DUNDEE developers Team Junkfish has launched a Steam Greenlight campaign for Monstrum, a bold new survival horror title that tasks players with evading a monster in a constantly changing game world.
Set on a derelict cargo ship, Monstrum is an atmospheric test of nerve and guile. With no means to kill the mysterious beast stalking the vessel, the player must find a means of escape while navigating various environmental hazards.
Created by Team Junkfish, one of Scotland’s newest independent studios, the action is entirely based in the vessel’s superstructure. However, its creators promise no two playthroughs will be the same, thanks to randomly generated environments.
Since launching on Greenlight earlier this month, the game has amassed hundreds of messages of support, while an atmospheric trailer has been viewed more than 25,000 times.
Encouraged by the response to date, Jaime Cross, Team Junkfish’s co-founder and director, and Grant Campbell, its gameplay programmer and designer, said the use of procedural generation would encourage repeat visits to the game’s eerie world.
Campbell explained: “I am a big fan of replaying games I really enjoyed to re-experience them, but this is a problem for horror games as once I know the layout of the environments and enemy patrol routes they lose a lot of their magic.
“After binge-playing games like Binding Of Isaac and Spelunky - relatively short games which utilised procedural generation and high difficulty to keep them fresh and replayable - I wondered why I had rarely seen this formula applied to other types of games, and the idea for Monstrum was born.”
Following in the footsteps of titles like System Shock and Dead Space, the game draws its influence from another indie horror title, Slender: The Eight Pages, as well as the film, Alien.
Campbell said the “labyrinthine layout” of the claustrophobic levels in Monstrum would evoke an uncomfortable “rat in a maze” feeling for players. He added: “The inability to fight back against your pursuers increases this feeling of helplessness.”
Windows, Mac, Linux plans
Monstrum is set for release towards the end of the third quarter of 2014 on Windows, with plans to launch on Mac and Linux platforms, complete with Oculus Rift support.
A playable version will be available next month at EGX Rezzed in Birmingham and the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.
Team Junkfish was founded last September by Cross, Simon Doyle and Adam Dart, all graduates of Abertay University.
The trio began working together in 2011 on undergraduate projects before securing seed funding last year to push ahead with Monstrum, previously known by its working title, Project Maize. The studio currently employs 10 staff.