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TheKrust

Evil to the Max....

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I was thinking today and I came up with an idea that, frankly I don't have the technology to develop, but would be a very interesting concept. Before I open my mouth though, don't flame me because you think I'm trying to make this :D . Also, this idea is REALLY hard to convey into words, but I'll do the best I can. The game would attempt to look as realistic as possible(I'm thinking a high quality Unreal 3 engine with Havok or Ageia Physics incorperated). It would always have a graphicly dark tone and focus on dynamic shadows. Bascily, the game would be a first person survival game with a some weapons involved, but the game isn't centered around fighting. The view would need to be first person for the sake of realism. You would also be able to see your hands, feet, and your own shadow (something rarley incorperated in games). It would also center around chain reactions that lead to destruction (think final destination 3). Now, this game would center around evil... and not hardcore rocking Doom3 type evil, just... really scary evil. And before you get on me about a religeous based game.. look at it this way, doom3 was technically religeous... and I'm not religeous either, so I'm not preaching here. Just work with me for a second. The game would take place in a post apocoliptic (2070) setting where the world is always dark. Most technology is modern because of lack of advancement after destruction, but space travel has far advanced (important later) and the first self contained colony on mars has been set up. No, this game doesn't take place on mars. No up-front story is offered, but exploring your surroundings reveals that this is the earth after the rapture and god has "left". The devil was free to then control the earth, not by force, but by mischeif. Making people turn against eachother and causing the largest war in history where nuclear weapons were used world wide. Radiation closed off most parts of the world, but a few citys were, not left in tact, but habbitable. Wild animals roam the country side, most of them infected with an equvelant of mad cow disease. They attack and eat anything they can. The worlds last weapon stocks are used for keeping these beasts away. Taking refuge in churches is useless. With no god, all religeous symbols and asylums are meaningless. The most direct power that the devil uses against people is series of chain reactions often leading to disfigurment or death. He uses hollucinations, such as seeing things in mirrors that arent there, sounds that are never made, and conjuring visions of animals attackng you. Some of the events are real, but can you tell which ones? The story of the game involves traveling between and through cities with your "tribe" of survivers and attempt to reach the south where rockets have been built that are specialized to travel back and fourth between earth, and the Mars colony. You have to unite with other groups to travel and keep protections from beasts and traps. Try to keep your team together and travel through the most frightening places imaginable while the devil tries to tear you apart. Many times, you are sperated from your group and are forced to travel alone. Your only options now are to leave Earth, or get sucked down to hell. ----------------- So it's a vauge idea... but I thought id be an interesting concept. Feedback? EDIT: the statment about the "2 options" thing is very mis-leading the way I worded it. You don't have a litteral "choice" whether you want to leave earth or not, it was simply implying either you survive or you dont. Besides, who wants to get sucked down to hell? :D [Edited by - TheKrust on August 3, 2007 1:55:38 AM]

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I'm skimmed through your post, and I find one huge thorn - the game is based around an individuals concept of what "evil", and "scary" are. There are TONS of games that have attempted to be "Evil to the Max", but they always just ended up as characters on the screen, and I especially believe high detail graphics defiantly kill the scary or evil value since the image I'm viewing is no longer out of my own imagination of what scary or evil is.

On an additional note, it is my own opinion that if your attempting to make a game based around evil or scary, it shouldn't involve fighting hordes of beasts.

And on a final note, graphics kill imagination. I think Roguelikes can be more scary than your Doom 3's and Resident Evil's.

Just my two cents.

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Yeah, key word is "skimmed through". You obviously didn't catch the part where I said that fighting is a very small part of the game. One of the most important parts you missed was --->I'M NOT MAKING THIS<---. I'm not that ignorant.

As for evil endin up as characters.. I guess I'm not sure what you mean. If you're just talking about zombies and such, that's what I'd be trying to avoid.

As for realistic graphics ruining the "scary effect" ummm, what else would you suggest? Are you more scared by Scream 3, or a late 40's version of "the fly" or "it came from outer-space" lol.

What you're suggesting is I'd use non-realistic graphics to try to immerse people. I might as well make a text game and say "BOO!" on the screen.

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From a religious standpoint — in this case, you're talking about Judaism (not to be confused with Christianity) — your idea of God "leaving" earth is quite simply impossible, but in the interest of poetic license I'll give it to you, because I think your idea is very interesting. It has the potential to make for a very powerful roleplaying experience, especially if players could choose to side with evil and become instruments of darkness, or maintain the path to divinity and board the rocket to Mars. This good-evil dichotomy always has the potential to work very well, but I've never actually seen it implemented properly. For one thing, "evil" is not to be confused with "scary," as one does not imply the other. Evil is shameful and abhorant; scary is giant spiders.

I'm interested in knowing how you would implement this "chain reaction" idea. Are these sequences scripted and rigid, the same each time you play (and thus deterministic and ultimately boring), or have you considered a kind of dynamic system that varies based on player choices?

The idea of traveling alone reminds me of Christ's time in the wilderness, when he was tempted by the devil. I could see the main character enduring a similar moral dilemma on his or her journey to the rockets (either to board or destroy them). Sort of a Christ-meets-Moses epic tale. Many fictional heroes and stories have been based on scripture.

