The game (titled "Dead Velvet") has two constant conflicting and sad storylines correlating with each other at all time. One often patronizing the other because of their deep differences. Although one story has ended, and the other is starting, they both have an equal amount of input into the game. For the purpose of chronological order and so that you can follow what is happening easier, I will start with the earliest point that this tale begins.
Alister Wilshire was the master of a house in England, just north of London in 1832. He was a cruel man, and a very violent one. He was raised in foster care by two violent women who would throw him in a basement every night where they would throw him half cooked fish to eat from the floor. At age 17 he killed one of the women who he called "Aunt", and was arrested near immediately. The court heard his plea and investigated the matter, and sentencing the woman who was still alive to a year in prison. He was left to his own devices after being excused, given the circumstances of his upbringing. He had absolutely no recollection of his mother or father, taking his Wilshire last name from the foster mothers, (The one who took him in, her last name was Hillshire, but he changed it to Wilshire shortly after killing her - also not to be confused, these two women were related and not a lesbian couple).
Developing a strong hatred for humanity, Alister started looking into weapon design and landed a job crafting spectacular pieces of work at age 21, gaining the attention of people all around. They looked up to him as a "prodigy for the country" and someone that would take England to a new level of technology warfare. He despised them though and claimed that he was only developing the weapons in order to provide more of the pathetic race a means to kill each other off so that he would not have to lay his eyes on them any more.
More importantly though, Alister was starting to make money, lots of money. He was very quickly becoming one of the richest men in all of North England leaving a lasting impact, and eventually founding "Wilshire Arms" - a weapons shop that escalated to one of the most famous and highest quality weapons stores in the country.
He began to get bored, though, no longer finding the pleasure in providing a means for them to harm one another. He decided to step down from his job, and take his money somewhere quieter where he could reside with his subtle burning hatred for the world. There was a hole inside of him that was quickly expanding into something much more. At a bar, a woman followed him home one day after he had something to drink. She claimed to find him the most strong and handsome man in all of England, but he brushed her off. Soon after she began pleading him to marry her, and she was not after his money - she was legitimately obsessed with Alister, and very young at only age 19 - he was into his 30's by this time.
Despite his growing hatred he decided to marry her, and bought a mansion for them to reside in. For 10 years they lived off the fat of the land, Alister would work in the fields whilst Sarah, his wife, would mend the house and keep it beautiful. But Alister still had the hole growing, and quickly became violent and destructive. Finally he began to push Sarah, screaming at her, hurting her and taking out all the pain that he had experienced onto her just as he had hated everyone else.
But one day the storm struck, Alister became fueled with so much rage that, upon browsing the newspaper one day he ordered in one-hundred and thirty two slaves being sold straight from Africa to work for him. This was for two million pounds at the time.
His wife was furious, but couldn't handle leaving Alister because she loved him so much and was in fear that he would harm her. Plantations were already disgusting many American citizens and they were even more rare in England. It was 1830 when this happened, and drawing very close to the time that they would be liberated.
By the time everything was set up, Alister had almost two-hundred African slaves in his fields, picking cotton and sewing his clothes. They were not allowed in his house under the impression that they would contaminate it. They would do the farming and wash all the crops for him, this was now the life that Alister had chosen. He treated these slaves with great cruelty, at one point drowning one of them in a river. It disgusted everyone around him but it was the breaking point for him, he had been overcome with evil and hatred for the world to a point of no return. Just when things could not get any worse, Sarah felt trapped with Alister and no longer wanted to stay with him, but instead of leaving, she fell in love with one of the slaves. His name was Aba. She would sneak out in the night to see him, visiting him and kissing him, and this went on for ONE YEAR. She would do it when Alister when to the bar, drinking, all the other slaves knew about it but supported her. They wouldn't dare help the man that destroyed their lives.
However, just as all things end. There was in fact a day when they were caught in the middle of the night. Alister found them together, in a shack. The door swung open on the two lovers, and the man that stood before them was someone who was a manifestation of all things vile and putrid. The look in his eyes was enough to strike fear into the bravest man's heart.
Without a word, he walked to Sarah, grabbing her by the head and throwing her into a wall. He then went to Aba and struck his stomach with a rake, leaving him to bleed and breaking his legs. He stood there, watching him for half an hour in the most excruciating pain with only the slightest bit of glee. But because he was so consumed with anger and hatred, and so satisfied watching this African man die, he did not notice Sarah coming behind him with a garden axe, slamming it into his back. At this point, Alister died. Sarah leaned on the dying Aba, who was about to pass away in tears, holding a shotgun to both of their heads. She pulled the trigger, killing both of them.
In 1833 a law was passed that all slaves should be liberated, so although they were required to continue working without ownership, they were soon set free to live their own lives thanks to Aba and Sarah. The house was closed off and not looked at again for many years. It was remembered by many as The Wilshire Estate, and nobody dared to enter it.
It was for good cause, though. The hatred that Alister held for all humans was so strong that it kept his spirit bound to the house, as the master, and also keeping Aba and Sarah with him inside. This was the place that he would torture their souls, and for so long he did this until one day there was a knock at the door.
Well, not really a knock. But more the door opening, to some Real Estate agents who were interested in selling the house. This was in 1850, as the house was passed onto the government because of the slaves, who passed it into Elder Gardens' care. They were a popular house management, building and reselling business trusted by many, and it wasn't before long that there was a quiet little family moving in. One man and his wife, and their little daughter Molly who was 7 years old.
