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The Real Horror Behind Daylight on PS4

Jessica Chobot's Avatar + Posted by Jessica Chobot on Oct 31, 2013 // Writer, Daylight

Daylight, 01

Considering today is Halloween, the dev team and I wanted to share with you a story about what inspired Daylight’s location, the fictional Mid Island. It’s an abandoned, desolate place with the façade of any other island in the New England area, but bears deep scars in terms of unspeakable events that took place there and at its most infamous location, the Mid Island Bay Hospital.

While a lot of the environments in our game are a hodgepodge of various haunted locales around the country, there’s one very real, very personal experience I had growing up that truly inspired the feel of Daylight. This is that story…

The town that I grew up in had a Rockwellian main street, a neighborhood drug store that still served phosphates, rows of corn as far as the eye could see, and an abandoned mental facility known as The Sheldon Buildings.

Built in the 1900′s, the Sheldon Buildings were left to rot after accusations of abuse and misappropriated funds shut the place down.

In the late ’90s, the city finally sealed up the underground tunnels beneath the facility, knocked down the brick buildings, and vomited up a few acres worth of McMansions.

Prior to the hospital disappearing into the suburban miasma of Applebees and mid-life crisis martini bars, I got the chance to wander through it.

The Sheldon Buildings were actually a town within a town, with their own theater, power source, fire and police department, indoor, and outdoor pool, clock tower and living quarters. Running underneath the buildings and linking them all together were a series of underground tunnels.

Daylight, 02Daylight on PS4, 7

According to rumor, they were used for everything — benign use like transporting supplies between buildings, to the more sinister: transporting and abusing patients. The grounds were completely encompassed by a tall, brick wall, which seemed to have one official entrance.

Surrounding this wall was a “forest.” I write that in quotes because, while I am sure the forest was probably something to behold at the beginning of the 20th century, by the time I snuck my way in it was nothing more than a small patch of trees within a highly manicured state park.

There was a hole in the hospital’s brick wall that allowed me to get through, and I was not prepared for what I saw. The place was MASSIVE. My courage ran out way before areas to explore did. That said, I did manage to force myself into the indoor pool building, the indoor theater (which was badly burned but still had red velvet curtains hanging within the stage area), the clock tower, the patient dormitory, and one of the medical wings.

The tunnels at the time were accessible, but you couldn’t pay me enough to go in there. Graffiti was sprayed over all of the tunnel entrances with murals that looked like the gaping face and mouth as seen in The Candyman movies. An additional deterrent was the fact that everyone knew Satanists held their rituals down there.

The scariest part of the whole thing was the dormitory which led into a medical wing. There were no ghosts, no dead bodies, no Pyramid Head waiting to jump out at me from a shadowy corner. The scariest part was how everything that had been used on a daily basis when the hospital was in working order had just been left there — as if all the doctors and nurses just up and left everything one day, never to return.

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Patient beds with pillows and linens were strewn about the rooms. Personal files with real names; descriptions of illnesses written in a nurse’s cursive, and pictures of children littered the floor. Some were even still filed away in their steel cabinets.

The absolute worst was in one small room, off to the side of the main dormitory area. Someone had carved “HELL” into the door with a pocketknife. Creaking the door open a sliver and peeking inside, one could see a neatly made bed. Sitting atop the pillow was a plastic baby doll, dirty but still in good condition, its head turned so that it stared at the door as if waiting for its owner to come for it.

It was as if the tidy bed and doll were a type of shrine dedicated to the children that had been kept there. A little girl or boy left behind, just as the doll was, within the confines of a cold and terrifying environment. Poked and prodded until he or she either learned how to pretend to be “normal,” or grew too old, considered too beyond help, and were freed to suffer in a society that had no place or patience for them.

It was that feeling of abandonment; of sadness and loneliness and of the discovery of a mystery that I wanted to try and capture within my writing for Daylight. I want the player to come along with me. Back to when I was a teenager. Back to when I was too young to know better and too old not to be scared. To be my partner in crime as we explore the urban myths , the forgotten people, and the seedy underbelly of a small town.

I bet that doll was still sitting there. Still staring at the door. Still waiting to be found when the bulldozer came.

//Add Your Own

47 Comments   14 Replies

1

+ Figboy on October 31st, 2013 at 2:27 pm said:

Nice! Or should I say horrifying?

I’m terrified of creepy dolls. They’re always watching…

Any word on when Daylight will be landing on PS4? I love scary games, and this game looks really cool.


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    + John Hardin on October 31st, 2013 at 2:33 pm said:

    Earrrrrrly 2014!


