Remember flashlight tag? You didn’t play it like this. Vogelsap’s The Flock is a brutal first-person asymmetrical multiplayer game where three to five people compete for control of an artifact containing the last bit of sunlight left in the world. Only one player can be “it.” The rest remain monsters, trying to claw that person apart. By combining stealth with seamless motion through a dark and stifled atmosphere, The Flock manages to be as fast-paced as it is suspenseful – and Indie Fund is proud to now support it.
Ambitious as a 3D online multiplayer may be for the first project of a student team, Vogelsap has restricted the scope of their game in a way that reinforces all its elements. Players begin as members of “the Flock”, a dying but deadly species with the speed and agility of Ridley Scott’s Alien. Players must pick up a glowing orb to win, either from it’s original spawn point or the corpse of whoever had it last, but doing so transforms them into a slow and vulnerable humanoid “Carrier,” unable to hide the light they’ve stolen for long. Catching the Flock in this light turns them to dust unless, of course, they’re not moving. Or was that just a statue?
“I love sharing new experiences with gamers online, but I hate the tired mechanics of most of them,” Indie Fund investor Kellee Santiago said. “The Flock stood out to me immediately as a delightfully scary and fun game to play with friends, both old and new. There’s something about shrieking and then laughing at yourselves that really bonds people together – and that feeling of connection is ultimately what I’m always looking for in an online game. And it’s why I’m proud to be a part of this unique project.”
To convey the consequences of the Flock’s lemming-like attraction to light, and to heighten the stakes of an otherwise endlessly looping deathmatch, Vogelsap is introducing a new twist – The Flock’s population will be finite. Each senseless death will count against a running total, resulting eventually in extinction. Players will trigger a finale when the counter reaches zero, in which players can partake and then the game will never be playable again. Vogelsap is still working out the details, but they’ve pledged to be transparent about the extinction process, and disciplined in applying it.