PERISH is a stylish four-player FPS with a cross to bear.

Slay hordes of creatures on the black sands of Purgatory and sell their gold-stained corpses to craven priests.

Kill five magnificent bosses and use the proceeds to gain entrance to the Isle Beyond the Lake, a place of cosmic revelations.

Concept artwork for Purgatory, the main battle arena in PERISH where players earn gold by delivering tormented creatures to their total oblivion.

Overview of PERISH Gameplay

PERISH is designed around the satisfying implementation of some simple tenets: meaty gunplay, impeccable sound design and enemies that pop on impact.

Caveat: All GIFs are from three months of development; all artwork and mechanics are temporary/subject to change

Meaty, Precise Weapons

The core elements behind our gunplay are:

  • Most weapons are semi-automatic with limited ammunition so that every shot counts; weapons in PERISH all have a “weighty” feel to the mechanics

  • Gunplay rewards precision, so player health is limited to three hearts and too many missed shots can lead to players being quickly overwhelmed

  • ADS slows down player movement and focuses FOV in the vein of Max Payne

  • Players can solve various puzzles around Purgatory to unlock new types of weapons that deal short, medium or long-range damage, as well as sight and ammo capacity upgrades

  • Boost items can be found around Purgatory to temporarily render weapons fully-automatic, increase fire rate or modify ammunition to become explosive

Juicy Deaths and Plenty of Enemy Variety

How we make enemies satisfying and non-repetitive:

  • We are the creators of a popular gib dismemberment system which is computationally cheap, allowing us to support hundreds of gold-spattered corpses, dismembered heads and limbs flying across the screen at runtime

  • The art style of PERISH pitches stark greys against a rich and lustrous gold, so the player can be sure of a visually satisfying and rewarding kill when enemies burst against bullet impacts and spray fountains of liquid gold

  • Every enemy type has markedly different behaviours and abilities, from a floating octopus spawning kamikaze crows to segmented razor-tooth centipedes and cross-flinging Pythian priestesses

  • This variety of enemies encourages the player to identify their weaknesses and adjust how they should approach different enemies, be it a fragility to headshots or strafing action to blast off segments of an angry centipede

Four Player Cooperative Exploration

Though PERISH may be played alone, it is designed to be played with up to four friends:

  • Take on challenging boss fights by sticking together, laying down protective shields, healing each other and suppressing hordes of smaller enemies

  • Discover cryptic puzzle towers that require cooperation to solve, open their vaults and collectively reap the rewards

  • Explore a plethora of ancient ruins amongst the black sands and basalt rock of Purgatory to discover collectible ancient artefacts

  • Uncover the dark story behind PERISH by finding Rosetta Stone fragments to help translate your collectible artefacts

  • If everyone dies, the level resets: try to stay alive as long as you can in Purgatory to kill all five bosses and unlock the concluding location of the game, the enigmatic Isle Beyond the Lake, to escape Purgatory in good company

Context & Narrative

Concept artwork for Pantheon, the hubworld of PERISH where players initially set up and join their party, purchase new items and travel through the Portal Throne to reach Purgatory.

PERISH is a stylish arena shooter developed by ITEM42. Dismal creatures roam Purgatory, a bleak battle arena in which players must slay thousands of lost souls to earn their safe passage to the Afterlife.

When creatures are killed in PERISH, they drop golden artefacts coveted by the Pantheonic Priests. Players can purchase new weapons, upgrades and talismans from the Priests at the Pantheon hubworld, enabling them to more efficiently reap souls and gather more gold.

Players will eventually accrue enough gold to purchase Charon’s Obol, the ticket required to reach the enigmatic final location of the game: The Isle beyond the Lake. Here, the secrets of the Afterlife are revealed.

Our game is inspired by the engravings of Dante’s Inferno and other visions of purgatory and hell by Paul Gustave Doré. Read more about the concept behind our game here.

Concept art for the Spendthrift, the most numerous enemy of PERISH which serves as the basic cannon fodder during the course of the game - their ravenous and deadly lust for gold is matched only by your own.


