. It doesn’t turn spiders off but conceals them. Instead of seeing a scary spider you – and this is brilliant – see an image of a cat’s face. A big image of a cat. It looks like this:
Well, meow about that? (No I’m not sorry!)
Satisfactory launches in early access exclusively on the Epic Game Store 19th March.