In fact, rather than giving the player the choice to board or destroy the rockets at the very end of the story, the path taken through the story should determine what the main character does when he or she finally gets there. The thing that really annoyed me about Deus Ex 2 was that the entire game did not matter when you got to the very end and were ultimately offered the distinct choice of which agenda you wanted to support. This kind of decision should be made throughout the game through action, not at the very end by a single choice. It defeats the purpose of playing a game more than once if only the last five minutes have any effect on the outcome.

Anyway, I think it's an interesting amalgamation of ideas.

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I find it hard to understand what the player actually would end up doing.

From your description, it sounds like Survival mixed with MegaTen. Would that be an accurate diagnosis ?

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well, like I said, from a religeous standpoint, it would be impossible, but that's what creativity is all about. I realize that the way I worded the "2 options" thing was confusing, but no, once you reach the rockets, you get off the planet.

As for the scripted chain reactions. That's why I included Havok or Ageia. Those are both very realistic physics engines as used in half life 2 and can cause litterally hundereds of different chains of events with relitavley little scripting.

The game would have a low replayability simply because it's story based, but should make up for it by being very long. Some people however like story driven games and to replay them. It's like watching your favorite movie more than once.

The difference between evil and scary is quite clear, but for purpose of content, they would be intermingled. Scary is when you're trapped inside a house trying to run away from a wolf plauged by rabbies as it growls and barks at you from it's foaming mouth. Evil is breifly seeing a dead face with glowing red eyes in the mirror and then flinging around to see that nothing's there.

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Quote:
Original post by TheKrust
[...] and god has "left".


That and the illusions made me think of the P&P RPG Kult, although the inspiration for Kult was, I believe, Kabbalah. It's probably the most intense and dark RPG I've ever played. If you can get your hands on it, it'll probably be a good source of informations. [smile]


Quote:
As for realistic graphics ruining the "scary effect" ummm, what else would you suggest? Are you more scared by Scream 3, or a late 40's version of "the fly" or "it came from outer-space" lol.


Probably the latter, even though I haven't seen it, because Scream 3 wasn't scary at all.


Quote:
What you're suggesting is I'd use non-realistic graphics to try to immerse people. I might as well make a text game and say "BOO!" on the screen.


Well, you did say you weren't actually making the game.

When it comes to scare, I personally find text much more intense than pretty graphics, because my imagination will beat yours anytime when it comes to scaring myself. One of the reasons why I'm such an avid reader is because my imagination actually gets to work, instead of being shown and told everything. Obviously YMMV.

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Original post by let_bound
When it comes to scare, I personally find text much more intense than pretty graphics, because my imagination will beat yours anytime when it comes to scaring myself. One of the reasons why I'm such an avid reader is because my imagination actually gets to work, instead of being shown and told everything. Obviously YMMV.


There is no sarcasm at all when I say I admire that in a person. However, most people arent that way, and personally, Im a moderate reader and I've never had anything text related scratch the surface when it comes to horror. I don't scare easily either so I think it would be good for someone with a very high tolerance to design it.

As for scream 3 lol, yeah it wasn't scary. But when compared, I actually saw the origional fly and I was seriously cracking up half the movie. The effects were so bad it was just funny. Back then, they used melted choclolate for blood, no joke. At least scream 3 gave me the jumps a few times.

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Firstly, what kind of game idea lists "realistic shadows" as crucial game element?

Secondly, you said it's always dark. So there won't be any shadows anyway.

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Original post by d000hg
Firstly, what kind of game idea lists "realistic shadows" as crucial game element?

Secondly, you said it's always dark. So there won't be any shadows anyway.


Ok, that's just being absurley technical and you know it. Always dark means the sun never shines. Not pitch black. Besides I think you're forgetting a little thing called electricity... you know, the magic that makes the light turn on in your room. Sound familiar?

Secondly, shadows are extrmely improtant for establishing fear. Anyone whose seen a half-way decent horror film should know this.

EDIT: sorry for the hostility of this response, but it gets really frustrating when people cant use common sense and instead act like machines.

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I think it's a good idea man. With post-apocolyptic ruins and crazy beasts, not to mention some evil super-being (be it the devil or whatever)...there are infinite possibilities for your chain-reaction scenerios. Not to mention the good vs evil idea. It just seems like an extremely immersive experience. One question though...if God gave up on us and let the devil have reign, what's stopping the devil from taking over right then right there? WHAT exactly would drive anyone to do "the right thing"? When I was first reading the post I was thinking about what if this is like the prequel to God taking Earth back and defeating the Devil's armies? Then it's like this is the last chance for people to go for "good" or "evil" (whatever people's perception of these things are). I don't know just a thought...but I really like the idea...I'd buy the game.

Cheers

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I was having trouble coming up with that concept of the devil having "absolute power" over the people of earth. That was when I realised that (according to religeons) humans cannot be directly controled by anything other than themselves, putting posession aside. Humans also have free will, so they're not necessarily trying to do the right thing, they're just trying to stay alive.

