About this project
Crafted by a team of veteran PC and console developers (BioShock, BioShock Infinite, Dead Space), Perception offers a bold and fresh take on first person narrative games.
- "See" using echolocation. Every sound creates a visual.
- Engage in a deadly game of hide and seek with relentless enemies, including The Presence.
- Trigger radical change at the Estate at Echo Bluff each time you solve its mysteries.
- Travel back through history to exorcise your own nightmares.
June 22 - We're pleased to release our second gameplay trailer. Check it out! Be sure to "Like" it and spread it around. Let's #MakePerceptionReality
June 23 - Silent Night Mode!
Based on fan feedback, we decided to add a mode that let's players choose between playing as Cassie as we intended or a version who speaks only for plot critical lines.
June 24 - Mode 7 Announced!
Check out the trailer for our retro-inspired mode.
Perception is a first-person narrative horror adventure that tells the story of Cassie, a blind heroine who uses her extraordinary hearing and razor-sharp wits to unravel the mysteries of an abandoned estate that haunts her dreams.
After months of research, she discovers an abandoned mansion in Gloucester, MA. Once there, Cassie finds that Echo Bluff is worse than her nightmares. A ghastly Presence has tormented its inhabitants over generations, and it now hunts Cassie. She must solve the estate's mysteries or become one of its victims.
While Cassie doesn’t have an arsenal of weapons, she does have her wit, her cane and her smart phone. Armed with these tools, she finds clues to unravel history as she navigates her way through the home via echolocation. But the house and its deadly Presence go to great lengths to prevent her from deciphering its secrets.
And yet, they won’t let her leave either. Surviving this deadly game of cat and mouse with the Presence is especially perilous when your only way of seeing is by means of sound, and so you must carefully weigh the risk of making too much noise against the possibility of being discovered by the terrifying Presence.
Once spotted, your only hope is to run, hide, and pray that it doesn’t find you. Cassie uses ambient sounds of the house as well, such as taking advantage of when the grandfather clock rings, or when a loud pipe whistles. She can throw objects and use items like alarms to create "sound bombs” to distract her enemies.
Cassie uses her smartphone to examine evidence left behind. And as she puts the pieces together, she’ll find herself jumping back in time.
Perception takes place over many different eras. You get to see the house retreat back to its origins and witness it evolve over time. Through the decades and as it changed hands across generations, the house and its inhabitants change significantly.
Architecture and décor evolve, entire wings and buildings come and go and alter your relationship with the space. Once you’ve discovered the source of evil in each generation, it’s your job to right the wrong.
With each chapter, there are new questions that need answering. And you'll need to keep on your toes for new threats. The Poppets, for one, completely change what it's like to explore the mansion.
About “World Access for the Blind”
If the Kickstarter hits $250,000 in funding, after the game is released, The Deep End Games will commit to donating up to $25,000 of the game ’s proceeds at retail to “World Access for the Blind,” a Non-Profit organization that teaches blind people to ”discover a new way of ‘seeing through sound’”.
“We have helped nearly 10,000 students in nearly 40 countries. We are a dedicated team who lead by example, as most of us are blind! Our unique, scientific method teaches blind people to see in new ways by activating the brain to gain images of the world through sound and touch - like lighting a match in the dark. We are known for our No Limits attitude, as we do not settle for the minimum requirements of functioning, but instead challenge ourselves and our students to reach beyond their limits. Our students understand that they can direct their own lives rich with quality, promise, and as much excitement and intrigue as they could wish for. By our approach, blind people can grow from being passive recipients, often marginalized and restricted, to active contributors free to achieve a quality of life of their own choosing. Through your generous support, we help more blind children and adults globally to improve their quality of life, to challenge poverty and social isolation, and to find freedom to realize their dreams.”
**This is the current/up to date version. The tiers on the side cannot be modified, so please check here for all tier details.**
$5 - HELPING HAND
We put a lot of work into this project, so your donation means the world to us. Seriously, thank you! You’ll be getting a stunning wallpaper from the game you can keep as your computer’s background…as long as it doesn’t creep you out.
$20 - KEY TO ECHO BLUFF
Prior rewards apply. You’ll be receiving a digital download of our first-person narrative horror adventure, Perception, for your PC. We can’t wait to hear what you think of picturesque Echo Bluff and its inhabitants.
