About this project
- The Game: A 12-player online murder-mystery where one person is the killer in disguise.
- Objective: Survive the night by completing the Scavenger Hunt or kill all the guests.
- Setting: A massive, booby-trapped Mansion with hundreds of roguelike elements.
- The Core Mechanics: Exploration, proximity-based audio chat, and your wits.
- Audio: Sound effects and beats by Jake ‘virt’ Kaufman.
- Platforms: PC, Mac, and Linux (to start)
- Inspirations: Clue, Scooby-Doo, The Ship, Survivor, The Mole, Mafia, Werewolf, Scream.
- Release Date: October 31st, 2015
- The Team: Industry vets with over 20 shipped titles.
- Why Kickstarter? To pay the help and get your feedback.
- Demo: Exclusive to Kickstarter. 6-player action on PC & Mac (cross-platform MP)
- Let's Play: Play against the creators every night at 8pm ET! Message us at FB or Twitter.
Have you ever watched a Friday the 13th film and thought you could have avoided a moronic death? Have you ever played a game of Clue and wanted to solve the mystery in a real-life mansion? Have you ever watched an episode of Scooby-Doo and wished that, just once, those meddling kids didn’t get in the bad guy’s way?
Devil’s Bluff is the game that will give you that chance!
An online-only isometric action game for up to 12 people for Windows, Mac, and Linux (and hopefully Tablets and Consoles), our goal is to put you inside a new type of survival horror game where every character you encounter is another player - and one of them is a killer.
Devil's Bluff tells the tale of a group of friends who are invited to world's most haunted Mansion to compete in a scavenger hunt tied to the lore of the old house itself. It's all going great, until someone decides to ruin the fun by promising to kill everyone at the party.
The only way to make it out alive? Work together to finish the scavenger hunt before Devil finishes you.
And how will it all play out? Minute-to-minute gameplay will involve a few core concepts we'd like to familiarize you with. Here's your cheat sheet:
Playing as the Survivors:
Most of you poor schleps will be stuck playing one of the remaining Survivors. The game will feature a wide variety of costumes, but each player will have the exact same skills and attributes, keeping the playing field level, simple, and fast-paced.
The Scavenger Hunt: Players will be paired in teams of two to compete in the scavenger hunt, where they’ll be asked to track down 10 items, each identified by unique clues. To keep every game fresh, elements of the scavenger hunt will be randomized each play-through.
Exploring the Mansion: The Mansion itself is full of secrets, many of which require a teammate to fully exploit. Their triggers and locations will move each game, keeping the sense of exploration alive with each new game. Here are some examples:
- Secret Passageways: Like a mini Pac-man maze, the Mansion is packed with a network of hidden tunnels that serve as shortcuts to other areas.
- Peep Holes: Passageways will also be peppered with peep holes, where you might catch Devil in the act, see your partner conspiring with another group, etc.
- Trap Doors: Attached to random switches, these might get rid of unwanted hangers-on or split you up from a teammate. You can even use them to ditch Devil!
- Hiding Places: The Mansion will have plenty of dark corners, hidden spots, and more to allow you to give Devil the slip. Provided he’s not already there waiting, of course.
Real Talk with Real People: Unlike most games that feature audio chat, Devil’s Bluff features proximity-based audio, which means the closer you are to another player the louder they become.
- Listen closely to hear others moving about in the Mansion.
- Talk with your partner to share intel.
- Eavesdrop and listen in on other team’s conversations.
- Tip off other players when you’ve seen the killer in action.
Slapstick Combat: Only Devil can deal melee damage, but you'll be able to whap your fellow survivors for fun or strategic purposes.
- Players can be slapped in any direction.
- This can be used to knock player’s in or out of harm’s way.
- Once they’ve been slapped, they’ll be briefly stunned.
- Now you can get a word in edgewise (or allow Devil to move in for the kill).
Run For Your Lives! Devil’s Bluff will feature a Super Mario Bros.¬esque walk/run system with a unique sprinting mechanic.
- Run as often as you want, but beware!
- Just like classic horror films, you might trip for no reason.
- Find the right balance to avoid certain death.
- The same goes for Devil, so stalk with care.
