For those who were in the horror thread last night, here it is.
Is dying a good thing in horror games? I think it's not because it offers relief, and worse, it generates repetition, which causes anger/boredom.
So what do you do if you remove death? Do you simulate it? Should the horror game be a huge play where you think you died but you actually were meant to die? Then where is the challenge? Should there be challenge in a horror game? The player will also get bored if he knows that dying means progress. Then it's all in the execution. But is that enough?
Maybe you could do a big, branching design. At any point, you either die or succeed, and either way you go to a different level. The problem is that people will get autistic and die systematically to see everything.
Right now I have a few ideas for a "you die and think it's your fault, the game restarts at the last checkpoint exactly like the first time you went through the level but it's actually a very different level. Things are all fucked up."
Then I could make is like that: You die and there exists a number (like 2-3) versions of the level you'e about to go through. On death, you restart but the you randomly drop into another one with the same spooks but used differently enough to still make you unaware of what's going to happen.
Have a mansion/castle/whatever that is constantly shifting, so that stuff never truly repeats (but have a lot of variety in the randomly shifting rooms so it doesn't feel copy pasted). And instead of your character constantly dying, make it apparent that there is some force at work that could kill you at any moment but wants you to stay alive to torture you (physically and psychologically). And instead of death have it be demonic creatures/forces dragging you away to be graphically raped or something like that.
interesting but the thing is once the guy gets cought and sees the cinematic, he knows that if he gets cought he'll just have to sit through the same fucking cinematic again. That's why by deciding exactly when the player dies, you can always make it new and exciting, but then the player can catch up on this so you'd have to break the rule by actually making him die regularly a few times.
This dilemma is really keeping me from progressing because It's the principle for the whole game, breaking the rules of video games.
I'm not sure that you're interpreting death in horror games right. In a horror game, the player needs to be immersed fully, and feel like the MC in every way. Part of the horror of the experience is actually experiencing death as that person, and taking a bit of reality from it before you realize you're not actually the one dying. If the player wasn't immersed in the first place then obviously deaths will just become mundane, but at that point the player would probably have stopped playing anyway.
As for the challenge, there always needs to be a degree of challenge/resistance from the world. If not, the player will simply become bored and lose interest and investment in the setting. What's the point of a horror game with no real threat, and knowing the low level of threat will never ramp up?
Ye Olde Second Life, from the Age of PharoahMan.EXE.
Here we go. My intention is not to shill, but as you can read in this thing, I want us to make it together to ensure a great project. Maybe I'll just take it back to AGDG eventually or make my own generals so we can talk about it.
That's a really interesting topic, something not often seen here.
The exact same thing was done in LSD: Dream Simulator IIRC. If you touched anything you'd get warped to an entirely different level.
>I think it's not because it offers relief
Pretty much what I think too. Messing with this is pretty neat though, sublty or not. Like the anons before me said, branching/shifting levels sounds nice.
An exemple in mind I have is Eversion, where the level start message ("Ready?") get a little spookier when the game sees you're retrying a lot.
Yes, I'm easily spooked.
Using Blender. While I've never seen any big game released on it, it lets me entirely bypass programming, which lets me focus on making nice scenes and other content.
it's from >>255616791
Just check the videos you'll understand.
I get you and I know that immersion is the most important thing. It's what I'm mainly aiming for, good immersion before all. But at some point you have to decide if you just let the player make his own success, possibly dying many times and hating the game or if you play him like a bitch by controlling his every action to get the effects you want.
The guys from amnesia made a survey on people with Penumbra and half the people who played loved it and half hated it. The ones who hated it would just die many times and start to see only the mechanics, the AI, the game. They are not in a story anymore, shitting their pants, they're just trying to get across this fucking level.
What about a combination of the above ideas?
If you die, you 'fade away' and reappear at the start of a new level, area, portion of the level, etc. However, to prevent people from dying "systematically to see everything", put a penalty of some sort in place.
For example, every time you die, you lose part of your senses. Like hearing, sight, ability to interact, your flashlight, sanity, or something of that nature. People might still die on purpose to get these new experiences/challenges, but it certainly won't help them directly or be encouraged.
I love the idea of removing senses and I actually already have a few isolated scenes including the idea. But making it a persistent mechanic would probably just make it harder for me to control the player since he'd miss most of the spooky cues I'd throw at him.
Hey I got FL myself this weekend and I'm writing a blog post with the first song I made right now. Just check back on it in a minute or two it should be up.
>miss most of the spooky cues I'd throw at him.
That was kind of the idea. Instead of being able to hear something walking up behind him, the player wont know unless he turns around or it's too late. But it does seem difficult to work with.
Holy shit that's surreal as fuck.
It looks pretty damn good so far.
I could imagine hearing this track playing while you encounter something spooky.
Well that's just great to hear. I really don't want to shill and all this shit so I guess just tell me when you want me to get the fuck back to agdg. It's just that you get a lot more traffic and kinds of people on here.
Hey I really appreciate it anon. Would love to hear from you.
I think it's fine as long as its not pure shilling and you're actually asking more general opinions like the one regarding portrayal of death in games.
Atleast i find it interesting since repetition kills the mood easily
Make a design where you get ported to another part of the game.
Might cause delirium, and offers them something new to do and forget what they were doing.
This way they also have more time to think about how to execute what they did wrong the correct way if they get back to where they were.
Death is fine, but you need more punishment. You need to be flung back an hour of gameplay for dying, not just restart at the last autosave which happens every 20 seconds. If you know dying will just restart you 10 seconds prior to death and therefore know the spawn point of the spooky encounter, you won't care about dying. Playing hardcore in DS2 was intense as fuck.
You just have really work to make the game fair so that you don't have a cheap death cause frustration
It should be like Waxworks with all the distinct bad ends. Every death ingame should feel like it is the end of that character's life, and should be portrayed in a horrifying manner where you don't want to die again.
I don't hate the idea of lives actually. But it's something I will mess with too. I will fuck everything up. The perfect example is that guy who gave me the idea of giving the player noclip for like a minute. He'll obviously wander outside the level but then a fucking huge monster will slowly appear in the darkness and come towards him, eating the whole goddamn map. If you get back in the house nothing happens, but you still know it's outside where you can't see.
So if I do lives, they'll probably get in the negative and decimals and stuff. Maybe you could lose control of the character if your lives get to -1. He just walks around weeping and schreeching from time to time. There'd be amirror so you could see how fuckd the Mc is.
Like I said in the thread last night, you don't need to remove death, you just can't force it on the player. If a character dies behind a glass wall and you're forced to watch, unable to do anything, you're going to be pissed off at the game, not filled with dread or horror. Think of Malik's death in Deus Ex. It can be a challenge, even more so if you're trying a pacifist/stealth run, but it's still possible to save her, regardless of the odds stacked against you. If that same scene had happened in the game, but you could not save her, players would feel more that the game is awful compared to feeling powerless at failing to save her.
As for the players death, you have to have it, or some kind of lose condition, otherwise it just becomes a walking simulator with no sense of fear or urgency. If the player has nothing to lose and no reason to fear losing, then the player won't feel any horror or dread.
Perhaps combine this in that if you aren't careful, another character you're used to will die. The player needs to hurry and do things to protect his friends and family, and if he doesn't, he loses them. You remove the overplayed element of death for the main character, you throw in potential deaths for other characters that can impact the player, and you give the player a way to prevent their deaths, all while giving a sense of urgency and fear.
>Maybe you could lose control of the character if your lives get to -1. He just walks around weeping and schreeching from time to time. There'd be amirror so you could see how fuckd the Mc is.
Amazing idea, is there any game in existence that does this already?
>want to fling players back an hour of progress
>don't want to cause frustration
Fucking pick one. I've got better things to do than this. Fucking dropped.
inb4 some faggot actually thinks that in 2014 making players replay an hour of a game when there's dozens of other games they could be playing or anime they could be watching. Enjoy your no sales.
inb4 some faggot thinks I'm advocating checkpoints every half-step and constant handholding just because I think their ideas are fucking trash and they're mentally deficient fucks that think if someone is against their ideas, they must be for the complete dumbfuck opposite.
Well, he's right in that the player needs some form of punishment, otherwise all aspect of fear is lost. Having the players go back an hour is a big punishment, but not the correct kind. It would just frustrate players. If anything, a players death should result in loss of inventory, changes to the story/world, deaths of other characters, really anything that would unsettle the player and make the world worse than it started.
well if you check out the vids at the bottom of http://imakethethings.blogspot.ca/ you'll see that
u alrdy ar sklton
I intend to make it so that your player just vomits him out and he keeps chasing you. Maybe I could make it while you're trying to stealth through an area. He'd come out and rattle his bones so hard it'd draw all the monster's attentioné The "FUCK YOU SKELTON" butt rage twould be delicious.
Players should be put through frustration when they fail. That's the point of a game. The only problem is that this form of frustration doesn't work in horror games, because repetition and familiarity are the quickest ways of removing fear and tension.
Reposting for anyone looking into ways of introducing fear and horror to players.
IMO there should be death in a game because a game with no stakes loses almost all the impact it could have had. On the other side there can't be too many deaths or else it leads to frustration and breaks immersion. Personally I'd do something along the lines of randomized enemy positions upon reload, maybe other randomized elements as well, maybe have lives act like sanity in Eternal Darkness, the more you lose the more fucked up the game becomes, but without actually increasing difficulty. That way even if the player dies in one area often then there's still that element of surprise and mystery.
something like mgs3 the sorrow would be interesting to see implemented in a horror game. actually a lot of the mindfuckery in kojima games would be nice.
No, frustration is the last thing you want from a horror game. A failure shouldn't result in frustration, it should result in worry or fear.
Lets say it weren't a horror game, you come to a room, suddenly the doors lock and a timer starts up, in the center of a room you see a computer or machine of some kind, and you need to solve a puzzle. Normally, if you fail, a gameover happens, such as a bomb going off, or the big bad coming to get you, and then you just restart a minute or two behind, ready to do the puzzle again. This would clearly not work in a horror game, it would frustrate and remove the element of fear from the player.
Lets try and work it into a horror game then. Lets stick with the same scenario, locked doors, timer, machine in center. Now lets say you fail and the timer hits 0. What should happen then? Perhaps nothing happens, the timer just stops at 0, seemingly nothing happens at all, yet the doors are still locked and you're still in the room. You'll feel a sense of worry or fear in that you don't know what will happen next since what you were expecting didn't happen.
Perhaps it never actually lets the player leave, and you're stuck there forever afterwards, forcing the player to reload and try again. You go back into the room only to find a skeleton, presumably from your character when he failed the puzzle, left to die alone in the room.
There are many ways to go about failure and punishment without frustration.
Then how about not doing lives but every time you "die" you awake in a different location, but without a part of your body or limb, so every time you lose consciousness things get more fucked up, the player won't have a set number of lives but he will know that if he keeps this up the game will get more and more difficult or it could be a game over at any time.
>Horror game with the mechanics of Receiver for handling your only weapon
>Ammunition is extremely limited (Only 10 rounds to be found during an entire playthrough, for example)
>Shooting the monster makes it flinch, giving you time to escape and hide
>If the monster kills you, your death is permanent and you have to begin the whole game anew
>If you shoot yourself before the monster can get you, however, you can continue from the last checkpoint
Ammunition spent this way is not refunded upon respawning
Depends on what you mean.