$30 - DIGITAL DABBLER
Prior rewards apply. A little bit of gorgeous for your eyes and ears! A digital download of the amazing score by Jim Bonney. You won't believe how eerie his work is on Perception. You also get a digital download of the concept art pack, which includes a collection of various pieces of concept art and mockups.
$35 - PHYSICAL COPY OF DIGITAL DABBLER
Prior rewards do not apply. The physical copy of Digital Dabbler PC in jewel case comes with all the content of our Digital Dabbler Reward on disc: the PC game, a digital concept art pack, wallpaper and the amazing score by Jim Bonney all on the full color printed disc.
$40 - DIGITAL COLLECTOR
Prior rewards apply (excluding limited). Now you can truly explore Echo Bluff. You’ll receive a digital download of the house’s blueprints, which will certainly aid in exploration. You’ll also get an exclusive download of a “movie poster” style art for the game, as well as a Robb Waters engineering schematic of the creature Poppet from the game. You’ll also receive an ebook, a digital download of Dr. Latham's Journal - an obsessed "myth hunter's” collected works about the house.
$50 - CREDITS
Prior rewards apply (excluding limited). As a thank you for your support, your name will appear in the credits of the game. See your name in lights, as it was destined.
$60 - PHYSICAL COLLECTOR'S EDITION
Prior Rewards (excluding limited). The Physical Collector's Edition PC in DVD sized Digipak and sleeve packaging, comes with a hardcover mini art book and a full color, high quality paper stock art print, as well as the PC game, a digital concept art pack, stickers, wallpaper and the amazing score by Jim Bonney, all on the full color printed disc.
Any pledge over $250 gets a digital download on the console of your choice and the physical PC version.
$80 - THREADS
Prior rewards apply (excluding limited). Show off your good taste in games and clothing! You have two exclusive limited edition tees to pick from. One depicts the shadowy Presence of Echo Bluff, and the other shows off one of the game’s most iconic characters, the Poppet. Pick your favorite, or head up to the next tier!
$100 - THREADS II
Prior rewards apply (excluding limited). Now you’ll be stylin’ times two! Both exclusive limited edition Perception tees can be yours. Be seen around town sporting both Echo Bluff and the Poppet!
$250 - WINGMAN / MEATSHIELD
Prior rewards apply (excluding limited). Ever wonder to yourself if game designers were gaming phenoms out there in the multiplayer world? Well, he may not be a world-ranked pro, but Bill Gardner can certainly throw himself in front of a bullet for you. Not literally. The Deep End’s Creative Director, Bill Gardner, will join you online for an evening of multiplayer fun on the game/platform of your choice. Have him snipe out your foes, or just walk around taking fire for your amusement.
$325 - FRIGHT CLUB
Prior Rewards (excluding limited). The first rule of Fright Club is you don't talk about Fright Club. Members get the exclusive privilege of being able to collaborate on a design for a short, frightening sequence in the game. You will be credited as "Horror Consultant."
$411 - CASSIE'S BFF
Prior rewards apply (excluding limited). You will collaborate with The Deep End Games to write half of a text exchange with Cassie. Your name and texts will appear on Cassie's phone. Includes call out in the credits as "Cassie's BFFs".
$435 - CASSIE'S BFF4EVA
Prior rewards apply (excluding limited). You and Cassie are super tight, no texting for such life-long friends! Write a voicemail message to her, get it approved by the folks at The Deep End Games, and record your message remotely. It will appear in Cassie’s phone throughout the game and you and the audience can listen to your heart’s delight.
$400 - MYTH HUNTER
Prior rewards (excluding limited). The Estate at Echo Bluff has a long and sordid history, and for Dr. Howard Latham, renowned historian, it has been his life’s obsession. This leather-bound replica of the good doctor’s original journal is something that any collector would treasure. Filled with his own diary entries, sketches, newspaper articles, letters and various other clues, you’ll have a piece of this myth-hunter’s life’s work in the palm of your hands.