2

+ Binarynova on October 31st, 2013 at 2:31 pm said:

Am I the only one who wants the Vita to be used like the phone in the game? The PS4/Vita combo has the potential to be an HD Wii U, let’s do this! :)


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    + John Hardin on October 31st, 2013 at 2:35 pm said:

    Trust me, you’re not the only one. :D


3

+ SHOGUNDAASSASSIN on October 31st, 2013 at 2:33 pm said:

sounds sweet but I only get really excited about new SMT games


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    + John Hardin on October 31st, 2013 at 2:39 pm said:

    Hey everyone, so Jessica is travelling at the moment, so I’ll be filling in with answers for now. Anything specific, and I’ll make sure she sees it.


4

+ Figboy on October 31st, 2013 at 2:33 pm said:

I know I’d love it, Binarynova!

That story was great and terrifying. Growing up in the midwest, there was no shortage of creepy locales to stupidly explore as a youngster before I moved out to the loud, “safe” noise of Los Angeles. Lol.


5

+ KwietStorm on October 31st, 2013 at 2:33 pm said:

Indie studios have been taking so called AAA developers to school with horror games for a few years now. Looking forward to this.


6

+ Binarynova on October 31st, 2013 at 2:51 pm said:

John, does that mean I should get my hopes up? :) Cause I will! Don’t toy with my emotions! :p


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    + John Hardin on October 31st, 2013 at 2:56 pm said:

    It’s a bit too early to hop on that hype train, but it’s something that’s come up in ATLUS/Zombie production meetings before. :D

    (ugh, I fail at this. I don’t know how to internet)


7

+ maxcoronel2014 on October 31st, 2013 at 2:54 pm said:

PS App compatibility also. Please! The game looks awesome by the way.


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+ John Hardin on October 31st, 2013 at 2:55 pm said:

It’s a bit too early to hop on that hype train, but it’s something that’s come up in ATLUS/Zombie production meetings before. :D


9

+ plaztiksyke on October 31st, 2013 at 2:59 pm said:

Here’s another vote for using the Vita as the “phone” in the game. It would be awesome for the Vita’s display to show the scene, then my husband and I could play in a kind of co-op mode while he’s travelling. (“What’s that noise on the left? Point the phone over there!”)

Can you talk about 1080p native rendering or 3D support?

Will the audio assets be HD quality (24-bit/losslessly compressed)? One of the most disappointing things on the PS3 was the poor quality audio assets in amazingly atmospheric games like Dead Space 1 and BioShock.

Will we be able to pre-order? with a Plus discount?

Are there any GLBT and/or non-white characters in the game?

Thanks in advance for answering questions!


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    + John Hardin on October 31st, 2013 at 3:08 pm said:

    Consider your vote tallied.

    Re: 1080p, I’m not certain, but we are working to include Real3D support.

    I don’t know about lossless audio, but I have met the specific audio engineer working on the game and can emphatically tell you that it’s incredibly well done. The sound in the game adds an incredible amount of texture to the environments – and we’re no dummies, we know how important quality sound is to creating a great horror atmosphere!

    We’re still working on what the pre-order/Plus situation is going to look like so stay tuned there.

    The only character I know of is the lead (her name is Sarah.) I don’t know specifically if she’s LGBT, that’s more of a Jessica question, since it’s her character. Sarah is Caucasian.


10

+ guitarded77 on October 31st, 2013 at 3:07 pm said:

Sounds like a fun place. Any idea of when the game may launch on PS4, and how far (percentage) into development you are?


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    + John Hardin on October 31st, 2013 at 3:21 pm said:

    Early 2014!

    It’s also hard to pin down a percentage complete on Daylight since it’s a procedurally generated game, but we’re pretty far along in terms of development.


11

+ loakum on October 31st, 2013 at 3:08 pm said:

Friggin Awesome!!! Thanks Jessica for bringing REAL Survival Horror back to gaming! This made my must buy PS4 list!


12

+ lisatsunami on October 31st, 2013 at 3:15 pm said:

@JohnHardin, please tell Jessica how happy I am about her career in the game industry. I watched the interview of her and I can understand the obstacles she overcame, especially since she’s a very attractive female in this particular industry. She has grown from “obligatory pretty girl” to a serious, successful professional.

I have an idea: Jessica Chobot interviewed for the Playstation blogcast? Yo, Sid and Justin and Nick?


13

+ Kchow23 on October 31st, 2013 at 3:37 pm said:

Wow that’s awesome.. Congrats to Jess! It’d be awesome if she was on the Blogcast :)


14

+ JROD0823 on October 31st, 2013 at 3:47 pm said:

Looks like a sweet game.

