Bio-activated horror maze “Hyde” to launch in 2016 – a real life psychological thriller
Thursday 18 June 2015 – Bristol-based real world games studio Slingshot Effect are unveiling their latest game in development, ‘Hyde’. This ‘Crystal Maze meets video game Portal’ is a totally new concept, which will see players battle their way through a dynamic maze that responds to their bio-data. The product has recently been awarded acceleration funding from the REACT Alumni Scheme to help take the idea to market and Slingshot is raising additional funds via a crowd-funding campaign launching this week.
Hyde is based loosely on the story of Jekyll and Hyde. Within the game, the players
take part in experimental trials of a new drug developed by the Jekyll Corporation. It’s designed to modify the capabilities of the human body, giving them the power to control their environment by controlling their physical state. Armed with some wearable tech their assignment is to navigate their way though a maze of connected rooms, using their new powers to complete a series of increasingly challenging tasks along the way.
Slingshot have developed technology that links bio-sensors fitted to players, with actuators – locks, lights, motors – in the maze environment. The players’ challenge in the game is to control their heart rate, breathing and posture to trigger these actuators. Hyde is a smart maze. It tracks players through the space and adjusts effects and difficulty according to how they are progressing.
Simon Evans, who co-founded Slingshot with his business partner Simon Johnson, said of their new game concept; “We are incredibly excited about this project; it will be unlike anything else people will have experienced before, a kind of ‘Crystal Maze meets video game Portal’ experience. Imagine a game that can track your emotional state. It’ll be real-life psychological thriller, where what people imagine is far more terrifying than what they see. It will be a horror of the mind, drawing people to the thing they fear most. We are looking forward to hearing all the ideas the Kickstarter Community has about what that might be and to receiving their contributions to its development.”
“We have put together a number of packages that will enable funders to not only get exclusive access to tickets for the opening weeks,” he added, “but to also participate in the design and development process. For example, the ‘Lab Rat perk’ will allow players to come to the maze during development and be wired into Hyde to offer up their bio-data to help us test and feedback on the experience. And the ‘Mad Scientist perk’, where funders can help us design one of the rooms in the maze and get credit.’
The crowd funding campaign goes live on Kickstarter on June 18th and closes on July 18th with Slingshot looking to looking to raise £50,000, as part of a wider funding package. The design and development of the game will begin soon after, with first extensive user testing taking place in August and September. Tickets for the opening run will go on sale in February 2016 with the game opening in late March/early April 2016 at a location yet to be decided. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/hyde/hyde-0