Scare or get scared in a community driven asymmetrical multiplayer horror game where players create and share horror stories.
Scare or get scared in a community driven asymmetrical multiplayer horror game where players create and share horror stories. Read more
About this project
The trailer is best seen on YouTube.
There is a prototype of the Kaidan System available. Click here to tell your story.
A multiplayer horror game about players becoming storytellers, about the obscure pleasure of scaring others and being scared yourself. We want to take a step forward, exploring new horizons in the horror genre and narrowing the gap between the designer and player more than ever. Join us!
Kaidan’s core experience is created by its community of players who can choose between three roles. The Storyteller, who creates a horror story, the Haunter, who plays the role of the villain in the story, or the Victim, who plays as one of the main characters.
Storytellers create horror stories using our proprietary tool called the Kaidan System. Players of varying skill levels will find the Kaidan system both intuitive and deep; they can simply start by changing variables of pre-existing content or dive deeper, write backstories, design stages, riddles, puzzles and multiple endings. These stories will be shared in the community of players who can play and rate them.
Haunters play the role of the antagonist and drive the stories. The Haunter could be either a demon, a ghost, a human or an arbitrary formless entity defined by the storyteller. Haunters are very powerful, and depending on their level, they can choose from a vast array of abilities with extensive synergy to scare, control and manipulate other players in their own unique way.
Victims play the role of one of the protagonists and explore the mysterious stories created by the Storyteller, but driven by the Haunter. The Victim’s experience can be either solo or co-operative depending on the story. Victims strive to remain hidden from the Haunter in order to survive and achieve their goal(s) defined by the Storyteller.
Kaidan System: A comprehensive system for creating horror scenarios. It allows the players to:
- Create levels in different settings such as hotels, mansions, hospitals, etc.
- Create characters including Victims (protagonists) and Haunters (antagonists) with highly varied abilities and characteristics.
- Integrate user created riddles and puzzles into the game level to create a unique experience and story.
- Add user-generated content such as text, voice and images to enrich and narrate your story.
- Scare or Get Scared: Asymmetric Multiplayer Horror game where a solo Haunter scares a group of Victims utilizing unique game mechanics.
- Community Driven: The game is driven by the community of players who create, share, play and rate the horror stories.
- Role-playing Elements: Playing as the Haunter is a unique role-playing experience. The Haunter tries to scare other players while driving the story in his/her own way.
- Procedural Level Generation: Based on the Storyteller’s input for each scenario, levels will be procedurally generated, so every single story can be experienced in many different forms.
- Victim Characters: Victims are the human characters in each scenario. By customizing their items and abilities, they’ll fit almost any of the stereotypical characters in the horror genre.
- Haunter Classes: Haunters have various classes based on stereotypical villains in the horror genre as well as a vast array of abilities to ensure every Haunter can be different.
- Virtual Reality Support: The game is going to support Virtual Reality to further enhance the horror experience.
Kaidan will be available on Windows, Mac and PS4. The full release will be distributed on Steam and the Playstation Store. Also, a DRM-Free version will be available for Windows and Mac.
Being the Storyteller is like writing a script, but giving the actors extreme freedom to play and interpret the material in their own way.
The Storyteller narrows the gap between player and designer. Players will be given a dedicated storytelling tool called the Kaidan System to create a horror scenario which will be played, shared and rated by the community of players.
The Kaidan System consists of three main parts: Start, Middle and End. Characters and the setting of the story are described and locked-in in the Start section. Puzzles and riddles are designed in the Middle section to create gates and obstacles that Victims must overcome. In the End Section, multiple endings are set up for the Haunter and Victims to experience based on their performance.
There is a prototype of the Kaidan System available on our website. Click here to check it out.
The structure of each section of the Kaidan System will be explained in more detail below.
Here is an example of using the Kaidan system to re-create The Shining movie.
When you want to play as the Haunter, you look for the scenarios that fit your own Haunter’s abilities and your own taste. Do you prefer to scare a single female character in an abandoned Japanese mansion with your newly unlocked ability or do you prefer to trigger paranoia and anxiety with your possession abilities among a group of friends? Or maybe you might want to play as the villain in a re-creation of your favorite horror movie?
