A Bloober Team representative described Scopophobia as "two separate experiences" within a single, downloadable game. It's a first-person game, and it's all takes place in a Victorian setting. Players are tasked with choosing one of two sides -- monstrous creatures known as Basilisks or helpless children -- each with their own unique skillsets. The basic idea is for the monsters to find and kill the children, while the children do everything they can to remain undetected.
As the monsters stalk their prey, the children attempt to remain unseen, squeezing into tight spots, slinking through the shadows, and staying undetected. Players will be able to get a taste of both sides when playing online, and will quickly understand that all things aren't created equal here. One side is at a significant and severe disadvantage.
At the center of Scopophobia's inherently asymmetric gameplay -- after all, the monsters have all of the power -- are special classes that both sides can utilize. Bloober Team's Marc Calhoun, who spoke with me about the game, declined to further elaborate on these classes, but he did talk more about the game's maps. "Right now, we have a lot of maps that we are going through and testing. As for a number of how many will be in the final game or specific ones that will make it, I couldn't say with a hundred percent certainty," he told me. "Really, what we are aiming to do is to look at what we have and what each map brings to the game and which offer the best experiences."
Though Scopophobia is centered around multiplayer, there is a single-player component, and unlike in multiplayer, you only play as one side. Calhoun told me more. "For the campaign of the game, we are aiming to create a tense experience, one where you are completely vulnerable. You are a child and have no way of fighting a Basilisk. This is not a game where you can kill all of the bad guys and that fixes everything because you are really outmatched. You just have to survive."
"For the multiplayer, we are really giving two separate experiences in one. You will have the tense horror of being hunted down that you get in the single player and, when you play as the Basilisk, you will get to play as the character that makes [things scary]." Unfortunately, he wouldn't elaborate more on the actual story at the heart of the game.
One thing I had to ask Calhoun about is his studio's last game -- Basement Crawl -- which is a PlayStation 4 exclusive, and widely considered to be PS4's worst game. I was curious how the team would approach making Scopophobia a better experience, and if they collectively learned anything from the critical beating its previous game took.
"The most important lesson for us, I think, was to not underestimate the voice of our community," he admitted. "When you are making a game and it becomes something that you put a lot of work into every day, you get a vision for what you want it to look like, you get wrapped up in that vision, and sometimes it's good to step outside of that and think of what people are asking for."
"With Basement Crawl, we made mistakes, and it's not something that we have forgotten about. We rebuilt that game from scratch on a new engine with vast improvements and will be releasing it for free to owners of the original. With that said, we understand that we can't right a wrong and simply expect people to forget it. That's not how it works. This is why we are working closely with gamers on an individual basis and getting them involved in the game with us. You are the ones playing the game; it should be something that you enjoy."