PAMELA is a horror survival game set in a futuristic island city called Eden. Toronto based NVYVE Studios revealed the game at the Unity booth at the Game Developers Conference. Inspired artistically by Mass Effect and Mirror’s Edge, the game is striving to create something immersive and new in a genre filled with zombies and jump scares.
The game’s world has been afflicted with a disease that causes painful bone growth in humans. The humans afflicted with this disease are fighting against the clock, but as their bones shift and their skin cracks, their minds have to bear the burden of more and more pain along with the horror of seeing the monstrosities they are becoming that light forces them to realize. Eventually everyone inflicted cracks under the strain to their minds and become the monsters that they appear to be. Driven by pain and mental anguish, many of the denizens of Eden attack anyone on sight, but still instinctively keep to the dark.
PAMELA starts with the player waking up in a stasis tank as a randomly generated character. The character has a bionic right arm, just like every other person in the futuristic dystopia. Within the bionic arm is an AI named Pamela, who used to watch over the city.
Lead Developer Christian McDonald explained some of Pamela’s use as an AI, “She’s actually connected to each and every person on the Eden through the arm, so it’s her kind of link to people. You know the saying that you only use 10 percent of your brain? She uses the other 90% of your processing power of your brain. She will also change depending on how the character plays. So if you go through and you mercilessly slaughter everybody that you see, she’s going to actually feel some of that pain. And because they act as servers, if you kill say five, six people in an area, for a temporary while maybe the power might flicker and certain vending machines might go out.”
An important part of the game is controlling the lighting. When the lights are bright enough, you are safer from enemies, but once they go out it is a different story. In the city of Eden war is merely a fragment of the past. The closest thing to weapons the player can collect to defend themselves are the Peacekeepers “pacification devices,” or the various profession’s tools they can gather among the abandoned shops.
PAMELA is trying to be very immersive, and the character can pull up their inventory on a holopad, and check out their status, inventory, and load out. There is also an option for permadeath. With permadeath on, when players die, they wake up from cryogenic sleep as a new person with their same progress.
NVYVE is currently in the pre-alpha stage of PAMELA for the PC, and are using Unity 5 to make it. They also say that they want the game to have a co-op mode and are experimenting with ways to give the game an ending despite the open world design. However, they are only four months into development, so they still have a ways to go.
[avatar user=”SHavens” size=”thumbnail” align=”left” link=”https://www.linkedin.com/pub/spencer-havens/79/a05/5b5″ target=”_blank”]Written by Spencer Havens.[/avatar]