The Haunters’ primary resource is depleted through the use of their abilities and the only way to gain energy is to successfully scare the Victims. By using their abilities cleverly, Haunters generate energy to achieve the goals set by the Storyteller, such as killing all the Victims or not allowing them to find an object.
Haunter’s Game Flow
There are four actions/phases of the Haunter’s gameplay.
Seek: Victims dwell in another dimension and are hidden from the Haunter. The Haunter uses special abilities to find the Victims by their sight, sound or smell.
Lay Traps: In this state, the Haunter works ahead of the Victims laying physical traps, possessing objects they must interact with or summoning other creatures to torment them.
Disturb: To Disturb, is to willingly allow the Victims know of your presence by making sounds, showing yourself, or triggering any various supernatural event. This builds up the tension and amplifies the effect of any upcoming confrontation between the Haunter and Victims.
Hurt: Once the right opportunity presents itself, the Haunter can emerge to inflict physical or mental damage upon the Victims such as pushing them off ledges to their death, jumping out of a wall they are unsuspiciously looking at, or possibly completely possessing a Victim if their Sanity has reduced to a low enough state.
There are 8 schools of abilities for the Haunter and roughly 50 abilities in total. Most of the abilities are available to all classes.
ُTime-Space Manipulation allows the Haunter to manipulate the time-space continuum.
Past Vision: Sees a vision of the recent history,
seeing victims as holograms.
Teleport: Set several teleport points and teleport between these points.
Space Loop: Create a loop in the space continuum, the Victims will be trapped inside the loop.
The Haunter can conjure other creatures.
Swarm: Summon an insect which rapidly reproduces and applies psyche damage to nearby victims.
Stalker: Summon a shade which stalks the target Victim. The shade grows in darkness and shrinks in bright areas. When the shade is strong enough, the Victim will die.
Flying Demon: Summon a flying demon. The Haunter can look through her eyes.
The Haunter can manipulate the darkness. Makes it a nightmare for the Victims.
Devour Light: Gradually drain the brightness of nearby lights.
Curse of Darkness: A light devouring darkness surrounds the target Victim.
Dark Track: Victims will leave footprints in dark areas.
Dark Form: Haunter can materialize in darkness
Hunt abilities enables the Haunter to find the Victims who dwell in another dimension, by their sight, sound or smell.
Smell: Sense the smell of the Victims when they linger in a location for too long.
Blood Pool: Creates a pool of blood. Victims that step into the pool will leave footprints behind for a duration.
Dark Vision: See the target Victim as they step into dark areas. In absolute darkness the Victim can be seen through the walls.
The Haunter creates illusions for the Victims to hurt them mentally.
Illusionary Chaser: The Victim sees an illusionary chaser for a duration. If the illusion reaches its target, it will apply psyche damage.
Companion: The Victim sees illusionary visions of other Victims wandering in the level.
Illusionary Door: An illusionary door. Disappears when reached.
Haunter temporarily takes a material form to hurt the Victims.
Wall Form: Go inside the walls and jump out when seen by the Victims.
Appear: Appears for a few seconds. Only usable when not in sight of Victims.
Haunter Clone: Create an inanimate clone of the Haunter in the level.
The Haunter communicates with the Victims.
Demonic Deal: Make a deal with one of the Victims.
Target’s victory condition changes to eliminating other Victims.
Whisper: Whisper to one of the victims, others will not hear.
Visual Telepathy: Target Victim will see what the Haunter sees.
Speak: Speak to victims. All nearby victims will hear.
The Haunter controls and exploits his/her target by temporarily possessing it.
Complete Possession: Take full control over the target Victim.
The Victim has no control over his/her own body until the Haunter leaves the body.
Observe: See and hear from the eyes and ears of the target Victim. The eyes of the Victim will change and can be seen by other Victims.
Dead Possession: Completely possess a dead body.
You start the game with a limited number of abilities. As you progress in the game, completing scenarios, you upgrade your abilities and unlock new ones similar to classic RPGs.
