The Flock is one of the most interesting games I’ve ever heard of, and that’s not just because it looks good, but you only get to play for a limited time.
Each death in the game will go towards a counter to the game finishing forever, and no one will be able to purchase it again—say what?
Their PR folk emailed in to let me know it will release on Linux in “Q3 of 2015”.
Press release copied below:
HILVERSUM, Netherlands - July 16, 2015 - Vogelsap delivers their first-person asymmetrical multiplayer horror game The Flock to Steam in Q3 2015, in a way that has never been done before. Time left for people to buy the game depends on the death rate of the players within The Flock. Developer Vogelsap commits to a hands-off approach and puts the lastingness of the game into the player's hands.
With each death in the 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 players who have The Flock in their Steam library will then be able to partake in the yet to be announced climactic finale. After the ending, the game will go offline permanently and no longer be playable.
The Flock population countdown will be embedded in the game's menus, Steam store page, Vogelsap's website and The Flock's sub-reddit to make sure all gamers are aware of the amount of lives left.
Gamescom attendees will be able to play The Flock in the Indie Arena Booth.
Indie industry luminaries behind Indie Fund such as Ron Carmel, John Graham and Kellee Santiago have provided financial backing to flesh out what started as a student project into a full commercial release.
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 the idea 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 as the Light Artifact will suddenly appear somewhere on the map. The first player who touches the 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.