Are there any estimates on the total amount of hours of gameplay, or at least the amount of time you guys are shooting for to play the game from start to finish?


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    + John Hardin on November 1st, 2013 at 11:41 am said:

    Not sure what the playthrough estimate is going to be, since there’s a lot of procedural elements. I DO know that you’re not going to be able to unravel the full story about the game’s environment/main character in just one playthrough, so there’s incentive to go back and make your way through the game multiple times.


15

+ memortally on October 31st, 2013 at 3:53 pm said:

What will make this game more scary and creepy is – Take your vita with you and go to PS4 link (hope it supports) lay down to your bed and OMG !!! (Must turn off lights, put your headset and go under the blanket :) )


16

+ Gulles116 on October 31st, 2013 at 4:09 pm said:

jess works for plastation now? thats cool


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    + John Hardin on November 1st, 2013 at 11:42 am said:

    She’s writing the game for Zombie Studios…an indie developer based out of Seattle. Not working for PlayStation AFAIK.


17

+ luvmyR6 on October 31st, 2013 at 4:11 pm said:

@ lisastunami,

Can we not make a mountain out of a mole hill every time a woman is involved in a featured blog post?

We get it, sexism exists. Pretty sure those good looks did more to help than hurt her career.

@ plaztiksyke

Can you cool it with the LGBT hard on you have on what seems is like every post you make? Who cares? Its almost cringeworthy how you are on that very issue. I’m all for being inclusive, but to always be asking on each blog post? Give it a rest. Its a game about horror, I’m pretty sure whether someone is gay/straight/etc does not play a factor in this.


18

+ luvmyR6 on October 31st, 2013 at 4:11 pm said:

@ lisastunami,
Can we not make a mountain out of a mole hill every time a woman is involved in a featured blog post?
We get it, sexism exists. Pretty sure those good looks did more to help than hurt her career.

@ plaztiksyke
Can you cool it with the LGBT questions you have on what seems is like every post you make? Who cares? Its almost cringeworthy how you are on that very issue. I’m all for being inclusive, but to always be asking on each blog post? Give it a rest. Its a game about horror, I’m pretty sure whether someone is gay/straight/etc does not play a factor in this.


19

+ luvmyR6 on October 31st, 2013 at 4:12 pm said:

@ lisastunami,
Can we not make a mountain out of a mole hill every time a woman is involved in a featured blog post?
We get it, sexism exists. Pretty sure those good looks did more to help than hurt her career.

@ plaztiksyke
Can you cool it with the LGBT hard on you have on what seems is like every post you make? Who cares? Its almost cringeworthy how you are on that very issue. I’m all for being inclusive, but to always be asking on each blog post? Give it a rest. Its a game about horror, I’m pretty sure whether someone is straight or not does not play a factor in this.


20

+ Ryumoau on October 31st, 2013 at 4:14 pm said:

I’m surprised to see that this game was written by Jessica Chobot. Not that shes bad or anything, i just think of her from back in her IGN days.


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    + John Hardin on November 1st, 2013 at 11:43 am said:

    She’s a legit horror junkie. It’s in good hands.


21

+ D-Squad3 on October 31st, 2013 at 4:26 pm said:

Chobot?


22

+ jaja2u on October 31st, 2013 at 5:14 pm said:

Do you have any idea of price, and if the game is disc and/or digital?


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    + John Hardin on November 1st, 2013 at 11:44 am said:

    Price, not yet. The game will be digital only.


23

+ AnoyoIkari on October 31st, 2013 at 5:52 pm said:

I’ll definitely be picking this game up. My favorite genre is also the rarest. The horror suspense/supernatural. My favorite game series on PS2 was Fatal Frame and I loved both Condemned games on 360. Here’s to hoping Daylight can fill that nitch on my PS4.


24

+ raushan01 on October 31st, 2013 at 7:56 pm said:

Will this support gameplay on the Vita via Remote Play?


25

+ JacobIsHollywood on October 31st, 2013 at 8:00 pm said:

3D!!! Thank you for supporting 3D. I can’t wait to pick this up!


26

+ Amnalehu on October 31st, 2013 at 8:25 pm said:

Does this game come with a diaper or an extra pair of underwear?


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    + John Hardin on November 1st, 2013 at 11:45 am said:

    It definitely should. I am thinking about sending those out with press mailers.


27

+ Serph117 on October 31st, 2013 at 9:18 pm said:

@@ didn’t even know about this one very excited; I miss real survival horror games on consoles. I guess the last one I played was Dead Space 1 and to a lesser extent 2 but 3…..just no comment.


