How a group of art school graduates made Sanitarium, a putrid and brilliant horror adventure

As was the case with many ’90s adventure games, the small team at DreamForge creating Sanitarium, a point-and-click horror adventure, had no idea what they were doing.

Most of them were recent art school graduates, and the studio leadership was only slightly older. When the game debuted in 1998, the narrative-driven horror market was already full of Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers, Phantasmagoria, and The 7th Guest. Sanatorium (opens in a new tab) it was a little different. It was still within the well-known and proven adventure genre that DreamForge already had experience working on (veil of darkness had been the first big horror hit), but with a psychological twist.

I made so many terrible mistakes that it’s really a miracle that the game crossed the finish line.

Mike Nicholson

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