Witchkin: A Hide-n-Sneak PC Horror Game (Canceled)
Witchkin: A Hide-n-Sneak PC Horror Game (Canceled)
Deadly doll, killer clown, terrifying teddy, and a sociopathic woman of legend... Hide-n-sneak horror game set in 1920s rural Texas.
Deadly doll, killer clown, terrifying teddy, and a sociopathic woman of legend... Hide-n-sneak horror game set in 1920s rural Texas. Read more
About this project
Coven Games' Witchkin is a first-person, single-player, PC horror game where you play as a child trapped in a house filled with terrifying toys in the 1920s. You must progress up the floors of the house from the basement to the attic; on each floor, you are stalked by a different toy. Each toy has unique abilities and mechanics requiring you to change your strategy for each level. The level maps are procedural so every time you play the layout is different.
- Hide and Sneak - Witchkin is all about hiding and avoidance. You must be aware of your surroundings, of light and darkness, and even the volume of your breathing to survive!
- Different Toys, Different Terror - Each toy has unique abilities which require the player to change strategies for every level.
- Sepia Tone Horror - Witchkin feels like you are playing in an old, grainy black-and-white horror film.
- Procedural levels - Hiding spots and dangers are never the same.
- Single Player, PC compatible
- Keyboard or controller gameplay
- Currently in Greenlight process for Steam distribution
- Oculus Rift Support - Experience Witchkin in the full immersion of VR through Oculus Rift!
The game’s story is rooted in the legend of the Candy Lady, Clara Crane, a Texas woman who murdered her husband with poisoned caramels and was allegedly responsible for the disappearance of several children around the turn of the century. Clara lives in her house out beyond the river, but she is not alone.
Seven children have disappeared from a farming community in east Harris County; the others keep secrets. They do not speak of the candy they find on their window sills when they wake in the morning. They do not speak of the notes they find with the candy, the notes inviting them to come play at the house of the Candy Lady.
Out beyond the river, upon dead fields stands the ‘house of frogs.' Inside, Miss Crane will give you her forever candy and introduce you to your new family--the Witchkin.
The objective of the game is to find your missing sister in the Candy Lady's house. You must stay alive as you travel up each floor of the home. You'll uncover pieces of the game's storyline on each level, and when you finally reach the attic, you'll come face to face with the source of all the horror.
There is a unique, terrifying toy guarding each level. They use different tactics to capture you and make you a forever friend; you must hide and sneak around the house in an attempt to evade them.
There are several features you must utilize to make it through the house undetected, like holding your breath to stay silent when the toy is near, or placing a music box down to distract them. There are also hindrances that you must be wary of like jacks on the floor that will injure you if stepped on, and the limited battery life of your flashlight.
The base play mechanics of Witchkin are primarily stealth-related. Sneaking, hiding, staying quiet, and being aware of the toys and your surroundings are skills required throughout the game. However, since each toy has its own unique stalking and capturing abilities, the gameplay changes for each enemy.
One toy might be very good at searching and listening, requiring the player to hide and hold their breath, avoiding gasping for air when the toy is close. Another toy requires the player to climb up on furniture to avoid being dragged to the ground. Another toy attempts to tangle the player up, requiring the player to dodge to avoid being ensnared.
Marcy the Doll
Story: Suzie Daniels was a very bright seven-year-old living in a strict home. She struggled with making friends and spent most of her time playing with her dolls alone. She disappeared in the spring of '18.
Mechanics: Marcy has the ability to search for players. She has keen hearing and will pick up on the player's presence from far away.
Story: Orson Barnes was a slow-witted, mute child of ten. He disappeared in the summer of ‘18.
Mechanics: Playing with Trappy is like being hunted by a shark. He prowls along the ground pulling himself along with his claws and chomps at anyone unfortunate enough to be in his path. The only way to avoid Trappy is to climb onto things, but Trappy has been known to chomp and destroy furniture to get at his victims. Sometimes, when he can’t get to the player, he will go off and hide nearby waiting for the player to come down off the furniture. Trappy can lunge forward and knock a player down, temporarily injuring them. The player must get back on their feet quickly to escape his jaws.
Hooks the Clown
Story: Pete Malone was known as the prankster of his school. At twelve he didn’t have a lot of friends and lashed out at the other children at times. He was last seen at home in the spring of ‘19.
