There Is Permadeath, and Then There is ‘The Flock’

There Is Permadeath, and Then There is ‘The Flock’


// Some games allow you to respawn with all of your items. Other don’t. Some games allow you to take control of another character after you die. Others force you to start a completely new world. The Flock will be the first game to introduce the idea of a finite player population, and to let it have a definite impact on the game. When the population reaches zero, The Flock will no longer be available for purchase and only those who already have it will be able to take part in the climactic finale. After that, the game ends for good.

The Flock started off as a university project, which generated a lot of interest after several major gaming websites discovered the teaser trailer. Since then, Vogelsap has continued to work on the game and exhibit it at various events. It is slated for a release some time this year, but there has been no confirmation of the exact date yet.

In The Flock you play as a race of creatures that barely resemble humans, yet dominate the Earth like we do now. Your first aim is to get hold of a “Light Artifact”. The first player to get their hands on it is transformed into the Carrier. Other players must attempt to kill the Carrier, while avoiding the beam of light. If they are caught moving in the light, they will burn up and die.

Once the dominant race is effectively extinct, the game is removed from sale and it transitions to a climactic finale which precedes the definite ending.

There is one major flaw with this idea I’ve noticed: no one can accurately predict the amount of copies The Flock is going to ship, or how many people will continue to play it regularly. If they have too large a population, the player base could die before the game does. If they have too small a population, people may pick it up and only get a couple of goes before it ends.

Jeroen van Hasselt, creative director and game designer at Vogelsap, has teased “a solution” to “be revealed in due time”. As long as the solution doesn’t involve reviving the climactic finale, I’m cool. I feel that creating a unique experience like this is pointless if everyone will be able to experience it eventually.

What do you think? Would you be happy to pay for a game that will eventually die?

Source(s): Wired