Procedurally Generating Tension In PS4’s Daylight


The devs at Zombie Studios are hard at work on two PlayStation 4 titles at the moment. First off, the team is working to bring their fast paced F2P FPS, Blacklight: Retribution to the PS4. Secondly, the studio is developing the PlayStation 4 exclusive, Daylight.

Daylight is a highly tense, procedurally generated horror game with a narrative written by former IGN talent, Jessica Chobot (the girl who licked the PSP on G4). Since then she’s moved past starring in viral YouTube videos, to hosting IGN’s Daily Fix and even being immortalized in Mass Effect 3 as Diana Allers. After her trope in ME 3, Chobot met up with the folks at Zombie Studios. They needed a writer for their work-in-progress and they’d heard she was keen on writing a next-gen horror. The match was made after a few discussions and a pass of Chobot’s story on an early prototype reassured the Zombie devs that they’d found the right person.

The concept behind Daylight rests in the procedurally generated environments of an abandoned hospital, of which the player abruptly awakens within. This means that no two play sessions will be the same. In the past the team has mentioned that Daylight’s gameplay and graphics are only possible with UE4 and the power of PS4. In Daylight the only tool the player has available to help them navigate the maze before them is their cell phone. The phone’s display will act as the singular light source the player has access to during Daylight. The smart phone will act as a multipurpose tool for the player. It will fill the obvious need as a light source, but it will also allow a way to map out the environments, and at some point, a communication device. When Zombie Studios creative director, Andre Maguire was asked about the challenge of creating horror within a random environment, he said,

The procedural environment actually helps us quite a bit in terms of tension. A core part of the gameplay will be to learn the layouts of the environments, which will be different every time. Combine that with the story and characters we’re developing, and the tension is going to shoot through the roof.

The team is making use of next-gen hardware and game development technology to create Daylight. Not only is this title being developed exclusively for the PS4, it utilizes Epic’s Unreal Engine 4 as well. Maguire expressed his opinion about working with Sony’s new hardware saying, “Developing for PS4 is amazing“. For now, the title has a tentative launch window of early 2014. Hopefully tension foreboding abyss of Daylight will help redefine the horror game experience that’s grown so stale in recent years.

Source: PlayStation Blog

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Dylan Zellmer

Dylan splits time between games journalism, designing video games, and playing them. Outside of his deep involvement in the games industry, he enjoys It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Shameless, A Song of Ice and Fire, fitness, and family.
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