What is the Enhanced Horror System?
What does this option do?
WARNING: SERIOUS SPOILERS AHEAD
Below is a reveal about how the Enhanced Horror System works, what it is for, and the ways we use any user-provided data.
We want to re-confirm that we are only collecting it to make a cool game experience and we DO NOT SELL THIS DATA!
We don’t use this information for anything other than to deliver this Enhanced Horror experience. However, we respect that some players want to know exactly how it’s being used, so that’s what you will read further below. We just want to stress that the “magic” of the experience will most certainly be lost if you read this.
If you really want to be surprised, look away now!
Otherwise, scroll down…
Enhanced Horror is an option within The Blackout Club, an inherently multi-player entertainment product. It allows players to consent to Question LLC and its partners to listen to and / or record the players' voices as they play, for entertainment purposes only. The game is a horror title, and like a staged haunted house experience, it relies somewhat on the element of surprise.
As such, when the game asks for this consent, it does so broadly, and after a more comprehensive Terms of Service has already been agreed to. If a player chooses not to consent to the Enhanced Horror feature, we honor this preference and block the user from experiencing those features personally (see below).
Enhanced Horror allows a paid, professional employee of Question LLC or its partners to contact the players in-character and speak to them. They do so either live, while the players are in-game together, or in an asynchronous mode called the Ritual System. In the latter, players make requests or ask questions, and the performers reply.
These visits are presented either through in-game text (using the game's ‘Close Eyes’ Feature) or spoken audio. In the case of Voice performances, the performances are in agreement with SAG-AFTRA regulations. The intent is audience participation for enhanced entertainment, similar to live theater or stage magic.
This information - what the players say to the performers (called Voices, Gods, or Daimons) can be stored, but is only ever used in-game to either highlight or broadcast the results of these interactions to other players, driving community participation. In these cases, all players will hear the voices of the recorded players, (often edited for length or to remove trademarked or problematic content). Question and its partners store those recordings and then transmit them back to players on an ongoing basis in order to help the players understand that they are affecting the story, and that the Voices (performers) can actually hear and understand them.
It is not used in any other way.
At times, these performers - playing in-character as these entities - may reply, offering story information and / or a digital item as a reward.
If the player turns off the option, their voices will not be recorded, and they will not be contacted. If they have turned off the option, are in a cooperative or Player Versus Player match with others who have the mode turned on, they can hear the performer. The game includes a random matchmaking feature, so some individuals in a group may desire the experience, while others may not. The performer cannot hear a player who has opted out - or who has certain child safety settings in place on their target platform - and will not acknowledge or interact with them in any way.
It should be noted as well that there is no guarantee that any given player will experience an interaction personally, though all players will benefit vicariously from listening to the results of these interactions, such as the Dreams in the Hideout. There is no guarantee that a player who participates in this feature will get any response from the Voices. The default selection method is random and intentionally opaque to the players, though player behavior, such as engagement with the Ritual System, can influence it to some extent.
We at Question LLC and our partners hope this explanation is helpful. Documenting the feature here, past a spoiler warning, is meant to grant transparency to players who prefer that to surprise, or have already enjoyed that and are curious how it works.