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    + John Hardin on November 1st, 2013 at 11:47 am said:

    This is a quote the team at Daylight told me:

    “We don’t want the player to be constantly walking around and looking for ammo or a weapon. We want them to be SCARED. A lot of survival ‘horror’ games become more about inventory management than actually experiencing scary gameplay, and we wanted to move away from that.”

    GET EXCITED.


28

+ PrimeroIncognito on October 31st, 2013 at 10:03 pm said:

@ Amnalehu

Well, there’s plenty of diaper-wearing crybabies around here. If you really want one, just ask around. You’re bound to find some.

Anyway, this is yet another game I will be looking forward to trying once I inevitably purchase a PS4. Looks unique.


29

+ Vidarcr on October 31st, 2013 at 10:21 pm said:

Another vote for Vita integration here :)


30

+ ClawOfTheFallen on October 31st, 2013 at 11:11 pm said:

I can’t wait to get all these awesome PS4 games, including daylight. I know I’ll make much use of my PS4 once I buy it in April next year and it will bring me lots of incredible memories as all Playstation products have since the PS1.


31

+ sack-kid2000 on November 1st, 2013 at 1:18 am said:

+1 On the idea of that possible PS4/PS Vita Use-The-Vita-As-The-Phone integration. It sounds like that could make it really immersive, especially when playing in the dark. Can’t wait to play all those great horror games on PS4. Still 2 weeks left… My body is ready.


32

+ wally_mammoth on November 1st, 2013 at 6:36 am said:

Game looks great! Haven’t played a solid horror game in a while.


33

+ honkayjeezus on November 1st, 2013 at 7:10 am said:

Wait… Jessica Chobot is a writer on this project? smh


34

+ Biggz124 on November 1st, 2013 at 9:59 am said:

Wait, i just noticed Jessica wrote this blog post,

you go girl!


35

+ tusunami on November 1st, 2013 at 11:11 am said:

It will be interesting to see if this game can be as scary as the dead space series. PS4 day 1 shipping I’m out


36

+ Dionysus-Jones on November 1st, 2013 at 12:09 pm said:

“A lot of survival ‘horror’ games become more about inventory management than actually experiencing scary gameplay…”

There has never been a more true statement… Thanks for keeping hope alive :-)


37

+ XenoNative on November 1st, 2013 at 12:43 pm said:

Flashlights to cell phone…well good thing I brought my charger


38

+ Tooloud4you on November 1st, 2013 at 8:22 pm said:

Game looks great…. can’t wait to get it


39

+ TheCraZyCloWn on November 1st, 2013 at 11:07 pm said:

+ John Hardin on November 1st, 2013 at 11:47 am said:
This is a quote the team at Daylight told me:
“We don’t want the player to be constantly walking around and looking for ammo or a weapon. We want them to be SCARED. A lot of survival ‘horror’ games become more about inventory management than actually experiencing scary gameplay, and we wanted to move away from that.”
GET EXCITED.

WELL SAID^


40

+ Rezolution77 on November 2nd, 2013 at 12:04 pm said:

+ PrimeroIncognito on October 31st, 2013 at 10:03 pm said:

@ Amnalehu
Well, there’s plenty of diaper-wearing crybabies around here. If you really want one, just ask around. You’re bound to find some.

Yup……found one.


41

+ Rezolution77 on November 2nd, 2013 at 12:05 pm said:

Sorry, but no idea what to make of this game.

No gameplay footage, and it does not seem very interesting.

If I want Horror, we just had a Really Great Sale for it.


42

+ Rezolution77 on November 2nd, 2013 at 12:07 pm said:

Also what is not scarier than having a zombie chasing after you when you have no ammo.

Anyway……..


43

+ Rezolution77 on November 2nd, 2013 at 12:09 pm said:

Oh wait……try the news.


44

+ NeoMahi on November 2nd, 2013 at 6:01 pm said:

Wait, what just happened here? First, Ryan Clements and now Jess? Shoot. Good to have ya around Jess!


45

+ PrimeroIncognito on November 2nd, 2013 at 8:47 pm said:

@ Rezolution77

Yourself? I guess so…


46

+ loakum on November 3rd, 2013 at 9:09 am said:

Again, I can’t expressed how greatful I am to see legit survival horror make a return, with the upcoming release of “Daylight”, for the PS4. For me, it really has been a void in this genre, since I last played last Fatal Frame 3 on the PS2. And yes, I know the writing for Daylight is in great hands (Jessica Chobot)! :)


47

+ RewVitalize on November 5th, 2013 at 5:05 pm said:

I usually don’t go for survival-horror games, but perhaps Daylight will be an exception along with Eternal Darkness.

Early 2014… I wonder if it’ll be out before or after Second Son?


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