Phone home

Horror games are often quite isolated experiences, but Zombie Studios wants to add a layer of social intrigue to its upcoming PlayStation 4 scare-‘em-up Daylight. The procedurally generated survival title – which is set to step out of the shadows in April – will be able to parse text commands from Twitch chatrooms, with key phrases actually impacting the release.

“The example that we've been tossing around (and is in no way final) is that someone watching a stream types the word ‘Meow’ into the chat, which causes the game to make the corresponding sound of a cat," noted an email from publisher Atlus, spotted by Gamasutra. "You can literally scare your friends now by watching them stream."

Wisely, the developer’s keeping this list of keywords secret for now. It’s also aiming to include a cool down timer in order to ensure that the commands can’t be spammed. Still, given the recent popularity of the ‘Twitch Plays Pokémon’ experiment, we suspect that this will be incredibly successful – especially seeing as horror games are always fun to stream.

Even more interesting is that the whole initiative seems to have stemmed from Sony’s development libraries, with the platform holder eager to encourage interaction between broadcasters and viewers. “The trickiest part was simply designing [triggerable] events that can affect a player’s game without destroying the experience,” explained public relations executive John Hardin. Expect this to be quite a common feature moving forwards, then.