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"It's when the lights go out and you feel something behind you, you hear it, you feel its breath against your ear, but when you turn around, there's nothing there..." ― Stephen King
Ghost Theory is a single-player horror adventure game for PC and consoles, focusing on stealth and exploration. Using a range of ghost hunting gadgets and abilities, you must investigate real world haunted places to reveal the truth behind their haunting, all the while evading the wrath of their resident evils ― or potentially eliminating them.
Although we fully intend to repeatedly scare the hell out of you, we are striving to design compelling gameplay, first and foremost. Freedom of exploration and player interaction are equally as vital to us as atmosphere and immersion, and represent the foundations on which our game is built.
Ghost Theory is very different from other horror games. You will not shoot zombies or aliens, run and hide from murderous psychopaths, or follow a scripted, linear path.
Instead, each location will be an open-ended haunted ground, with its own backstory for you to discover. But the more you explore and poke around, the more you risk angering the lingering spirits that roam the place.
Rather than physically try to kill you, ghosts will stalk and harass you, becoming more aggressive as you get closer to your objective. Manage your stress and find a way to banish or capture them before they literally scare you to death.
You are free to take shortcuts or take your time to discover optional areas and secrets, gather data in the form of Ectoplasm samples or possessed objects, capture footage of ghost activity, etc.
Gameplay will be varied and challenging. Even though you’re a professional ghost hunter, don’t expect to run around with a proton pack on your back, shooting wildly at everything that moves!
Instead, you must rely on stealth and observation to get by, and avoid direct contact with ghosts at all costs. Invisible and omniscient, they react to your actions and choose their moment to strike, making you feel vulnerable at all times.
However, vulnerable does not mean defenseless.
- Your Clairvoyance gift allows you to catch a short glimpse of any ghost nearby, or experience flashbacks of past events to reveal clues.
- Drops in temperature, indicative of a ghost's proximity, can be noticed when exhaling and watching your condensed breath.
- A range of ghost-hunting equipment can also give you the edge: a UV lamp to reveal what your eyes cannot see, a pendulum to locate buried objects, holy water to cleanse your surroundings, an EVP recorder to record otherworldly communication, and many more.
- And if the terror gets too intense, there's even a button to close your eyes for as long as you need.
Over the course of the game, your paranormal abilities will naturally improve, and you will be able to invest in research to expand your arsenal of gadgets. But there's only so much you can carry, so you'll have to choose your loadout wisely before setting off.
The audiovisual aspect of the game is also set to receive the utmost care. Great horror obviously relies on build-up and anticipation, but also on climax: what you can’t see is terrifying, but what you do see must also be shocking and disturbing. Realism is key, and we are making sure that our environments and sound effects are as believable as possible.
To push the idea further, we don’t want our ghosts to be mere 3D models. Instead, we have been experimenting with real-life actors: captured with a stereoscopic 3D camera and using the green screen technique; they seamlessly integrate into the game and make our ghosts as expressive and spine-chilling as those of your worst nightmares!
As mentioned earlier, we’ve also been doing extensive research on real haunted places and have already gathered an impressive list of suitable locations to feature in the game. We've been in talks with owners of private properties and convinced many of them to let us recreate their house and story, making Ghost Theory that much more authentic. There will of course also be a compelling narrative tying all of these seemingly unrelated cases together.
With so much effort being put into the game’s atmosphere, we also have to make your own immersion deep and uninterrupted. To achieve this, we are tailoring the entire game's design and user interface with VR in mind. No visible UI during gameplay. No button prompts, no inventory screen. Want to use your holy water to cleanse that cursed doll? Look down at your belt, count how many vials you’ve got left, and grab one.
All of this will be enhanced by native development for VR headsets. We've been experimenting with Oculus Rift devkits for about 2 years now, and our game is built from the ground-up to take full advantage of this technology, offering much better results than games merely supporting it.
But don't worry, Ghost Theory will also be entirely playable without VR.
Our world is full of unexplained mysteries. Some people brush them off as mere coincidences or elaborate set-ups; others believe there are invisible forces constantly at play around us. Our stance is the latter, and we aim to explore these themes through the tale of Barbara, our heroine.
