After BioShock developer Irrational Games laid off most of its staff, many developers from the studio came together and formed The Deep End Games; a Boston-based game studio founded by award-winning level designer Bill Gardner of Irrational Games. For their first project, Gardner and his team went to Kickstarter to get funding for their debut Unreal Engine 4-powered horror title: “Perception.”
In Perception, you play as a blind woman named Cassie who is able to “see” using echolocation. You will use this ability to solve puzzles and avoid enemies like a creature called “The Presence.” There seems to be an ongoing cat-and-mouse between Cassie and The Presence to maintain tension as the player explores, working similarly to Alien: Isolation. It sounds like the game will take place entirely at a haunted estate called Echo Bluff located in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Cassie journeys there because of the recurring nightmares she keeps having of this same estate.
An interesting feature mentioned on the Kickstarter page is what happens when you solve major puzzles: you time travel. You see, and interact with, the mansion throughout history as it goes through various inhabitants who will doubtlessly have interesting stories of their own. Going back through the house’s history, seeing The Presence haunt its past inhabitants, and uncovering its secrets as it fights back, will be the driving forces for the player and Cassie. The industry veterans at The Deep End call Perception a “first-person narrative horror adventure,” as it is meant to be a fresh take on the horror genre with the well-crafted story-telling elements many on the team are known for.
So far, Perception’s freshest idea may be that you will play as a blind time-traveling ghostbuster. This should easily be reason enough to check out the game’s first trailer and screenshots below.
Perception will start on the PC, with Mac and Linux next in line. A PlayStation 4 version is also possible as a $375,000 stretch goal.