Amnesia insanity was shit and I have no idea why there are people who thought its absence from a Machine For Pigs was a step backwards.
Personally, I think it's retarded that a game should try to simulate fear and tell you "HEY LOOK AT HOW SCARED YOU ARE LOL".
This gave me a great idea about a moment where you'd have to actually catch the monster or he'd just go "nanomachines son" and engulf the whole castle.It would basically play like that gif where the guy fails to catch the huge spider with a bowl.
I said it last night when you were asking for ideas about a friendly, yet creepy merchant like in RE4.
A corpse on strings being draped through a hole in the ceiling and animated as a puppet.
I don't know the story, but if it was implied that it was the last person to try what your mc is trying, it would add to the atmosphere of impending death.
Perhaps being handled by the giant skellington outside. And if you hid that fact from the audience as much as possible, I think it would add to "lore" a bit (people would wonder of who the puppeteer is.)
I'm sorry, I failed to read what he said correctly.
I just like going into depth about what I try to talk about.
Exactly. I already made the decision to put it in last night. It's great.
>Then you go shopping at one point and the inventory screen hides most of your view
>you can see on the corner that you're actually moving upwards
>what the FUCK
>as soon as you close the inventory to check it out you get dropped on the ground and hear the sound of something moving very fast through the ceiling
Fuck this is great.
I know the intention is to provide a penalty that isn't tied directly into combat scenarios, but blurry vision and cockroaches crawling on the screen adds nothing, it just makes the game frustrating to play.
Planescape Torment has death play into the story, since you're functionally immortal, but your deaths can grant xp (through regain subconscious knowledge) and other stuff.
I can't remember what game it was but there was one where there's 4 or 5 playable characters. If the one you're playing as dies, you have to pick a different one to continue with... i.e. each character has a single life, but their death doesn't revert the story or anything you just jump to the next character's "entry point".
That's a great extension.
Perhaps this is your negative lives penalty. You're on strings. And you try to get off them. So you're rather unstable and you have to find a creative way to get off the strings. Idk.
It's okay I didn't mean to be harsh in anyway despite the joke. Nothing wrong with expanding on something in depth like that just make sure you know where that persons stance before you agree/disagree with them.
So you basically want the player to don't look at death like "fuck i have to do everithing from the beginning" but still you don't want them to think "oh, this looks scripted, let's see that cutscene".
What about a level where you have to run away from death itself to restore your location when you died?
Something really stressful, but that can still save the player a lot of time.
Also fuck checkpoints.
Guys what about the sanity system but it just makes it so that each life yu lose there's a different screen overlay making it harder to see and moving a bit slower and shit.
I know it's been mentionned like 5 times already but what do you think of it? It would actually punish the player and eventually lead to the zombie shit. I'd change it around too because I never want the player to be comfy. NOT EVER.
No I,ll make fucking comfy levels like u never seen (i-i'll try) to balance things out but it's probably going to be a bit brutal after.
I thought The Void and Pathologic did horror the best in vidya, but failure pretty much equals to having to restart the whole game over again and I know that this isn't the most fun option for most people.
Sounds like it would be more frustrating than spooky or frightening. If anything, you should have sanity effect the game in the same way it did in that one gamecube horror game, where the game itself gets fucked with, forcing the player to wonder whether the game itself is fucked or if it's all just part of the game.
I know a lot of people thought that got old fast though.
might have been heavy rain, but I think at least a couple of others have done something similar
I think I've played a mini-roguelike/puzzle that used something (i.e. the rogue, or wizard, etc does better against certain foes, but eventually dies so you have to manage in which order you play them)
The more the deaths rack up for the family members, the more they come to haunt you, adding to the horror.
And you can revive them, because you would want to shake them off you as a player who hates being scared.
Not a big fan of jump scares being over-utilized, but this would be perfect for using them correctly, having the ghosts of you loved ones scream in anguish randomly and fade away almost instantly.
Not even a gameplay function other than to randomly make you jump time to time because earlier you failed.
Fucking this >>255627215
Like, make little changes to the game the more the player shift into madness, the statues get a creepy grin and start making wispering noises if you get close, the floor become all dusty with occasional footmarks leading nowhere, stuff like this.
Yeah I read about that too. The idea of putting radom lil jumpscares and spooks when you'Re all insane is good on paper but it's too repetitive
Don't worry about that. Might put one as an easter egg hidden far far away like good ol costanza or just skeletons again. Skeletons are so great.
that second idea is fucking neato. makes me think of the head crab zombies in hl2 with their voices played backwards. I always found that bonechilling.
captcha: dyingno invaluable
One way maybe to make death still meaningful but less frustrating is if the player was immortal / stuck in some kind of time loop where he has to relive the same scenario over and over again each time he dies until he gets it right. Each time you die some things that you did could still stay in effect or affect the new life in some way so that not all progression would be lost.
>Is dying a good thing in horror games?
Yes. What could be more horrifying than death?
>Should there be challenge in a horror game?
Is the sky blue!? Seriously OP, can you figure out any of this obvious shit on your own?
There should be challenge in all games. Or, more specifically, for you, ideally all games would have a level of challenge that would allow you to take on some pressure from the game without being stuck at a section forever. That is the 'best difficulty'. The fun of expertly designed super challenging games is that only the best, cleverest strategies and best executions are permitted, and it's basically a blast to keep on improving your own capacities to pull off these landmarks. It's also desirable to be good at the game, because you get to employ more and more of its complexity more smoothly, making for a far more fun experience overall.
Difficulty also ramps up the games capacity for oppressiveness, and if a horror game can't even kill you, how the fuck can you take it seriously? Jesus Christ OP, do you even notice the game you're playing, you ADD diagnosed little punk!? Actually knowing, or at least sincerely expecting enemies to be able to absolutely ruin you makes the game deliver on its promise. Ideally, dying would do far more than send you back to the last checkpoint. More intensive consequences would add to the thrill of every encounter in the game.
or the more isolated it could get. sort of like a metaphor for addiction. the purpose of death in any horror game is to make you feel more helpless. and feeling disoriented or completely abandoned is one of the scariest feelings.
> Here's a bunch of stuff that's supposed to be spooky. It are spooky and you can too!
If someone wrote something following those guide lines they'd end up with some predictable bullshit
they're all on the blog but blogger a shit and you can't view them full size. It's tiny titty screen or fuck huge mctits pixels in your face.
The song you have on the site sounds great, in my opinion the spookiest horror comes from the chiptunes and old video game soundtracks, where it's very easy to sound eerily hollow and surreal. Dissonant and weird tones help as well. This isn't what I consider a perfect example, but just listen to this:
I'm the anon from weeks ago who really pushed for that skeleton head in the OP and other stuff that just makes the game as uncanny and surreal as possible.
The best way to make death scary is to give it tension and more of a reason for you to not die. This will help kick in your fight or flight instincts, which are a pretty much a product of fear.
The easiest way to do this is permadeath, so all the items you have are lost and you must restart the game. However this will generate enormous repetition so really the only type of game you could do is one with an open world type of thing. See: Routine.
I really can't think of anything at the moment, but the basic idea is to give reason for the player to not die other than "I have to do the last 5 minutes of the game again" Perhaps every time you die, more monsters will spawn in the area you are in?
I like the idea of the game saving, going to a black screen for a sec, and then closing abruptly when you die. this way it confuses the player and they might get disoriented or worried that their shit is fucking up. it's like an outside scare. kinda like some of the shit in Eternal Darkness
I'm still disappointed that Postal, as a series, decided to go for silly instead of sticking to the disturbing "Glimpse into the mind of a mass murderer" thing the original game had going on.
A game that uses no death well is Wario Land 3. Every time Wario got hit, he bounced off several feet. This led to players climbing back up a long platform and made boss fights infuriatingly annoying.
What I'm saying is that the player can punished in different ways other than just death. Give the player harsh status effects, messed up vision, heck even alternate forms to change up the controllers. Perhaps you can even make the player have a chance to die and restart at a checkpoint to make the fear of death all that greater.
In that line of ideas I wanted to make a fake loading screen where little stick figures are in line to get their head chopped. You're executioner and you just move your mouse to chop em up. You chop them all of, then one last little stick figure comes in line, you chop him and an actual 3d head just rolls down the screen with big sound. I know it's a jumpscare but I liked the idea.
>Implying the list doesn't make a lot of good points that all make sense
Nowhere in that list does it say it has to be followed 100%, just gives you a few tips when writing horror shit.
The death problem is actually the biggest problem a horror game faces.
If you die a lot, the horror turns to repetition and annoyance.
But if you can't die or have a hard time doing so, there is less tension.
What you need is good sound design.
Sure you can have all the bells and whistles, but what does it matter if none of it sounds nice?
That's why I'm wondering if I should just control the whole thing like a huge theater of horror. I'll make them THINK they lost and died and that they are restarting, but they aren't. I'm making more spooks. Do you think it would work?
It's like that water monster early in amnesia. He chases you and if you fuck up or wait too long he'll get you, but I never did try because I was too scared (and didn't care to fuck the game up).
Basically, I don't even know if he CAN actually catch you. I certainly thought he could (and since you can die in the game well you know the rest...) but being afraid kept me from even wanting to find out.
Of course someone who would just go "hey fuck this just eat me" an wait it out would find out. To bypass this I'd just make it so that if he wasn't supposed to die (but he was supposed to run away) the monster could just dunk him so hard he'd fly the fuck away and then leave because he wouldn't want to actually get the sanity effects.
What do you think?
Would the only solution be to be as creative as you can with it? You die when I decide you die and fake the fact that you progressed, but at other times I can make it so that "losing" actually means other things like your lil bro or something getting eaten and stuff.
I sort of envisioned a game that would get around the repetition problem a while ago. A horror game could be about 5-6 hours long, but it would be really demanding and rely on a lot of randomly generated content, from level layouts to monsters to items, as much as possible without it becoming incoherent. If the random generation is sophisticated enough, there could be no repetition, just a totally fresh and fun experience every time, laced with the combined intensity from the consequences of death and the horror aesthetics. This would be cool for a Far Cry style game too. Some randomly generated terrain with camps, guns, NPCs, etc. Almost like Civilization's random map generation, just more immersive.
This doesn't just apply to horror games, but pretty much all games as well.
How do you balance death? On one hand, death provides a punishment to players so that players actively need to avoid getting killed for fear of the consequences. On the other hand, the consequence is doing something over again, which can as OP said can cause anger/boredom.
Is it possible to have a death/gameover mechanic that incentivizes players to not die, but at the same time isn't a pain in the dick if you do? They seem mutually exclusive; if it's not frustrating to die then there's little incentive to care if you die.
>That's why I'm wondering if I should just control the whole thing like a huge theater of horror. I'll make them THINK they lost and died and that they are restarting, but they aren't.
Isn't this still pretty much equivalent to dying? If the player thinks he is dying... he's dying. If there's some genuine difference, you'd be able to tell. If you're trying to simulate death, you are going to make the player think/feel like he's dying, but this is impossible unless you actually employ the mechanics of death, which aren't things that are simulated, they just are what they are.
Also, you seem to think the repetition is a really significant issue, but it's not. I have never minded dealing with a really well made game section more than a few times, since it's still exhilarating (just not as much as it was at first, maybe) and there's still the excitement of beating it and chasing all of the other possibilities of the games future awaiting me. All of this sounds like a false problem.
