The feeling of his bones breaking under my knuckles was near divine

Storyline

Ex-police detective Sam Dehaven is chasing after a deranged serial killer, nicknamed The Bear. The case, which involves the gruesome kidnapping and murder of a number of young girls, has left a significant emotional toll on the old detective. He is obsessed by the case as The Bear has ruined his own life and he will stop at nothing to get revenge, but he is running short on leads and hope. Standing in the pouring rain amidst a deserted alleyway, Sam ponders his next move. His only reason for poking around near the abandoned Avenue Rue apartment building is a tip off he received from someone claiming to be The Bear himself. It seems like a taunt, it must be a taunt. But Sam cannot resist investigating. Little does he know, everything is about to change…

Features

  • 10 hours plus game time.
  • Progress in a non-linear fashion. Got four different puzzles to solve? You choose what to do first.
  • Unveil the dark storyline of the Avenue Rue apartment building and Sam’s clouded past.
  • Fight or evade a variety of malevolent enemies. Running out of ammo? Use your firearms to bludgeon enemies instead.
  • Fear system. Try to keep your nerves calm – that beating heart will be the death of you.
  • Choice system. Carve your personality by interacting with different events and characters, all directly related to the story.
  • Classic style Inventory system. Scavenge, use and combine items to solve scenarios.
  • Collect an arsenal of common firearms to battle your way to answers.
  • Stockpile ammunition and supplies for the long haul. Pick your battles. Survive.
  • Third person cameras. Enjoy Thanatophobia’s rich and dark environments in classic cinematic fashion.

Game play

Players can expect to tackle a broad spectrum of different puzzles, ranging from simple ‘use item’ situations to more complex scenarios, which may require a combination of items as well as direct user interaction with different interfaces. A good example of a puzzle with more advanced user interactivity can be seen in the gameplay trailer we released, where players must rotate mirror shards accordingly in order to uncover… Well, that’s a secret! Of course, there’s also a fair share of riddles that may act as clues or the very foundation of the puzzle they are intended for. Thanatophobia will feature a good balance between combat and puzzles. The presence of the game’s enemies will weigh heavily on how the player chooses to play. The player will have to make active decisions whether to spend ammo on taking out enemies or risk getting cornered while stockpiling munitions. The storyline encourages non-linear exploration. Initially the player is given a rough introduction to the storyline through different forms. From then on, many of the finer details will be uncovered by finding various notes, newspaper articles, audio recordings and through different character interactions. Sam Dehaven, Thanatophobia’s protagonist, has always got something to say about his environments in addition to uncovering parts of his clouded past, making inspection an engaging experience, rather than a chore.

Character traits

All the characters are lost souls with dark backgrounds that deal with issues of alienation, abuse, abandonment, mental and supernatural torture to, last but not least, death. Sam Dehaven is no exception, as his line of work constantly exposures him to many of these issues, and he has become personally invested in and obsessed with the series of murders. Unlike the old school survival horrors of yore, we decided to scrap the traditional health system and replace it with a fear based mechanic. Unlike in most games; in Thanatophobia you will find no ampoules, herbs, poultices or medkits. Sam will react to different events, his surroundings and to enemies and will eventually succumb to uncontrollable fear. If the source of the fear is removed however, Sam will slowly regain his composure. Having all of this said, there will be methods of controlling Sam’s nerves. Throughout the game the player will be faced with different decisions. These become relevant as they correspond to how Sam develops as a character. The player will carve Sam’s personality, and decisions made may change the course of Sam’s fate. All in all, players can expect a true-to-heart old school experience, with all of its gems and quirks.

Core team

John PearceDirector

Andreas SchoutenNarrative Designer

Jackie PearceDKG Manager

Contributors

Digital confectionersProgramming

SuperGeniusSam Animation

Joel SlaneyLead modeller

Josh StokerCharacter modeller

Louise RobertsEnvironment Modeller

Austin LewisEnvironment Modeller

AJ Katsinas Composer, sound production, voice actor director

Ryan Cooper – Sound production, voice actor director, voice actor

Edwin McRaeNarrative consultant and editor

JD CressVoice actor

Anthony UrsoVoice actor

Mitchell ContiVoice actor

Logan HorbergVoice actor

Ricky TorresVoice actor

The Science of the LampsFeatured music tracks

Eugene GribanovSam concept

Stephen LangstoneLate night advice

Susannah PearceMarketing / website

Mark ChurleyContracts