VR Jam finalist Specter Seekers has now hit Kickstarter under the new guise ‘Spectre’ and promises survival horror online multiplayer with a virtual reality twist.

VR Jam, All Grown Up

spectre-3Last year’s VR Jam organised by Indiecade and sponsored by Oculus VR is proving to be a significant long term success. Not only did the event manage to produce a deluge of dazzling virtual reality experiments and experiences in the shortest of short times (3 weeks no less), entrants are finally choosing to use their VR Jam success as inspiration to go on to finish the job, so to speak. Spectre, originally known as Specter Seekers, is now up on Kickstarter with a modest goal of $15,000 and promises “a unique, must-have multiplayer horror experience designed for immersive virtual reality and 3D”.

The game is created by a small but dedicated group of volunteer developers going by the name ‘Proscenium’ (taken from the Roman word for the framing arch around the stage in theaters). Their overriding passion is horror and virtual reality. Clearly the team is capable, pulling together any game in a 3 week time frame is a huge challenge, let alone one with all the extra complexities and subtle issues that a multiplayer title presents.

The Game

The premise is simple enough; you and a bunch of friends wake up finding themselves trapped in an old haunted mansion with a storm raging outside. The game offers up two roles, either Seeker or Spectre. Seekers are mere mortals armed with only a trusty headlight and must flee from the pursuing Spectres. The headlight can emit bursts of energy that temporarily incapacitate a Spectre, allowing escape. As a ghoulish Spectre, your aim is to drain energy from the seekers and you have the ability to set devious traps for Seekers about the mansion as well as throwing the odd illusion and spooky sound to confuse your opponents.

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spectre-2It’s an intriguing concept for sure, and the developers hope to make Spectre unique by including ‘ground up’ support for the Oculus Rift headset. The use of VR could well elevate what is a fairly clichéd setting into an all-encompassing claustrophobic nightmare. Many horror experiences have already appeared since the Oculus Rift developer kit arrived and many have been extremely effective. It seems dropping your senses into a terrifying world where your peripheral vision and head-turn reflex offer no escape can scare the hell out of people, who knew?

The team also promise an artful and compelling single player experience if they reach their initial Kickstarter goal, although details are thin on the ground right now.

Chilling Backer Rewards

So, you’ve doubtless seen a fair few Kickstarters come and go over the last couple of years, god knows we have. But few campaigns have the opportunity to offer its backers something as enticing or original as the Spectre developers. Backer tiers start with a full game for $14 (early bird) and add access to the multiplayer beta at $26. But opt for more and backers have the choice of being immortalised inside a crystal orb with a recording of your voice repeating your chosen utterance over and over to gameworld inhabitants, as a ‘Phantasmic Photograph’ promising to project your face from in-game picture frames. Up the pledge to $345 and you could even get a personalized painted portrait whose eyes will follow players around the mansion. All in all some of the most imaginative rewards we’ve seen in a Kickstarter campaign for a game thus far.

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Cymatic Bruce Gets an Exclusive Early Look at Spectre

Cymatic Bruce got an early look at Spectre’s current multiplayer alpha during his most recent VR live-stream:

The finished title will be ready for download come July 2014 to backers. As of writing, the campaign sits just under $3,000 and seems to be making good progress. Head over to their Kickstarter page here to grab your own ghoulish reward.

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