The Eyes Have It: SCP – Containment Breach

By Adam Smith on April 19th, 2012 at 2:30 pm.

It just wants to give you a hug

Anyone who played, or feared to play, the experimental horror game SCP-087 has probably been wondering if it would inspire more games based on the horrific series of scientific and supernatural lockdown. I’m pleased (and mortified) to say that the time for such things is upon us. If you don’t know what the SCP Foundation is refer to my previous post, but also be aware that the game linked to there has been updated. For tense and hopeless wandering in the dark, you will now want SCP-087B. The newest addition to the SCP gaming family contains more than one horror. There’s been a Containment Breach, you see, and you’re the poor sod who’s tasked with cleaning up the mess.

Containment Breach has the potential to be the ultimate SCP game, with a randomly generated facility and a host of things either stalking the player or simply waiting in the darkness. The version that’s available for download is an alpha, although it’s still capable of unnerving me, mostly because I’ve read about the horrid humanoid and mind-altering coffin that these particular cells contained. Don’t read those links if you want to be completely shocked by what you discover.

Mind-altering coffins are the sort of enemy you just don’t see in the Resident Evils of the world. It’s the strangeness of the entities that is as horrifying as their hostile nature. It’s Warehouse 13 without the quips and the quirks but with a lot more panic, screaming and hiding from creatures made of teeth and wire that want to drag you into a pocket dimension that is also made of teeth and wire. The long and the short of it is, you’re going to end up picking teeth and wire out of the flagellated strips of flesh that were once your torso, and then you’ll realise it was all a hallucination and in reality you’re just trapped in a room with a disembodied face that is chewing on your exposed entrails.

The mouse pointer is not a malicious otherworldly entity, it's just an annoying intrusion on my screengrab

Phew!

The main antagonist in Containment Breach is The Sculpture, SCP-173, which is about as odd an enemy as you’re ever likely to have.

It is constructed from concrete and rebar with traces of Krylon brand spray paint. SCP-173 is animate and extremely hostile. The object cannot move while within a direct line of sight. Line of sight must not be broken at any time with SCP-173. Personnel assigned to enter container are instructed to alert one another before blinking. Object is reported to attack by snapping the neck at the base of the skull, or by strangulation.

The clever bit is in there and it’s not the strangulation. If SCP-087 was about anything, it was patience and the tightening knot of tension. Repetitive, dark and ominous, it aimed to have players wishing for something to happen in order to break the monotony while also desperately hoping that nothing would happen because the only possibilities were awful. While there’s still a great deal of tension in Containment Breach, building the game around SCP-173 has led to the inclusion of a ‘blink’ mechanic.

Containment is difficult when they can walk through bloody doors

Blinking can be done manually but will eventually occur automatically. Your eyes start to water, the corridor’s empty, it’s fine, you can close them for just a split second-

SCRAPE

How close was that? OK, time for another blink to refresh the old ocular organs and then dash across the next room and OH BUGGER IT’S THERE IN THE CORNER AND NOW I CAN’T TURN MY BACK ON IT BUT SOON I’LL NEED TO CLOSE MY EYES

It’s the angels from Doctor Who, except without the family friendly part and with more evisceration instead. Unfortunately it also has a fairly weak model and texture at the moment, but that’s why this is an alpha. Hopefully it’ll turn into a massive collaboration, helped by the active Steam group, and soon I’ll be entering random facilities filled with random entities, and then the lights will go out and I’ll quit to desktop and pretend I won. Incidentally, you can’t win in this version, although both escape and exploration will eventually be options.

Here’s a brief video and you can read more or download the game here.

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59 Comments »

  1. tlarn says:

    What I love about this game is that it features other SCP entries from the Foundation, such as one of my favorites; SCP-914, The Clockworks, that miracle alchemy machine that changes objects you put into it into something else while only caring for conservation of mass.

    http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-914

    • ttcfcl says:

      This is my first time reading an SCP article. I love it. There are some really funny entries in the experimentation log.

  2. briktal says:

    After seeing the recent Alone in the Dark game, I’ve been waiting for someone else to tackle blinking.

