Miasmata has one of the more intriguing premises for a horror game I've seen lately. You're stranded on a tropical island where one very specific creature is doggedly hunting you down.
You play as a scientist who's fallen victim to a plague on a long-abandoned island called Eden. Your only hope is to search for a cure, as well as your missing colleagues who set up an outpost there. As you explore the island, you'll have to run experiments on gathered plants and fungi to determine their medicinal value.
Incredibly, Miasmata was developed by just two brothers, Joe and Bob Johnson, the former of whom created the game's proprietary "MILO" engine. Operating under the name IonFX, Miasmata has been a labour of love for the brothers Johnson who have spent the last four years working on it and it shows. The game looks stunning for being developed by such a small team and can hold its own against several larger developers from a visual standpoint.
Since Miasmata is so heavily based around one creature's AI there's been a lot of attention given to this aspect. "He responds to sounds, smell, and has a vision-cone," Bob Johnson explained to Eurogamer. "You can duck behind trees and rocks and things, and you can also hide in tall grasses and bushes. Objects on the ground have different properties, so if you step on some crunchy sticks or leaves, he may become more aware of you."
When asked if you'll have any way to fight back, Bob responded, "The creature is invincible, but you will have to fight him sometimes in order to get an opportunity to flee. You can use rocks, sticks, knives, torches, etc. to attack him. This may scare him away for awhile. You can also throw objects in another direction and that may distract him. You'll throw a torch, for example, and his head will follow it and he may go investigate it. He'll become progressively more dangerous as you go through the game."
Outside of evasion, explorations will play a key role as players will have to use landmarks to determine their position on the giant island. "There are notes and little hand-drawn maps the player will discover that begin to populate points-of-interest on the player's map," Bob explained. These can be used to triangulate one's position and reveal a small portion of the map. "Once the player's triangulated himself, he can then sight 'unknown' landmarks in the distance. If he sights an 'unknown' landmark from two different vantage points, that landmark will then become 'known', and thus revealed on the map."
It's a very ambitious game and Bob Johnson estimated it will take most players about 12 hours to complete.
Miasmata has already been greenlit on Steam Greenlight and will be released on GOG as well for PC on 28th November.
For now, see Miasmata in action in the new trailer below.