$500 - MYTH HUNTER II
Prior rewards apply (excluding limited). The Estate at Echo Bluff has a long and sordid history, and for Dr. Howard Latham, renowned historian, it has been his life’s obsession. This leather-bound replica of the good doctor’s original journal is something that any collector would treasure. Filled with his own diary entries, sketches, newspaper articles, letters and various other clues, you’ll have a piece of this myth-hunter’s life’s work in the palm of your hands. And to top it off, you can have your own name as part of the Echo Bluff lore, along with an original sketch or collaborative diary entry with one of the writers. Or, if you’re very brave, you could have our writers pen an entry about you.
$500 - INTERIOR DESIGNER
Prior Rewards (excluding limited). Select from a number of rooms in Echo Bluff and collaborate with The Deep End to tell the story of the space. Select the furniture, decor, stylistic and narrative touches. Great opportunity for budding designers or creative types to put their mark on a game. You will be credited as "Interior Designer."
$600 - PENPAL
Prior rewards apply (excluding limited). Letters and other types of correspondences abound at Echo Bluff, and you yourself could be one of the writers. Along with Amanda and Bill, you can help craft some of the house’s lore. Your letter will be found in the house, and you will be credited in the game as an “Additional Writer”. Sharpen your pencil and your mind, and get ready to enter Echo Bluff for eternity!
$300 - SOUNDS IN THE NIGHT
Prior rewards apply (excluding limited). There’s more than meets the ear at Echo Bluff. Sometimes, at night, the house can no longer contain its secrets. Jim Bonney, audio director extraordinaire, has captured some of the more chilling occurrences during such nights. You’ll get a one-of-a kind physical cassette tape of the sounds heard overnight at Echo Bluff is sure to keep you up at night, seeking answers. Each cassette is a unique recording from a different night. Listen closely, you just might find a clue to one of its many mysteries.
Prior rewards apply (excluding limited). Dr. Richard Briar inhabited Echo Bluff for a time, but perhaps his patients stayed a bit longer. You may choose between writing a letter to “your therapist” and having his reply found in game, or, you may remotely record a therapy session with the man himself, to be found in-game as a cassette. Now, get comfortable on this couch and tell me how you feel about your mother.
$1,000 BUST OR BUST
Prior rewards apply (excluding limited). Cassie herself is a sculptor, but the busts she discovers at Echo Bluff have an eerie realness about them and the souls feel almost captured inside. We can capture your likeness (we’ll let you keep your soul) in one of these pieces of virtual in-game artwork. All those delusions of grandeur throughout your life can now allow you to be forever immortalized in (digital) marble! Pledge
$1,200 - THE PRESENCE
Prior rewards apply (excluding limited). No home is complete without a haunting, shadowy force to patrol the halls…or your desk. This reward gets you a Robb Waters original sculpture the way Cassie would have created it. He’s captured the uncanny Presence as an 8" resin model figure. Robb has created countless collectables from Sander Cohen, to Songbird and many Vigor bottles. And now he's outdone himself with one of his creepiest creations to date.
The terrifying being that stalks Echo Bluff can haunt your office, living room, or even nursery! Each figure is signed, numbered, and includes certificate of authenticity.
BONUS! We will remotely record your voice for a selection of lines to be merged into The Presence! You can be part of both Perception and The Presence!
$2,000 - COLLABORATION STATION
Prior rewards apply (excluding limited). There are untold horrors from Echo Bluff throughout the ages and generations. In an additional level of Perception, you can Skype with Bill and Amanda to collaborate on the game's story and gameplay. At this tier, you can have a hand in the history and action, and be credited in the game as "Design Consultant".
$5,000 - ULTIMATE CONTRIBUTOR!
The ultimate collector's bragging rights. Includes all exclusive and non-exclusive tiers. You will also receive a special credit in the game as "Executive Producer"
- Key to Echo Bluff
- Digital Dabbler
- Digital Collector
- Threads II
- Cassie's BFF
- Cassie's BFF 4-EVA
- Myth Hunter I + II
- Sounds in the Night
- Bust or Bust
- Collaboration Station
Bill Gardner - During his twelve-years at Irrational, Bill designed award-winning levels such as BioShock’s “Welcome to Rapture” and “Fort Frolic”. On BioShock Infinite, Bill was Design Director before taking over UX, which ignited a passion that led to his Master’s Degree from Bentley University for Human Factors in Information Design. Now Founder and Creative Director at The Deep End Games, Bill spends his days finding new ways to creep people out, much to the dismay of his small children.