  3. Bluerps says:

    The SCP-Foundation is one of the greatest and most horrible things that I know of. I’ve spent whole days just clicking fascinated and terrified through entry after entry. Some SCPs have stayed with me for weeks (incidentally, one of them was the dark stairway of the last game – I kept turning around and half expected to see the face), and I have picked up the habit of searching for horrible things in the background of harmless pictures.

    I don’t think I’ll be able to play one of those games, though…

    • Maldomel says:

      Same here, I discovered the foundation with the previous game though. And I say, while I can’t really think of playing such games to the end, it’s what horror games should be.

    • Sentient Waffle says:

      I, too, love the website, it’s genius nothing less.

      Some of the most eerie and horrific things I’ve read, despite being pure fiction.

      And I, too, can’t really see myself playing one of these games, too chickenshit for that, but I love the idea of making these SCPs into games.

    • LionsPhil says:

      I like it better when it was Warehouse 23′s basement (RIP).

      SCP’s kind of like Uncyclopedia: I’m sure it had good parts once, but interesting creativity is not actually a strength of wisdom-of-crowd all-are-equals editing. Sooner or later everything tends to big, flabby piles of words as everyone feels they have something to add.

      • Bluerps says:

        The SCP-wiki handles that pretty good, actually. Most items are written by a single author and other people only add to that with permission, or if it’s old and the author cannot be found anymore. Of course, some of the items are simply not good, but everything is voted on by members of the page (and items with a too low rating get deleted) so that the average quality is not bad.

  4. Blackcompany says:

    “It’s the strangeness of the entities that is as horrifying as their hostile nature”

    So glad someone could recognize that fact. I read Stephen King’s 1408 short story and it terrified me. Not because of blood, gore and zombies leaping out of the dark. But because of the antagonistic horror the main character dealt with.

    That particularly horrific entity was so…alien…from anything I had ever encountered in horror. So…different. And that fact made it all the more terrible – and terrifying – than any lurching undead leaping out of shadows and saying “boo” as per the usual horror fare.

    • westyfield says:

      Peter Watts’ sci-fi book Blindsight is similar. The fear stems from just how alien the aliens are, rather than any inherent hostility.
      Games need to learn this lesson – Amnesia was probably the closest yet, but games like Cryostasis and some parts of STALKER had it going as well. Contrast with Dead Space, which is a series of enemies going “oooh I am a bit gory and I want to hurt you, oooooooooooooh!”.

      • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

        What a strange coincidence, I just read that book last night (and stayed up far too late in order to finish it), and it was amazing. It redefined my concept of “alien intelligence”.

      • Yuri says:

        Let’s not forget that he also runs a pretty amazing blog. Or something like that. In any case, it’s a den of things equally awkward and inspiring.

        http://www.rifters.com/crawl/?p=2814

        • westyfield says:

          Fuck, that made me cry hard. Now I want to hug my cats but they’re sixty bloody miles away. Fuck.

      • Bobtree says:

        Blindsight is amazingly great. You can read it on Peter Watts’ website: http://www.rifters.com/real/Blindsight.htm – though I recommend just buying it.

        • ChuckChuckRazool says:

          I read Blindsight cover-to-cover right when I saw this post; it’s impossible to put down. Watts’ writing style evokes the sort of lasting fear that can’t be realized from mere jump-scares or grotesque imagery, but rather that which slowly evolves in the reader’s imagination based on what isn’t explicitly made known. This stifling sense of not just the unknown, but the potentially unknowable, permeates the book and is truly the best kind of fear, as previous posters have noted. I can’t wait until more games take advantage of this concept.

          I read books voraciously when I was growing up, but that fell by the wayside over the past decade, with all the internets and amazing games consuming my attention instead. My gratitude to the fine RPS community for alerting me to this book and showing me that I shouldn’t give up on lengthy tomes after all.

          Anyone have other great sci-fi reads to recommend?

          • Yuri says:

            If you want something in the same vein, read the Rifters trilogy, also by Peter Watts.
            Chronologically:
            1.) Starfish.
            2.) Maelstrom
            3.) βehemoth

            Most of these were written before Blindsight. Although, without spoiling anything, it features a different kind of horror than Blindsight, but still a fascinating one.

