There are plenty of Until Dawn fans at Kotaku, both in the Australian office and around the world. But the game wasn’t always the unusually good spoopy party game for the PS4.
Footage has popped up on YouTube from PtoPOnline, a channel and Patreon dedicated to the preservation of gaming history, of an Until Dawn prototype. It was built for the PS3 back when the game was being conceived from the first-person perspective.
There’s some frame rate hitches and obvious bugs that you get from the prototyping stage, but it’s fascinating to see where Until Dawn could have gone. The ability to play between different characters is still there, and the teenage horror inspiration is clearly evident. But this version of Until Dawn would involved a lot more player input when it comes to solving puzzles, rather than focusing on branching dialogue trees.
There’s a sequence showing a string of quicktime events as well around 25 minutes in, although unlike the finished Until Dawn (where it’s a challenge to keep all of the teens alive, instead of being a fail state) the game refuses to proceed until the QTE’s are successfully passed.
Even at this formative stage, when the game was based around a design and approach of the late 2000’s, Until Dawn looked a lot of fun. (If you like spoopy games, anyway.) It’s probably for the best that the game was delayed and eventually remade with a third-person, dialogue-heavy, narrative focused approach, although the prototype footage makes it clear that Supermassive Games was onto a good idea from the outset.