Ready to become The Medium? Read our interview with one of the game’s creators

Dark atmosphere, engaging story, and unique soundtrack – these are the trademarks of all Bloober Team’s games. Their newest title, The Medium, is no exception here. Today Wojciech Piejko, the Lead Designer at Bloober Team, has decided to share with us some interesting trivia about the creative process that led to the creation of this brilliant and somewhat haunting title.
GOG.COM: Observer, Blair Witch, Layers of fear, and now The Medium – the creators from the Bloober Team seem to be feeling really well in the psychological horror genre. Are you all horror fans on a daily basis or is it just a coincidence?
Wojciech Piejko, the Lead Designer: Hell yes – we are horror fans. Some of us are even die-hard horror fans. Even if you look at Basement Crawl (one of Bloober’s games from the pre-horror era) you can see that we are fans of darker themes. From today's perspective, we were lucky because Basement Crawl was a huge flop and it changed the entire course of the company. We needed to change our approach to game development - it was our last chance... We knew that we needed to do something different and something we really want to do so we bet on the Layers of Fear prototype and the rest is history. When I think about it, Layers of Fear was kind of our Final Fantasy :)
How did you come up with the concept of The Medium? What inspired you most when working on the game with such a dark atmosphere?
The idea of the game happening in two realities came to the crazy minds of Piotr and Marlena Babieno (heads of Bloober Team) even before I joined the company. After years of prototypes and different versions, the project ended up in limbo. We dug it up knowing about the upcoming new generation of hardware and we were finally able to pull it off. In terms of inspirations, they come from everywhere: books, movies, comic books, other games, etc. For me, music is the most important creative drive - I love to listen to dark tunes, closing my eyes, and imagining crazy stuff.
Tell us more about the game’s main character, Marianne. How much is she different from Daniel Lazarski, the hard-boiled protagonist from your previous hit title – Observer?
Marianne is more like an outcast. She lives in two realities but she is not a real part of any of those worlds – too dead for the living and too alive for the dead. As a girl gifted and cursed at the same time, she finds her peace in helping tormented spirits. I’d like to think of her as a badass with a warm heart. I think Marianne and Daniel could be friends because both of them like to swear and use jokes to deal with their fears.
The Medium allows the player to visit two realities at the same time. How does such transition look from the player’s perspective and what are the main differences between those two worlds?
Marianne can’t control her ability and sometimes realities are switching in a blink of an eye so you should expect the unexpected. The game flows between worlds, sometimes you are only in the real world, sometimes in the spirit world, and sometimes you exist in two worlds at the same time. You should spend a similar amount of time in each combination - we want to constantly surprise you so don’t get used to any reality:)
I think there are two crucial differences between the worlds: First, the spirit world is inhabited by strange entities and some of them are angry and hostile. Second, in the spirit world, Marianne can use her powers to defend herself while in the real world she needs to hide or use her brains to deal with danger.
The game’s atmospheric music was composed by two experienced composers – Arkadiusz Reikowski (Layers of Fear, Kholat) and Akira Yamaoka of the Silent Hill fame. How did the cooperation of two such great musical minds look like?
Working with such great artists like Akira Yamaoka-san and Arek Reikowski-san is a pure pleasure. At the beginning of our cooperation, Akira-san visited our studio, spent days with us talking about the story, the mood of the game, and the emotional strings we would like to pull in our players. Arek (like everyone in the studio) is a big fan of Akira’s work so they connected very fast and started to work together. Then the pandemic hit and they had to switch to fully remote work, but it didn't dampen their spirits - results are awesome and I can’t wait till players will have the chance to experience their music.
Do you love dark, atmospheric titles from Bloober Team, or The Medium will be your first encounter with games created by the studio based in Kraków? Let us know in the comments!