Explore a procedurally-generated asylum in bite-size horror game, Daylight.
How many horror games can shock you on your second, third or fourth playthrough? Even the scariest game eventually succumbs to familiarity. Well, Daylight, an upcoming horror title from the unimaginatively-named, Zombie Studios, promises a fresh set of scares in each half-hour play through.
Mechanically, the game seems to be borrowing from first-person, shriek-em-ups like Amnesia and Slender. You take on the role of a young woman who wakes up in the ruins of an asylum. Armed only with a cell phone that acts as a compass, a UV lamp and a Silent Hill-esque monster detector, you’re tasked with exploring the asylum, avoiding phantoms and putting together a fragmented backstory. The core gimmick is that the asylum’s layout is randomly generated each playthrough, and the player will have to make multiple trips through its musty halls to get the full story.
“Different players will have a totally different experience,” said Zombie head (heh), Jared Gerritzen. “You’re essentially a rat in a cage, but the cage is an asylum and it’s scary as hell. You need to find your way out, and each time you do it it’s completely different.”
Depending on the strength of the writing, Daylight could be a solid entry in the horror genre, which seems to be undergoing somewhat of a renaissance as of late. The game is being written by frequent IGN contributor and professional PSP-taster, Jessica Chobot.
“Over the course of that time, depending on how long you decide to play and what you find, it opens up the concept of the world a little more, the backstory, what your involvement is in it, how you find yourself here and whatnot,” she told IGN. “So instead of finding the same item over and over again and saying ‘I’m not going to bother reading this piece of paper because I’ve seen it a thousand times,’ it’s different every time.”
Daylight is using the Unreal 4 engine and is currently set for release on PC in Q3 2013. Zombie Studios has already managed to sneak the game past the gatekeepers at Valve, so it’ll be appearing on Steam directly rather than going through Greenlight. The game will apparently cost “$20 or less,” but it’s also supposed to be episodic. It’s not clear if that $20 nets you just the first chapter or the entire “season.”