Also, (correct me if i'm wrong) but I recall the bible saying something about satan having very limited direct power over the Earth, mainly maintaning the ability to trick people. Maybe (theoreticly as of now) god is keeping the devil from taking over, but the bible never says this.

Therefore, I think the devil cannot directly take anything, only by indirect means can he preform this. With no god stopping him though, these indirect threats become far worse, especially when man's weapons get involved.

PS. this is all game description mixed with some logical guesses, not actually what I think.

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A spin off where you are the devil trying to drive people away from going to mars by turning them against each other and throwing your beasts every now and then... You'd be hurt by flash lights and honest prayers.. Everything is extremely bright (after all, you're in the dark and you're the devil..) The scariest thing for you are little innocent children..
Hmm, this might even sell out as a comedic spin off..

Ok, to make it interesting, God doesn't have to leave earth.. Bcz we need monsters. Monsters like Guardian angels, Gabrial, Michael...

Oh, church (or mosque for me) would be extremely dark on the inside though it's well lit out. It's there where you have to wait people to come out from.. Graveyards is where you summon your beasts. Defend them on the way.

In the end you're immortal, so I have no idea how it would end.. Maybe by people leaving off the the planet and u left alone in total despair.. A game where the end is your loss.

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Huh wow, I definitely agree with the guy who made the atmosphere comment. You really put a strong image in my mind of this hypothetical Earth. Now this is a game, so whether its possible or not, I could care less. I think this chain reaction thing could be very effective at screwing with the player. You choose not to help the devil, and so he starts screwing with you. You start seeing things in mirrors, as well as having your companions start breaking down. Or you do choose to follow him, only to find it just gets more and more twisted and dark. I have to disagree with the good graphics = not scary comment. Just because they are good, doesn't mean you have to show any more than that rogue-like. It is a truth that a person can imagine something more frightening than you can ever show them. So exploit them and intentionally don't show the player things, but indicate at their existence. Noises, moving objects, etc could be used to convey a frightening presence, and then the player's inability to see it would trigger their imagination to creating something more frightening than anything you could put on screen. It would require a delicate balance of showing/not showing, as well as some other things, but if pulled off could be awesome in my opinion.

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Sticking to the original idea, you can add another twist to the story.. Is there really a devil, or are you just hallucinating. Is it that you're bad, and that's leading to your group breaking up; or there's really someone trying to break you.
Maybe to reach a conclusion that there is a devil, but he's not responsible for everything bad that happened.. Maybe the devil wants something else than just not wanting you to escape... Hmm, a pride perhaps :P
[EDIT] You choose your character's gender, if it's male, the devil is gay :P and still wants to get you - No offense to anyone

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Quote:
Original post by TheKrust
Secondly, shadows are extrmely improtant for establishing fear. Anyone whose seen a half-way decent horror film should know this.
Maybe, but putting "realsitic shadows" as a core feature of a game, is to me like saying "this game will be based around HDR, and also there is a story".

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lol no, a core GRAPHICS feature. You can't have a game centered around HDR, but you can have a graphics engine centerd round one. If you want the truth, the graphics pipline in source is really nothing special, it's the HDR that makes it so glamorous. Otherwise, it's just low poly counts and high quality textures.

Shadows are the core of establishing the look of fear. And the graphics engine should be based around accomidating that. The Doom3 engine was and Unreal 3 CERTAINLY is.

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Quote:
Original post by d000hg
Quote:
Original post by TheKrust
Secondly, shadows are extrmely improtant for establishing fear. Anyone whose seen a half-way decent horror film should know this.
Maybe, but putting "realsitic shadows" as a core feature of a game, is to me like saying "this game will be based around HDR, and also there is a story".


Agreed. Consider Thief, where you need to hide-in-shadows to do most of your "work" in the game. Such tasks would be impossible in broad daylight. Shadows (or, if you prefer, darkness) are an integral part of the game. Perhaps not in a technical sense (e.g. realtime vs. precomputed vs. invisible polygon maps which the game considered as shadowed areas), but then do such things really matter to the player?


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The first thing that came to mind was System Shock 2 (sans the religious aspect). That game had the shadows, but more importantly it was scary as hell without being overly obvious about it. So if you want to design a scary game, I think that's one good target to investigate.

For instance, in Doom 3, lights almost always go out and secret doors open when you're about to be attacked, which is a bit scary until you learn to expect it. System Schock 2 didn't usually have these gimmicks but still managed to create an atmosphere that had a big effect on your mental state. It didn't go overboard with shadows, either, although it was pretty dark. What it did have was good voice acting, as well as a feeling of being all alone (if you travel with a tribe, I think it won't be so scary as you wish anymore). Also, the alarm system was nifty - when you got spotted by security cameras, you got swarmed by hordes of zombies coming from all possible directions (any neighboring rooms or corridors) and had to take a kind of last stand, with the high-pitched alarm noise in the background all the while.

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Original post by Tom
in this case, you're talking about Judaism (not to be confused with Christianity)


Ummm, what the "hell" are you talking about... I think you may have that backwards.

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