            You can also read his blog.
            I know of no man that is capable of writing about necrotizing fasciitis (flesh eating bacteria) in a way that Peter Watts does.
            And i don’t mean writing about the disease as some distant analysis.
            I mean writing about it as it is literally consuming his own flesh.
            http://www.rifters.com/crawl/?category_name=flesh-eating-fest-11

    • Sentient Waffle says:

      Ye, that comment hit the nail of why this is scary, and why a lot of supposed “scary” stuff are not scary.

  5. kikito says:

    I never got what the problem with the weeping angels was.

    People of the UK: are your eyes somehow short-circuited in a way that it’s impossible for you to close just one eye, then open it, and then close the other one? Really. No one among you figured that one out? What is this, a conspiracy? Is my life an illusion? Where are the cameras?

    • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      Ever tried doing that for an extended period of time?

      • kikito says:

        Ever tried *not blinking* for an extended period of time? I’ll take “slightly uncomfortable” over “impossible” any day, sir.

      • sbs says:

        I’M TRYING IT RIGHT NOW

    • westyfield says:

      Pfft, I tried that immediately after watching ‘Blink’. Turns out it just doesn’t satisfy the eyes like an actual blink does. Not sure whether it’s psychological or physical, but it still leaves me wanting to properly blink after a minute or so.

    • Pajama says:

      According to this and the weeping angels from doctor who, its simply not looking at them is what allows them to move, not necessarily the fact that you closed your eyes.

      Currently, if you have something around, I want you to focus on said thing with only one eye. Put it in front of you. You can easily see that it is there even with one eye shut and the other open, now put it more to the left or to the right. The opposite eye will not be able to see the object, but the eye closer to it will see it. Now imagine doing that with you not knowing where said thing is and it is very dark. Breaking line of sight will get you killed and your body, naturally, is supposed to blink both eyes at the same time. Eventually you’ll slip up and break line of sight in one way or the other, ending with death.

      Once again, it isn’t because you shut your eyes that its moving, but the fact that you broke line of sight. Its kinda hard to open a door without having to find the handle first.

      • kikito says:

        Yet the episode is called “blink”. And in the instructions (even in the trailer) the doctors says “don’t blink” like 4 times.

        If they are that fast and intelligent: why don’t they just jump right before you stop blinking. How many kilograms do those things weight? 100 KG? If they move that fast, they just have to make a tiny effort before you open your eyes. They will turn into stone, but there will be 100 KGs of stone flying very fast in your direction. Depending on its velocity, the damage would be significantly bigger than a car hitting you.

        Besides, what you say about breaking line of sight is patently not true. They routinely break line of sight in the episode – the only rule is that you have to look back at them, so the camera can get a nice close up look at their ugly face with the fangs out and everything. But it can take seconds, no problem.

        But that’s only at the beginning. Later on they forget about that rule and the characters just run around while you ask yourself “Why hasn’t the angel killed them now? and now? and now?”.

        • malkav11 says:

          Well, for starters, just killing you doesn’t accomplish anything for the Angels. They want to eat the remainder of your lifespan, which they can’t do by crushing you.

          • pagad says:

            “The Time of Angels” addressed this, I believe: you see Amy attempting to close one eye at a time but it doesn’t really work.

  6. MacBeth says:

    I love the SCP Foundation… slowly plugging through the archive and developing ideas for my own SCPs on the side…

    Would be great to see more games based on it/them…

  7. caddyB says:

    Dammit, now that I’ve started reading SCP because of this, I won’t be able to sleep for weeks.
    THANKS RPS

  8. Big Murray says:

    Damn … it crashes on starting a new game for me. Shame.

  9. Maldomel says:

    SCP-173 always freaks me out. So gross, so deadly. And to think that it’s not even the worst one.

  10. Tridae says:

    I love these games. . .yet can never bring myself to play them. Being the wuss that I am I coax my girlfriend to play whilst I shiver in fear in the background. I got down 3 floors on those stairs and had to quit. . . with these random encounters I guess I’m gonna quit about 3 seconds in. . .