Capture Devil For the Win: Provided everyone can work together, it is possible to capture Devil once enough info has been gathered on his or her identity.
- Any player can initiate the button-mashing mini-game, similar to a Track ‘N Field tug of war.
- Devil is stronger than the survivors, so they’ll have to gang up on him to pull it off.
- If you collectively strong-arm Devil into submission, you all live to see another day!
- However, if you get over-powered by Devil, you'll take damage, so be careful.
Playing as Devil
Each game session, one lucky player gets to play as our mild-mannered maniac, Devil, where they'll get to see how good their killer instincts really are.
Devil has been planning this murderous romp for some time, leading to some key gameplay advantages vs. the standard Survivor toolkit:
- Hidden Identity: Devil will start the game in costume just like the other Survivors, but he or she will be able to switch to an alternate Devil outfit, allowing for surprise kills, subterfuge, and more.
- Skeleton Key: Devil works alone, so they will have access to a skeleton key, which will allow him or her to open hidden passageways without the aid of others.
- The Pitchfork: Last but not least, Devil wields the best (and only) weapon in the Mansion, the mighty-mighty pitchfork. It takes a while to lower the boom, so aim well, little buddy!
We love Jake “virt” Kaufman’s work, and were thrilled when he agreed to help with adding eerie audio to the game. You can hear the first round of his handiwork in the demo above, and our goal for the final version will be a fully-interactive soundtrack that changes based on locations and situations as you play.
The soundtrack will be available via Bandcamp as a name your price purchase once we ship, and if you select the right tier, you’ll be able to get your mitts on the music before anyone else.
Pump up your woefully insufficient laptop speakers and jam out to his first taste of audio awesomesauce here:
The Core Team
Brandon Justice // The proud parent behind Devils Bluff. A seasoned game maker, Brandon started his career as senior designer on the NFL2K and Madden football franchises, and also had a hand in a host of non-sports IPs for Activison, Ubisoft, SEGA and more. He's our Chief Creative and design monkey. @jokeontheworld
Keyur Joshi // The big boss. He enjoys staying behind the scenes and bringing the best out of his guys. A man who wears many hats, it's best to call him our Chief Orchestrator. @keyurjoshi
Denver Coulson // The humble muscle behind this project. Without him, there is no demo, there is just hot air. We love you Denver! He is the Chief Engineer on this squad. @denvercoulson
Art Vogt // The man that helped us set the retro, pixel vibe throughout the game. Along with Shaun LaBrie, Henk Nieborg, and Andrew Bado, these guys can raise a colored pencil with a single thought. @artvogt
Jake Kaufman // His reputation proceeds himself. Like Tupac, he works fast in the studio. He knocked out the sound FX and soundtrack in 2 days. Also, something about puggles. @virtjk
Getting Things Done - A Devil's Bluff Timeline
Back in November 2014, we had an idea for new kind of multiplayer experience – a game that would really push the murder-mystery genre forward. You can read all about it in our first Kickstarter campaign. We didn’t quite make it, but as you know, Goonies never say die!
3 months later and with a laser focus, we decided gameplay was the best way to show what we’re all about, so we built stuff – specifically, all of the foundational systems to make this game possible. Elements like the mansion, trap doors, proximity-based audio chat, 6 of 16 playable characters, etc. You can experience it all in the demo, and we will even join you for a game!
Now you + us = An October 2015 launch. The game plan moving forward is to take the current alpha version (~70% of the full game), and finish it WITH your feedback. YOU help us define the remaining gameplay and we will make it happen. Easy-fixes and small features we will even finish and release DURING the Kickstarter!
We believe in this vision so much, we’ve been funding it ourselves (including some much-needed help from a few key Backers from our original Kickstarter campaign), and we’ve really come a long way.
But now we need to finish the job, and to do that, we need your help. We hope you check out the demo to see our commitment and progress thus far, but know that it’s just the tip of the pitchfork.
Your Backer dollars will immediately go towards:
- ENHANCED GAMEPLAY: All-new game modes, 10 new characters, and full 11 vs. 1 online play.
- EVEN MORE MANSION: 40% more space in the Mansion, include the GRAVEYARD and ATTIC!
