How a bunch of art school grads made putrid, brilliant horror adventure Sanitarium

As was the case for a lot of ’90s adventure games, the small team at DreamForge making point-and-click horror adventure Sanitarium had mostly no idea what they were doing.

Most of them were fresh art school grads, and studio leadership was only a little older. When the game debuted in 1998, the narrative-driven horror market was already filled with Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers, Phantasmagoria, and The 7th Guest. Sanitarium (opens in new tab) was a little different. It was still within the familiar, tried-and-true adventure genre that DreamForge already had experience working in (Veil of Darkness had been the first other big horror hit), but with a psychological peg.

I made so many dreadful mistakes it’s truly a miracle the game made it across the finish line

Mike Nicholson

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