Sadness [Wii, WiiU- Cancelled]

Sadness [Wii, WiiU- Cancelled]

Sadness is a cancelled horror game that was in development by Polish video game developer Nibris for the Wii. Frontline Studios had previously signed a deal to co-produce Sadness. However, as of March 17 2007, the companies parted ways due to “artistic differences”. Set in pre-WWI Eastern Europe, Sadness would have followed the story of Maria, a Victorian era aristocrat who has to protect her blind son Alexander after their train derails in the countryside. Their subsequent adventures were based on Slavic legends. [Info from Wikipedia]

After years of development issues, in February 2010 Sadness’ website was closed and the game was officially cancelled, probably because they never found a publisher interested in the project.

Some music tracks created for the game were leaked online, as we can read on Polish Music Blog:

Polish game music blog Gramuzyka has come into possession of thirteen unreleased tracks by composer Arkadiusz Reikowski from Sadness , proving there was actual work done on the game. It seems this music was to be included in a demo version of the game that never saw the light of day.

Some more details were translated by Olga from different Polish sources, such as Gry Online, My Nintendo & Gram:

– Started as a wii game, but the development moved to wiiU after Nibris was disbanned in 2010. It was picked up by two american development teams, HullBreach Studios and Cthulhi Games, who had „some part in making the original”. They wanted to keep the game close to the original vision, but the work was practically started from scratch, changing a lot of technical aspects.
– Maria’s (the protagonist) full name was Maria Lengyel
– The train derailment takes place „somewhere in eastern Europe”, but another source states it was specifically Ukraine.
– Aleks wasn’t blind from the start; he lost his eyesight in the derailment, which also caused him to suffer from narcolepsy, schizofrenia and nyktophobia (fear of darkness).
– Aleks’ behavior was supposed to get more and more unsettling as the game progresses
– The game’s visual style is described as „gothic” and „lacking in color”, using only shades of gray.
– Actual fights with monsters were rare; instead, the player would have to use stealth, exploration and „other actions” that would help in the protagonist’s survival.
– Wii version was 3D and made on the gamebryo engine, while the WiiU version was made in 2D on the unity engine.
– The WiiU version put greater Focus on puzzles and „RPG-esque elements”
– Maria Lengyel was a polish-hungarian aristocrat
– Maria was supposed to lose conciousnes after the derailment. When she wakes up, she sees men dressed in black killing off the other survivors. Her husband and two other children are dead, her third child, Aleksander, is missing. Grieving Maria goes to find her son.
– Apparently, there were multiple plot synopsises: One is the above one, the second one has Aleks losing his sight, and the third one stated that Aleks was Maria’s brother, not son.
– Frontline Studios based in Bydgoszcz was allegedly to co-produce the game
– Nibris apparently didn’t have a publisher chosen
– FOG studios from Kraków was responsible for marketing.
– Game was planned for the end of 2007, but was pushed to 2009. There were periodic updates about the development going well.
– The game was allegedly supposed to be featured on E3 2009
– After removal of the site, a part of the team started Bloober Team, while the rest of the team is coordinating the European Game Center (Europejskie centrum gier) in Kraków
– The train at the start was heading to Lvow
– Some sources say the game took place before WWI, but this source says it takes place during it.
– Everything was done with the wii remote, forsaking menus for a seamless experience
– There was a rumor that the music was to be composed by Piotr Rubik, a fameous polish composer.
– Aleksander was eight years old
– Cutscenes were planned, but its unclear if they were made on the game engine.
– NPCs that the player could talk to were planned.
– Eight endings were planned, each one with a different message. Player’s actions were judged, the most important were ones concerning Aleks, how the player treated him and took care of his physical and mental well-being.

Thanks to Unvaluablespace, UserdanteAndrew, Olga and Anonymous for the contributions!



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9 thoughts on “Sadness [Wii, WiiU- Cancelled]

  1. Anonymous

    OMG. If you look up sadness and really research it you’ll find the trailer was just a crock of crap. The person that wrote the script for it, Adam Artur Antolski, had interview with N-Europe. When asked “What work did you actually do in your time there – was there any progress with actual development, or was Sadness still in pre-production?” he replies “When [I was] contacted, there was only a title – Sadness. In about three of four days I come up with some ideas, which evolved into a “script”. We actually wanted to make a interactive movie, and there was couple of other ideas as well.
    When I was leaving, there was only one 3D object – some minecart I believe, which says a lot for me, most of the time the Sadness project was science-fiction.” THEN he’s asked ” In the space of a year then, and despite that trailer for the title, the only phase of actual development completed was a 3D minecart?” AND HE SAYS ” For the actual game – I can’t really recall that we’d made something else – but we had worked hard on concept design, and script and stuff like that. Despite the fact we disagreed a lot, for example about Alexander, son of the main heroine. I was against including him into a game – I believed that most gamers wouldn’t really be interested in such a mother-son dynamic, and I thought it wouldn’t make the game any more challenging or deep, just more annoying. Especially as, in the early days, Alexander was a crybaby, and the gamer would be forced to taking care of his every single need, every time he was scared or frightened. It is an interesting idea when you listen to it, but not very playable – it slows action, story, and makes identification with the heroine more difficult.”

    Obviously, the tensions and arguments caused progress just not to happen, thus its canceled.

    Also I researched Piotr Bielatowicz, the game designer, to find his new project. He is working on the iphone or some app on it called sexy maid service. This was the man who was making the statements about the game such as, “We are aiming at completely intuitive behaviour of the player-just as in life. Every choice a player makes is essential – if you experience traumatic events in your life, they are with you all the time. This will be the same in Sadness. We want the player to feel that he is participating in events, not merely playing a game.”

    So who knows what was really going on.

  2. Aya


    The link for the OST is long go sadly and you can’t even visit the original blog it was hosted on. However this YouTube channel seems to have most of tracks only Darkness and Where Are They? seem to be missing.

    It seems that the OST may not be all missing now.

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