I am Shawn Hitchcock, the creator of the original Emily Wants to Play. I have been working for over a year and a half making a sequel that would include everything you loved in the original and surpass it, in terms of quality, content and scare factor. You play as an average young guy, partying it up daily, working at a local sandwich shop for some extra cash. Lately everything has been great, except you keep having an ominous nightmare about dolls coming to life. Tonight, during one of your deliveries, your nightmare comes true.
I have been working on Emily Wants to Play Too, even before the original was finished releasing. For months I jotted down notes and drawings on paper, computer and my phone. I would write and rewrite each idea over and over. I planned the entire game before I started putting anything together on a computer. This included changes to the old characters, new game ideas, new character designs, backstory, how the monsters would behave, sound design and more.
I came up with many of the concepts in the first game by tapping into my personal life and fears. I do not like dolls, and I definitely don’t want to be trapped somewhere in the dark with them! I again started with my fears in planning Emily Wants to Play Too (which is why a mannequin exists in the game), but I also used players’ fears. As soon as the original was released at PlayStation Store, live streams began broadcasting like crazy. People loved watching other players’ reactions to the game, even if they were too scared to play themselves. This caused Emily Wants to Play to take off in the streaming community. It was awesome that I could watch them at any time and see how players and spectators reacted. I could figure out what scared people the most. I took that information and combined it with my fears and created new terrifying moments in Emily Wants to Play Too.
I gathered my notes and starting making it all a reality. The sandwich guy’s apartment was created first. His creepy art taste combined with a peculiar layout, odd lighting, subtle sounds, and the cluttered mess everywhere will keep you on edge. You are trapped in a nightmare with the dolls and need to figure out how to wake up. Then came the main area, Central Evidence. Someone placed an order for a sandwich from there, and you are sent to deliver it. The office is several times larger than the house of Emily Wants to Play. Its layout was purposefully designed to creep you out, allow the dolls complete freedom of movement, and handle lots of eerie dynamic lights. There are four main areas to unlock in the office. Along the way, you will meet the new characters brought to life by the dolls. If you can survive, you will eventually meet Emily. She is jealous and wants to play too! Emily has crazy level-wide games including freezie tags, musical lights and a Chester marathon. In these games, you will be running all over the place, either from the dolls or chasing after them yourself.
The environment design, subtle sounds and special lighting are made to subconsciously induce fear in you. There are four dolls walking around looking for you, including one that continuously repeats “ma-ma”. A creaking, squeaky mannequin man lurks in the darkness hunting for you. You may find an old jack-in-the-box playing an eerie rendition of a children’s song. Don’t let it play for too long, or an evil grinning seven-foot-tall jester doll will pop out and chase you. Then there is Emily, the mysterious scary zombie-looking girl. She may attack on sight, so don’t get in her way. She emerges later in the game, and she is jealous because she wants to play too.
Be afraid, very afraid… and really excited too! Emily and her dolls will be back on PS4 this April in Emily Wants to Play Too. It is bigger, better and scarier than the first. It is creepy, and really fun. If you are too scared to try it out, just ask a friend to play while you cover your eyes!