Beside of 'The Masque of Red Death', we also decided to relate to other pieces of gothic literature and authors. We all agreed that one of the most iconic gothic books is Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein', so we felt that we should include some references to that book. Therefore, we decided to turn one of the seven rooms from Poe's story into Dr Frankenstein study room.
We didn't want our references to be too trivial so, we decided not to go for the cliché vision of the room including things, such as Tesla's coil and stitched body parts. Instead, we wanted to give the player small hints that would enhance atmosphere and would indicate that this is Dr's room. Therefore, we populated scene with items such as anatomical drawings, surgical tools, many books, shelves, and flasks.
The only objects that could be seen as a bit over the top are jars filled with strange creatures. After all, Frankenstein is regarded as one of the first science-fiction books, so we felt that we needed to add some paranormal accents.
One of the crucial, yet more subtle, references to the book which is likely to pass unnoticed by an average player was the lightning hitting an Oak, which can be seen through the window. It was an important scene in the book as this was when Dr came up with the idea to bring a corpse back to life. We believe that it adds value to this part of the level.
Also, we created a range of furniture pieces that were especially designed for this room and were not repeated in any other area of the level.
Despite the fact that the hints we included are quite subtle, we hope that it won't be too hard to figure out the references to the book.