Mechanics: Hooks will whip his arms out at the player, attempting to ensnare them and then reel them in. His arms have a long range, and the player must duck when he lashes at them. If slightly off in the dodge, the player will be knocked down and injured. If way off, they will be ensnared and must wriggle free.
The Candy Lady
Story: Clara Crane lost her beloved five-year-old child, Marcella, in the fall of 1895 in a horrific accident. Believing her husband's reckless behavior was responsible for her daughter's death, she murdered him with poisoned candy and was sent to the North Texas Asylum. Due to the hospitals overcrowding, she was released, then she disappeared.
Procedural Levels/Modular Design
The game’s level maps are procedurally generated so each time you play the level layout, furniture, items, and hiding places will change.
Witchkin is being developed for the Oculus Rift! The Rift immerses you fully into the house of the Candy Lady and brings the terror right to your face.
Witchkin is horror for the whole family. While witchkin is not for young children, the game was purposely designed to feature ‘goreless’ horror with older children in mind. There is not a single drop of blood in the game. While there are many excellent games that use carnage and violence to great effect, I do not feel that gore is always necessary to terrify players. Witchkin creates dread in players by way of shadows, distorted imagery and a feeling of powerlessness rather than on a fear of violence and shock-gore.
You are trapped in a sepia-toned nightmare. Witchkin’s art style gives the game the disturbing look of a forgotten film reel, one you might find locked away in your grandparents’ attic...one they would not want you to see. It captures a vision of old American horror, the time before 911 calls, paranormal investigators, or helicopter parents. A time when the shadows in the closet were darker and children had to face them alone.
We have turned to Kickstarter to help us raise funds so we can increase efficiency. Witchkin is a true passion project. I have enjoyed working on it immensely, but being only one person with a family and full-time job, I simply do not have the time or resources to give it the attention it demands.
I'm not asking for backers to pay my rent so I can quit my day job (I'm very happy where I am) to work on the game full-time or to pay the debts I have already accrued. Funding will allow me to pay for assistance so I can put out a more quality product more quickly. Currently, in many areas of the development, I’m working outside of my expertise. Going forward, I want to bring in specialized professionals to take those aspects of the game and make them shine; this includes audio, animation, programming. We will also be buying environment art pieces.
I will not be hiring friends or relatives to help; I will be resourcing some of the most talented and experienced professionals working in games today.
Coven Games is a family owned and operated business. Witchkin is our first title, but by no means our last. Each member of the family plays a role in the making of Witchkin.
David is the Creator of Witchkin and has worked as a AAA 3D artist in the game industry for over a decade. His credits include NHL 2K, Star Wars the Old Republic, DC Universe Online, and Chronos. He has also performed as a voice actor in DC Universe, Wizards 101, and Red vs. Blue.
Rachael Jennison is responsible for social media and business management. Rachael has led social media projects for world-renowned luxury, entertainment, telecom, and FMCG brands for over 13 years. She started her own music promotion business in Hollywood at the age of 20, and currently works as a Business Analyst.
Our two kids, Logan and Vivien, perform voice-acting, contribute game ideas, and have contributed to the music composition.
We're on Steam Greenlight; please vote YES for Witchkin!
We will be releasing the demo to Kickstarter backers in December of this year. We are hoping to release the game in August of next year.
Risks and challenges
I have been working on Witchkin part-time for a little over a year now. I will continue to work on it until it is the completed vision that I started with, with or without funding, alone or with help. Scope was a front-and-center consideration from the beginning, as I was careful not to bite off more than I alone could chew.
Within that first year, I had a working demo, which content-wise represented about 20-30% of the completed project. This served well as a solid vertical slice of the game, but much of that first year was spent on a learning curve. While the remainder of the game is not as simple as rinse/repeat work, the rest of the game’s development will mean more design and polish time, less time needed for learning how to make the game. There will be challenges down the road, both predictable and unforeseen, but the largest obstacles are definitely behind me.
The potential risks involve time, things perhaps taking longer than I initially predict. It will take continued discipline on my part to keep the scope in the feasible range and resist the temptation to pile on more awesomeness. I have the same vision today as I did the day the idea was conceived, that is--a tight, focused horror experience with a handful of unique enemies and enough diversity to maintain tension and interest through the game. I am fully confident that I will see that vision through in a timely manner.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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