As a child, she experienced a traumatic paranormal encounter from which she emerged with a blessing — and a curse: the gift of Clairvoyance, granting her a window into the world of the departed.
Using her unique ability, she now leads a paranormal investigation team as part of a secret university research program. With each haunting she delves into, she gathers precious information and data, allowing her fellow scientists to reach new breakthroughs and get ever closer to solving the eternal mystery of the afterlife.
We can guarantee that if our initial goal is reached, we will produce and deliver Ghost Theory for Windows,Mac and Linux, with fully optimized support for Oculus Rift, as a complete and polished game.
Support for other VR headsets will depend on their respective specs and release dates, but we will do our utmost to include as many as possible.
That being said, we would love to be able to expand on our original concept even further, but for this we’ll need to increase our budget, and this is where stretch goals come in.
Any additional funding we receive from our backers will help us improve the game, and below are the first goals we’d love you to help us reach! We'll reveal more details about each of them as we get closer to reaching them.
You choose the localization language(s)!
The game will originally be only available in English, but stretch goals will allow us to fully localize it in other languages. But when it comes to deciding which language to prioritize, we’ll leave it up to you!
How? By encouraging you to spread the word about the game in your language of choice via Twitter or Facebook, using #GhostTheory followed by another hashtag for the language as shown in this list:
- #FR: French
- #DE: German
- #ES: Spanish
- #IT: Italian
- #RU: Russian
- #JP: Japanese
- #CZ: Czech
- #PL: Polish
So a typical support tweet would look something like this:
"Votez tous pour #GhostTheory en Français ! #FR"
The language showing the most support by the end of the campaign will receive a full localization.
So start making your voice heard today!
Only 4 stretch goals?
No, we’ve planned other ways to make our game bigger and better, but we’ll only reveal the next ones as you get closer to unlocking them! You may also be able to get a sneak peek at what’s coming next by completing some of our Backer Achievements.
Backer Achievements? What’s that?
We’re getting to it. Read on!
Backer Achievements are extra ways for you to get involved, support our campaign, and have fun doing it!
By joining us on social media and taking part in our contests, you will unlock new rewards and actively modify the campaign.
Here’s the list of challenges:
Each milestone reached in any category will count as one Achievement. You can find the corresponding links below.
- Facebook Likes: https://www.facebook.com/DreadlocksEN
- Twitter Follows: https://twitter.com/DreadlocksEN
- YouTube Subscribers: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgLe7_8ivFcdH7o4s59GJzg
- Pinterest Followers: https://www.pinterest.com/dreadlocksltd/
- Retweets of our Kickstarter campaign announcement: https://twitter.com/DreadlocksEN/status/690195390491181056
- Facebook Shares of our Kickstarter campaign announcement: https://www.facebook.com/DreadlocksEN/posts/995524740512805
How do we submit fanart?
Glad you asked!
Regarding fanart, simply send us all of your paranormal and ghost hunting inspired creations, via Twitter or Facebook, using #GhostTheory.
What are “Ghost Sightings”?
Know a famous haunted place near you? Go there and take a selfie in front of it! Send us the picture, along with the name/location of the place, via Twitter or Facebook, using #GhostTheory. Each location we receive and validate will be pinned on a custom map, which we’ll update regularly throughout the campaign.
So join our team of Ghost Sighters and help us put together this collaborative map! Just make sure not to enter any private properties without authorization, and stay out of trouble...
So what will these Achievements get you? Here's the low-down!
- 5 Achievements: All backers will receive a set of exclusive wallpapers.
- 8 Achievements: One of our artists will produce a new piece of exclusive artwork.
- 10 Achievements: We will always reveal one extra upcoming stretch goal in advance.
- 12 Achievements: One of our artists will produce a new piece of exclusive artwork.
- 15 Achievements: Cheat codes will be implemented and access to them given to all backers.
- 20 Achievements: At the end of the campaign, we will pick one lucky backer at random. He or she will be offered the possibility to become one of the characters in the game! Who will you be? A fellow ghost hunter of Barbara, her childhood friend, the top researcher at her university? We’ll be in touch with the winner shortly after the draw to go over the details.
Digital copy of the game: You will be able to choose either a Steam key (+ access to a DRM-free version) or a console version should we reach the corresponding stretch goal.