Both the Haunter and Storyteller’s progression are heavily based on a rating system which reflects the subjective opinion of the Victims in a scenario. We are aware of the fact that these subjective opinions might not be accurate enough to determine the progression as there will be random ratings and such; but we are certain that these inconsistencies can be reduced by utilizing statistical analysis on the ratings and play testing in large scales; this is an example of where the backers can significantly help us during the development. As a result of this rating system, you do not progress by simply killing the Victims, but by giving them an enjoyable and scary experience.
The Haunter is designed with a strong emphasis on role-playing. Haunters are going to be very powerful and have dozens of abilities such as possessing Victims, making them float in the air, whispering in their ears with their own distorted voice or even controlling the flow of time. This freedom and variety of game mechanics opens up the possibility for a real role-playing experience where you can dramatically change the progression of the story and the experience of other players based on how you want to proceed in the story. Do you want to mercilessly kill all the Victims or forgive the little girl? maybe you want to manipulate the Victims into killing each other!
Playing as the Victim becomes a unique cooperative or solo survival horror experience. You will browse the scenarios created by players and choose the one you like. After reading the backstories of the Victims and their items and abilities, you start playing the game as one of the Victims. You don’t know what to expect as each Haunter can play the scenario differently. You are not aware of what abilities the Haunter brings to the session and how he is going to use them. Should you keep yourself sane so you don’t get possessed? Or should you be careful not to be fooled by illusions? Should you avoid entering the darkness or making the faintest sound? Is it safe to linger too long in a room? You won’t know!
The Sanity System represents the mental well-being of the Victims and is entangled with the Haunter’s Energy System. When you get scared by the Haunter, your sanity decreases, the Haunter gains energy and you become more vulnerable. For example, the abilities in the Possession and Illusion schools are only effective in low sanity states. Sanity increases by being in bright areas, being together and using special items and abilities. It decreases when you are alone or in darkness or by the actions of the Haunter.
Sanity is a very valuable resource. You’re immune to many of the Haunter’s most dangerous abilities if you stay sane. So if you want to pass through a very dark hallway you better go with your friends, otherwise the Haunter could easily take advantage of the situation.
Victim’s Game Flow
There are five phases a Victim could go through.
Exploration and Puzzle Solving: Victims start by exploring the level together and carefully look for items, notes or any other clues provided by the storyteller. They solve puzzles or search for items to pass through the Gates and proceed to reach the objective(s) set by the Storyteller. In this state, the Victims are probably completely hidden from the Haunter. The smallest mistakes however could reveal the group to the Haunter. The Haunter might see you when you enter the darkness or might detect you if you move too quickly. They sense your smell if you stay in a room for too long. He/she can use abilities to see your recent past so you shouldn’t leave traces of your presence when you are searching a room. If you are lucky and play smart you won’t be found.
Anxiety: In this phase, the Victims have received some signals which may indicate the presence of the Haunter or traps laid by him/her. The signals (either visual or aural) never give concrete and accurate information. For example, the Victims might hear the Haunter whispering in their ears saying things such as that they see you and are about to kill you at any moment! In this state, you will experience an intense anxiety. You should be super cautious, as a small mistake can lead you and your friends to your death. You must try to interpret the signals and do the best possible thing. Depending on the situation, that might be remaining still or running as fast as you can!
Startle: Victims will now be directly confronted with danger. You get startled and the Haunter gains energy; although the danger might not even be real. The Haunter might have used abilities to create a fake clone of himself.
Struggle: After you confront the danger, you escape from it. The Victims will relentlessly run and try to find a safe place. Abilities and items could also be used to hide the group or to banish the Haunter.
Recovery: Victims try to recover from the mental or physical damages they have sustained in Startle or Struggle phases. They try to recover their lost sanity by being in bright and safe areas, being close to other Victims and using items and abilities. Physical damage to a Victim is harder to mend if the right items are not available.
Items and Abilities
Victims have items and abilities which are set by the Storyteller. These items and abilities are selected from various kits. Each kit is related to a stereotypical character in the horror genre. Currently there are three different kits for the Victims.
