Share this project


Share this project

An epic supernatural horror adventure set in a massive, decaying mental institute. Inspired by H. P. Lovecraft, Hammer Films and the atmospheric horror of yesteryear. Coming as soon as we can. We swear.
An epic supernatural horror adventure set in a massive, decaying mental institute. Inspired by H. P. Lovecraft, Hammer Films and the atmospheric horror of yesteryear. Coming as soon as we can. We swear.
3,169 backers pledged $119,426 to help bring this project to life.

Nobody expects an ASYLUM update on Friday! (not really)

Posted by Agustín Cordes (Creator)

Greetings from beyond the grave! It's all moist and dirty in here, but that doesn't prevent me from sending you this timely Friday update. Listen up, because I have many things to tell you.

Demo just around the corner!

Yes, for really real this time. We're putting the final touches to a big playable segment, and it's more than living up to our expectations. While there's always going to be tweaks and polishing to be done before the actual 1.0 release, this demo will be as close as it gets to the real deal. It features the first moments of the game, including a lengthy and intriguing conversation with Julia, tons of locations to explore (including drawers!) and a particularly devious puzzle. One I'm sure fans of adventures will enjoy.

VIP backers may start playing this demo by the end of November, around two weeks from now. After hearing their feedback, adjusting a few more details, and potentially squashing a bug of two, all remaining backers will be able to enter the Hanwell Mental Institute by the end of December, just in time for the holidays.

Take a look at the gameplay video that we showed in our local conference EVA 2018 a few days ago for a taste of what's to come:

Please note the footage was captured at 720p and the game itself looks much sharper. Also, we haven't recorded dialogues yet, but there will be voice overs during conversations.

Oh, and no, there are no action sequences in the game. Some people were worried, but that baton is a bit misleading and we'll be modifying the gesture of the hand next.

We can't wait to hear your thoughts about this demo — it's been a such a long time, but it's all coming together now. I'm sure you'll fall in love with this game.


Of course, we didn't forget about your rewards! Work has begun on filling several environments with your in-game presence and we'll be making sure every reward is properly implemented for this demo. So many of you will be able to read their names inside the institute soon — the exception is the artists and students with creative works featured elsewhere in the institute.

Assorted Goodies

There's plenty of stuff we showed or discussed in our community since my last update. Speaking of which, there's still many of you who did not register in our Discord server. Folks, I mean it, you don't know what you're missing — at least give it a try:

So, we added a minimal crosshair that has greatly improved gameplay. I thought it would hurt the immersion, but no, it's subtle and helpful:

We added tons of interactive items to the game, with the mandatory hidden references and mysterious details:

 You love opening drawers? Of course you love opening drawers! Just as much as we love implementing them:

 project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with

 (not really)

We also released our exclusive paperback edition, the ideal gift for nostalgic family members these holidays:

 (not really, but people wanted to buy it)

Another interesting milestone we reached just today is 16.666 wishlists on Steam! Woo! It's unlikely we'll ever reach 66.666, so it's a good opportunity to celebrate.

Look, apparently it rubs some people the wrong way when I talk about our wishlist figures. I don't want to make it sound like I'm bragging, it's just that I'm genuinely thrilled ASYLUM is gaining traction again. We're going through one of the trickiest periods in the game industry, with indie games selling next to nothing, companies shutting down, and an uncertain future. The fact that a niche adventure is getting this much attention should make us all happy.

I'm hoping you backed this project because you wanted it to succeed — right? That wishlist count is a good indicative that ASYLUM may see a successful launch. After nearly 10 years of work, please allow me to be excited about it 🙏

Finally, to answer the eternal question (is ASYLUM ever going to be released?), let me quote Jerry Dandrige:

 But seriously, it's looking good and following the demo we will have an accurate deadline to share with you.

Have a bloody weekend!


Anders Martinsson, etkeller, and 26 more people like this update.


Only backers can post comments. Log In
    1. Agustín Cordes 2-time creator on

      @ThomasN, you mean in the last video? That was probably the fade effect, we should probably look into that 😬

      Also, thanks for that bubble!

    2. ThomasN on

      I also send you a huge happiness bubble. Pop in emergency.