Physical copy of the game: The physical copy of the game is only for PC, and contains a Steam key.
Exclusive Beta access: The Beta version will be exclusive to Kickstarter backers and available a couple months before the release of the game.
Ghostbook: The Ghostbook will be different from the artbook. It will feature all the real haunted locations featured in the game, with original pictures, stories, and interviews, as well as our own notes and documentation about the levels, offering a comprehensive overview of the game’s lore and our design process.
Early Access: The Early Access will feature prototype levels which will not be included in the final game. They will be more like sandboxes in which we will try out new features and ideas, allowing us to get your feedback and iterate faster. And this way, you don’t have to be afraid of spoilers!
Pendulum: There will only be a limited amount of pendulums available, exclusively for Kickstarter backers who select the Poltergeist tier or higher. They will be made of amethyst and engraved to reflect the theme of the game.
Your picture in the game: Send us a picture of your choice, featuring you or someone close to you, and we’ll include it in the game, as a painting, a photograph, a book illustration, etc. You will of course have the opportunity to choose according to your preferences. Pictures are subject to approval by the developers.
Your voice in the game: We will share our ideas with you, allowing you to pick a line/voice from an existing list. Or you can come up with your own idea, in accordance with our levels’ themes. Your voice will then be featured in the game as a radio transmission, EVP, voicemail, etc.
Day with the team: Come to beautiful Prague and join us in our office, meet everyone, play the game, watch us work, distract us, take part in our meetings, share your ideas, have lunch and dinner with us. And in the evening, we'll go out and party, or stay in and play games: it’s all up to you!
Be a ghost: You will star as one of the ghosts to be encountered in the game. Decide with us which one of our ghosts fits you best. Then come to our studio, be coached by our director, go through a make-up session, and perform all the scenes required of your character!
Wait a second! What are these question marks in the Rewards table?
A-ha, you've spotted them! There will be additional reward tiers added after we reach our initial goal, so keep an eye out for those!
Add-ons are available at all pledge levels, even £1!
Please note that every type of add-on is limited to one each per backer.
The visuals for each add-on above are indicative only, and subject to change.
Our studio recently released the award-winning 2D cyberpunk RPG Dex on Windows, Mac and Linux, and following this success, we are almost done porting it to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Wii U and PlayStation Vita.
We are now very excited to tackle a whole other game genre and a theme that fascinates us.
The creative team of Ghost Theory is led by designers with experience on diverse, critically-acclaimed titles such as Divinity: Original Sin, the ARMA series, as well as brands like Disney, Pixar, Marvel and LucasFilm.
On the art front, the team that brought you the gorgeous visuals of Dex is back, reinforced by 3D specialists, with more artists planning to join us in the near future.
As for audio, we can once again count on the talents of our recognized engineers and composers who also worked on games like DayZ, Space Engineers, and many more.
Our team is of course bound to expand thanks to this Kickstarter campaign, which will allow us to fully realize our vision.
We came to Kickstarter for the first time 2 years ago to seek funding for our previous game, Dex. Our campaign was financially successful and, crucially, we gained a community of fans who supported us and gave us invaluable feedback throughout the entire development process. So much so that we decided to reward them with the free Enhanced Version and free DLC a few months after release.
With Ghost Theory, we are tackling an even more ambitious project, and therefore need to increase our team’s size, mostly to handle the art and programming workload such a game requires. And once again, we want to involve all of you as early as possible so we can learn what works, what doesn’t, what you like and what you don’t.
In the end, your support doesn’t only help us make the game, but more importantly, you help us make it better!
Risks and challenges
With Dex, we've proven that we can deliver on our vision and successfully fulfil our promises. With a more experienced team, we are convinced that by reaching our funding goal, we will be able to complete this project and bring you the game you're all excited for.
Since some features are still in the prototyping phase, some gameplay elements are still subject to change (for instance, the exact list of gadgets or their functionality). But you can rest assured that we will stay true to our overall concept and design ideals. We will use your input and feedback to refine and adjust the game as we go along.
Just like every other game developer, we cannot promise the release date won't be delayed. But we will make sure to keep you all updated regularly so you can closely follow the development process.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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