Halloween 2014 -- A Maze of Sound
game design horror
I'm most of the way there with finding the visual "tone" or mood for this game, so now on to some game mechanics. Since this is intended to be both simple and free, I'm going to play to my strengths and use sound as a primary source of gameplay. My experience has always been that sound can make (or break) both films and interactive media. I have fond memories of entering the underground looking for Strelok's stash in STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl. At a certain point during the exploration you hear a literal roar reverberating throughout the tunnel you are in. Much more effective than 1,000 jump scares!
Today and tomorrow I'm going to experiment with the following maze:
the most direct path through being highlighted in dark grey (created with Excel!). I intend to overlay this maze onto my environment and place triggers throughout the path. These triggers will play audio cues -- almost audio "clues" -- on the proper path. This maze will be less claustrophoic than it looks as it will cover roughly one square kilometer and have very few literal walls blocking vision.
The key will be audio design and some camera tricks, as well as a fantastic foliage shader that will allow me to move bushes, trees, and grass around like somethin' big is coming at the player.
I'm also going to make the physical paths in game (the ones between areas) look more like the following:
Lots of work to do!