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Can't Talk | September 25, 2020

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Heads Up! The Flock


I tend to steer clear of horror games because I’m an anxiety ridden scaredy cat but The Flock by Dutch indie studio, Vogelsap, has a very curious sales pitch.

The Flock is a first-person multiplayer horror game coming to PC in Q3 2015 for limited time. By limited time they mean that the length of time the game will be available for depends on the death rate of players within The Flock. Each time a death occurs in game, one life will be taken from the Flock’s population. When the Flock’s population reaches zero, the game will never be purchasable again.

Only those who have the game in their Steam library will have access to The Flock’s “yet to be announced climactic finale”.  After the finale, the game will go offline permanently and no longer be playable.

The Flock are a tragic race as they are doomed to extinction.  The titular abominations are irrevocably attracted to the light of the Artifact which will lead to their death or transformation into a whole other being.  Trying to convey this story into the game as well as the team’s aspiration to find a solution to the anticlimactic ending of multiplayer games, resulted in theidea of the Flock‘s population countdown.


“A multiplayer game can take players to incredible heights, but at some point gamers will start to play less, get disinterested and stop playing altogether,” said Jeroen Van Hasselt, creative director, Vogelsap.  “In opposition to other multiplayer games, we want The Flock‘s experience to inspire a sense of awe, to keep players eagerly anticipating what is coming next and to end with a memorable climax.”


Set in the year 3000, an unrecognizable Earth is in ruins.  Centuries of devastating pollution have blocked out the sun, blanketing the planet in darkness.  No longer able to support human life, a horrifying race of monstrous creatures known as the Flock is the world’s new dominant species.  That is, until the emergence of the Carrier.


Each player begins as a member of the Flock, when a strange light emitting device known asthe Light Artifact will suddenly appear somewhere on the map.  The first player who touchesthe Light Artifact will transform into the Carrier, who then becomes the hunted.


Equipped with the Light Artifact, the Carrier can defeat the Flock by using the Light Artifact to illuminate the creatures.  The Flock can in turn avoid the light’s lethal effects by remaining motionless when caught by the beam.  When a member of the Flock successfully lunges at the Carrier, it seizes control of the Light Artifact and becomes the new humanoid hunted. The previous Carrier then respawns as a member of the Flock just arriving at the scene.


The only way of winning a match of The Flock is to survive as the Carrier while keeping the light lit or to capture certain objectives.  Objectives can be captured by directing the artifact’s light towards these key points. – July 16, 2015 Press Release

Madness or brilliance? People want what they might not be able to have.

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