Petrified: Team-Based, Multiplayer Survival/Horror Game

H3 MQP Team:

  • Skyler Clark
  • Chris Drouin
  • Matthew Fabian


  • Robert W. Lindeman

Can you last until dawn? In Petrified, a Source-powered multiplayer game, a band of humans is pitted against an array of statues possessed by evil Watchers--the protectors of a graveyard. The Watchers approach while the Mortals' backs are turned, intending to steal their enemies' souls and swell their own numbers.

As a Watcher, you can enjoy the thrill of the hunt waiting for the right time to strike. As a Mortal, you’ll be running around a chilling landscape that never moves, yet constantly changes. Whichever side you’re on, look forward to endless, quick, atmospheric action.

Petrified was an IMGD MQP focused on designing, developing, testing, and releasing a full-conversion game modification based on Valve Software Corporation’s Source Engine. The game is a team-based multiplayer game, with a heavy emphasis on unsettling atmosphere and challenging, engaging play for players on both teams.

Petrified revolves around two distinct teams of players: the human Mortals, who are attempting to survive until dawn, and the supernatural Watchers, who are attempting to stalk the Mortal players and attack them, thereby converting the attacked players to the Watcher team. While Mortals have relatively free range of movement, Watchers are largely restricted to possessing statues that can teleport within a limited range, so long as they are not visible to Mortals on either end. To attack, Watchers must leave their statues by going into an astral form; in this state, they can be stunned and delayed by Mortals wielding flash sticks--a high-intensity, narrow-beam flashlight. Watchers that stray from their statues for too long are subject to penalties. The game ends when all Mortals have fallen to the Watchers, or when dawn breaks (i.e., after a set time limit).

Mortals have a minimal interface, showing only a first-person view of the world. The Watcher interface has a stone-clock showing the time remaining in the game, as well as an indicator of the number of Mortals still alive, and a meter showing fear points. Fear points are accumulated as a function of the number of Mortals the Watcher looks at, and for how long. Once enough fear points have been collected, the Watcher can execute a long-range Lunge attack in order to thwart groups of Mortals who arrange themselves in defensive postures. The project was completed in three phases. The first phase was the design phase, in which the team documented its technical, artistic, and gameplay-related plans. These plans were revised multiple times based on peer review and advisor recommendation, and were ultimately compiled in the form of a design document.

In the second phase the team implemented the game, working with the Source engine to define game rules and behaviors and creating artistic assets to match.

Finally, with the completion of the implementation, the team released the game for controlled beta-testing and evaluation. This testing took place both in-person on the WPI campus and online. The online testing was coordinated through Valve’s gamer-oriented social network, Steam. For both sets of tests, testers were asked to give feedback on their experience and note any bugs or glitches that they encountered. The team took the feedback and bug reports received and polished and updated the game, while staying within the bounds of the original design.

The game can be played by anyone with a Steam account, a copy of Half-Life 2: Episode 2, and an appropriately equipped computer. Learn more…

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