That's why my only option is to fake it. If orchestrated well enough, maybe it could work. I think the only way I'll find out is to actually make it, then make someone play it and see how he felt about the whole thing. It's all about entertaining the idea that he's going to die after all.
I wanna see this pulled off in a game.
>game is hard, you fight other people who are as strong as you and knock them out
>suddenly fight with loads of enemies
>you get cursed
>they all die brutally
>you don't get hurt
>even as the place collapses
...I'm not sure how you can make immortality scary in a game concept other than that and maybe bottomless pits.
Difficulty modes just make it harder to die, they don't change the punishment-through-repetition aspect for someone who does die.
Besides, playing horror games on easy essentially defeats the purpose because there's no tension. It would be nice if there were a way to have a tense and challenging game but at the same time not be tedious and repetitive IF you die. I don't think this is possible though
As long as there's some randomness to encounters, death is fine.
What if that guy that jumped you around at the corner wasnt there anymore? What if he came behind you as you were peeking around said corner?
If you have your spooky monster on an easily observable patrol then of course tension is going to decrease.
Because at that point you're not just crafting the illusion of a little world, but an automated apparatus for generating little worlds (a big-bang creator, the games code being the 'personality' of the big bang in a way). How can you do that tastefully at all? Human beings that are experts are the ones typically charged with producing level layouts, which is why randomly generated levels all feel more or less mediocre: nobody has the skillz to program it yet, I guess! But I think it can be done. You just need a fine grip on individual mechanics and how they relate to the rest of the game, and that's a tough thing to think through.
Also, randomly generated content doesn't pass through a "human filter" first, which is typically the expert producing the material in the first place. The filter is whether he thinks it makes a positive contribution to the game or not. This is what is missing between the random content and the player.
if you go on the blog you have the whole series of events
The blog is fucking shit though, how do I deliver the webms in a better fashion than this shit? Maybe I should just make one big youtube video about it.
I think it's pretty much because you're forced to use your imagination more when dealing with low-poly stuff (and sometimes they end up in the uncanny valley), whereas high-detailed models just 'hands' it all to you
I think keeping the game unpredictable is the best way to keep someone invested.
Like sometimes when you "die", you wake up where you left off and the spooky skeleton that was chasing you isn't there anymore.
Of course that's a pretty simple example. When I think of unpredictability, I think back to games like LSD where you didn't know what the fuck triggers what or what would happen if you did something. Kept the game unnerving as fuck.
I think having something like that, but in more of a horror setting
and without being batshit insane like LSD iswould be a good way to start thinking about how to handle death.
If the game is fun, you will deal with the repetition. Why? Because the sections are fun enough to play again and again and, ideally, can be beaten with lots of fun/cool/interesting/hilarious strategies. Also, there's still the rest of the game you want to get to, a possibility oriented thought you experience more or less positively, depending on how good the game has been for you. This is the essential thing missing from the second time you beat games, and it's almost more essential in games than it is in movies (the more games flat-out confuse our nervous systems through being utterly convincing, "alive" and enveloping, the less of an issue this will become).
People who replay games over and over are simply too insensitive to experience that feeling, so they don't feel its absence that intensely (they don't know what they're missing). This is totally characteristic of aspies, who are so utterly, absurdly absorbed in their own thoughts that the feelings of their nervous systems are totally removed from their perception.
I don't mind it much in horror games, like SH and RE, where death is something of the last thing that should happen to the character before their journey is over.
As a mechanic overall, I've found it to be hit or miss. Some games really just shouldn't have it. It's sensible in something like Shadow of the Colossus, or the Souls series, but then you have things like Steambot Chronicles where it's almost out of place due to the fact that there's only ONE way to game over.
RPGs are a different matter. On one hand, it does make sense the party wouldn't faint and be recovered to a nearby inn while fighting a boss, but that would be sensible when they're just out in the field level grinding. Hell, it would make things a bit more interesting because you then know that major fights are for keeps, whereas random encounters just mean a minor loss of your gold.
How about a game that makes you weaker while you progress? Imagine last standing SWAT member getting stripped of his arduous and running out of ammo in a hostile environment. Throwing intimidating shit at the player all the time, making him change the tactics. This does not solve the problem of respawning but it does add tension.
Games like REmake rely heavily on knowing where the enemies are when you travel back and forth through rooms. What if, when you die, enemies are moved around to different locations, completely fucking up your previous knowledge of the game? It could be written off if the game were about different dimensions and when you die you "wake up" in an alternate version or some shit.
Just to make that more clear, if the game is SUPER FUN, you basically hang up that specific possibility in your imagination, a thought you straight-up enjoy having. You simultaneously enjoy the game, as well as what it symbolizes for its own future. This enjoyment is a source of power, in a way, and lets you endure the slight repetition, but so does beating sections more gracefully than before. So, it's a non-issue in a genuinely great game, if you ask me. The solution to repetitive death: make a more fun, more complex, more varied game.
>die in game to a special encounter with a spooky skeleton
>quiet scream starts to build
>gets louder and louder
>think Goku SSJ3, but spooky
>starts flashing the word "RUN" on the screen
>disc drives eject over and over
>computer just shuts off
Anyone playing in the dark would be surrounded by darkness. This would be the supreme spook.
>We want death to be an integral part of the game
Says who? OP asked for a horror game
It doesn't have to be adrenaline based or traumatizing.
There should be a game about adult horrors, allowing you to live a simple life, and based on the decisions you make, something like your father running away when you're little, leaving your mother sick and weary as she slowly wastes away as you grow up, or living a full, complete life but killing your character, and hearing their reactions when you find the body
One of the scariest things any PC game can do is fucking with the player outside of the game itself.
Change their background image, play with the sound, do a screamer, leave text files and pictures on the desktop or in the game folder. Just completely mess without them even after they close the game.
Imscared did this, as did that one game about the rabbit girl person thing.
Or just have it that enemies can roam about. If done with the right hardware, that would probably be easy to make room to room transitions seamless, and thus allow even the enemies to wander around independently.
oh duh, so simple I didn't even think of it
the zombies randomly traveling between rooms was one of the scariest parts of REmake, along with crimson heads of course.
Every time the player dies in a horror game, it resets the tension to zero. When the player goes through the same parts of the game again, the build up won't be as effective because the player already knows what to expect. The more the player dies, the less tense he is, and the more familiar the player is with the game, the less effective it is at making the player tense.
Horror games aren't easy to balance. Some scare the player with the idea that they can die in the game, but that method has diminishing returns because players ultimately become accustomed to failure that has no consequences outside the game.
>die in the game
>screen starts flashing
>disc drive starts making an ungodly loud noise
>screen is suddenly black and everything goes silent
>drive ejects the cd
>pick the cd up and flip it around
"Git Gud" is etched in the back
Not as much is left to the imagination. It's similar to how not seeing the monster in a horror movie is generally scarrier, because once you see it you lose the mystery and you can see how lame and cheesy it is.
That said, good visuals can still be scary, but it just means increased effort and artistic direction must come with it or you get something really lame.
so then de-familiarize the player to the game. Death makes enemies change routes/placement or maybe if the game is supernaturally themed entire areas of the game could be moved around and recombined in different arrangements, all to throw off the player
it'd be pretty simple for the game to trigger a batch file that would change backgrounds, add icons, change settings, etc. The only hurdle would be if doing so requires UAC permission.
try out pick related. AFAIK it's the closest thing you'll get, but it's console not PC
That's thinking inside the death-box, though. What use is threatening the player's virtual avatar? It's immortal. The player knows this, even if he isn't actively thinking about it. Think about horror films, they can be effective despite the audience knowing they can't be hurt by the film, what makes them scary is that they expose the viewer to something they find unpleasant, unnerving, etc. Horror games do this, but it is at odds with performance-based game design.
That whole "Hello" bit is perfect as it sets the stage for someone to think it's something simple and silly, but then the whole WAHOOOWA! sends you running with that face slowly stalking you down.
A got alternative to the "death" is the fact of something like this, by "entrapping" them with this skull, they then are subject to more horrible things than normal, such as the horrible thing in the window.
Perhaps a multi tier ending with every thing they fail to "escape" leading to progressively more horrible things until finally reaching a final one where "death" isn't the end, rather a creepy bit of story or setting.
Such a horrible thing would be, for example, a shot of said main character fused with his 'battlestation' in a horrific splicing of man and machine ala H.R. Geiger.
Like, you are in the dark and the skull chases you and then you wear it and then suddenly you have the thing in the window. should you fail to escape it, you then end up in another horrible place with something else following you leading to another challenge, but if you escape the other horrible thing, you get a few moments to breathe before something else happens.
The "best" ending is one where you escape all the hazzards that CAN be avoided.
I mean, after a while, the whole "hello" thing will become horrifying and not funny should it become a recurring thing.
If you can't die in a horror game, what is there to fear? If there's no punishment, all that's left to do is roll with the proverbial punches. Avoiding death is the primary reason to fear just about anything in a horror game. You don't want to die/face some horrible fate, ergo you do everything in your power to avoid it. If that means fleeing over fighting, so be it. A horror game without death is just a spooky roller coaster. Cheap thrills at best.
Hey guys I have nothing to add to the discussion, and just came here, but I NEEDED to sa that this was a wonderful thread.
Civic, interesting, differing opinions and with a constant discussion without fallacies.
Hope OP finishes the game, whichever decisions he takes. Just fucking FINISH it.
And the rest of people, don't be afraid of developing lowpoly auteur/personal games. They're the actual gold that is videogame art.
You'd get whole /v/ threads with his face on it saying "Hello" and then every fucking body commenting on him.
how about him yelling that wonderful hoot just to make it so all the horrible shit looks in your direction?
Why not take a look at several approaches? Right off the bat it's obvious that eliminating death altogether, or removing it from the big picture after the player tells algorithm that current monster is too demanding - like Amnesia did and like that trivial new horror game from Jubert and co. will do - leads to walking simulators, akin to Levine's approach past SS2. You walk along while paroles, images and generally cheap symbolism rolls by. Occasionally you'll have to wait for that card.
The way Silent Hill did it, as opposed to Resident Evil gameplay, was
to create monsters as hindrance rather than true obstacle - combat is the weakest part of the game there and you play it for level design, puzzles and everything is coated in beautiful music. Atmosphere triumphs over lacklustre gameplay - which is still better than no gameplay present in aforementioned example.
Then you have occasional glimpses of brilliance from shit developers such as David Cage - opening gameplay sequence to Fahrenheit remains the pinnacle of suspension in video games, it's not strictly horror, more of a thriller, but the challenge stems from the puzzle-ish gameplay under duress, and time limitation often adds to horror. Remember those missions from Starcraft where the sole objective is to survive?
I'd say that the third approach is the best one - horror games must have puzzles, CAN have time limit and combat should be very hard, but not necessarily impossible. You shouldn't be able to tommy gun shoggoths as a general rule. Atmosphere is king no matter how core gameplay is designed, and therefore you have incredible experiences set in the body of a cowadoodie shooter (STALKER series). But please, please, have gameplay. At least know how to design puzzles. You have to have obstacles in horror games. Hard ones.
>World is slowly being corrupted by evil or whatever, you have a time limit to beat the game but it's very very lenient
>Dying shaves time off, and the world gets a bit more corrupted
>The faster you get to the end the better ending you'll get
>Die too many times and it's impossible to beat the game in time
>Run out of time and you get an instant game over.
