No one will be able to play it again. People addicted, smashed little cube bits in Curiosity because they really wanted to know what was at the end. When that figure is depleted and the Flock are effectively extinct, the game will be removed from sale, and only those still part of the world will be able to participate in the climactic finale to the greater narrative.

One of the interesting mechanics of the game is that once players die in the game, it will drop the population of the game, and once that population level drops to zero, the game will cease being sold on Valve’s Steam platform forever. However, at the same time, all the remaining flock members will be out to get the carrier.

I played The Flock at this year’s Game Developers Conference, and I really enjoyed its balance of creepiness, intense moments, and its asymmetric multiplayer.

“We aspire to write history, players can be a part of that”, Jeroen van Hasselt, creative director and game designer at Vogelsap tells WIRED.co.uk.

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. The attraction will lead to their death or transformation into a whole other being.

In The Flock, an asymmetrical multiplayer thriller, the inevitable death of the game is a feature built into the game. A first-person asymmetrical horror game, The Flock sets players as members of the titular drove, a race of post-apocalyptic zombie-like abominations fighting for possession of a mysterious Artifact that transforms whoever holds it into a less-abominable humanoid. It has to protect itself from the Flock that try to gain the Artifact for themselves, using the intense light that is emitted from the Artifact. Practically, online multiplayer turns off. The Flock will only be playable offline.

The only way of winning a match of The Flock is to survive as the Carrier while keeping the light lit or to capture objectives.

This is intriguing, from a developer’s perspective, because Vogelsap seems to be spicing up its marketing strategy even as it effectively sets a hard limit on lifetime sales of The Flock.

Of course, the rest of the Flock don’t want the Carrier to succeed, so they hunt it down so they can take on that role instead.

In this way, The Flock will nearly be more of a life experience than a game. Information has been a slow trickle from Dutch developers Vogelsap, with the last information I personally recall pertaining to the basic gameplay elements.