This game has been Greenlit by the Community!

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3:00am Dead Time™
Platforms: PC
Languages: English, Spanish
Aug 5, 2016 @ 1:04am
Jun 14, 2017 @ 9:08am
Recent Announcements View All (21)
Last dev. article of the year
The struggle with Unity 2017

A few weeks ago and after a lot of reluctance on our part, we started to upgrade the game towards a newer, faster and more feature rich Unity version. During our early tests porting the scenes and our custom tools we found no problems, however, everything changed when it came time to prepare a test build.

There was no way around it. Unity 2017 took in average 400% longer to build a simple scene than Unity 5.2, and the more custom shaders we added to the project (for skin, eyes, hair, etc) the longer it took. Soon, it came to a point where our test build of the first scene would take up to 8 hours to build in a fairly new PC, while also giving a bunch of shader-related errors due mostly to Unity's new Post-Processing stack.

After several days of trying to find workarounds to these issues, it became clear that any time we would save on making the game with the new Unity would be wasted on build times, since we have at times the need to make several builds in a day (especially when testing out the multiplayer).

Faced with this problem, we decided to roll back the game and continue developing it with Unity 5.2, a much more stable release of the engine which we are also much more comfortable with.

There was a downside to this, however, and it was that we would lose many of the exciting features and ease of use that came with unity 2017. But then, our programmer decided to step up to the task and slowly but surely develop several alternatives and replacement for those unavailable features so we could make full use of them in the game, with the added advantage of a greater flexibility since it has been developed entirely by our own team.

New features for Unity 5.2+

After all the time we had to spend with Unity 2017 and its shader management issues, we also had to make multiple iterations of our own skin rendering systems. This had the happy result of improving greatly both its quality and performance.

We now have a fully functional skin shading technique with real translucency and physically accurate lighting, highly detailed surface irregularities and distortions, as well as with full support for facial expression maps.

New tools

To add even more detail to all the art in the game, we have added 2 new tools to our workflow that will take the game to a new level of quality. These tools are Allegorithmic's Substance Painter and Susbtance Designer.

These are tools that we've tried to use in the past, but both our budget and our hardware made it impossible. Now, as we push hard to bring our game to a much more refined and polished state, we see it is time to give a big push to the graphics and gameplay.

Another core feature that we had in Unity 2017 and lost when going back to Unity 5.2 was the called "Post Process Stack", which is an easier and more efficient way of rendering all the filter effects for the game.

Currently, we have been working on a solution of our own that creates a similarly easy way to manage post process effects in a game while also being able to see them and edit them in real-time while making the game, which greatly reduces the time it takes to make a scene have the right feeling.

Modern effects and features such as Screen Space based reflections, improved ambient occlusion, tessellation, GPU particles, dynamic hair etc are all being currently added to the game, as well as an expanded and revamped deferred rendering to guarantee that the game can have all the effects and complex lighting situations we require without compromising the performance.

What's next, for 2018?

Next year will come the release of Episode 1. We don't have an exact release date yet, due to the size of our team and the huge amounts of technical work ahead of us. As we hurry up with all the details and polishing the technical stuff around the game, the gameplay elements are mostly ready as well as all the story beats. The dialogues have been fully recorded and prepared, the music and collectibles are in place, and it is mostly a matter of building, testing, and putting everything together for the best experience.

In January, we will release new videos from both the game and the multiplayer tests we have been making, and soon afterwards the first trailers for Ep. 1 will be ready for the public. We are very excited for you all to see and play the game we've been working so hard on for all these years, and hopeful that once it is released it will surpass your expectations.

Our budget is still the main and most pressing issue we face right now, and as such, the tools and Unity extensions we have been developing to sell on the Asset Store will still be a big focus of our work during next year, as a means to secure that the game can be developed to completion without depending exclusively on our day time jobs, crowdfunding nor any unstable sources.

However, and excluding a few days off for the Holidays, this month will be a big push towards the game's development trying to smooth all the rough edges that the project has right now, tweaking the AI and a few story elements for a more straight-forward experience, as well as optimizing our net code to make sure that, no matter if you play the game alone or with your friends, the first time you play 3:00am Dead Time it becomes a memorable and exciting horror experience.

