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ShdwMarth

I need the community's opinions

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I'm currently designing a horror game that I hope to make into a game within the next couple of months. While I am designing, I have a lot of cool multiplayer ideas, but I'm lacking in my single player ideas. I know it's a hard subject to tackle in a game, but I really want to incorporate emotion. (Please don't flame) My dream is to be part of a great development team someday and even own my own company/team. I hope to be able to overcome the problem of not being able to evoke emotions into a gamer whether anyone thinks this is feasible or not. My question is, what would/does make you cry, become scared and insecure, angered, etc? I want to make a game that will make you feel for the characters and what you actually do in the game. Thanks for all the help. The more people the better! shdwmarth

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The only thing that has ever reliably caused me fear in a game was the *thump thump* sound in Dungeon Master for the Amiga.


Though that was also one of the prime motivating factors for me to not play very far into it...

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If you are making a horror game, and you want to invoke fear, you could use what I like to call the "Haunted House Effect." Pretty much, you know when you go to a haunted house, and there are the strobe lights that flash really fast so that everything looks sort of choppy? And how everything sort of lacks color? That would help convey fear. Also, maybe if you are using randomly generated maps, at random times you could have the game make a loud "Bang!" noise, then have everything black for a second while the game generates a new map, and then have it light up again, with everything different. One problem with that is if you were to over utilize it, and it became a nuisance. Another would be that it would feel like you're starting the level over again. This could be worked around by having the distance from you to the goal a variable, and making sure that it doesn't change when the new map is generated. So that way, if you are 2 rooms away from the stairs to the next floor, and it generates a new map, you'll still be 2 rooms away, but the direction of the room will change. This would work well in a game with no minimap, or a minimap that is drawn as you go along, because it would make you feel lost and scared.

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If you were walking down a hallway and at the end was a mirror. Right before you get to the mirror to take the corner you see something run behind your character through a door. Then right when you turn around there's nothing but something is in front of you right when you turn around. Predictable but it would be entertaining. Also a disorientation in the game would help. I think keeping the player in suspense as to when the action will be helps. Like knocking over objects when the player walks by them or something then have nothing happen. Just keep building up the feeling that something isn't right.

Also keep unfolding the plot further and further as the game progresses. Maybe start out in someplace in the middle of nowhere where the player has just been stranded. Then as the player moves forward they might fall into a hole with no lights. You find a door randomly and follow a path down into some abandoned mine. It's darks, but then you see small lights and hear voices. The door slams behind you and locks and you hear the people start talking about hearing something. Then the game unravels into finding a way out. You'd also learn why the people are there and that there's evil things happening. :/ I guess. Make a cave-in with dynamite later on to make sure the player has no way to get back and feels trapped.

As for crying. I cry easily at emotional moments in movies and such. So anything where the character finds a friend and you play more than half of the game with that character just to have them in the end sacrifice themselves in a cut scene to save your character. That would probably be a touching moment, especially if it has really good dialogue throughout the latter part of the game with that character.

As for scared. Flash backs do a good job of this. Like make the character remember back to times just like a following scene. Going back to my previous example there might be scarf the character dropped when they fell in the hole and for some reason it's sitting torn along the mine wall. Or maybe they were with someone and got lost. Then they see one of their buddies items torn in the area with teetch marks or something. Then have a flash back to the two of them in a plane having a good time right before the engine starts to stutter and have it fade out back to the scene.

I think it's merely a graphical kind of thing. Keep the game realistic and uniform in the feel of the gameplay.

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I think in games, the music always adds some great fear to the game. It makes it a little easier to know something's going to happen, but still it's scary when it does. Silence can also add to the scariness. Just some thoughts.

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A good effect that Ive seen in other games -- the sound of something nasty (that you have seen before and KNOW is nssty/major threat) moving nearby but you dont exactly know where. You should be able to hear it from a ways off. Have the sound periodicly stop so that you arent sure that its gone away.... Blind corners and doors that you cant see whats behind so that that nasty you had heard might be behind it.... Sudden death thats ready to jump out on you is very effective in putting the player on edge. Hearing it coming or ahead even moreso.

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Quote:
Original post by ShdwMarth
My question is, what would/does make you cry, become scared and insecure, angered, etc?


A team of game programmers with no experience trying to create an MMORPG which is a mixture between Diablo II, Unreal and... ;P

And now seriously - I think the only time I was near crying in a video game was in Final Fantasy 7, mostly because after countless hours of playing you really get involved and touched by the characters - (the death of Aeris scence). As for fear, I guess deadly silence followed by a noisy and bloody scene will do it for me.
As for anger, only multiplayer gameplay had been able to bring that demon out :P.

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Ah good to see people attempting this tricky genre. Well firstly i would suggest fleshing out your gameplay aspects.

Many designers use flow diagrams with choices and pritty pictures to repersent some sort of aspect on what the game looks like.

Once you have your basic gameplay fleshed out you can then start to go in detail.

Basics would be, whats the player looking for (final goal). Then you split that final goal into 12 levels. Now each level increases in difficulty. Maybe harder level layouts or items well hid.

For Example

Goal *To Find Your Dog*

Level one

Walk arround the outside of a spooky house and find his leash and footsteps leading to the door.

Level two

explore the down stairs of the spooky house with lots of rooms and finds his coller.

Level three

Explores the up stairs of the house and finds dog in cuboard.

Now thats just an example but thats the basics. Now indepth would be.

Now the 3 W's What, Were & Why (who took your dog, why etc)

Also you may want to put some monsters or whatever in those levels to make it harder and plus horror.

Its a hard task fleshing out a game, but it needs to be done even before you start looking at releasing screens and even a team.

Once you have;

+Game Concept Doc (Proposal)

+Game Design Doc (Your Document, details on levels, characters. enemies etc)

+Technical Design Doc (For the programming side of the game)

+Art style guide (what your game will look like, theme) alot fo style guides just have photos in them with gore added to the photos. Alot fo photoshoped stuff and even concept pieaces.

+Game Flow diagrams (I tend to use sticky postits all over my wall for this firstly. Then transfer it onto computer through a powerpoint presentation or flow diagram)

Once you got all those things i would say your game is near enough fleshed out then the next stage is to start creating mockups. Alot of industry designers inc myself use 3ds max and the simple animation (altho flash, maya and others can be used) to repersent the games look and levels. Also the menu's (This is called Pre-visuals)

If your creating this for industry keep them to yourself and team. But if your doing it on indi basis post some videos of mockups you come up with and ask peoples opinions.

Hope this helped. If you need any help fleshing out or need some templates. I would be happy to give you some from my old stuff.

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Heres some inspiration :



Its only 16 seconds so watch it - if you could find a way to incorporate this idea you'll scare the shit out of some people - it might well get banned though so be warned!

And good luck by the way.

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