Amanda Gardner - A life-long gamer, Amanda has been fully-immersed in the geek lifestyle for as long as she can remember. Amanda is excited to bring to you the story of Cassie and the estate at Echo Bluff, and has enjoyed transitioning from writing urban fantasy novels to writing video games. When she’s not writing, she’s chasing around her two children (while quite pregnant) and teaching English. Amanda also serves as the game’s producer, a role she was born for, considering all she does is chase after people anyway.
Desiree Fernandes - Desiree is a freelance 3D environment and prop artist. She graduated from Champlain College a year ago, and has been doing freelance art since then. She's pretty new to the industry, but she loves her work and is excited to learn. Desiree probably won't be able to play Perception once it's complete, funnily enough; she loves horror games but is too easily scared to play them.
Jim Bonney - Jim Bonney has been creating music, voiceover, and sound design for video games for over 15 years. His work on BioShock Infinite won 10 awards, including a GDC award for Best Audio and a BAFTA for Best Original Music. His other game credits include Mortal Kombat: Armageddon and Stranglehold. He is currently leading his own full-service audioventure, under the moniker BigLoudSound.
Kirk Bezio - Kirk is a designer who has previously worked on BioShock and Bioshock Infinite. He designed the level "A Shocking Turn of Events" for the Bioshock Challenge Rooms DLC to explore the compelling problem solving potential of the game's Plasmids, weapons and environmental systems. Always looking for ways to make gameplay more expressive, Kirk has been thinking deeply about the reasons one might venture out into a world of darkness and certain death when there is a perfectly good closet to cower in right here...
Ben Johnson - Developing games professionally for over 10 years, Ben was a level designer on games including The Godfather, The Simpsons Game and Dead Space. His independent games have received funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and been exhibited at museums, festivals, and once, memorably, at a Wu-Tang concert. Ben has been an organizer for New York's art/arcade collective Babycastles for five years. He holds a Masters of Entertainment Technology from Carnegie-Mellon University.
Robb Waters - Robb has dedicated his talents to the video games industry since 1993, contributing elementally and creatively to several award- winning games, including BioShock Infinite, BioShock, and Freedom Force, Freedom Force vs the Third Reich. Some of Robb's most iconic characters include; System Shock's Shodan, Thief's Garret, Freedom Force's Man-Bot, the Little Sisters, Splicers, Andrew Ryan, Sander Cohen, the Boys of Silence, Handyman, the Motorized Patriot and the Songbird.
Hung Nguyen - A prop and environment artist who has helped bring worlds to life from high in the clouds in BioShock Infinite to battlefields far across the galaxy in Star Wars: The Old Republic. With a strong desire to deliver quality work and memorable game-play to the player, Hung continues to to hone his craft and endeavor to produce memorable experiences in your encounters within Perception.
John Malaska - John brings 11 years of expertise in keyframe, skinning, rigging, and motion capture from years working for companies like Irrational Games, Avalanche Studios, DICE and Kaos Studios. John has broad experience in AAA (BioShock: Infinite, Just Cause 3, Homefront), Indie Games (Homestuck), and Military Simulation (US Coast Guard).
Jed Wahl - Jed is a digital sculptor who trained in 3d modeling at the MIT Media Lab and has over 10 years of experience in the video game industry. He was the lead character modeler on the original BioShock, as well as a senior artist on titles like the Rock Band series, The Beatles: Rock Band, the Dance Central series, and Fantasia: Music Evolved. He currently resides in East Providence, Rhode Island.
FXVille - FXVille, Inc. is a real-time special effects studio serving the video games industry. Founded in 2008, we strive to produce high quality visual effects for our clients.
David Surely - David Sursely has been an artist in the industry since 2007. Starting out as an Environment and Technical Artist with Zombie Studios, he is now a VFX Artist with FXVille in Seattle, WA. He has worked on multiple titles including Blacklight: Retribution and State Of Decay: Year One Survival Edition
Justin Sonnekalb - Whether editing VO for BioShock and BioShock Infinite, prototyping Sky-Lines for Bioshock Infinite, doing systems design for Burial At Sea, or developing his graphics programming skills, Justin is sworn to further the cause of games as art or die trying.