- TONS OF POLISH: High-quality pixel art on all objects, more context-sensitive animation, improved UI and more!
First and foremost, every Backer of Devil’s Bluff will get the opportunity to keep tabs on development, chat with the team and vote on dozens of design decisions via our private backer forums. Members only, people!
Secure yourself a DRM-free digital copy of Devil’s Bluff for PC, Mac, or Linux. Backers who drop $15 or more can select their platform of choice from these or stretch goal platforms as they become available.
If there’s one thing the Devil enjoys more than offing his fellow party-goers, it’s killing trees. Get your very own old-school print manual, packed with character info, Mansion details and one of those seizure warnings in that impossibly tiny print. *(Also available in Digital format)
Overwhelm your ears with the OST from Jake Kaufman. Packed with more sweet sound than you can shake a pitchfork at in one shiny jewel case, complete with exclusive cover art and liner notes galore. *(Also available in Digital format)
Want a leg up on the competition? This softbound saddle-stitched guide will get you thinking like an evil genius, offering up plenty of tips for survival and betrayal.
It will also include a complete collection of all the scribbles and sketches that helped shape the characters, animations and world of Devil’s Bluff and a pain-stakingly recreated Scavenger Hunt Guidebook, including the rules and regulations for the game, checklists and official scorecards! Just try to keep the real-life killings to a minimum, folks. *(Also available in Digital format)
Remember before the days of in-game maps, when titles came with sweet pack-in maps you could hang on your wall? So do we, and we’re bringing the geographic goodness with this highly-stylized, full color 24x18 poster. *(Also available in Digital format)
A must for getting in the right frame of mind to play Devil’s Bluff, this peerless fashion accessory reminds you to ask yourself “What Would Devil Do?” Drive slow in the fast lane Refuse to help old ladies cross the street! Stand in front a packed elevator while people try to exit! Whatever you do, make it a Devil day!
Worship at the alter of evil via lovingly crafted of the master of mayhem himself, Devil. Perfect for desktop deviants and bookshelf bad guys, this one-of-a-kind villain is a must for all dedicated disciples of the everyone’s favorite evil-doer.
Your very own high-quality Devil’s Bluff bumper sticker, which you can slap on your locker, laptop, car or the foreheads of your enemies. Go nuts, people!
Display your devotion to Devil’s Bluff on your wall with this limited edition 18x24 custom foil print that’s sure to inspire all sorts of unspeakable acts of deception during your moments in the Mansion.
Remember when games came in tragically fragile boxes? Still like the extra oomph of modern-day special editions? Get both! The Physical DE includes:
- A digital copy of the game
- Game Box (physical)
- The Game Manual (print)
- The Deluxe Strategy Guide (print)
- The Manor Map Poster (print)
- Limited Edition Poster (print)
- The Devil's Bluff Soundtrack (physical)
- A Devil's Bluff Bumper Sticker
- A WWDD Bracelet
- Vinyl Devil Mini
Plus you'll get a digital edition of each you can pass along to your cheapskates buddies who didn’t dish out that Deluxe edition dough.
Want to be among the first to play Devil’s Bluff? Back the All-Access Tier and dive in early, helping us crush bugs, refine mechanics, and perfect the art of being a back-stabbing, poker-faced Bluffer from the jump. Plus everyone will get credit in the game as an official QA Team Member.
Want to get a little taste of the rock n’ roll rollercoaster that is game development? Back the Senior Designer Tier and work directly with the team, attending meetings via Skype or Google Hangout and help with new costume ideas, take new rooms from concept to completion, and add interesting new traps and tricks to the Mansion. You’ll even get credit in the game as a Design Specialist!
If you’re a Backer on any of our high-end tiers and can get to Cincinnati, OH, you’re officially invited to come help us put a dent in our bar tab as we ramble on about the game and how awesome you all are for helping us make it a reality.
Risks and challenges
In short, network maintenance is the biggest challenge remaining before shipping this game. Ensuring all 12 players can hear each other via proximity-based audio chat clearly and consistently is crucial for the game to be fun and succeed.
Weeks and weeks will be spent on JUST network maintenance, optimization, and stabilization. It will be tough, we probably will throw our laptops at the wall once, but we will prevail and it will feel great.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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