Stifled is a multi-award winning, VR and Mic-Enabled Sound-Based Stealth Thriller, where sound is the only way you see and the enemies HEAR your fear.
Chen Wei Ren - Game Designer, Artist
Dexter Chng - Game Designer, Writer
Justin Ng - Game Designer, Artist, UI/UX
Andre Pong - Game Designer, Artist
Wesley Yeo - Lead Programmer
Bryan Teo - Audio Designer, Programmer
Stifled was inspired by an exploration in translating the concept of echolocation as a game mechanic. We decided to put the player in pitch darkness, and equip them with a microphone input which they could speak and send out sound pulses to reveal the nearby environment.
Upon building the prototype of the base system involving the microphone, we were struck by the immediate and visceral sense of claustrophobia that rose from the core mechanic. To build upon that, we introduced creatures that lurk invisibly in the darkness, and are attracted to sound.
This created a natural and innate tension that we've come to love; where the players constantly fight for a balance between illuminating enough of their surroundings to allay their fears of the dark, and managing the risk of attracting undue attention through their sonic probing of the environment.
As icing on the cake, we designed our game's narrative to be gleaned through the exploration of the environment and musing over its details. We wanted this mystery to fuel the player's curiosity as well and tempt them to further tread the line between safety and danger.
All-in-all Stifled pushed us as a team into uncharted territories of mechanic, visual and narrative design. Challenges that we eventually overcame to create a unique and immersive horror experience for players.