>As the world gets more corrupted the game gets spookier, and enemies get tougher.
>Super hard mode that keeps the game on ultra super spooky mode from the very start, and has a reduced timer
This encourages the player to press onward and go as fast as they can, but forces them to be careful, because if they die they make the game harder. You have an incentive to take risks, and a higher punishment for fucking up.
Then again this might ruin the pacing of the horror game
make it so everytime you "die" you get taken away by demons or whatever and mutilated, crippled, raped, etc. every time this happens the game gets harder and harder, while the player character gets more and more grotesque. picture the pc shambling along, bloodied, perhaps with pus gushing wounds, a deformed limb, body corrupted, groaning in agony and despair at random intervals, vomiting blood, and you can see dark spirits cruelly torment you as you try to beat the game.
eventually, the player will choose to start over and play again of his own volition due to just the sheer unsettling nature of the game.
I just got a new idea:
Everytime player dies, there is additional monster in place where the mc died, like a twisted corpse. It will make the player afraid of dying and dont make them replay whole game or huge part of it. Also, he will not get bored easily, as with each try you have to adapt to new enemies.
I don't think that's a feasible idea. There has to be a fail state somewhere. You could take the Haunting Ground route and say that failure isn't necessarily death, but even then it's a fail state that, from a mechanical perspective, might as well equate to death.
Horror games absolutely need consequences to be scary
You know what happens when you die in amnesia? You revive in the same room and the monster doesn't come back. Near the end O realized this and just let monsters kill me so I could explore at my leisure
There's no threat, there's no fear.
It doesn't have to be mind numbingly difficult but if failure isn't punishing enough then don't even bother with any ideas you have and just make a walking sim
Speaking of shoggoths and lovecraft, wasn't a big theme in his works that 'becoming like them' was worse than death? How about a horror game that tries to convert you to scientology or something?
The puzzles in Silent Hill are obnoxious and annoying, no one plays the games for them. Also, are stressful time limit missions really what you (or people) want from HORROR games? What genre are you even thinking of?
Okay, so. Let's say this turns out to be a good horror game, an original one at that, giving new ideas on how to approach the horror genre and it's own unique feel.
How can long would it be until PooDuhPee and nearly every single LPer records it and have it become it's own thing, AND can we even do something about it?
That's the only thing that really bugs me about this. The horror genre can be a good one, if you do it right, but it's really fucking overused in LPer community, like SCP for example. It's ideas started around /v/ originally, but now it's become something it shouldn't have.
Give them a special edition tailored to them. "/v/'s horror game LP edition" will have no jumpscares or anything like that, and just have a spooky atmosphere. Then at the end just as the plot finishes they're dumped into a Terry Trap, just like in the shitty Doom wads.
Still there bra. Just send me a message through the blog. it's somewhere up there. You can just make spooky music that you like and send it to me if you want.
I'd say AAA games can'T get away with as much shit as indie who don't give a fuck. I was thinking of laughing at SJW in one scene where to people could have some retarded argument and the SJW would just get fucking rekt by a monster. No horror. Just a random scene to say fuck you (it'd be kind of funny too). Then ou'd go back to horror.
How bad of an idea is it to post my blog on reddit? I've always been on /v/ and I'm scared they'll hype it too much or I don't know what.
Those crappy Unity games had no filters during production. Big money dictates that devs refine their shit until it loses the initial creative spark. Compare waking up from a nightmare and in the post-dream haze writing down your fever-induced horrors, to turning that messy note into a proper short story that obeys common conventions of the genre narrative.
This is why people like the idea of a roguelike horror game. Suffer a horrible death, then start anew in a completely different, foreign environment as a different player. That, or as a different character in the same environment, but starting at a different point, so potentially >>255639439 (I really like this idea) could happen.
I don't think anybody's done good job of randomly generated levels in a horror game, yet. Even further, the problem would be whether the player feels that they've lost a ton of progress or not. There could be still frustration, but at least the repetition of familiar environments would be eliminated.
Horror done right is more than jump-scares, it is downright perturbing. Silent Hill 2, Siren, and Eternal Darkness executed the atmosphere, story, and designs in such a way that it can unnerve and disturb the viewer more than just startle them like many movies and games aim for.
PooDehPy and the LP community often overlook the true aspects of horror in favor of just spewing out how spooped they are at the scurry munster.
In regards to the topic: Death can be something that adds to the game, as other anons have said, via changing the scenario the player faces, or even the overall ending of the game. But the process of a character dying is what can really make or break it, as there is a fine line between having an adrenaline-inducing challenge and badly designed fuckfests that some developers seem to think horror games should have.
That would work if you had two timers, time elapsed and time left.
Doing stuff and progressing would raise your time left, while dying would raise your time elapsed.
Then the difficulty and world changing idea can be applied to the time elasped counter, and you can keep progressing with the spookiness without worrying about not having time for the player.
Jump scares can work in my opinion, they just need proper build up. A Machine for Pigs does a great job building tension, but it's never released aside from a few spooks. I think a great way to release tension like that is through jump scares, so long as the game isn't comprised entirely of them and are thrown at the player at every opportunity.
Clock Tower did something like this, and one of the SCP games. In Clocktower, you were in the same environment but the layout of the place would be very different, with a few key rooms and reas being constant.
Anyone? I'm planning on starting a fresh run.
Why resolve tension when you could use the oppressive atmosphere to bully the player into quitting the game? That's what I want to see, a game so unnerving that players would rather not play it.
It was some old 3D chat thing, nowadays it's almost exclusively used by /x/ tripfags and other attention whores to roleplay satanic cults and stuff because shitty graphics are apparently spooky.
The player has to go through a dark maze. To your right is a box of flares. There can be a dead skellington holding a flare and a note.
The note says: "They fear flares... To get through the maze.... Seek the white......"
The player now knows the maze houses creatures of some kind, and that THEY fear flares. You don't know a thing about them, so taking the flares right next to you just in case should be a good idea, and prevent possible death. To progress through the dark maze, the player must seek something white. The player doesn't have to be spoonfed entirely, so some things can be left cryptic for the player to figure out. A white object will stand out in a dark maze, so you will recognize it when you see it. At least you know what you're looking for.
If the note was never there, the player would still be afraid of the unknown in the maze. However, If the player encountered one of them, they would most likely die, thus spoiling the tension and causing frustration because they don't know how to deal with THEM. The player doesn't know the flares might save his life right away, but might discover that fact by accidentally using it in a dire situation or using every available option after dying several times. And there's also the maze. Without knowing about the white things, the player can keep wandering around the maze in frustration, trying out every corner before dying, or even drawing a map. But that takes away from the tension.
The note prepares the player for what's ahead, making it potentially easier while still leaving some things vague, and without the note the player must figure out everything by himself while potentially dying often, taking away the horror and tension, but feels like it doesn't hold your hands at all.
Of course, the maze is just an example. How you are going to lead the player through a challenge is entirely up to you.
> I think it's not because it offers relief, and worse,
m8 please if a game has a big enough consequence for dying then it can become tense as fuck. Not a horror game but Steel Battalion will actually delete your save file if you either eject too many times or die once making every missions really tense especially when you fuck up during part of it.
What if somebody makes an adventure rpg with plenty of npcs, but under the disguise. As the game progresses, npcs will just plain disappear/randomly die/force you to kill them and shit like that. Also make it an autosave only game so that nobody breaks the game by savescumming. Eventually, the player will notice by the time there are so few left, so then the player will have the remaining npcs stay as followers so they don't go crazy or disappear and shit, and as they carry on adventuring, game slowly gets more and more decrepit with decaying structures and diseased nature, with hints being made towards the player that the remaining npcs are plotting to kill him, eventually driving the player so paranoid that they kill the last npcs so they are alone forever, and the optional ending of the game is that the player character must commit suicide.
>no one plays silent hill for puzzles
>three difficulty settings for puzzles
>completely change how some parts of the game play out
well, corruption is a theme that has been dealt hamfistedly for sure.
What I'm saying is that you can use jump scares effectively. A game constantly building tension can be really boring, in the case of Machine for Pigs, but it can be really good. It's not necessary for all games obviously, but they can be very effective. I think Machine for Pigs could have used more scares like that to keep you on edge. Just not an extreme amount of them.
Oh cool, I remember you.
Going to ask again here because you'd left the thread by the time I asked yesterday, did you compose the main menu BGM in the webm of your agme you posted yesterday?
Also, I feel that death in a horror game can be really worthwhile if done right, like in the early RE games when you dies you got a gory death scene of your character getting eaten alive by zombies or torn to shreads by monsters which was effective. Same for the Silent hill games, and some of those were just completely out of the blue and there to punish the player for not taking their time and checking out the area like
the sewer death in SH3.
The death scenes don't even have to be particularly gory, like in TLoU, you'd get a visceral shot of MC getting bitten or about to be ripped apart by the boomer and it'd just cut away before anything gory actually happens which was quite effective at making you feel pretty creeped out.
A horror game without death would (at least in my opinion) just not work because as soon as I realize I can't die the creepy atmosphere evaporates and I'd probably lose interest.
but then again i've never played a horror game where a no deaths feature was properly utalized
Yeah I read through that and other conversations too but didn'T find what I was looking for. They just kept going "X game did that --yeah that game --i liked that game it did that" but I don't think many games capture what I'm looking for.
On another topic, I wanted to use the religion element. Maybe I could make some Npcs talk about "Him/He". Just something to put a bit of lore you know.
I also have an idea that I do not know how to execute. Tell me what you think about this:
You enter a level, your screen is split in two/a small square is in the corner. You quickly understand that it's something watching you and not just some camera on a wall.
You see what it sees, but even when you look straight in the camera, you only see dark (let's say you're in a canyon or some dried deep river place). At one point, you'd have to open a room after a bit of build up and the screen in the corner would clearly indicate that the thing filming you is behind the door you have to open.
Would that be unnerving enough? Should I make it so that as he opens the door, it's not actually the same door? He opens it and the door in the screen doesn't open.
I imagine for particular monsters there wouldn't even be a gory death scene, and implies something stranger and worse.
Think pic related-tier.
I like this concept a lot, but the fear of death is meant to be an incentive to survive. You don't want to die, and you want to make it out alive.
I like the idea of a horror game remembering everything you do. There are no savestates of any kind, only auto saves. When you die, the game goes into a deeper level. The game gets creepier, reminds you how you fucked up, and the more you die, the more fucked up the game gets, until you cannot progress any further.
Okay here is a game idea: You are a woman who travels to purgatory to save the soul of her daughter. The initial game is creepy, but there is a sense of hope as you progress the game. However, when you die, the game takes a dark turn. From there, your character is no longer in a human body, but a soul that is not suck in purgatory as well. Now you have to not only save your daughter, but also save yourself. But if you continue dying, you start descending into hell, your hope diminishing the more times you fail, until you are stuck at the bottom, with nowhere to go. From there, you have to restart the game from the beginning.
Yeah I posted about it on the blog. I downloaded FL studio saturday and tried making something and this is the only full song I could make. I find it somewhat easy/alright to make nice PARTS of a song (like one instrument/beat) but have a bit of trouble putting them together right now. I'll get better with time I suppose.