    Love it but can’t play! Damn

  11. Solidstate89 says:

    I still want someone to make a sandbox/exploring game of SCP-093. It’s seriously my favorite of all the SCP ideas. The depth and breadth of this alternate world it explores is so fascinating and I just want to explore it more.

    http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-093

    If you haven’t seen it before, MAKE SURE to read all of the “Test” logs at the bottom of the page and make sure to read them completely in order. If you do read all of the entries and you still don’t want a game made of this entry…I just don’t know what to say. You’re clearly such a unique and disturbing individual perhaps the SCP Foundation should lock you up yourself. Possibly classify you as a Keter or at the very least a Euclid.

    • Sentient Waffle says:

      Yes yes yes! Been thinking this myself!

      Just exploring this alternate universe, where everyone is gone, and the only “living” remains are those monstrous black beasts, while learned about what happened and why, makes me giddy just thinking about it.

    • Galaxy613 says:

      That would seriously be the best. Though would it just be retracing the steps of the current tests, or would they be a new set of tests? Or a mixture of the two?

      • Solidstate89 says:

        I would think a whole new set of circumstances. Perhaps you’re part of a new expedition. Or perhaps you get stuck in that world for some reason.

        Either way, before I knew that there were Indie games in development based on SCP entires, I wanted a game made of SCP-093. The image I had in my head of the third or fourth entry where the researcher in this huge medical building, using the Faith OS and looking down into the massive central chamber to see one of those…creatures.

        I just get excited thinking of all of the stuff you could explore in a mixture of urban and country environments.

    • sneetch says:

      Just read that one, it’s brilliant!

    • Davie says:

      Good lord that would be excellent. 093 is just so brilliantly unsettling. I’ve been thinking about making a comic book of the exploration logs but it would be difficult to do it justice.

    • The Random One says:

      093 is cool, but I think the test logs exhaust all of its potential. It’s cool and it sets up for something great and it delivers, but it’s a closed story. What else are you gonna find there?

      No, the real cool thing to explore is 610.

      http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-610

      That would make STALKER look like Barbie’s Horse Adventures.

  12. Dr I am a Doctor says:

    The SCP Foundation is kind of terrible at keeping their shit together.

  13. Buemba says:

    Would be neat if the game used Kinect or a webcam to detect whether or not the player was blinking and reacted accordingly, kind of like how Manhunt used a mic to pick up loud noises you made and alerted nearby enemies.

  14. Darkchef says:

    I definitely need to play this tonight. Anyone know where I can get the older SCP-087 game?

  15. frenz0rz says:

    This looks brilliant, I love the SCP Foundation and there are so many insane and inventive SCPs that could make a suprise appearance. I’m hoping for my personal favourite, if only because of the possibilities:

    http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-294

  16. equatorian says:

    Now that we have ‘be a Class D’ game I just want to explore the Ghost Ship SCP and possibly be driven mad. ):

    Interestingly enough, I completely fail to be scared by ANY of the SCPs even though I’m one of the most easily scared people on the planet. I sleep with lights on, for Pete’s sake. Yet….no, SCPs are not scary. But fascinating? Oh yes, yes they are, you bet they are. Works of genius, those things. If what happened to Molydeux happens to them, we will have very good gaming times ahead indeed.

    • westyfield says:

      Same. I find them interesting in a “how did you think of this?” way. When it comes to scares I’m a massive wimp (some creepypastas have ruined me for weeks before) but SCP misses something.

    • frenz0rz says:

      It depends for me. If I were to sit and read a bunch of SCPs now at 8pm, I wouldnt find them even a bit scary.

      However, if I were to read them at 3am in a dark, empty house after having already spent an hour on /x/ reading creepypasta, I’d feel a hell of a lot more wierded out.

      I think this extends to games as well. I played Amnesia last year when living in an old house with cold rooms and creaky floorboards with thin specks of light from downstairs shining up through the cracks. Needless to say, that game scared the shit out of me.

      I also played VtM: Bloodlines’ Ocean View Hotel for the first time in the same house. That was an experience to remember.

  17. Andy_Panthro says:

    So many interesting ones, but I’ll just leave this one here:

    http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-895

  18. mr.ioes says:

    Should’ve brushed my teeth before reading this article and following the links . . .

  19. kieran544 says:

    I would absolutely LOVE to see a game made of SCP – 455.

    http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-455
    The audio logs are also pretty cool. http://www.scp-wiki.net/exploration-log-record-455-3