Sign in to follow this  

Stuck On what kind of character to use for horror game

This topic is 4185 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

I got a question for people here at this forum. Maybe you can help me with a problem I have been struggling with for some time now. And I could really use some opinions about it. Heres the problem. I have been working on this Horror Game for awhile now, and I am some what lost on what kind of characters to use for the heroes in my game. I really dont want to use characters that other games has used. For example Leon Scott Kennedy from Resident Evil 2 who was a rookie cop. Or Aya Brea from Parasite Eve (1st Game) who also was a cop. That is if my memory is correct. Originally I was going to have my two characters as Navy Seals. Then some one suggested to me (Make them FBI Agents), but if I remember correctly a game has already used that kind of character. I then planned to make them Swat Officers, but then I realized that they would still be cops regardless. If they were swat or just regular police officers. So now I am wondering if I shouldn't have them as law enforcement people but some thing else. But I am not sure as to what to make them. I also want to add this in to help you know what I am doing. See what it is, the city has lost communication with the outside world. And two people are sent in to investigate why the city had lost contact and who was behind it. But when they get there the city has been destroyed way beyond recognition. So the question is this. What Kind of characters do you all think I should use? Because right now I am forced to use them as Swat Officers... I am very willing to listen to any ideas and opinions. One last note, they really don't have to be with law enforcement, but I would like it if they was, because of the way i got my story line and plot going... I would appreciate any thoughts you all may have.. Thanks for your time Duncan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think the whole law enforcement officer saves the city from zombies thing is a bit generic.. You might want to go with a more human slant, by putting regular people into the fray. Maybe they lost contact with friends/family, and head into the city to see if they're alright... Something to give the player a more emotional connection to the game, rather than some generic hero they use as a tool to slaughter baddies. Hell, you can even go a full 180 from the typical hero type and make one of the characters confined to a wheelchair, or make one of them blind and the other has to drag them around by the arm ( ok, so that's straight out of Ico ). Whatever you choose, it should be SOMETHING different. :)
Daniel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As much as putting regular people into the fray, resident evil outbreak 1 and file #2 has did that. But regardless it is still a good idea. And your comment on the law enforcement being generic is right. But I would have to change my entire story line and plot if I used basic people. The reason why is because these two people are sent in to find out what happened to the city and why. Basically why the city had lost contact with the outside world. Also I would like to note in that there is no zombies in my game. But I did get your meaning behind what you saying. Don't get me wrong I am really taking your opinion into consideration. It does give me a place to start thinking about. At least it's a start on some thing new. I just hope I can figure some thing out and soon.And thanks for replying to the post.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I just realized what you meant by using the human slant thing, and I think its a good idea. So disregard my last post about not using basic people. You might have some thing I can use. Certainly gives me some thing to work with. The only reason why I didn't catch what you meant the first time is because I am tired and didn't get much sleep. But I still appreciate the answering of my post with a serious reply. Thanks again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Why would you use Drug Dealers in a horror game? And why would you wanna use gangsters as well? I want to know why you suggested them. There has to be a reason. I would like to hear it. I am just curious as to why you said those type people.. Please reply back soon as possible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Clearly, your hero needs to be a hot chick in short pants and a too small tank top. It's been done as an archaeologist, though, so you'll probably have to make her an anthropologist instead. [Tomb Raider]

Or maybe an adolescent in a dress, escaping from an orphanage/asylum, throwing knives. No, wait, that's been done, too :-) [Alice]

Anyway, why just guys?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I suggested fire fighters as they are sortof 'law enforcement' people, but are different from the traditional army/cop/SWAT guy that you were trying to avoid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi,

I think the reason most of these types of game use policemen or women is because they are weapon trained and normally come with there own 'starting handgun'. That way from the point of view of the game it doesn't seem quite as stupid having the main characters running around shooting crap outta monsters as they have been trained to survive.

I think this might be the reason why gansters or drug dealers were suggested. As they would have a reason to go to the city ("Hey, what happened to my drug shipment?") and they would likely be carrying guns too.

Again I think this is why firefighters were mentioned too. As they are a public service trained to deal with danger, they would have a reason to head to the city (if it was destroyed, its probably on fire!) and they would probably be armed with a fire axe at least.

I think using regualr people would be more interesting, FBMachine already gave a nice example of WHY normal people might be heading to the city, all you'd need to do now is figure out how to arm them and how come they seem so comfortable gettting in fights with monsters.


- Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well I defintly see your point on what you said. I just wished I had thought of it the way you had mentioned it. Well its easy to see that I didn't put much thought into my questions or my comments. But I am now going to when you posted that reply. Which I am glad that you did. And I think I will be going with the regular people as my main characters. It will make it more interesting. Like you said I am going to have to figure out how they are going to come across their weapons and how they deal with fighting. I am glad that I have been receiving the serious replies and I thank all that has replied. Now all I have to do is change my story line and plot some and then I will be ready to rock and roll and get this thing moving again.