I think a good solution would be that if you "die" it takes you to another world you have to escape from that is scarier than the living world and difficult to get through.
It provides a sense of fear of dying without making death a restart point while still punishing you for failing.
make glitching/noclipping through walls and falling through the map a game mechanic
there is nothing spookier than falling into an ocean of nothingness or walking through creepy half-finished houses
Your idea is good and unnerving. Try this: the "cameraman" is slowly tracking you while you walk through the linear level. Like, you completed past the first half and then, suddenly, this window appears, showing the camera in the beginning of the level that follows your path. (my english sucks, i know. i hope you get the idea)
It reminds me of Kane & Lynch: Dead Men, when your head suddenly appears in the corner of the monitor inside a sniper's scope.
These 2 posts represent exactly what I'm aiming for. I love reading about how fear works but these two elements seem to be the key.
"Afraid of being afraid". Death is not implied. You only have to make scary events occur in a fashion that will corner and expose the person's fear.
There is something I'm not getting, maybe there's nothing to get even. But I'll keep looking a little more.
As another anon said, great thread right here. Never seen so little shiptposting.
like the dahaka parts on warrior whittin. if it gets you, restart level/last savepoint then just add another for every death and force the player to backtrack in order to hide from them
One thing I thought of, is have a hub à la Demon's Souls, with a handful of levels to select from. With each level, you get limited respawns (maybe none, even), and beating the level weakens the final boss.
If you beat no level at all, the boss would be fucking impossible. If you beat every level, he would be severely weakened.
Set this up properly, and you've got a pretty unique and neat way of handling death.
The setting I thought of was nightmares and such. When I slept as a kid I would have a recurring dream, in which I went to a cinema and was able to choose which dream I wanted to dream. That could work. You could even have rental VHS tapes as expansion packs.
Every nightmare would have its own themes and such, and if you "die" in the dream, you wake up. Every night you only have three sleeping pills.
>A horror game without death would (...) just not work because as soon as I realize I can't die the creepy atmosphere evaporates and I'd probably lose interest.
I simply don't get this. A horror game does not exist to kill you, and virtual death is not scary because it has no consequences. If anything, being set back after making progress is what makes one more likely to quit out of boredom or frustration. People don't fear death in platformers, action games, etc. even when it forces you to start the game from the beginning. It's more of a "goddamn this fucking game" reaction.
You may argue that good horror games should make the player feel a strong connection to his virtual ingame avatar and become strongly immersed to the point where he can't differentiate between the two and be fooled into fearing for his life, but that effect is INCREDIBLY HARD to sustain and not reliable at all. What usually breaks this illusion is death. The realisation that you only died in the game, that none of it carries into the real world, I already talked about this.
You need to make them desire death so the horror is over.
And then you hit them with more horror while they are dying
Don't know if this has been said before, but hear me out:
If you're at a not-hard scary part of the game, you will want to add story elements right before you get to the hard parts. That way, if the player dies and has to restart from the checkpoint, they will have the motivation to keep on going from the newly-acquired knowledge about the story.
You know what more horror games need to do?
Have shit run at you from a distance. Don't have the monster appear from around a corner. Let the player see them in the distance, and let them sprint towards you.
>Enemy is running at you
>While screaming/yelling unintelligible gibberish/pleading you for help
Yeah, this anon is right.
This reminds me of the first slender game. You can usually press Esc to instantly close the game; the player will usually do that when the danger is close, but it doesn't work when you're about to be rekt by slender.
No man, that might as well be a jump scare. The sudden moment of realization when you see him charging at you isn't scary for more than a moment.
What you need is a slow, shambling monster. Easy to avoid, easy to keep away, but it will relentlessly follow you until you're cornered.
The constant sense of fear and urgency when you're trying to solve a puzzle or get through a maze, knowing that certain death is closing in on you slowly, is much scarier than spooky mc spook charging at you.
Relief will be made through humor and really, really comfy scenes. Beaches, snowy little shack with nothing to spook you (something watching you maybe but nothing else).
Moments that will make you think, "aw fuck i gotta go back again"
what about permanently losing resources/equip/powers or even better something you were supposed to care about?
for example you can permanently lose the child you were supposed to save from the building.
or even lose a cool combat ability or be permanently excluded from taking a perk.
be honest, all the times you had to renounce to a power up because you failed something you went buttmad.
and all the times you were about to win/lose a permanent stat upgrade to your character you were a little extra tense, putting more effort into it. even if it was something as stupid as stopping the roll for HP LVLUP upgrade at the right time in a paper-mario like RPG.
killing your character isn't half bad, but respawning at a checkpoint makes you feel safe. it's a different story with permadeath/limited lives.
Yes, Zombi U had the effect where if you died, you would become a zombie and you would wake up as someone else.
if you returned to where you were killed, there would be the zombie that killed you plus your previous player as a zombie.
However, if you had over 2000 points when you died, you leave behind this red flaming zombie that is twice as tough and faster
Well keep at it because that menu music was pretty good
also in regards to >>255645256
I think the religion element would be a good idea if you did it right and only allude to the cult and it's beliefs; keep it vague though because if you give too much information away it can lessen the effect/creepy factor. For example SH3 had a cult and the game basically laid out exactly what they were after in the first few hours and more explanations about their beliefs are given through files later on and I really think it took away from what could have been a really creepy cult.
As long as the cult is only alluded to/kept mostly out of the players way it can work really well
Also the split camera idea is really good and has potential.
was it inspired by the siren PS3 game?
>Large, circular chamber
>Strange statue of a head is at its center, looking directly at the hallway you enter from
>Chamber is completely silent other than your own echoing footsteps
>Have to walk around it
>If the player turns away as they exit through the hallway opposite, there will be a soft noise from behind
>Its now looking towards the player's hallway >Its expression has changed slightly >It doesn't do anything else, but appears later in the game >If player stares at it the whole way instead, the statue does nothing
Another idea you can work with this is that you could make the player consider those areas "Safe houses" where they know nothing will happen and they'll be safe until they leave, and then later into the game you make them think they're safe and they suddenly get assaulted by the spooks, forcing them to abandon their safezone.
This shit can turn even non horror games into to scary shit for a moment, like in l4d when you get to what you think is a safe zone, close the door, and then all of a sudden a tank bursts through.
That reminds me a bit of Siren, which had a 2nd person mechanic. I think it works better in this situation though, especially if, when you open the door, there is only the camera there, taped to the wall. It'd be a great and tense fakeout.
As for death, there are three ways I can think of to make death scary in the game.
1: The game does not end with your death. It just gets more terrifying.
2. The death scenes are gruesome and something you want to avoid.
3. Go the rougelike route: Game has a set story, but everything is randomized otherwise, and there is permadeath.
>later into the game you make them think they're safe and they suddenly get assaulted by the spooks, forcing them to abandon their safezone.
What about rooms where tense music plays, but nothing will happen, no matter how often you visit them
Yeah I'll just upload them in one video I think. I really don't like the blog's uploading format
I want to make a pressure level (with huge monsters of course). Nothing made yet but I have a few ideas.
Fuck yes I might have popped a boner
You say in there that you're thinking of giving it better graphics, but I think that might be a bad idea. Games like Alone in the Dark (not the shitty remake), Silent Hill, or Resi, all have poor graphics almost on purpose, adding a surreal air to the game itself. The only way you could pull off using better graphics (in my mind) is to make everything in the 'real world' be high res, with the weirder and weirder things yielding less and less polygons
If death's not there I can't get tricked into fearing it. Great horror games make me actually care about dying in the game somehow. Even though I know I'm totally safe and can just replay from where I left off, the best of them hook me into to have me invest in the whole charade.
Fuck, I was playing Resident Evil 3 a couple week ago on my vita. That blocky thing on a handheld made me anxious, surprised and worried whenever Nemesis would show up and I wasn't properly equipped, or I was heading to an item box and encountered the big bastard. I jumped, or went "fuckfuck" or just let out a short gasp because of how affected I was. The music kicked in just right, he would bust down doors or just roar the right way.
A different example would be the Last of Us which I finally played for the first time in the Remastered version. The pitch black missions with clickers would be intense as hell if I fucked up and needed to bring my gun up and desperately fire off rounds till I hit something. The enemies screech and rush at you so forcefully and the whole thing just feels dire as hell.
There was even a section in broad daylight where no enemies had shown up, so I was exploring the area freely. I turned a corner and approached a shed and had to freeze in my tracks because a clicker was in there. Just standing around and twitching alone, still shocked the hell out of me and forced me to go completely still.
Death can cause fear and investment, it just takes a lot of work to affect people. Obviously there's the issue too of some people are more supsecptible than others when it comes to horror. And of course the people that completely write off horror and say "wow that's dumb, grow up, it's just a Game/Movie/Book".
Death is just a mechanic that can be used to scare people by immersing them, and many games have used it successfully. It's sort of irrational since it is just a game, but still it works.
I don't know though, I'm kind of stupid
Dead Island comes to mind a little.
Not as much though when you say nothing spooky though.
I'd like a more off-putting vibe, like the scary parts aren't always in scary rooms or scenes.
The Suffering: Ties that bind has a similar scare tactic in the beginning of the game and it's still one of the most terrifying things I ever saw.
You can mess with a security station as the place is going to shit. As you do so, you get a full screen display of whatever is on the monitor.
>Screen 1: Guards righting a riot
>Screen 2: Shit's on fire yo
>Screen 3: Hey, this camera is looking around a corner...
>no wait... it's moving
>oh shit it's crawling across the floor
>wait, I know that hallway
>HOLEY SHIT IT'S LOOKING AT ME!
>*it fucking jumps at me, but goes over my shoulder and causes the screen to turn to static*
>if you turn around before it jumps at you
there isn't anything there
I've never nearly crapped my pants so hard.
Nothing is quite as terrifying as seeing a camera that I'm not in control of suddenly looking at me and then following me.
I once heard of someone discussing the idea of a survival horror game involving guns done right on /v/: Instead of the gun empowering the player, the gun becomes a tool that is not as reliable as you would hope.
I might be abridging some ideas, but here is a summary: You are a little girl who is stick in a small town that seeks to end your family's bloodline as a sacrifice to a cosmic entity. You are the last member of your family alive in town, and your only objective is to escape alive. To protect yourself, you take the revolver from your father's study, and attempt to sneak out undetected. It used completely realistic gun mechanics akin to the game Receiver, in that you had to perform every detail of reloading the gun, including pulling out the cylinder, removing or adding safety, and placing bullets into the gun by hand. And you had to do it correctly and without rushing, or else you would fumble and drop bullets, which could alert enemies to your location.
The idea of your fear becoming an obstacle in protecting yourself is a very new and interesting concept. Rather than just pressing a button, the player, now has to do a set amount of tasks on the fly and do them RIGHT in order to use their gun. And even if they use their gun, the recoil, rare ammo, and loud noise it makes would make every shot count.
I hope someone takes advantage of this concept.
I think the idea of the player being compelled to leave the safe zone is pretty key. You could stay in the comfy cabin for the rest of eternity, but you have to know. In fact, the safe zone's whole point is to not comfort the player at all but to make him unsatisfied with not having solved the mystery.
This, absolutley. I didn't find Knock-Knock very scary, but the sound design is extremely good.
Another relevant thing about Knock Knock (and perhaps IPL games in general) is that much of the difficulty is not exactly from the mechanics themselves, but learning them.
