Thank you for the informative response, I believe that you have brought up some very important aspects here which I value.
Didn't read the story, but the game part, here are my two cents.
First off you should look at the game design through the eyes of the potential gamers and not through the eyes of game designer. This is helpful to avoid creating nasty traps, clever puzzels etc. which are just ignored by the player or which he finds annoying. Therefore here are the two cents of a potential player:You lure the player into a trap here. The players find a weapon which is finally useless to some degree, at least he will be disappointed of having a weapon which is a better lock pick. Building up an expectations just to discover that it is worthless is really a lover killer. When building a new game world, you need to consider the knowledge of a new player, therefore the line between refreshing surprise and deep disappointment is really fine.
You'll get a gun, but it's absolutely useless...
You won't be able to see how many bullets you have left in the GUIA boss fight... well,fighting a boss is more action game and kills the immersion of a horror game for me. Game like RE6 are no longer horror games for me, but this is just my personal opinion.
There will be boss battles, at the end of each area of the mansion you will be able to beat the boss.Will this really be useful or scary at all ? I mean I never remember the placements of furnitures when running through a level. This could work in a story or movie where you give some hints and focus on this later on, but a game is always difficult. Either you need some cut-scenes to focus on the event (before-after) or it should be a very prominent furniture.
The games scares will be scripted, and not random. Things like furniture changing each time you go from room to room will be random, subtle things aren't included in this, but I mean when you enter a room for the first time.Yeah, ghosts in mirrors are always scary *shudder*, so I like it, especially the interactive nature. But you need to be careful about the implementation of this scene. A new player would like to investigate the scene, either inspecting the mirror image or the roof. Waiting to long and getting killed for this is frustrating, especially if there aren't any hints about the danger, and learning by reloading isn't the best game design.
One scare for example, is when you go into the bathroom to wash your hands in order to progress, and you see a twisted little girl in the mirror crawling along the roof in a dress with her head twisted around, no eye sockets and a severed black jaw. A steady horror sound will begin to play, if you look at the roof outside of the mirror - you will see nothing. If you look in the mirror again, she will be behind you. At this point you need to leave the room IMMEDIATELY or she will kill you. When you re-enter there will no longer be a threat in the room, just a silence and the sound of Pier breathing.
This is a good example about the difference of a horror movie/story and a horror game. A horror movie benefits from the inability to control the character and the audience need to watch the upcoming danger with horror, pleading that the character turns around and sees it too. This is not really possible in an interactive video game where the character is directly controlled by the player. Cut scenes destroys the immersions often and the interactive nature of the character controls lessens the effect (e.g. the character looks at his hands while washing it, turns around too fast, opens the inventory). So, be careful to implement scary parts known from movies or books, they are not really useful.
I feel that a gun in a survival horror game either means that the player will be overpowered, or it's not really survival horror in the end. I mean, this of course is a broad statement but to me they just don't work. The reason that I'd include a gun is to mock the use of it against deities, pointing the finger at game designers who put shallow thought into their games and making a patronizing statement in that whenever you shoot a ghost, all you're doing is giving your position away, lol.
There will be some uses, as I said. Shooting down rusty locks, perhaps there will be some physical interaction with other physical people where a gun could come in handy, but as far as I can see it's just a funny patronization. I don't think many other games do this.
I wouldn't put it as a reward for a puzzle, you'd just find it in someone's desk, I hardly think it'd be a relatively necessary item for any part of the game. But again, it's just there, more of an easter egg that makes the player think they stand a chance just to laugh at them. Whether this is a good tactic or not, I haven't seen it happen before and I'd enjoy seeing the results. If people don't like it in the Beta I can always remove the feature.
The boss fight is a spin on the survival horror. For most of the game you will not be having much contact with other entities, it's more of an immersive experience which makes you think, and makes you scared and want to see what happens next. By no means am I saying this is an interactive movie, it's absolutely a fully pledged video game, just that the boss battles are really going to be a breathe of fresh air and creativity. They'll be similar to Zelda boss battles, for example the first boss is a girl possessing a marionette puppet. She's hung by 4 strings and you'll have to navigate around the room avoiding her attacks before she falls to the ground, you'll then have to use some scissors bathed in the master's blood in order to cut them. Each time you cut a string she gets faster and more difficult to avoid, once you cut all four strings the boss battle is done, and you can proceed to the next area.
I like it quite a lot, to be honest.
As for the usefulness about the furniture warping? No. But I want to give every opportunity to scare or make the analytical person think. It won't happen often, but enough to get people a little creeped out and expecting something to happen once again. That was just an example of one of the many subtle things I'm doing.
As for the girl on the ceiling, well that's a scripted scare. The player would know that she's there, and freak the hell out because the camera would immediately jerk upwards to the position on the mirror that she is located followed by an intense sound. The first thing that he would do is turn around to see that nothing is there, and then upon turning back towards the mirror she would be right behind you followed by another intense sound.
EDIT: On the occasion that a player didn't turn around she would simply appear behind you after a few seconds and whisper "Flee, flee, flee."
Oh god this is the only part where I have to say I disagree so so so much. I think that trial and error is one of the best ways to play!
and learning by reloading isn't the best game design.
Have a bit of a go at Dark Souls and Limbo then come back and tell me how you feel about that sentence.
I really do think that when done right the learning from your mistakes and knowing what to do better next time, or experimenting with another method is incredible! Especially when game designers like me are willing to provide multiple methods of surviving or escaping.
So yes, you're right in a lot of aspects but I still felt I should justify the topics that you brought up. I think getting away from that little girl is the first thing that player is going to want to do after the game makes it pretty much the most obvious thing on the screen.