This is all we have for now. There will be a last development article right before the end of the year, but for now we only want to thank you all for sticking with us during this year and following the game with such interest. It is your support which keeps driving us forward to overcome all the many obstacles we have found, and fight hard to make this game the best we possibly can. Thank you for all your support and kind words during this 2017, and let's hope 2018 is much much better!

Happy Holidays!

The Irreverent Software team

Development Updates for April-August
Gameplay Features and Graphical Improvements

These last two months we've moved to work heavily on the animation process of the different creatures and characters. At this moment, we are animating the monsters and animals of Episode 1 as well as making the generic Humanoid animations required for all the gameplay actions in the game. This includes animations for the many dangers that you will face in the levels. Unlike in our previous demos, the upcoming Early Access release features a lot of different dangers to avoid as well as many close encounters with the different phenomena.

With so much work being put into the animations of the characters, we've also moved to improve the overall quality of the scene to bring it closer to the release quality we want to offer for this Early Access. This means better post-process effects, more carefully crafted lighting, complex environment effects and a currently in-development weather system. New characters have been modeled and are being added to crucial points of the story, the dialogues and cutscenes are being worked, and everything is taking form in this first Episode of 3:00am Dead Time.

Extending the Unity Engine

3:00am Dead Time is a big game. It has extremely large maps combining open areas and closed environments, dozens of real-time lights, heavy use of shadows, tons of interactive objects and a very complex sound design to make it a truly immersive experience.

But while making a game of this scope we have hit several barriers. In previous articles we've discussed a few ( the lack of a more customizable deferred pipeline, artifacts in the shadows, performance issues ) but today we will cover some new additions we've made for the game.


During April and May we designed a full set of tools to extend Unity's standard audio system. Sound design is arguably the most important part of any horror game, and for 3:00am Dead Time we knew we had to step up our game and create a daunting and credible atmosphere to get a full immersion.

With this in mind, we've made a simple yet powerful toolset that allows us to create custom audio clips, each one with its own volume, pan, pitch and loop values as well as different additional functionality that is not present in Unity (complex fades, random/sequential play of different sources, audio grouping and layering ). These audio clips are played by custom audio sources that include a whole array of unique features designed for the game, including audio zoning and procedural effects to make indoors and outdoors scenes adjust the sounds landscapes on the fly.

Multiplayer tests

Special thanks to Libby Moffett and Lottie Dance, the two talented actors who lent their voices for the characters of Sarah Green and Danna Williams (respectively) in the full game and the video above.

During June-July we have been extremely busy adding all the core multiplayer functionality of the game. For months we have been testing several backends for the game's multiplayer. Unity 5 offers a new API for networking in games that we tested but turned out to be unusable due to several bugs and lack of documentation. Besides, working for it would be quite rigid and would have required us to make 2 versions of our netcode, one for local network connections in the DRM-Free version of the game, and one for Online gameplay through Steamworks.

Improved Facial Expressions

With our new techniques for texture management and the new improved shading methods we are using ( focused mostly on DirectX11 hardware, with most features being backwards compatible with older hardware ) we have also improved the rendering quality of the facial expressions in all the characters, including some basic micro-details sampling for the skin during close ups.

The eyes shading has also been completely rewritten to allow for a much higher level of detail on the surface as well as light adaption, reflection (for scenes using the camera's nightvision ) and even a few paranormal-related effects.


During the last days we have been working very hard to revamp and greatly improve our website. As we prepare for the new stages on the development of the game and the announcement of a few small projects we've prepared for the Unity Asset Store, we knew that we had to greatly renew our presence online.

That's why we are very happy to share with all of you our brand new website, now fully integrated with SSL protection, mobile version, a highly improved support section to make it much easier to contact us, and much more!

Irreverent Software Official Website[]

But that is not all. We have also prepared and launched this week our official forums, with special boards for the game, our projects, tools, etc. We recommend you to visit and join, as we will start posting exclusive content there since July, and all upcoming development diaries will be available there a few hours earlier than here on IndieDB ( due to the approval process ).