Duncan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster
How about an engineer or technician? If these people were sent in to find out why the communications gear is down, then people in these fields would probably have the best chance of fixing the problem. You can still go with the "regular people" idea, but having a profession such as one of the above also explains why they were sent in -- they didn't just "show up" because they wanted to find out what happened.

I know you said you wanted to stay away from the whole law enforcement thing, but if you wanted to try and explain why an engineer could use weaponry comfortably, then he could be a combat engineer that has gone through basic military training or something like that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well I am getting lots of good replies. I just have to figure out what really to go with. But we also have to think about what type of character that the player wants to play. We have tons of ideas, but theres no way to really see which one will be the most interesting to use. So I guess I am going to have to take a chance with one of them, but which one. I will have to figure that out later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The "drug dealers" and "mobsters" triggered a thought in me...

What if they weren't trying to find out what happened at all? What if they were simply trying to salvage their drug, or loot, or money, or whatever?
What if they were simple thiefs pillaging a deserted area, like some did after Katrina almost reduced to powder New Orleans?

Maybe, with this system, you merely have them follow, or from time to time stumble on a regular SWAT team, explaining on the radio what they think happened? Maybe the SWAT team mistakes them for the origin of the Zombie Invasion, because they are the only ones who move with purpose in the area? Maybe, in order to get a chance of lowering the condamnation for pillaging in the endangered zone, they might think it worth finding something out, before the SWAT gets them? Plus if you use the radio to explain parts of the story and uncover the progress of the SWAT team (which might suffer from attacks from the zombies, and lose some members, to make it even scarier...) you might give some guidance to the players, while letting them believe that they are almost free of their moves?

I know this kind of gets away from the original story, but, it was the deal, right? Make something new?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi,

What ever you decide to make your characters, getting them to the city isn't that big a problem. Now making them STAY in the city after monsters start attacking them is the problem.

Many of the charcter types mentioned would have no reason to stay in the city and would "get the hell outta there" as soon as they could.

So you need to decide what the motivation for the characters to stay in the city is as well as why they are there in the first place.

Really there are only two main ways you could do this:

1) The city is an island of some sort and all the bridges are either blocked or destroyed. But then how did the characters get there? Having the bridge collapse just as they arrived would seem s little silly and frankly the whole city island has been done before.

2) The charcters have a higher reason to be there. Maybe they are drawn to the city by a strange force or they want to save someone such as a family member so much that no horror will make them leave.

Both of these options presents different game styles to me.

The first being a more survival horror game where the main aim and driving force behind the game is simply to survive and escape. This to me says a gun and run type of game where aim is just to blast everything till you complete the game.

While the second is more of a story lead horror where the charcter has a higher purpose for being in the city. This to me is a more plot development game where killing monsters isnt the main aim (and hence it should be possible to complete without forcing conflict).

Really we probably need more information about the plot you already have before we can suggest more. Otherwise we might be suggesting ideas that require a complete rewrite of your story, which you may not be willing to do. In turn meaning the posters time has been wasted and yours for reading posts that arn't helping.


- Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Actually I am considering a re-write of the story plot and every thing, and everything that has been said has been helping. It has given me and idea of where to start. So please keep the replies coming. And I dont think any time has been wasted. Not by your replies. I enjoy reading them and they are making alot of sense. I do appreciate the replies and opinions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by duncanmcleod2006

See what it is, the city has lost communication with the outside world. And two people are sent in to investigate why the city had lost contact and who was behind it. But when they get there the city has been destroyed way beyond recognition. So the question is this.


I think before you decide who these two characters are you need to ask yourself questions like;

Who cares about this city or what is inside it?
Who needs to communicate with this city?
Who stands to loose something from lack of communication with this city?


See if the city is just some random town in the middle of knowhere and some guy/gal needed to contact a family member therein and was unable to then that could be enough incentive for them to take a trip and go investigate personally. The guy/gal could take a girlfriend/boyfriend/friend/family member on the trip.

If the government had a very important research and development lab within this city and suddenly all communication went dead then that could be enough incentive for the government to send a couple of agents down there to investigate. The government agents could be accompanied by lab technicians, insurance agents, etc. 'Government' can be exchanged with some random 'Company' in this context.

If the city was well known by the media for strange occurrences or unexplainable, almost supernatural disturbances and suddenly a news network lost communications with their inside reporter then that could be enough incentive to send a couple of reporters down there in search of the missing reporter and a potential story. The group could include a camera man and a lady reporter.

