Keep your fear stifled in the virtual world of Gattai Games powered by Unity

Your best chance of survival?

Keep your fear stifled in the virtual world of Gattai Games powered by Unity


It’s pitch-black, and you’re blind, until you make a sound.

In Stifled, a sound-based survival horror game by Singaporean indie game studio Gattai Games, players are equipped with bat-like sonar abilities, and are required to make sounds through their microphones and/or via in-game actions to “see”. Sounds made by the player illuminate the game’s dark environment, revealing the world around them. Silence is somewhat of a paradox – staying silent leaves players in complete darkness though too much noise will attract the attention of unsavory creatures lurking in the darkness. It’s a deadly game of cat and mouse, and to survive, it’s necessary (yet dangerous) to use the power of sound to uncover the world.

Built entirely on Unity, Stifled is based on a creative student project, Lurking, which part of the team developed while they were studying at DigiPen Institute of Technology Singapore. Founded upon graduation in June 2014 by three close friends which eventually grew to five, Gattai Games is Singapore bred and born, a studio which brings developers together to create novel and quality interactive experiences. “In Japanese, Gattai means to combine, which ties in well with our vision of bringing people together through our games,” explained Justin Ng, co-founder of Gattai Games. Autonomy was important to the founders of Gattai Games. “Early on, we decided that we wanted to build the games we loved without having someone constantly looking over us, which was a key factor in us setting up this venture.”

When asked about how Lurking and Stifled came to be, Ng said: “We worked on other prototypes that used pitch and volume as a core mechanic, but found that to be too complicated. We decided to pursue Lurking when we found the simplistic art style that worked well for horror, and followed up by simplifying the sound mechanic to just take in volume.” Even as a student project, Lurking held tremendous promise. It won multiple awards, including the Best Student Game and Excellence in Technology awards at IGF China in 2014. Encouraged by this success, Justin and his team looked to create a spiritual successor to the immersive, sound-based thriller video game with Unity.

Gattai Games spent the next three years turning this idea into a reality. Having previously experienced other game development platforms, Justin and his team decided on Unity based on several factors: lower cost and ease of use. “As a young and independent start-up, one of our key criteria was cost effectiveness of the development platform. We found Unity’s business model the most suited to our needs, given that we could pay once and use that version for ‘perpetuity’, or at least until the next version came out,” Ng reflected. “We had also tested out a couple of other game engines, but found that they weren’t the best fit for our needs.” However, Unity recently shifted to a subscription model to provide a more robust, comprehensive solution with more timely updates.

The team at Gattai games also looked for a platform and engine which was simple and user-friendly. “We were excited to get the Stifled project up and running, after having had the idea postponed due to previous constraints,” Ng recalled. Unity provided the versatility, accessibility and ease of use, given the familiarity of code used within the engine. Unity’s training and support to help developers code in various common languages came in useful for Gattai Games. Even without prior experience, developers can simply hop on and tune in to Unity’s introductory courses for beginners, and learn how to apply the most common built in functions in Unity, including when to use code and when writing their own is required.


The VR experience is all about immersion and presence with regards to comfort, movement and control. “Unity’s versatile user interface platform enabled us to rapidly prototype, and manage massive amounts of content to overcome physical constraints,” Ng commented. It’s a process that requires meticulous detailing, iteration, and testing of UI to ensure physical representation matches visual, e.g. that the objects you touch in the virtual realm match ones in the environment.

Unity’s large, active community also provided valuable support and advice as the Gattai Games team continued to develop and refine their game. “Having such a big, helpful developer community was definitely an unexpected advantage. With Unity’s support and the community’s help, over 80 percent of issues we faced were easily resolved. We were, therefore, able to quickly and efficiently fix many of the initial bugs, speeding up our time to market, as well as having more time and energy to spend on solving the more unique problems,” Ng said.

Unity’s asset store also helped Gattai Games to accelerate development and time to market a game. With a wide variety of tools, from editor extensions, to scripts and 3-D models to choose from, Justin and his team were able to seamlessly download and import from the store, straight into the editor, which saved the team valuable time and effort. “The Unity Asset Store contained so many elements from environmental resources, to 3-D models and audio effects. Being able to tap on the Asset Store for prototypes and other items throughout our entire development journey was valuable in enabling faster iterations.”

With Stifled set to hit the market sometime later this year complete with a VR mode customized for the PlayStation® VR (the first game company in Singapore to do so), Justin is extremely excited to put Singapore on the gaming map. “With Stifled, we hope to show that game development is more than a viable passion and can be made into a career. We will continue to follow our passion and continue to create new and interesting experiences for today’s consumers.”

Fresh off winning two Indie Prizes Most Innovative Game and Best Game Design at the recently held Casual Connect Asia, Justin advises aspiring developers to not be afraid to follow their dreams. “Try something new, but be prepared for challenges. VR is a huge opportunity now, given the changes to the industry in the past five years. Also, don’t lock yourself in a bubble – learn a little bit of everything to help you in your journey ahead.

About Gattai Games

Gattai Games is a Singapore-based game studio where developers come together to create Novel and Quality interactive experiences. Founded in June 2014 by a group of DigiPen Institute of Technology Singapore graduates, the company is developed and is set to release Stifled, a multi-award winning, VR and mic-enabled sound-based stealth thriller based on their student project, Lurking later this year. For more information, follow Gattai Games on Facebook and Twitter.

About Unity Technologies

Unity Technologies is the creator of a flexible and high-performance end-to-end development platform used to create rich interactive 2D, 3D, VR and AR experiences. Unity’s powerful graphics engine and full-featured editor serve as the foundation to develop beautiful games or apps and easily bring them to multiple platforms: mobile devices, home entertainment systems, personal computers, and embedded systems. Unity also offers solutions and services for creating games, boosting productivity, and connecting with audiences including Unity Ads, Unity Analytics, Unity Asset Store, Unity Cloud Build, Unity Collaborate, Unity Connect and Unity Certification. Unity Technologies serves millions of registered developers including large publishers, indie studios, students and hobbyists around the globe. For more information, visit www.unity3d.com and to see the latest games and experiences created in Unity, go to madewith.unity.com.

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