Irreverent Sofware Community Forum[]

The next development recap, this time for August-September will be ready soon with lots of information about the actual gameplay of 3:00am Dead Time and the features we are adding for this first release. We can't wait to show you all the progress that has been made, and everything that you will face in 3:00am Dead Time.

Thanks for reading!

The Irreverent Software team

Release date: 2018
Be a paranormal investigator working for a one of a kind TV show, facing the deadliest creatures and going to the most haunted places in the world. Will you survive?

From aliens to demons, from ghosts to poltergeists, the whole paranormal world is in 3:00am Dead Time. Free Demo Available

3:00am Dead Time is a single and multiplayer horror game involving a group of amateur paranormal researchers who won the casting for a one of a kind TV show that will send them to different haunted and mysterious locations across the United States, and later on, in different countries

From the very beginning you will encounter many different kinds of phenomena, from ghosts and poltergeists to demons, aliens and ghouls, the paranormal world is big and complex, full of mysteries to explore and solve.

3:00am Dead Time is a game that rewards first and foremost the exploration. During the main Mission, you and your team are expected to search for evidences of the paranormal around the location, to identify them, and to document it all for the TV show, either with pictures, recordings or taking samples. In many cases, an investigation won't be complete until you manage to stop the current paranormal phenomenon, facing it directly.

The game is split into numerous Episodes, each one completely unique, with its own story, characters, creatures and phenomena. Many of them feature unique gameplay mechanics specific for them, and some occur even in broad daylight. Besides the main Mission, where the crew has to explore the place, document the phenomena (or even fight it), interview the witnesses and uncover the mysteries of the place, there are also multiple Flashback levels which further explore the story of each location. In each main Episode you will get a Rating based on your investigation work, and you can also unlock a number of secret items and collectibles.


  • Multiple Episodes each one with different locations in the United States and across the world, characters, creatures and stories.
  • Exploration and story based gameplay where you have to uncover the secrets of each place, learn its story, and face the paranormal events that are present there.
  • Single and Multiplayer missions. Play with AI companions or make your own investigation team with up to 3 friends.
  • Flashback and testimony episodes to further explore (in playable form) the story of the different locations.
  • Branching stories. Each episode has multiple endings and turns along the way, to let you decide how you want to act. Do you want to explore quietly and just document any events that happen in front of you? Are you more interested in interviewing the local people to understand better the phenomena? Or should you force the situation, and try to provoke the entities? The decision is completely up to you.
  • Wide array of equipment. Unlock different pieces of equipment as you complete different missions. Better cameras equipped with nightvision and longer battery life, movement sensors, advanced recorders, small drones... use the best tools to get the job done.
  • Old school style. 3:00am Dead Time is a heavily atmospheric game. From the beginning we have made great efforts to make sure the scares come from the stories, the locations and getting you immersed in the environment rather than a gallery of jumpscares.
  • Multi-perspective. No matter your preferred style of horror games, 3:00am Dead Time has something for you. First Person highly immersing experience, a Third Person horror adventure or an old school movie-style camera, they are all included.
  • In-depth investigation system. Collect samples, document everything you see, record sounds, take pictures, interview the locals and the witnesses or even ask the help of an expert to protect the team from the paranormal forces, or to interact with them.
  • Complex and rich mythology. The game features dozens of different creatures, paranormal phenomena and events, all based on real testimonies and the folklore of many places around the world. The paranormal world is so much more than just ghosts and demons.
  • Mood and Behavior AI. Your character will get scared according to what happens in the game and your actions, and in turn, the game's behavior will also change to reflect that mood. Besides, almost every paranormal event is randomized and procedural, making the encounters different every time you play a mission.

With the game on active development and in Alpha, {LINK REMOVED} that will let you play a small section of one of the later Episodes, so you can test some of the main gameplay features.

Right now we have six episodes (each one with multiple levels) planned for the full game, with heavy work in the first two episodes already going on. Additional levels might be added depending on if we reach the stretch goals of this funding campaign. Taking into account the pre-Alpha length of a normal episode, the full game will be between 8 and 14 hours long for one branch of each mission's story and only in single player. The game has high replayability value. The demo we released represents less than 20 percent of the length of a normal Episode.