Strange things happened to this family, and within months they were not themselves. Their daughter began to hurt herself, and the parents became angered. They started to get very scared by these changes and, for some reason, just before they were about to make the decision to leave the house they were all brutally murdered, and hung in the trees behind the house.
A letter was received to Elder Garden's shortly after from the family saying they had moved on due to unforseen circumstances and the house should be put into the care of Theodore Estates... who then sold the house again for 900,000 pounds. This time it was sold to a family of ten, including a grandfather and a small baby. All ten of them were murdered systematically in increasingly gruesome ways, and there was nothing left of them, but a letter which arrived at Theodore Estates' doorstep to resell the house.
This went on, and for some reason, nobody noticed. It was 200 years before there was a change in the system, and almost 100 dead bodies later. Alister had killed every one of them, trapping their spirits in his house with him and his hatred. They would kill anyone who dared to enter, and they haunted the very woods that surrounded the house in fear of Alister, who was the pure manifestation of evil.
--- That's the backstory of the mansion ---
--- Now onwards to the "game" ---
North England, 2012
Pier is a young actor who has a very bad anxiety disorder. He was married young to his wife, Elaine. The two have a very good relationship, although they often have trouble with Pier's constant emotional struggles. He is always paranoid that she may be cheating on him, or that something bad will happen. He hates horror movies, and can't stand anything that will put him on edge. Elaine supports him as much as she possibly can, often having to take him to the doctors or getting his medication for him when he's too nervous to go outside.
Elaine is a beautiful young writer who often writes screenplay for the sets that Pier involves himself in, both of them are wealthy and have a good life. Things are all going well until Elaine disappears.
This scares Pier so much, in fear that something may happen to her or that she is thinking of leaving him - these are the conclusions that he would jump to because of his trauma issues. A day later, he finds a letter addressed to her from - you guessed it, Alister Wilshire. Although, he was going under the name Asiret (Pronounced A-si-ray) Shilwer which is an anagram of his true identity (don't worry he only uses this for the letter). Inviting her to join him for a coffee and to talk about some possible writing opportunities.
Pier freaks out, grabbing the address from the paper (and of course she didn't need to take the page with her, we all have iPhone 5's and GPS's these days) and locating the address. It's only 45 minutes away from where he is, he drove to the address in a frantic panic scared for what may be happening to Elaine, and found a beautiful row of trees and a lovely white fence gleaming in the sun.
I've coded most of this bit, just thought it was relevant
and gets out of his car. This is where the game officially begins.
The Game (You just lost it.)
The gameplay elements are going to be different to that of normal survival horror. This isn't Slender or Amnesia. This is an ever changing interactive environment that wants to kill you. You'll constantly be trying to figure things out, solve riddles, and keep yourself safe. You'll get a gun, but it's absolutely useless. You won't be able to kill a goddamn thing with it (and that's a promise), but it will be useful for shooting rusted locks to open doors or to distract baddies.
You won't be able to see the amount of battery your flashlight has left, it will just be determined by the light it's giving out. You won't be able to see how many bullets you have left in the GUI, you'll have to actually open the gun up and count them, and individually replace them. Things are going to stalk you, and you're ultimately going to have to be tested in every aspect to win. This isn't a cheap scare though, it's an atmosphere. You won't have things pop out at you, I promise. You won't be chased every five minutes by a Zombie and feel constantly threatened, I'm trying to get across that some of these ghosts are lost, some are more powerful than others, perhaps even some have good in them, things vary. A lot.
For those of you who have played a Super Mario Bros. spin off titled Luigi's Mansion you'd be familiar with the ideas that will be implemented. Although a lot of things are different, it's relatively the same concept. You go through different rooms that you have access to in the mansion in order to gain access to more of them, you will have to endure different scares, solve different puzzles and riddles in order to achieve the goal, which is to find out what is happening to Elaine and ultimately get her back.
There will be boss battles, at the end of each area of the mansion you will be able to beat the boss. Technically you can go straight in and fight them as soon as you enter the mansion for the first time, but you'll die straight away. You actually have to go and find out about them, find out ways to defeat them and get a means to.
There will be a reason that all the ghosts in the house including Alister can't just detect and kill Pier like everyone else, (feel free to suggest ideas) so that it's realistic.
"Scares" are the games breathing point. I call them scares because... they're the scary bits. Y'know, the reason it's a survival horror title?
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.
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.
...So there you have it!
That's my game plan right now, and YES I typed this all up on Gamedev just for you guys to get some ideas and opinions. I noticed you guys are really responsive so I hope that you guys enjoy reading and give me some feedback.
Please give me all your ideas, sugggestions- even just let me know what you think. I'll be sure to add anything that I like in, and I'll give you full credit for the idea if I like it in one of the easter eggs - I'm carving the names of community members and people who helped develop ideas into the basement floor of one of the rooms with the thing they contributed.
If you've read this far, thank you so much for reading. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details on the project.
When a pre-alpha is released, I'm more than happy to allow people to test it if you send in an application and agree not to distribute it. Currently we're working on the forest and mansion design, and it's coming along very smoothly!
If you actually want to be a PART of the development team, we have a team of three which we're relatively happy with at the moment however we are still thoroughly reviewing all applications. You can view our (dated) application post here. I reposted it recently however the original post was in August.
Edited by Exoaria, 13 December 2012 - 06:08 AM.