It initially appears that anyone could probably proceed through much of the game without too much trouble. It seemed like this was the case for me the first time I played. However, it turned out not to be so.
While it seemed like I was progressing through the game normally, at a certain point I could not proceed; I got stuck in a loop of dying and knew that I was going to have to restart the game.
Going in with a different perspective, I paid attention to different things, and realized on my own that the way I had been first led to play the game was wrong. I tried playing the game differently, not playing as myself but instead putting into practice vague ideas I had about the main character's psychological state and his situation. This new different way of playing led me to the proper end of the game. Sorry if it's difficult to understand what I mean here...
While I do agree OP that often dying in a horror game can give relief, mess up the flow and disturb immersion, my point is that I think there are alternative ways to actually challenge the player and make a situation tense/scary without it being frustrating or uninteresting when they fail. Knock-Knock, I think, is an example of such.
No I just thought about it.
I didn't even play that many horror games honestly. Amnesia, resident evil 4 (was a bit young, the island spooked me too much because of the fucking guys with gattling guns, they just looked invincible and I noped). I played silent hill the room and hated it for many "video gamey things" they did like fucking escorts and shit. It had good design though (those twin babies standing on arms).
My father who passed away really LIVED for horror. He had pretty much every book/movie from king, poe, hitchcock and loads of others i just don't know about. His demons got the best of him in last November. I'm going to dedicate the game to him in the credits.
Hope you enjoy it dad.
I disagree. A monster that moves quickly, and navigates the environment to get to you, can be scary:
Sorry that I don't have a better example video.
this idea actually was what made me want to make the game. I wanted to make something like Mimics: the game and fuck with the player. Then it turned into what it is now
To some it's very creepy.
When I was younger I was playing some dumb racing-platforming Rayman spinoff, and ome of the stages had a black background. Think that level with Boos from Mario Kart 64. (I think?)
The stage had fences so you couldn't fall into the black abyss, with invisible walls over them so you really couldn't fall wven if you tried.
I noticed that one platform was high up, so I decided to use it to try to jump over the invisible walls over the fence.
It worked, and I fell down into the black vood while the camera was following me... Forever...
It was creeoy as fuck! I broke the game and now I had to reset my PS1 if I wanted to play, and it was totally uncharted territory ya know, since the game never intended you to fall forever out of the map. I was worried that my PS1 would break.
Similarly, I did this glitch in SA2 in thr chao garden that lets you fly out of bounds. I kep going, and I went past the skybox, and I could see the map getting further and further away while I was just hovering in some blue void. I was always way too scared to mess around there because 1: it's a glitch, not supposed to happen. Not even the developers wanted this to happen, so I have no guarantee that nothing bad will happen. 2: if I stay there for too long or go too far, maybe I'll crash the game or corrupt my save? I don't know how the rules of the glitch realm works or whatever. For OP, I think this is a cool example. Set the rules of your video game world, then break them. Imagine the opening of Fez where you're in a 2D world with 2D conventions and NPCs who lorewise are used to the 2D world, and you discover something that lets you do 3D shit and it's shocking both for the player and the ingame characters because it's breaking the rules of the world. In Fez's case it happens early in the game and isn't a spoiler, but imagine a twist like that late in the game?
I guess a better example would be REmake. That thing was littered with scenarios that would scare the shit out of you due to the fear of dying to something.
You'd be incapable of going down a stairway because of how foreboding that shit was.
Plus the goddamn crimson heads showing up and you realizing how many bodies you forgot to burn. Then the chimeras. Fuck that game and it's brilliance.
You seem to be talking about death as in a failure state, so do you mean no failure state in the game at all would be better?
I think that the removal of a failure state from the game completely (which it seems like what you're) would ruin the horror atmosphere. I'd would take away far more that it's absense would add
You're saying that deaths in a horror game don't work because they frustrate more than they scare because it's a game over and game overs annoy people but without a game over there there would be nothing to counter balance the fun/the play and make the experience completely lopsided which would inevitably ruin the game as there isn't anything that is going to stop your progression of the game and it'll become little more than a walking simulator
>players figure it out within an hour of playing
>spend the rest of the game strolling along laughing at anything because they know nothing can do anything?
no death and the potential loss of progress is part of the tension that keeps players on edge the relief is only momentary.
you don't know shit about horror.
Alright I'll do that. I always think "goddamn this shit looks so bad" while making it but then I look at the whole scene and it kind of sticks.
Not even some skeltons placed in funny positions?
Sort of! It has tanky controls and a pretty good timing-based system, but it gets really fucked up when you notice the backstories of the various ghosts, which I think is a nice touch. Japanese horror definitely has that creep factor that Western horror seldom captures. Anyone watch Noroi: The Curse or Ichi the Killer?
>enter a house
>hear some sounds from a distant room
>open the door
>see some really spooky monster that notices you
>he gets you
>you enter the house and go to this room again
>he is not there
>there is a piece of paper on the floor
>"I am behind you"
I sure as hell don't want to die whenever I play horror games, even if there's nothing I can do to save myself I struggle to the end, and if I manage to save myself somehow it feels overwhelmingly satisfiyng. Although a death penalty by making things more spooky would be a great addition to horror games.
>Not even some skeltons placed in funny positions?
No, it kills the mood. You could have some comic relief characters (Barry from Alan Wake) but the humor has to come in the side character trying to make light of the situation. It's tricky to pull off, Remedy barely did it.
Also, there's reason number 3 that the out of bounds glitch scared me, and that was the Chaos. After fucking around outside the world and returning they'd all be swimming around under the ground. That's not good, it's weird, and I don't want it to happen because I'm so autistic I don't want my chaos to be hurt.
If I played your game and I got an emotional attachment to characters like that (I think a father/son attachment might be easy to make), then there are so many things you could do to fuck me up.
If 12 year old me (and present me too, lol) was playing Sonic Adventure 2, and I knew that my favourite Chao could get hurt if I fucked up, then I'd have a hard time playing.
Or what if one session I returned and my Chao was gone? Or I saw it being carried by some invisible creature that vanishes when I came close enough? Especially if I thought the Chao garden thing was safe, I'd get fucked up for sure.
Maybe that's just me being a faggot, though.
I think it would be more effective if the game, instead of punishing the player directly, changed something within the game every time the player failed. Altering the music, removing lights, locking doors, there are lots of things that could be done that I can't even think of. Think of the effect, the player would feel guilty for making things worse.
You know Terminator 1?
There are multiple scenes where Ahnald is just walking towards his target while she's running but he still ends up catching her.
That shit's creepy as hell, knowing that whatever you do, you're enemy will always catch you, no matter how far you run.
Sound design is paramount. The visuals already look uncanny valley tier, but the more time you put into the sounds the better.
Not that silence isn't often even more effective in horror. Do your best, NEET.
The most effective virtual reality horror game is placing yourself in a pitch black, quiet room. Your brain knows what you're afraid of, and with no external information to process it starts spewing that shit out.
First time my body's actually fully jumped in reflex in a while, 10/10 that shit gets under my skin
I went diving a few times, and being at the point where everything's basically pitch black or at least dark and the only way to tell up from down is looking at your bubbles or seeing that what's above is slightly brighter is unreal.
Drowning is also scary, which is why I thought up this idea:
>you can swim underwater
>for about 5 seconds (or some other arbitrary number)
>game has a lot if underwater parts so good players have a feel of exactly how long they can be underwater
>you're thrown underwater
>it takes exactly 7 seconds to get up
I like the idea of horror games exploring the human mind.
Like having multiple personality disorder, or a tulpa if you were a dumbass.
The alternate you would hunt you down every now and then, by slowly walking up to you and smashing your head with a baseball bat.
His face slightly lights up in the darkness so it stands out, and it gets a more twisted expression as it approaches you. Like a face of pure malice, madness and anger.
He can be heard taunting you from far away, so you know when to hide.
IMO there's nothing scarier than being backed in a corner while death inevitably creeps up on you.
Since he has to kill you to become the dominant personality.
He appears randomly, so you don't get a "goddamnit I failed, now I have to wait for this faggot to kill me" situation.
Towards the end he'll be running and screaming, politely asking where the fuck you are and wanting your blood, kind of catching the player off-guard and making him panic, wondering what the fuck that is.
A recurring theme would be a painting of 3 men. One who is supposed to be the player, a faceless man, and the alternate you.
>seeing it come at you through the scope like that
I was reading the goatman story last night on here and really analyzed what made me afraid. There were no threat, nothing at all to make me scared. Just very subtle shit that hinted at something being wrong and already I was making images of everything in my head and feeling bad about it.
I don't remember who said that radio was the greatest medium for horror because you don't have to show anything. You don't have the fatal (for the tension/horror) "Here's the monster look boo!". They say it's shown, but you make all the work.
>>RPGs are a different matter. On one hand, it does make sense the party wouldn't faint and be recovered to a nearby inn while fighting a boss, but that would be sensible when they're just out in the field level grinding. Hell, it would make things a bit more interesting because you then know that major fights are for keeps, whereas random encounters just mean a minor loss of your gold.
Anon, did you just describe CoC?
I always feel enemies that hold still are the worst, since you can't be sure if they're just waiting to strike or not.
Even worse are humanoid enemies that walk in inhuman ways. Not just sped up animations, I mean like a charred corpse that somehow walks on its right arm and right leg, with its left appendages pointing skyward, shrivelled up and twitching.
Something like that.
>I always feel enemies that hold still are the worst, since you can't be sure if they're just waiting to strike or not.
I disagree with you. Sooner or later player will realise that the monster won't do shit.
>Even worse are humanoid enemies that walk in inhuman ways.
That shit is scary.
Enemy attacks or effects that slow you down or hinder mobility are really frustrating (look at how TF2 players feel about the sandman and natascha, f.ex.), but it's also one of the reasons enemies like Redeads are so scary.
Any thoughts on that?
drowning is scary only because you're not breathing. in a game it wouldnt translate as well except for "oh shit i dont want to game over"
the greatest horror is one you dont show. the build up is always more terrifying and by playing on the users expectations of a scary and not giving it to them you can unnerve the player.
I've always like the idea of a game where you are stalked and played with. for example you come to a fork in the road, down one you here a girl scream for help. you goi check it out to find a hideous monster grinning at you, periodically imitating the scream. down the other the screams follow you, and are now a symbol of a monster instead of someone to be helped.
I personally like enemies that fuck with your brain and nervous system. E.g. they hit you and cause visual and auditory hallucinations, or muscle spasms, or they even make you say/do things against your will.
>So what do you do if you remove death? Do you simulate it? Should the horror game be a huge play where you think you died but you actually were meant to die? Then where is the challenge? Should there be challenge in a horror game? The player will also get bored if he knows that dying means progress. Then it's all in the execution. But is that enough?
this sounded so fucking tryhard it made my put my hand on my forehead
sorry to hear about you dad anon.
It seems like you should have a shit ton of horror stuff from his collection to educate yourself with from his collection but games are a bit of a different medium.
You should play as much horror games as you can, here's a list of games to start with. any other anons can feel free to add
>RE1 - 4, REmake is a must aswell as 0, Revalations and code veronica are a bit weaker but could still provide some inspiration. Also for how the classic RE style can work in a multiplayer environment be sure to check out RE outbreak file 1 + 2, it's the best multiplayer the series has ever had
>Silent Hill 1 - 4, much more of a psychological approach to horror being inspired by jacobs ladder.