  • Dark, purist FPS videogames are in the middle of a fairly long renaissance, spurred by the successful reboot of DOOM (2016) followed by several indie titles such as Devil Daggers (2016), STRAFE (2017) and DUSK (2018)

  • PERISH is similar to Killing Floor (another modern, popular and purist FPS) with a larger area of exploration: players can join their friends in the hubworld and then freely traverse the open plains and deep chasms of Purgatory, progressing the story by felling each of the five bosses in a non-linear way. Our game will therefore appeal to:

    • Players looking for an immediately satisfying game they can switch on for half an hour of FPS action

    • Players who want to spend hours exploring, hunting for treasures and achievements

    • Players who want to have progressive and challenging online cooperative experiences with friends

  • We are hedging our bets on three aspects that made DOOM (AAA) and DUSK (indie) popular: satisfying gunplay, exploring for secrets and a heavy metal soundtrack written by a composer invested in the metal genre

  • What makes PERISH stand out from the crowd? Despite a sizeable demand, it can be surprisingly hard to find modern games that provide a pure and brutal FPS experience - we are going to capitalise on this situation and fill it with players who might come from games like Killing Floor, Dying Light, DOOM, STRAFE and DUSK who are looking for a free-roaming, boss fight-focused shooter with a mean soundtrack

  • PERISH will have a price-point that is attractive to potential players because our scope for this game is rather small - it is our desire to invite players to experience a taster of the dark worlds we wish to create as a company while keeping the playable area limited in size and content. We believe this is realistic and will help us create quality gameplay over quantity

  • An important factor in the potential for PERISH to succeed is its unconventional art style. There have been numerous indie games recently that have received a huge amount of attention largely due to having a unique art style as their primary USP. Examples of this include AGONY and SCORN


ITEM42 was founded by two brothers working together to make games and realtime experiences in UE4 for the last 5 years.

Helping other developers to succeed

Creating realtime enterprise experiences

  • We create realtime solutions for various clients with emphasis on realism

  • Our clients include Spotify, ISG, Hyperion, Neutral Digital, Space & Solutions, Cityscape Digital among others

  • We develop for most Unreal-friendly platforms: PC, VR (Oculus/Vive/DayDream) iOS, Android, ARCore, ARKit


Our team

  • We are a permanent team of two with a small collective of contractors

  • Our immediate growth plans upon receiving funding for PERISH involve hiring one extra programmer, a weapons artist and potentially one more environment artist

  • Our obsession with games is truly Unreal and we see PERISH as both our pride and joy as well as a stepping stone to bigger, better projects

How PERISH can be fully realised with funding

PERISH has been in development for three months by ITEM42 under a team of two, during which we have constructed the core mechanics of the game and cemented a unique aesthetic for the style of the game, which is one of its major selling points. The basic structure of the game, the sound designer/composer and potential additional team members are already in place and our next step is to secure funding to fully realise the potential that we have planned out for PERISH.

Our end goal is to create a multiplayer FPS experience that blends elements of free-roaming exploration with boss fights, puzzle-solving and a unique lore/story. This can be achieved with the budget that we have presented along with our collaboration and cooperation with a publisher who sees the value in PERISH and has the experience and wisdom to tell us what is good, what is bad and what is going to help us realise our vision to its fullest collaborative potential. We are very open and responsive to feedback.

Concept artwork for the beginner rifle; weapons are a blend of science fiction shapes and old, ornate finishes

What we would need from the publisher to develop the game

  • Our proposed funding would allow us to work full time, hire one more full-time developer and contract a weapons artist

  • PERISH aims for EA launch in month 9 of full time development

    • Followed by 3 major content updates over 9 months

    • 3rd content update is full product launch

    • In addition to smaller changes based on player feedback

  • QA support

    • We envisage PERISH being a very polished product for Early Access launch; anything after EA launch is the production of game content until 3 major content updates are completed

    • QA resources from publisher would help achieve a smooth and reliable user experience

  • Marketing support

    • PERISH is currently publicly unannounced

    • Experienced marketing support is essential to us, helping us bring PERISH to many more potential players

  • Localisation/Console ports

    • Our game is being built from the start to be optimised for console because we have porting in mind, however this process would need publisher support

    • We would also like to bring localisation support to new markets and to countries/regions that turn out to be popular in PERISH