Deadlight was a short lived game cocept dreamt up as an attempt to save Blue 52 in its final months. It was based upon the Stolen engine but designed specifically to take advantage of the unique, at that time, dynamically lit rendering engine for PS2. It was set on the SS Hyperion that the player mysteriously comes across after getting stranded at sea.
The main mechanic of the game was that different coloured lights scared different creatures and that all creatures were scared by “deadlight”. The aim was to use the streaming system such that the game would stream from disk and would require no level loads throughout the entire game. The 15 minutes of gameplay that had been implemented were good fun. It was a real shame that the game was never signed up.
At One Bit Beyond, the personal blog of Jonathan Biddle (former Blue 52 lead designer), we can read a deeper article about the development of Deadlight, with many interesting info:
Aside from the bioluminescence and susceptibility to light, we were also keen on the concept of an ecology having formed on the SS Hyperion. This would mean a hierarchy, essentially a food chain, of different species hunting or hiding from each other. The strategy for the player would be to learn which species formed which part of the food chain and exploit it. […]
Amazingly, this took 13 people only six weeks, starting totally from scratch. While it wasn’t 100% successful at demonstrating our mechanics, we had created a compelling, playable demonstration of what Deadlight could be. […]
While there was always a lot of interest from publishers, Deadlight was never to be. Because Blue52 had had two games cancelled – although through no fault of their own […] – it meant that the company hadn’t shipped a game for nearly four years, and were deemed to be a high risk investment.
With the death of Blue52, we tried to reposition Deadlight on PSP with the newly formed Curve Studios. We got extremely close with one publisher, even getting as far as flying to the US to sign an agreement, only for them to change their mind while we were en route!
Jonatahn is currently working at Curve Studios on Explodemon! an upcoming 2.5D platform game for PlayStation Network, Microsoft Windows and WiiWare, that is described as “what Treasure would create if they mixed Yoshi’s Island with Half-Life 2”.
Thanks a lot to Oscar and Jonathan Biddle for their contributions!