>Project Zero (Fatal Frame if you're in the US), ghost girls and cameras
>Hellnight, a PS1 First Person horror game
>Sweet Home on the NES, i'm not sure if there is a fan translation but it's worthwhile regardless
>ClockTower 1 - 3
>Rule of Rose, you will probably need to emulate this since it's quite rare
>Parasite Eve 1 + 2, it's a Survival Horror RPG. never had a release in the UK but it had a murrikan release
>Dino Crisis 1 + 2, Resident evil but with dinosours instead of zombies
You should probably also keep an eye on The Evil Within since it's being made by the guy that coined the term Survival Horror and made the RE games
All the answers to your dumb questions are easily answered with this. Want to make a good horror game?
Just follow what the good games in those series did and apply. No need to over think this. For action horror see Dead Space, RE 4, Doom 64 and 3 on how to do action horror.
I'm pretty sure I've seen this concept discussed here before, but the potential for every interactive object in a game being a mimic would be a great basis for a horror game. As long as you have time to escape, otherwise it would just be constant death.
I suppose that would alliviate the problem some but it'd still be a problem.
It might work if after messing up so much the player just get's stuck with their back against the wall so to speak and the game becomes impossible to complete and the player has to either re-load a save or re-start the game altogether
>Yes. What could be more horrifying than death?
But death of the player character does not translate well. I don't fear or feel the consequences of my character's deaths.
There are a multitude of ways to attack the player psychologically that will illicit a better fear response than killing them.
Take a game like Amnesia. You might be scared of dying the first time around, because you haven't felt the consequences of a monster catching you yet. Once you've died, the fear is dispelled.
The best fear is created with anticipation. For example, a common vidya horror trope is that bathroom stalls often have scary shit in them. Just seeing an unlit bathroom can put people on edge. If you carefully craft a scare around that, you can even catch people who are expecting it.
Bioshock 2 had a good one based on this trope later in the game. You enter the bathroom searching for loot, and as you enter a stall to pick up an item you can hear footsteps behind you. Until you turn around, nothing happens. When you do, a splicer is standing right behind you. That's anticipation; Even though you know something is behind you, it's still surprising because the threat waits for you to come to it. The longer you decide not to turn around, the more the tension builds.
Oh yeah. It's too bad that you can't actually literally make the player go insane, the closest yiu get is insanity meters and even they tend to end up feeling like more like you're in an RPG with status effects than if you're going insane. I'd love to play a game where you actually make the player have 'oh god what have i done' moments that don't suck.
i like your list
penumbra is also a really good horror series
This man speaks the truth.
Sound design is all important in horror games, if not one of the most important factors.
Take slender for example. The slenderman model is scary or anything, and the whole game isn't very frightening, but the increasingly oppressive sounds and music that accumulates as you find more pages really puts you on edge and keeps you tense and afraid.
I don't know where to put this idea but I'll just do it at the OP
Here's a little thing I thought of a few weeks ago that could be used in a horror game: When I was still living with my parents, I also had one of those shitty basic phones without any flashlight on them. So, I had to use the screen's light to navigate my house to get to bed late at night. The light turned off at a certain amount until I pressed a button again.
This half second glimpse of darkness could be used to change something on the screen, so at one point you're walking on a white tiled floor, then the light turns off, you turn it back on, and the floor is covered in blood stains (generic, I know, but you get the picture). Something like this could lead to a progressively scarier and scarier game, adding details when you're not looking or when you can't look.
Games should either have death send you all the way back to the beginning, or no death at all (with bad play resulting in increased difficulty in progression rather than temporal setbacks). The latter is the superior option and the future, btw.
Oh wow your list shat all over mine.
I've never actually played penumbra, my PC was shite when it came out and I'd completely forgotten about it by the time I upgraded like 4 years later
it's my personal adress did I fuck up? Do people make special adresses when they make shit like this or can I just sort emails that are for the blog?
>Games like Alone in the Dark (not the shitty remake), Silent Hill, or Resi, all have poor graphics almost on purpose
no they didn't do it on purpose, only alone in the dark had its own style silent hill and resident evil always tried to be as realistic as possible and were only limited by the tech at the time
One of the endings in Eastern Mind: The Lost Souls of Tong-Nou has your character becoming immortal and trapped in an endless cycle of rebirth.
The ending itself was just images from the various incarnations' lives flashing on the screen rapidly. It's a lot creepier than it sounds.
Not entirely. Stop what you're doing right now and imagine up the creepiest most unnerving creature you can.
Now, is it low poly? Probably not, It's probably incredibly detailed with loads of intricacies that add to the whole value.
Low poly definitely gets points for uncanny valley and just general uneasiness it gives off.
Do you know how Islamic mosques start chanting around certain times?
I was walking through a small city one day around midnight (don't ask why), and suddenly 4 mosques started chanting. It was all quiet, dark and there were nearly no people. The combined chanting gave everything a demonic vibe, and I just wanted to go home.
Ghost towns are pretty spoopy. Try mixing some Islam prayers for an OST.
One thing that suck about a lot of games is that the world is really interactive, but just for you. Oh look, a puzzle where you use a panel to lower and raise the water level to get through, yaaawn. There's a bunch of enemies, but they don't care about the water and are just obstacles.
But what if they can fuck with the panel too? What if a brute monster punches it when you're halfway through or a cultist you left alive uses it to ruin things for you?
Shitty example, but it'd be great fir immersion and not making it feel like puzzle>enemies>jumpscare>safehouse>repeat: the game.
Unless it's obviously scripted, (cutscene where normally dumb enemy sees you, punches panel with unique animation, laughs. hurr) in which case nevermind.
Horror isn't exactly for everyone, and there's a greater audience for generic shooters and shit.
There's only a small pool of horror games that have made it big so to speak, more recently via the internet and shitty youtube LP's we got Amnesia, SCP, and Slender, for example.
Because of the popularity of those games, the market is now flooded with terrible walking simulators or page collectors with terrible popscares made in unity, hoping to make a quick buck off the indie horror bandwagon. It's not a great situation.
Shit, that reminds me of a dream I had one night. I imagined that I stumbled across a door in an old ruin, and at the end of the path through the door, around a hundred meters away, there was some fucking weird monster. When I peeked through the door, the monster instantly recognized my presence and stumbled towards me at an unnatural speed on all fours, and I would try to close the heavy stone door, and I knew that I wouldn't have enough time to close it before the monster would catch up to me.
Thank fucking god I woke up before it came close enough for me to see what it was clearly. According to my sister, I was quietly screaming between my lips so she woke me up immediately.
I think it's more that not everyone is interested in playing games for the sake of being scared, even if they're tough. They'd rather play a good video game than a game that sacrifices parts of it to make it scarier.
This is pretty good,like in eraserhead,it's post apocalyptic but also pretty local.
if the ghost look horrible and sounds even worse they are excellent for horror games,for example in silent hill 4,they are pretty annoying but they got a really heavy presence.
Stand still it's great for survival horror,it's not just some cheap jump scare but something that start crawling in your mind.
>Can fight creatures / Can run
Even if you can fight back that doesn't mean you're gonna win,a later you're gonna have to run.That freedom makes the experience more immersed but without killing it going all rambo mode.
make it so there are no saves and no continues. when you die, you get sent back to the main menu. to make this less redundant, make this a short game (average 1-2 hours per playthrough) so you can finish it in one sitting, and to make it even less redundant, give the game a map with branching paths that all lead to the same ending and all have unique scares.
you want the player to actually fear getting killed because they have to restart the game, but then to make sure the game isn't frustrating, the player can take a different path and experience new scares and just a new game.
say you make 10 different paths, maybe they intertwine or bring you to the same place at some points, but that basically makes for a 1-2 hour game that actually has 10-20 hours of content. so if someone really sucks at it, they're still probably gonna finish it before they see all of the paths, and if someone is really good at the game and doesn't get killed, for that person the game has lots of replay value because scares are unique to the path the player chooses.
Hey, I'm doing a game that removes death! YES IT'S PIXEL SHIT but I can't afford any better.
Check it out: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=254647598
FUN FUN FUN FUN FUN FUN FUN FUN FUUUN
This kinda reminds me of crypt worlds. It's not actually a horror game per se, but the whole atmosphere in this game is so strange that it could easily be called one. And there are some game fuckery like world corrupting and noclip mechanics.
You should try playing it, you would find it interesting.
Again, the world is filled with good ideas. But do you know how to make that happen? would be able to program 3 variations of a single level in one game? do you know how long that shit would take?
Fucking great concept. Wasn't as creepy as I'd thought it'd be, but then again Is as expecting it. Would be cool if they pulled a Giygas inspiration or something and made it get gradually more horrific and staticy until it eventually just crescendos into static and screaming and fizzles to black.
Probably sounds edgier in writing than in my head, but you should get what I'm trying to convey here.
>Idea: game about manipulating teleport devices
>Execution: Portal. Brilliant puzzles, made to be not too be cryptic but not too obvious at first,good way to string the story along with humor and mystery, etc etc etc
>asking what execution means
I think you're too underage for /v/
Well yeah, me neither. I'm the programmer, writer, project manager, community manager, business manager, scripted, level designer, game designer, and so on. But I got a neat artist that gets along with me, works for free and is a decent pixel animator.
I'd like to see a demo
so you just give me an idea there and if you've got the skills you can execute them
you can't execute something if you've no idea what you're wanting to do
>if you've got the skills you can execute them
That's basically how it works, yes.
>you can't execute something if you've no idea what you're wanting to do
It's very easy to get ideas. Just play games. 99,99% of games borrow ideas from other games, some are blatant rip offs. But if they can make up for it with great execution, it's OK
Horror games without death in them are basically just interactive movies. Look at Silent Hill Shattered Memories; you could "die" in it, but then you'd pop back out literally on the spot you died and continue as if nothing happened at all.
So what are the stakes? What am I afraid of? In Resident Evil Remake (the other extreme on the scale), if you die, you have to reload a manually saved file to continue. Enemies would brutally murder you, took actual effort and thinking to deal with and if you forgot to save, you were fucked. THAT'S how you do it.
Games like RE build actual tension because you know that you have to be cautious, just like a person in that situation would. Take that away, and it's just some tryhard, edgy, teeny bopper, Marilyn Manson level shit that's just for show and you may as well just watch Cabin in the Woods for the 50th time instead of wasting your time on a game at all.
And "muh atmosphere" isn't a fix either. Being atmospheric and creepy adds to the experience, but without death, there's still no stakes and nothing to be afraid of or tense about.
A game could take all kinds of skill and critical thinking to beat, but without stakes (IE: death), you'd end up trapped in a loop no matter what.
Let's say there's a game where a particular boss keeps kicking your ass:
>game with death in it:
try, die, reload save, try again with different approach, win after a few tries (if that)
>game with instant retries
>try, try again, try again, try again. All with the same equipment and weapons every time until it eventually works just purely due to the law of averages or you master the pattern
>game with no death in it
Get stuck on the boss and keep fighting endlessly until you eventually win out of pure luck.
You could argue that no fighting is an alternative, but games like that are literally just creepy point and click adventure games. May as well play some hidden object games there you fucking casual scumbag.
Anon can you post the links to the youtube videos?
Or are they private or something. I wanna subscribe to your channel so I can keep being updated.