BONUS LEVEL WRITER - JOSH FIALKOV
Joshua Hale Fialkov is the creator (or co-creator, depending) of graphic novels, including ELK'S RUN, THE BUNKER, THE LIFE AFTER, PUNKS, TUMOR, and ECHOES.
He also served as a writer on the Emmy Award Nominated animated film Afro Samurai: Resurrection, and as Executive Producer of the cult hit LG15: The Resistance web series. He has written comics for companies including Marvel, DC, Legendary, Wildstorm, Oni Press, IDW, Dark Horse, Image, Tor Books, Seven Seas Entertainment, Del Rey, Random House, Dabel Brothers Productions, and St. Martin’s Press. He has done video game work for THQ, Midway Entertainment, The Workshop, and Gore Verbinski’s Blind Wink Productions. He also wrote a Sci-Fi Channel movie starring Isabella Rossellini and Judd Nelson. Unfortunately, at no point in the film does Judd Nelson punch the sky and freeze frame.
Josh's level will be included in Perception if the $215,000 stretch goal is met.
So far, we've been self-funding the project out of pocket. But we need your help to see Perception through to completion. While we've already made great progress building much of the core experience, we still have a way to go to realize our vision.
Below is a very basic breakdown of how we plan to distribute our funds.
A high resolution version of Perception's trailer:
Risks and challenges
It’s important to understand that we’re a team of vets with decades of experience creating games. Many of us have worked together and are expert with Unreal. Long story short, this is not our first rodeo.
That said, no project is risk free and there are no guarantees in life. While we have worked together before, there are risks to working with such a small team. For all the creative freedom and empowerment that offers, it also presents a unique challenge. Resources are far more precious. If one of us were to be temporarily non-active for whatever reason, that could have a big impact on our schedule. We’re also aware of the fact that communication is critical. Which is why we’ve structured the company the way we have: as flat as possible.
In terms of timing: The game is currently targeted for June 2016. We are committed to that date, but it is equally important to deliver a game that meets the expectations of our fans so although we take both responsibilities very seriously so there might be a bit of a margin in the release date. Especially if we hit stretch goals.
We have carefully budgeted and planned this project and we pride ourselves on being brutally honest with ourselves. We will be working extremely hard to meet your expectations and we will keep you informed along the way.
We currently have no plans for a physical copy but are looking into what it would take.
We toyed with this idea, but in our tests it conflicted with the tap mechanism and it wasn't best for gameplay. We want what's best for the game, and while it's a cool idea, it wasn’t feeling right for a number of reasons. Not the least of which is that, with the exception of when Cassie yells, you couldn’t really “see” her voice unless you were standing directly next to something. We will continue to build toward what feels right for the narrative and gameplay experience, so we may revisit this.
We have not nailed down an exact date yet. A lot of this depends on how the Kickstarter goes. It’s our goal is to do our best to keep backers as up-to-date as possible throughout development.
We are not currently hiring at this time. However, we’re always willing to take a look at portfolios and, if we have time, offer feedback.
Just the shipping. Customs, duties and insurance are not covered.
We looked into this and have reached out to GOG, unfortunately at this stage they cannot guarantee that the game will be released on GOG.com (they want to play it first), but it is certainly our intention to pursue this. They did tell us that IF the game will be released on GOG.com, all backers will have an option to choose to receive a code for their client instead of a Steam code. Please note that because we ARE approved Steam developers but not GOG, the game might release slightly later on GOG than it will on Steam. IF we do get greenlit by GOG of course.
We have spent months talking to blind gamers and accessibility experts looking into ways to solve the challenges with implementing a blind accessible game. So far we haven't found a satisfactory approach but we are continuing to look. We are a small team and so we can't make any promises, but we haven't stopped our search for a method we like. Stay tuned.
Spread the word! Share on Facebook, retweet on Twitter, add images to imgur, talk about the game on Reddit, show off the trailer and your reaction on Youtube and Twitch...basically if there's social media available, use it! Also, talking to friends and family doesn't hurt either. We really want to get this project in your hands, so if you'd like to spread the word, it would certainly benefit everyone!
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