Indie Game in Development – Cryptid: Skinwalker Ranch

Indie Game in Development – Cryptid: Skinwalker Ranch

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Ryan Skinner is developing a new horror game that will surely bring a new fear into your life. This game is called, Cryptid: Skinwalker Ranch. Inspired by the Friday the 13th game and his own life experiences, Ryan set out to build a third person, multiplayer horror game. In this indie game, one player controls a monster from American Folklore while five others control paranormal hunters. The hunters collect evidence of the monster while simultaneously try to survive the night. You play in a semi-open world that is largely based off the real Skinwalker Ranch (aka. Sherman Ranch) in the state of Utah. This location has many UFO reports and apparently a curse was set on the land long ago.

Inspiration for the Game

The location and genre chosen for this game is very specific. I was curious to find out why Ryan chose to create a game such as Skinwalker Ranch. I had the pleasure to ask him what inspired him to develop this game. He answered:

Playing Friday the 13th, falling obsessively in love with the game, only to learn that due to legal issues, the game will never be updated. I felt compelled to take some elements of the gameplay, and in the same spirit of Friday the 13th, to incorporate those into what I believed to be a enduring and fun title.

If you loved playing Friday the 13th, you will most definitely love playing Cryptid: Skinwalker Ranch. It is sort of like a spiritual successor to Friday the 13th. The game is still under development but if you’re interested in it, check out the game’s Kickstarter page. I will continue to dive into some of the features that will be available in this game.


Cryptid is pretty much a terrifying game of hide and seek. As the investigators, you run around looking for evidence while hiding from the monster. On the other hand, as the monster you seek out the investigators and try to defeat them. The goal of the investigators is to either survive through the night or collect enough evidence and escape. There are many obstacles that players will have to overcome. Players can enter a state of panic where the camera begins to skew, music changes and your vision narrows. This makes traversing through the map and surviving much harder.

Players will have pistols, knives and other weapons around to use against the monster. You will be able to stun the monster with tasers, bear traps and more. Furthermore, use cameras, recorders and EMF meters to find evidence of the monster at large. Be prepared to hide using ghillie suits and communicate with your team using walkie talkies to guarantee the area is clear.

Investigator Victory

There are a few ways for investigators to win this game. First, collecting enough evidence will lead you to become victorious. This will open up the possibility to escape. Second, there will be a way to banish the monster. You will have to sacrifice a few items to accomplish this. Lastly, after 20 minutes, all exits will open and players will have one minute to scramble to an exit.

Monster Victory

There are a few things the monster can do to achieve victory! First and probably the most obvious is to kill all the players. Second, is to prevent the investigator’s evidence meter from filling up completely. Lastly, do what you can to prevent players from escaping after the 20 minute timer expires. Whoever plays as the monster can use many different abilities. Ryan explains the monsters power best, he says:

As the monster you can destroy many of the environmental structures. You can walk through walls, become invisible and stalk the players, and even take possession and become any one of the nearby AI animals in the woods. You will be able to level up the monster. One aspect of the gameplay is that you can have a monster vs monster battle royal.

What Sets it Apart?

There are plenty of horror games already out on the market. Many developers create replicas or refreshers of old games but don’t bring any unique style to it. I always do my best to ask what sets a developer’s game apart from others. I did exactly that with Cryptid: Skinwalker Ranch and Ryan responded with:

Cryptid is very similar to other horror multiplayer player games in this genre. However, it has several unique aspects that set it apart. For instance, once you die as a player you aren’t out of the fight. You become a ghost. A ghost can assist the team with Ouija board clues, using telekinesis to move critical objects to assist the team, or to actually posses a panic stricken player and to in effect get back into the game.

As a player the game has a unique voice modulator that alters your voice to sound like the character you’re playing. If you’re the monster, regardless of your gender or age, you actually sound like the terrifying devilish voice of the entity. If a girl, you sound like the girl, if playing as an old man, you’ll reflect his gruff voice. Another unique aspect is being able to play as well recognized paranormal tv personalities from shows such as: Secrets of Skinwalker Ranch, Ghost Adventurers, Blind Frog Ranch, Ghost Hunters, Fake or Faked, and others.

As an investigator your job is not only the common horror genre goals of surviving the night or banishing the antagonist, but primarily to gather evidence of the creature’s existence. You will use paranormal investigative equipment to document and uncover evidence left behind by the cyrtid. Should you gather enough evidence as a group you’ll unlock the ability to leave the scene should you make it back to your research vehicle on time to flee the perusing entity in the woods.

Cryptid: Skinwalker Ranch has some unique features coming our way. There are many aspects of this game that I find fascinating. The two that really interest me are being able to come back as a ghost to help your team out. Also, I am really curious to see how the voice modulator will work. This will add a really cool animosity effect and you will have no idea who you’re playing with. Regardless, you’ll have to work together as a team to take down the monster.


Ryan has some DLC he would like to implement in the future. It is not guaranteed but these are his hopes for the future:

You will be able to download you favorite tv paranormal investigators and to bring them into the game. Each will have his or her own unique skill set. You will also be able to purchase certain badges/patches that will show your investigator has been trained and become proficient at a certain skillset, such as repair, healing, photography, audio devices, athletics ect. Each cryptozoological monster has inherent strengths and weaknesses. Certain investigators trained in various fields will be better suited to conduct and lead the investigation.

Let’s hope that Ryan can sneak in some DLC into Cryptid because I would love to play as Aaron from Ghost Adventures! Let us know what paranormal personality you would love to play as in the comments below!

Final Notes

Cryptid: Skinwalker Ranch looks like it will be one heck of a game. The few snippets I have seen of the gameplay are already getting me excited for it. I already love the detail put into the monster. Furthermore, Ryan is doing an excellent job using a real life location and building a full game around it. Lastly, if you love horror games, check out more at Indielodge!