Former Irrational devs announce Perception, a sound-based horror game


Perception is a new project being developed by veterans of Irrational Games that puts players in the role of an intrepid heroine named Cassie, as she investigates a sprawling, abandoned estate in her dreams. She also happens to be blind, and so instead of seeing things conventionally, she navigates the game world by way of a form of echolocation.

The trouble with echolocation, as anyone who's played Red Storm Rising can tell you, is that actively "pinging" your environment to see what's going on around you generates noise that can alert enemies to your location. In Perception, that would be the "Presence," a generations-old force of evil that's now hunting Cassie. She doesn't have any weapons with which to fight back; instead, she will rely on "her wit, her cane, and her smart phone" to decipher clues and unravel the mysteries of the mansion, and the Presence.

Perception is being developed by The Deep End Games, an indie studio formed by developers who have previously worked on games including BioShock, BioShock Infinite, The Godfather, Dead Space, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and Rock Band. The project has been self-funded so far, but the team is now looking to Kickstarter to finance the completion of the game.

"It’s important to understand that we’re a team of vets with decades of experience creating games. Many of us have worked together and are expert with Unreal. Long story short, this is not our first rodeo," the the studio wrote. "We have carefully budgeted and planned this project and we pride ourselves on being brutally honest with ourselves. We will be working extremely hard to meet your expectations and we will keep you informed along the way."

The Deep End is seeking $150,000 in funding for Perception, with stretch goals for things like Mac and Linux editions, a bonus chapter, and VR support. It's currently aiming for a June 2016 release, although that could obviously change depending on how the Kickstarter works out. So far it looks to be off to a fairly solid start, with close to $12,000 (and counting) raised in its first day. The Perception Kickstarter runs until June 25.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.