Song of Horror is an upcoming psychological horror game, episodes one and two will be releasing October 31st (Halloween!) being developed by Protocol Games and being published by Raiser games. In the game you must face The Presence an unpredictable entity adapts to your play-style. You must investigate a number of disappearances while trying to survive while avoiding The Presence as it will relentlessly hunt and track all your moves. There is permadeath, when a certain character dies, you will take control of another and continue your investigation.
It has been a five year journey for these fledgling developers as this is their first game, starting development immediately after college. They claim to be inspired by older horror games of previous generation. “We loved video games. We specially loved horror games, those old school classics. We enjoyed playing Resident Evil, Silent Hill, Project Zero… and that’s how the idea of working on a similar game grew on us“, explain the devs.
Song of Horror has gone through an extensive journey in all aspects since the original demo released many years ago. Every character in the game now how their own unique set of attributes to make them stand out. Cameras have now been set to certain locations in every one of the five scenarios to add to the horror atmosphere. The Presence has also evolved over the years and now has many different set points scattered around the map to scare the player, and The Presence adapts to the players gameplay style.
“We had to rebuild the first two episodes from the very beginning. It has been almost like working on Song of Horror 1 and 2 during these five years“ said a developer.
“We wanted the player to feel defenseless and we wanted to play with permadeath“, says Protocol Games. As the player will have no weapons in Song of Horror and will have to use their wit to evade and escape the presence. The idea for permadeath was “to tell a story with a main character and a bunch of supporting characters that could shape that story. We love the idea of having characters instead of lives so, when a character dies, you lose him or her forever“.
“We published a demo four years ago. If you play it now and see our latest gameplay you’ll be surprised. They look like two different games“
The developers admit that creating The Presence and making it into an AI that recognizes the pace and rhythm of players has been an extremely challenging task. But as Protocol Games devs explain, it has been as difficult as creating scripted scary moments: “Scripted scares are easy to code, but it’s difficult to measure its impact in the game: you don’t know how long it will take a player to reach that point in the map so, perhaps, he or she can get bored easily and abandon the game”.
According to Protocol Games scaring players using AI has it has its difficulties, like being able to calibrate it so the game scares you at the right time —opposed to doing it on a cutscene, for example—. “It had to meet two goals: to be fun and to be able to happen anywhere. There’s that tentacle in Dead Space that grabs you in the corridor. It is easy to make it fun because the dev always controls when it’s going to happen. But we want something to happen at every single place in the map“.
“We want players to be able to fight back, run or hide, but we don’t want them to feel safe in any way“
They believe that The Presence will make it so all gameplay is organic and everything feels different every time, and they hope it is a new start for the horror genre.
You will explore many horrifying locations throughout the game, solve puzzles, and choose between 13 different characters, all of which can die, and they will all bring a unique essence to the story.
A road-map for for future episodes of the terrifying horror adventure have already been laid out, and we look forward to experiencing the frightening atmosphere of Song of Horror as it is said to provide over 20 hours of gameplay.