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Sleep No More and Irrational
Bar Harbor
alexx_kay
Some folks from GameInformer magazine were up here a few months back, doing a profile of Irrational Games. They got taken out to see Sleep No More (this was before it was ultra-sold-out). Here's the beginning of the resulting article:

Understanding the Irrational
The Past, Present, and Future of Irrational Games
by Joe Juba

I walk into a room with dozens of envelopes hanging from the walls and ceiling. The Ink Spots' rendition of a classic 1940s tune hangs in the air ("I'll never smile again...until I smile at you..."), and a man dressed in period clothing purposefully moves between two desks. He scribbles something down, then frantically steps over to the other desk and flips through documents. He is surrounded by others like me - silent figures in haunting white masks - but he doesn't acknowledge us. We simply watch, soaking in the sense of urgency and danger, trying to piece together clues. This surreal scenario shares so many thematic similarities with BioShock that it could practically be a room cut from the game - except this isn't a game at all. It's an inventive theatrical production called Sleep No More, where the audience is free to roam the halls of an abandoned school, examine the elaborate sets that were once classrooms, and seek out actors across the facility's four floors in hopes of witnessing important scenes.
Irrational Games staffers took me to Sleep No More during my visit to the Boston-based developer, and it didn't take long to see why the show was such a popular topic of conversation among the team members (some of whom had already seen the show several times). The play revolves around discovery and atmosphere; two viewers could walk away from the show with vastly different experiences depending on what they had the opportunity to explore. Since releasing System Shock 2 in 1999, Irrational Games has specialized in crafting precisely this kind of interaction between the players and their surroundings, establishing intricate virtual worlds held together by compelling narrative. Experiences like Sleep No More resonate because the core concept is at the heart of Irrational's heritage...

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Yes. The atmosphere in SNM definitely was the same for me as it was in System Shock 2. Hm. Duh, I guess, but I never thought about it before!

I gather from this that either Sleep No More has a big twist I haven't been told about, or your System Shock 2 experience involved a great deal less monkey-related terror than mine did.

lol. No, but both had, as the primary sensation for me, wandering around in a mostly-empty place that had a creepy sense of _potential threat_, with regular moments of extreme action.

("I'll never smile again...

Guilty teeth have got no rhythm.


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