Remember to check out the game's demo and to share here your opinion and feedback (this is very important to keep developing and improving the game) and get ready for many new stories, hundreds of encounters and locations and to face the whole paranormal world in 3:00am Dead Time

< >
HellCow (HC) Jan 14, 2017 @ 4:38am 
Hey, if your interested i coud promote your game or/and if you need/want i test the game to write a review for it and find glitches/bugs if there are any.
Also i can get some more testers if necesary,

:trollclub:If your interested at getting promotion. Add me i in steam or send me a mail:

(My promotion is cheap and will give honost votes and toughts [No bots used] here is where i can promote your game: Gaming Until End Remember i dont push you if you dont want this just ignore/delete this post)

Happy New Year :)
Irreverent Software  [author] Sep 21, 2016 @ 4:40am 
@ForeverFurry Thank you very much! We are very happy as well, and will keep pushing the development forward at top speed. Right now, we are adding several Steamworks features and keep preparing the game for the Early Access here on Steam :)

Thanks again for your kind words and your support, it really means a lot :)
Have a great day!
IS6 Is Love Sep 21, 2016 @ 2:10am 
Congrats on getting thru greenlight :) really happy to see this game going forward on steam!
Irreverent Software  [author] Sep 19, 2016 @ 2:35pm 
Мясник - Hi there, and thanks for your offer! We are still in development with the game, but we'll keep your email to have you in mind once things are ready for further localization. Thanks again!
Мясник Sep 18, 2016 @ 7:37am 
Hello, I would like to offer you the translation of the game into Russian language, if you are interested, send me an email
Irreverent Software  [author] Sep 13, 2016 @ 3:28pm 
@Cthegamer Thanks! We are very glad to see you liked the game (and that you got scared!)
Also, thank you very much for sharing your video, we really liked it, and we look forward to watching more after the Early access releases and the full game, that we hope you'll enjoy as well :)

Again, thank you for your comment and support! have a great day :)
Irreverent Software  [author] Sep 13, 2016 @ 3:20pm 
@Luigi Es una pena saber que el demo no pudo funcionar bien en tu equipo, y es bastante inusual también dado que nuestra computadora de desarrollo es incluso menos potente en algunas áreas (usamos un Dual Core a 2.1Ghz). Es posible que se trate de algún archivo corrompido, o alguna otra incompatibilidad de sistema. Descuida, que nosotros durante el desarrollo del juego seguiremos mejorándolo y ampliando el soporte a más equipos, asi como optimizando el desempeño para tratar de hacer posible que disfrutes sin problemas de la versión completa. Muchas gracias por el reporte, y de nuevo, sentimos que no hayas podido disfrutar el demo de la manera planeada. Revisaremos los datos, y comezaremos a implementar optimizaciones más profundas. Gracias de nuevo, y saludos!
cmodYT Sep 13, 2016 @ 3:18pm 
Very cool horror game! Hey guys just did a let's play of the demo! Check it out!
Luigi Sep 13, 2016 @ 2:28pm 
@Irreverent Software - Puse todo al mínimo y desactivé las movidas de abajo y ni tan siquiera así. No va fluido y es injugable para mí. :( Por si os sirve el dato, este es mi equipo:
Proc: Intel Core Quad Q9550 @ 2.83 GHz
OS: Win 7 64 bits
ATI Radeon HD 5500

Irreverent Software  [author] Sep 13, 2016 @ 11:18am 
@Luigi Siguiendo con el comentario anterior, aquí también te dejamos los requisitos mínimos :


Procesador : AMD A4 3300M (Dual Core 2.4 Ghz). Intel Core i5 2.2Ghz Recomendado.
OS : Windows 7/8/10 (64 bits)
RAM : 4GB RAM. 8GB Recomendados.
VRAM : Tarjeta gráfica con 512 MB en VRAM y soporte DX9, recomendados 1GB en VRAM y soporte DX11 (nuestra tarjeta de desarrollo es una AMD HD6380G en una laptop)

Gracias de nuevo por comentar y por tu apoyo, saludos!