Also, I remember when we /v/ came up with a good idea in horror thread.
>How about an enemy that keeps moving if you pause the game?
>Or if he UNPAUSES the game?
>What if even Alt+Tabbing doesn't stop him?
Also, I think that things that give the player peace are savestates.
>What about an enemy that fucks up with them too?
>What if he infects your saves and when you load them, they are not as you remembered them to be?
Honestly? Not that long. I use blender so I didn't write a single line of code for all the webms you've seen. It has it's limit of course but if you're clever you can make quite a lot of things pretty fast. To make more versions of one level, I can literally copy paste the level, change some events and just add different things and move props around. It will require additional time, but really it's not that big a deal.
That's great. Good luck with your game. I want to start making one in the near future but all I've made so far is really terrible and embarrassing. It's mostly been for learning purposes, though.
One thing about sounds in video games that sucks is that they're repeated, and the player therefore associates the sound with whatever triggers it in a very boring way.
The first time you play Minecraft for example you'll hear ambient noises that are totally spooky. Your thought process will be: hear sound>whoa wtf>try to figure out what is.
However, as you keep playing you'll figure out that they're just a limited amount of sounds that show a cave or something is nearby , e.g.: weird sound>oh, there's a cave here.
The sound might as well have been a chicken farting, to the player it'll nkw have the same effect.
There is pretty much no way around this, abd it's not necessarily a bad thing, but you can still exploit it.
>vents randomly make hissing noises
>will catch people off guard at first
>one sound is hissing that gradually gets louder, then cuts out after a few seconds
>late game, players have heard these sounds loads of times, enough to get used to them and know all the sounds
>puzzle on wall
>vent behind you
>you'll be focused on the puzzle
>that one sound plays
>except it doesn't cut
>gets louder and louder or spookier
>player looks around
It's a really meta way of fucking with your player.
I think an interesting mechanic is one that I've been thinking about because of Lone Survivor.
I never actually played very far into the game so I'm not sure if this is actually what it did.
Basically, there's a time limit to ultimate game over, a couple of days in this case, the goal is to leave your apartment. You need to do things and interact with people in order to remove obstacles (barricades, locked doors, monsters, etc,) But the kicker is that in order to advance certain parts you NEED to sleep and end the day, thus bringing your time limit closer to its end. What this means is failure in a task will waste days/time that you could have spent progressing further, you don't lose progress constantly but you want to avoid death so you don't end up with the no win scenario and have to do the big reset.
I dunno, it's 6am and I've been up all night so forgive me if my explanation is terrible.
Fuck you I actually like that. It would work if when you shot yourself you were respawned instantly without any loading screens. That would really add to the jarring effect of the mechanic
ok so a agame that starts with you making your character and you're in front of a mirror
and after creating that character
you have to stab your mirror image and it's a lot of gore and then you enter the mirror
Yeah, you don't want to see my first games. It takes a while before you can make something that's working, but it's rewarding when you get a nice feedback.
Also, I attached my Steam Greenlight stats if anyone cares to see how it looks like.
I think the whole "The ending just plays itself forever" ties a lot more directly to the "You are trapped in a cycle of reincarnation forever" ending. Plus, it also helps cement the hopelessness that your character will never get his soul back and be able to achieve nonexistence.
And my point is that figuring that out is very easy and needs no outside help. Where you think you'll need an idea guy, you'll most likely be fine just playing games and choosing what stuff you like.
Idea guys alone aren't worth shit. A developer with no creativity whatsoever will most likely be fine if he just borrows ideas from other games. Most "creative" decisions are just mixing different ideas from different games.
Of course, a creative developer has much higher chances of success. But, as a basis, you need good execution.
It's like the saying that goes "Road to hell is full of good intentions".
kinda remind me of a thought experiment that a friend gave me. There's a quantum phenomenon called entanglement where one particle is connected to another particle in such a way that no amount of distant changes the way it interacts each other: as in, if one particle changes, then the other changes instantly without the passage of time in between response.
The mind can be, in the simplest form, be constructed as a change in form that interacts with its own change - as a function of continuous change of the conscious, which reinput the output of the mind in a conscious loop. Let's say we make a machine of the entangled particles so that all the particles interact and change without the passage of time, and complex enough to hold the entirety of a human mind, then we transfer a human mind into the machine and let it run. The mind is then thinking within the infinity of 0 time, where no time passes between thought at all time, forever, for the mind.
What happens to the mind at the next second?
Maybe when entering a room, stuff could go flying.
Not just "ooh spokee ghoss moov stuff" but like on skyrim or fallout new vegas the shitty engine stutters, make it like seem it was a game error or something and then the room goes back like it was before.
i think that the player should be in control of it. like when you kill aeris?
the thought of getting someone to invest time and care in something only to have them forced to destroy it
Okay, here's my random unrelated mechanics for horror games.
>Player runs away from something
>hides in a tight spot, like a dresser or under the table
>after a while, player eyes adjust to the darkness and he notices a skeleton/bunch of spiders/shitload of maggots in said closed space
Pressing pause at this moment causes player character to scream and attract whoever the player runs away from
>A systemless horror game like LCD dream simulator
>however, it's used in conjunction with Oculus Rift and heartrate monitor
>first couple of levels are just randomly picked phobias, like arachnophobia, fear of heights, claustrophobia, etc.
>When player eyes shrink/heartrate rises on one of the randomly picked phobias, game remembers it and uses that knowledge to include more of such phobias in next levels, often in conjunction
>Game basically scans your fears, and uses them against you
>When you run away from a monster, you suddenly get steam/gfwl/whatever messages from the monster, saying stuff like "I WILL MURDER YOU"
>When used for first time unexpectedly, will scare the shit out of the player
>Game simulated crashing with your desktop appearing, but in reality it's fake, and game does something spooky when you try to launch anything
>Game introduces a weird behaving monster that acts like a player, uses items like a player and has the same access to mechanics
>Said monster often jumps in one place for no reason, shakes his entire body to simulate players looking around rapidly, or just pretends to be AFK
>Then, game silently connects you to the other player without telling you, and you both see each other as that monster, with objective to destroy one another
>Literally one in a million extremely weird-ass events that happen sometimes,, and nobody believes the person it happened to
>At one point, game tells the player that the screamer virus has been released, and will randomly pop a screamer when player is just using his PC not playing.
Just out of curiosity, how did you start making games? Like, what did you use at first, what did you do to improve and what are you using now?
Also, how many "yes" votes do you need so your game gets approved?
hey if you don't mind i'd like to ask you about general tips on launching an actual game and selling it and all that. How did it work out? Any mistakes you made or stuff like that?
Fair enough. I haven't played it obviously, so I can't really fully empathise with the experience. But I hear you. Even outside the game, immortality can be a pretty scary concept. What other bad endings are there?
so you agree that you need ideas and that more creative ideas are better for your game then just copying others
execution is only part of the process as well as ideas
>that whole game scans phobias/fears part
There was a game announced a while ago working on something very very similar iirc. Don't know what happened to it though, and can't remember the name for the life of me. There was a trailer on youtube though somewhere
>more creative ideas are better for your game
Not always. "creative" ideas can suck a lot of times. Just look at all the games that tried doing something new and backfired.
Then look at all the games that did nothing new or very little new and succeeded (hint: most of them).
Ideas are a part of the process as much as much as scratching my butt is part of living: the fact that it's a part of the process doesn't mean it's hard, or that it deserves praise
>when you press download on the official site, it actually gives you a random exe
>only differences are really obscure and scary and look more like glitches
I like some of these ideas, btw.
>There's a quantum phenomenon called entanglement where one particle is connected to another particle in such a way that no amount of distant changes the way it interacts each other: as in, if one particle changes, then the other changes instantly without the passage of time in between response.
Wasn't this the idea behind the lode stone resonators the phillip pullmans dark materials trilogy
That's the only bad ending. The game is about dying and reincarnating, so there isn't anything that can 'end' the game for you. The only endings are immortality (the bad ending) and the good ending.
Also, you can't tell from the youtube video but that scene is supposed to have a different image popping up each frame (in a 60 FPS game if you're playing it on a modern computer).
I started a long while ago as a kid using Game Maker, a really old crappy version. I made my first top down coop zombie shooter when I was about 13, wish I still had that, was fun.
Then I went through various engines as a modder, mostly I made levels and game concepts in Cryengine (first Far Cry, then Crysis MOD SDK) but sadly nothing got released because the whole modding community is shit and even more unreliable than indie devs. Later I switched to UDK which was a bit better, but I still needed a large team and a lot of money to start a 3D game (that was before the 3D boom).
I also went to programming school (they don't teach anythign useful there though) where I learned the basics and later I learned more about actual game making myself. I went through so many unreliable, shitty stupid team mates that I just decided to do most of it myself, since I'm the only one serious, apparently.
I made a few small games with XNA/C# and then I bought a version of Game Maker, just for fun. I started making a plaftormer (so original I know) for fun, and later I transformed a character from it (the security guard) into a game called Uncanny Valley, which was supposed to be a few week summer project. But the game got bigger, and I just used Game Maker, couldn't bother to switch - it's actually pretty good now for 2D, since its language is pretty much C++.
So yeah, I came full circle. Hopefully this game earns me enough money to create something bigger and better... my dream game.
Read my interviews and blog posts if you care, they're a good read or so I've been told:
Your second idea reminds me of this
Not sure how feasible it is.
I like all of them except maybe the pausing under the table = screaming, and the screamer virus.
The idea of not being able to pause and instead making the player scream would work better extended to running away from the monster in general, so there's no way to catch a break.
As for the virus, I'd like it better as "the virus has been released" and it did something more subtle and less intrusive, maybe your desktop icons changing to strange images and their text flashing zalgo/threatening words a la Phantasmagoria 2. There should be a way for the player to disable it without uninstalling, at least. Maybe you would get a warning that it will affect the game the next time you launch it.
According to a wiki about them, yeah, it uses quantum entanglement. The scary thing is that scientists are already making particles that are entangled in labs, and have observed entanglement: one particle changes the instant the other does.
>monster chases you
>hide in a locker
>you can still see out a gap in the door
>monster walks up to the door and stares you right in the eyes
Achievement unlocked: Don't Hide in the Locker
Another aspect of horror that appeals to me is jumping into the unknown. Literally. I mean, playing a game you've never heard of, know nothing about, and not knowing whether you can die but being unsettled to your core all the same.
If you want to see what I mean, play Heartwood.
>Ideas are a part of the process as much as much as scratching my butt is part of living: the fact that it's a part of the process doesn't mean it's hard, or that it deserves praise
and yet it's a very important part of making video games, designing them first
Well... you have to be smart about it. Spam every big and small video game news site, but do it at the right time (where there's little news or anything else to report about).
Make a good press release post once you do it. This is mine, for example: https://www.dropbox.com/s/e7di7ie2mvc3itr/Hello.docx
You can use it as a template - title, a flashy summarization of your game, a bit more info, and then links to additional info, screens, videos, etc. - don't go announcing your game without that.
Together with that, create a Greenlight campaign, since if people pick it up and write news about it it will create more hype about it and you'll get more votes.
You don't need yes or no votes, you just need to generate enough views and hype around it for Valve to notice it. I mean, there still needs to be a lot of yes votes, but it's not that important, since most games there have 60/40 no/yes ratio which is pretty bad.