Many horror games feature ghosts, ghouls and poltergeists of all kinds. In most of them, the ghost is hunting you. Take P.T., Alan Wake, F.E.A.R — usually your goal is to escape. Ghost Theory changes this formula by putting you in the shoes of a paranormal investigator, where it’s not just your job, it’s your calling to entice those ghosts to show themselves.
The game won’t focus on one particular haunting, but lets you investigate many — all of them drawn from real life accounts of haunted places. Each location will consist of an “open-ended haunting ground”, a sandbox-style explorable area that contains clues for you to draw out the location’s ghost (or ghosts). While it doesn’t look like the game is setting out to be a pants-shitting horror on the level of P.T. or Amnesia, sometimes the most terrifying jump scares are the ones you can see coming.
The developer has compiled a huge map of reportedly haunted locations from across the world — Australia is represented by places like the North Head Quarantine Station, the Monte Cristo homestead in rural NSW and Andrew’s Walk of South Australia. Worldwide offerings include places like Italy’s abandoned Poveglia island, Goldfield Hotel in the US and of course a number of the creepy Eastern European forests and ancient castles that the Czech developers have easy access to.
While most of the gameplay will take place at these haunted sites, there will also be a home base — a secret paranormal research department at a university. This is where your research and work will be evaluated, and where you’ll be able to pick up new tools and tricks for your ghost hunting adventures.
Said tools are a mix of the paranormal and technological — from electronic EMF meters and UV lamps to crystal pendulums and the main character’s inherent ability of clairvoyance. All of them, along with your own powers of perception, will work together to help you investigate these famous hauntings.
Developer Dreadlocks is already seeking approval from various haunted sites for their inclusion in the game — working with ghost tour agencies and ghost hunting groups to collect both information and real-life recordings or images of the apparitions that are said to haunt each location. The team have already been themselves to scan a haunted castle in their local Czech Republic, though the research is set to go further if the game reaches its funding goal.
Ghost Theory is currently going through funding on Kickstarter, although it isn’t their first time around. An earlier Kickstarter campaign for Ghost Theory was cancelled back in February, after raising only 16 per cent of its funding goal with two days to go. This time it’s much closer, though with only four days to go to raise another £10,000 (around $20,000) it’ll definitely be tight. If everything goes to plan, Ghost Theory is planned for a multiplatform release on Windows, Mac and Linux, along with Xbox One and PS4.