The experience of playing as the Victim is designed with an emphasis on immersion. Any situation is a potential threat but you can always prevent it if you pay close attention. For instance, if your friend is possessed by the Haunter, you can find subtle signs of possession in his/her face and voice or when the Haunter is looking at you, you will hear certain noises, there are dozens of visual and aural cues to give you information about the dangers. You must immerse yourself in the game and constantly analyze the cues in order to survive.
Members at Metanoia team have already shipped games on mobile and PC platforms. Including Shadow Blade and Garshasp: the Monster Slayer.
Metanoia team was born in a game jam from two game developers creating a game about a player chasing another player. The initial concept of Kaidan slowly brought more experienced indies together and the size of the team expanded as the concept of the game was evolving. What connected us as a team was simply a passion to create something that truly innovates.
We have already invested a significant amount of time in Kaidan during the past year. A few of us have worked full-time on the project without being paid. This is all because we believe in Kaidan, and more than that, we believe it’s up to us indies to explore the uncharted areas of our beloved medium and push it forward. We know there are a lot of people out there who are like us. They are waiting for a change, for something new, and Kickstarter helps us connect with these people, so they will:
- Help us tackle the financial problems, so the team can work full-time on the project.
- Guide us in the development process with their constant feedbacks and ideas so we won’t get lost in these uncharted areas!
- Having a community to actively play the game is a very important factor for a multiplayer game. Our backers ensure us that we have a great and dedicated community to help the game community prosper. We expect many great storytellers emerge from our backers community!
Currently we have passed three major milestones:
- 1 vs. 1 Prototype: This was a 1 vs. 1 version of the game without the storytelling features. The Haunter had 10 abilities and the Victim had three items. After hearing lots of screaming it was verified that it’s absolutely possible to scare someone in a multiplayer horror game and it is highly enjoyable to scare someone!
- Kaidan System Prototype: We designed and tested an intuitive and deep system which could create horror stories. We came up with a tool that enables players to recreate many horror stories using a few stereotypical characters and settings, so it’s achievable to give the players a set of tools to create their own horror story.
- 1 vs. many Prototype: In this prototype we increased the number of Victims and tackled the technical problems in networking. Also we substantially enhanced the visual fidelity.
Now that our two main assumptions are verified, and major technical risks are evaluated, we can begin the production of the game after a successful Kickstarter campaign. We plan to support the game post launch with additional content and patches.
Our promises to our backers:
- We are making a game with you: by backing our game you become a member of the team. We are counting on your feedbacks on the design decisions and can’t wait to hear about your new ideas in our backer exclusive forum which will be launched in April.
- We are making a game for you: Our target audience is the backers community. Your feedback will be the main factor in all the decisions we make.
- We are clear with you: we will always be clear about all aspects of the development. You will be able to closely follow the development process through the backer exclusive game forum.
Risks and challenges
The innovative concept of Kaidan inevitably brings some risks and challenges for us in game design. Additionally, creating a robust multiplayer experience with persistent progression and user-generated contents also introduces some challenges. We have been completely aware of these risks and have plans to cope with the innovation and technical risks.
INNOVATION RISK has been reduced substantially during the past year. We developed three prototypes and verified our two primary assumptions:
1. A genuine horror experience is absolutely achievable in a multiplayer game.
2. It is possible to recreate most of the horror stories using limited options.
We are certain that these assumptions ensure that Kaidan can be a really great experience, but many questions remain to be answered. How many players are eager to create a horror story? how can we increase it? how well the subjective rating system will work? etc. We are quite confident that the community of our backers will help us answer all these questions and solve possible design problems by large scale play testing and giving us feedbacks. Therefore we think together with our backers, we will cope with the remained innovation risks and challenges.
TECHNICAL RISK was also reduced during our last prototyping phase. We were able to create a 1 vs. many prototype with lag compensation, advanced animation features and great visual fidelity. Furthermore, we have a lot of experience in using Unity game engine and it ensures us that we can cope with any technical difficulty that might arise thanks to the huge community of developers and the great tools available for it. We are planning to use Photon Networking Framework to reduce the networking risk as much as possible. Overall we believe there won’t be any serious technical problem.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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