    3. ThomasN on

      As a drawer fetishist I became un-aroused after seeing 0:05 to 0:06 where the upper line of the drawer changed and it seemed that the cupboard moved. I expected only the drawer to draw. Draw!

    4. Agustín Cordes 2-time creator on

      @Mark & Greenfr0G, point taken. If anything, Kickstarter is a reflection of how insanely difficult game development has become, as not even projects with 20+ times our budget have delivered on time.

      A small correction, though: we did release early demos to all backers allowing them to explore many environments in the game which are still available, although at this point I obviously recommended waiting for the updated version coming out in a few weeks.

    5. Missing avatar

      Greenfr0G on

      @Mark R. - I am there with you, buddy. I am there with you.

    6. Agustín Cordes 2-time creator on

      @J, thanks for the kind words and suggestions! Nothing rude about criticism, on the contrary, it’s all we expect from the upcoming demo and testing. The writing definitely needs another pass, and we’re already in touch with a proofreader/writer who will review everything. We still don’t consider any of what you’re seeing on these videos shippable, although we do believe we’re getting close.

      When it comes to the UI/UX, we’re also making some final decisions in the coming weeks. There’s two particular problems we detected with the dialogue and inventory system, and expect additional feedback from backers before we wrap them up. I was talking about one of those issues just today on Discord.

      I’d be certainly interested to hear what you think those problems are, and also feel free to pass around any contacts (who knows, I may already be in touch with them!). Perhaps you can contribute with additional feedback after you play the demo, but if there’s anything specific you noticed after watching these videos, let me know.

      For what it’s worth, I played Dead Secret and greatly enjoyed it. I didn’t think it had any UI/UX issues, but maybe I’m too used to playing adventures to detect any.

    7. Missing avatar

      J on

      Since I'm already here:

      You really might want to reach out to some industry friends / game dev vets and talk to them about your UX. There are a handful of red flags that immediately sprung to mind when watching the above videos that can definitely be improved with semi-marginal effort...

      The result of those talks would probably remove some of the work you've done, but it would greatly improve the player experience.

      The above is only stated based off of the videos linked.

      The videos suffer from what I call Dead Secret syndrome: what could be a decent/great story /game becomes greatly hampered by poor UX decisions that turn what could be a fun game into a weird UI/UX slog that destroys player immersion constantly as they struggle to interact with the world.

    8. Missing avatar

      J on

      I'd forgotten about Kickstarter sometime in 2014, checked my spam folder and saw an update on this game. Looks like it's nearing completion and I want to say good luck!

      No offense intended:

      If you want some help fixing the writing/dialogue feel free to hit me up. I've shipped a few Steam titles and I really worry about the final product if the demo video's dialogue/writing is shippable content.

      Again, sorry if that comes off as rude, I had a lot of faith in this project back in the day and hope you ship it regardless. Cheers.

    9. Missing avatar

      Mark R. on

      I'm going to get criticised for this, and it's not just this game that is to blame but it's delays like this that mean I never now back software.

      Estimated delivery Dec 2013

      and here we are 5 years later and we don't even have a demo.

    10. Agustín Cordes 2-time creator on

      @Timothy Roller, what we do have are drawers within drawers. And then a small key hidden beneath a stack of papers in the sub-drawer that you need to unlock a carefully hidden drawer behind a painting to get another key inside. However, it's completely dark inside the hidden drawer, so you'll need to carefully move your cursor over every inch of the screen to find that key.

    11. Agustín Cordes 2-time creator on

      @Tharbeard, we will give all backers the option to update their details before we complete the game. But if you want to send me your updated name on a PM, I'll make a note to keep track of the change.

    12. Missing avatar

      Manalishi on

      Nice Choose Your Own Adventure book cover! I fondly remember those...

    13. Tharbeard on

      Augstin - for those of us with backer rewards that include using our names: is there a way to change what name I may have originally selected way back in the day? I've gone through a name change in the last year.

    14. Timothy Roller

      As long as I have to spend two hours searching for drawers that aren't easily discerned from the background in search of a key that isn't in any of the drawers but I am required to check them all, I'll be happy.

    15. etkeller

      The promo looks great!! Keep up the good work!