Since you insist on two protagonists, and some of the people that posted earlier insist that you distance yourself from the cliche horror survivors then i'd suggest a combination of individuals with contrasting motives but are brought together to answer a common question; wtf is up with this city? Combinations like the government agent and the reporter, a worried family member and a company investigator, etc could suffice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hexgear your right on what you said. Now that's some thing else I am gonna have to work on. Between you and the other posters, you all have given me things that I needed to think about. I just wish I had thought of these ideas long time ago. I will say one good thing about this site. It has awesome members with some awesome ideas. I am glad that I came back to this site after so long. I really need to revise my whole game and start using the ideas submitted here. I mean they are really what I needed and I really appreciate the help I been getting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
GentlemanHal made a good point about needing to find a reason for people to stay in the town, rather than some contrived "bridges blocked, tunnel collapsed, giant fissure around town (I'm looking at you, Silent Hill)" reason
I personally think that that meshes perfectly with the gangster/looting angle.

The criminals haven't recieved word from their people inside the city, and are starting to worry about a drug deal.
They go into the city, whatever enemy/paranormal thing is happening in the city menaces them a bit, but they manage to make it to the druglords den. Surprise surprise, everyones dead.
Things are really starting to go to hell now, they start to think that maybe they should just get out.
But, with all the chaos, one of them suggests it would be the perfect time to pull a huge heist.

So: They have a reason to go in, a reason to stay, interesting histories, and are proficient with guns.

Of course, I don't know what kind of thing has gone wrong with the city, or if you want the protagonists to be motivated justly or by greed, so I could be way off the mark with this one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well from what I seen in this posts, we have sone good choices for characters and why they would be going into the city and all. Or what could of happened. I just wished most of you was near me, so that way we all could work together on this thing as a team project. I would actually share the profits if I knew you was all closer. That is providing if the game got out. But I do see tons of good material I can possibly use. I just wanna make the best possible horror game for people to play.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster
I think the main idea in a horror game is that you're scared; you need to feel outnumbered, weaker than the things you're fighting, and so on. A SEAL team, or SWAT leader are pretty well trained. A zombie might scare them at first sight, but they won't soon start turning desperate. Cops are less trained, but, as said, pretty cliché overall.

A regular civilian would be a good idea. Look at Half-life, where you're playing a regular scientist who miraculously appears to be able to kick ass. Nobody ever questions the plausibility of that, and it makes the beginning much, much more interesting. You're no killing machine out to kill. The killing is merely incidental.
Looking for his/her family doesn't stand out as being especially original either, but you need a good drive. I'm inclined towards a mystery to be found out; A person they meet somewhere and somehow keeps showing up in the city? Something less cliché than losing your family, but still giving an emotional drive to the character. Revenge is always a good one too, but taking revenge on horrorgame-evils (usually the zombies) is just silly... Unless the enemies/bosses of the enemies are still sane, of course.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi,

The whole gang idea seems to be getting quite a following and I have to say I think it's a pretty neat idea too.

CIJollys idea gives a really nice overview to all the major problems (why go, why stay, etc) and could allow nicely for hexgears idea of two 'opposite' protagonists.

Which could go as follows:

The gang go to city and managed to get to there den. At this stage some wacky shit has happened but nothing so scary as to not make them think sticking around is a good idea.
Perhaps some of the other gang members could still be alive to 'help' with the heist. (You always need NPC's to eviscerate in cut scenes! right?! :P)

So they get to the bank or where ever the heist is to be and *BAM* stuff really starts to go wrong! Maybe a huge powerful monster turns up. (boss fight anyone? :D)
During the fight (bye bye NPC's ;)) the only way the monster can be killed in the end is by the protagonists teaming up with the police or maybe a rival gang.

You now have your opposite main characters who are forced to work together to survive.

This would allow for a nice dynamic, maybe the police person who teamed up with gang member has orders to find out what is going on. The gang member just wants to get out alive but knows he must stick with police person to survive. This would give you a nice way to explain the plot to the player also (because, well how many gang members would care WHY it was happening? They wouldnt, but yet most players would.)


- Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The reason I suggested so-called "bad guys" is simple: ordinary people are boring, frightened and extremely unlikely to act heroically in a dangerous situation - they are, in short, luke-warm.

Officials such as police/special forces are on one end of the spectrum, but their responses to certain situations are limited. If for instance the removal of a human was neccasary, they are constrained by their very nature.

Members of the underworld have no such weaknesses. They can be colourful characters with children and families - in short, you can have bad people which the player will still form an emotional bond with.

You also open up a whole range of interesting story concepts: The gang might break out of prison during the event or they might actually be in the process of robbing a bank, and survive the initial holocaust by locking themselves in the vault. They emerge into a scene from hell, and spend the game attempting to escape with the money, running into (and uneasily teaming up with) police, and eventually special forces along the way... surely that is more exciting than the cliched "citizens rescuing loved ones" or "police finding out what has transpired"?

Only my 2 cents.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This topic is 4185 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this