Friday, 23 March 2018



Four months ago, we (Malte Burup and Jesper Brun Halfter) began development of a mental asylum management game for PC and Mobile. The working title, “Doctor Kiefer’s House of Lunacy” and the game’s atmosphere is inspired by the Belgian artist Gideon Kiefer.

Unlike many tycoon games, House of Lunacy will focus on the patients, instead of the asylum itself. The player will be diagnosing and treating the patients based on the bizarre methods used throughout history.

Even though House of Lunacy is inspired by psychiatric history, the game is purely fictional, and will take place in a surrealistic parallel world out of time and place.

We are very excited about House of Lunacy as it deals with one of our favorite subjects: the abnormal. When can you define a human as “normal”? Is it better to be “normal”? Throughout history, our society has tried to deal with people who stuck out of the norm. Sometimes to improve the life quality of the those diagnosed, and sometimes improving the life quality of the people around them. We have not yet solved the many mysteries of the human brain, and this game will not try to solve anything. Instead, it will try to mirror the ethical dilemmas that emerge when dealing with psychiatry and the diversity of the human being.

One of the challenges with this game, is the many taboos associated with the theme. By taking a few steps away from our world and timeline, we will be more free to show the absurd, bizarre and darker side of psychiatry without pointing any fingers. It is not our intention to make fun of, or in any way expose psychiatry, people with diagnoses or psychiatrists. Like most other people, we too are confronted by mental health problems in our lives and in our friends and families. We simply think that this important subject matter deserves a place in game history.

A number of films and documentaries has dealt with the subject, but games tend to use asylums primarily in survival horror games. This is totally fine, but we think that psychiatry deserves another kind of game as well. The player’s manipulation of a game character has many parallels with the manipulation between people. Police and crook. Teacher and student. Doctor and patient. We think psychiatry is the perfect match for the interactive media.

By putting the player in the role of a manipulative psychiatrist dealing with difficult ethical choices, we can challenge the emotions of the player, and letting these emotions play a significant role, we can create an experience that is only possible in a video game.

HERE you can read more and look at screens from the current state of the game.

We will continue this development blog by going through the progress of these first four months, so stay tuned on your Radiophone..

For diversity and the mind!
-         - Malte Burup

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