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Are you tired of horror games that takes place in a city?

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Lots of games from the past as well as today have used a city as the main area for the games beginning and for much of the game. The question is this, are you tired of playing in a destroyed city? Or do you prefer some where else. If you are for the city or you think a new location would be nice please tell me what you think. Most people are for the city because u have access to weapons...but then some are for the dark deep woods with a castle...but there is problems to both areas. and they are listed below the city has been done to death but it has access to weapons and ammo the castle idea is alot scarier but you wouldnt have access to the weapons you would need to defeat the enemies in there so the question is this. are you tired of horror games taking place in a city? Personally I am for and against the city..yes a new area would be nice but how are you going to gain access to weapons that wont be there. thats the problem i see with doing a castle. or some remote third world country like in the events of RE5. basically things have lost their edge because of continual use. anyways i want to get your viewpoint on this.

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I agree with you in that cities in horror games are a bit tired. And I agree with your reasoning as to why. Cities are easy. They have lots of twists and turns, a large population (that can potentially become zombies/psychos/mutated monsters), lighting (working or otherwise), and a simple explanation as to why guns are present. For all intents and purposes, a city is a great place for a horror game. That is, if you aren't the 100th person to come up with it.

It's unfortunate that designers' so consistently default to this setting, as it is ripe with uninteresting plot devices. I.e. The city is destroyed because of the [insert disaster] that also caused everyone to turn into [insert creepy badguy] and now you, the player, who wasn't affected because he (was out of town/...just because) must fight off the [creepy badguys] to save the (world/girl/yourself).

Now I'll admit that a few of those cliche's aren't exclusive to the horror genre, and some are outside of the scope of cities, but you get the idea. Boring.

By avoiding the simply setting of a city, you are forcing yourself to get creative. How could a shooter take place in a castle? Well, maybe the man who owns said citadel is extremely paranoid about WWIII breaking out, so he's stocked his fortress with various guns. Also, to make the setting more intricate, he's designed a series of labyrinths and dungeons to prevent invading 'what-nots' from getting to him.

Then again, depending on the gameplay, the problem of boring settings could become irrelevant. Take Left 4 Dead for example. If you go back to the second paragraph I wrote and fill in the blanks, Left 4 Dead fits into a cliche horror story. But, the tense and innovative gameplay, and over all epic feel, makes you forget that three fourths of the game take place in the streets of a destroyed city that happens to have guns everywhere.

In the realm of story driven horror games, which Left 4 Dead is not, a touch of innovation could go a long way. It isn't all that hard to come up with a believable horror scenario that takes place somewhere rural.

One thing I'd like to see -and I'm not saying they don't exist already, I just haven't seen one- is a fantasy horror game. Like Final Fantasy meets Silent Hill. That would be sweet.

To summarize, I agree with you.

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I always thought it was odd that so many horror games took place in once populated places, especially since many of the other media for horror scenarios takes place in rural areas. I think you could do a really great game with desolate rural area with cabins, caves, swamps, cemeteries, etc. to explore and create intense situations.

Think like Blair Witch feel. I know it does not really translate into a game but the fear of something being there, watching, in a forest with no support structure is great and I would like to see a game recreate it.

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Why does a horror game have to be set in modern times?

If you take things back and give your game a medieval/fantasy twist you can easily use the castle setting. It would make perfect sense for a castle to be loaded with viable weapons in that case. Swords, axes, spears and pikes would all be readily available.

And if you're concerned about players not having access to ranged weapons it seems reasonable that a castle would be stocked with bows 'n arrows, crossbows and likely an assortment of spells and potions if you opt for the fantasy twist.

Just a suggestion, but remember that setting involves more than just the place. A location that doesn't seem to work in one era may work better in another.

Although, to be frank, I think that horror games in which you have virtually no way of defending yourself against the monster a-la Clock Tower are generally much scarier than the horror/action hybrids like Resident Evil.

For a game like that, an old run down castle without modern weaponry would probably be a wonderful setting.

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Well this really depends on the time period.

Most games take place in a modern day city setting because it's what we can most easily relate to. The easier it is to get the player to feel familiar with their surroundings, the easier it is to scare the pants off of them.

I think it's important to give players a sense of comfort at first because most players go in to horror games on "edge" and are expecting the worst. If you can convince them that everything seems comfortable at first, then it's easier to frighten them. It's why a lot of the scariest things when we are children are the ones that invade our most comfortable safe zones. Monster under the bed, monster in the closet, ghosts in the basement... whatever the case may be.

People are scared of that stuff because it threatens their normal lives and makes them feel unsafe no matter where they may be.

I'm not going to be scared if I'm playing a character who is roaming a dark abandoned castle and something jumps out at me. I'd be more scared if my character was just informed that a killer was on the loose and that he cuts off power to houses in order to get a jump on his prey... and then the power in my house goes out. Then I'd be terrified.

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Quote:
the castle idea is alot scarier but you wouldnt have access to the weapons you would need to defeat the enemies in there


That never stopped Resident Evil, they just worked around it by hiding a "secret" biolab under the carpet loaded with guns.

Many older horror games (like the Original Alone in the Dark) are very short on ammo, and if anything that increases the atmosphere and level of tension. You could do the same thing, giving the player a single revolver with a few bullets in it.

If you wanted too, you could have your car outside have extra ammo, or bring a few companions with you (also carrying a weapon/ammo) that split up when you enter, giving you some extra gear to find by meeting up with them or looting their poor unfortunate corpses. Ah, and when i say "a few companions" i don't mean a small army of expendable soldiers, more like 2-3 people.

An amusing choice for the player could be whether he wants to save his companions, or let them die so he can have their weapons/ammo.

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I have some macabre liking for destroyed places, like the remnants of a city that's been under siege (Half-Life 2) or an abandoned military bunker.

I'd actually love to see a horror game that takes place in a more edgy environment, like a condemned amusement park or mountain ski resort (like in The Shining)-- places that you should have positive associations with but which are twisted in some subtle, sinister way. Although it was a crap game, I liked the environment of The Thing because it was such an unusual setting because Antarctica implies such desolation-- you're not just running down the road for help.

I think the weapons problem really just needs an adequate excuse. Your castle, for instance, could have been invaded by an army that was torn to pieces, sort of like in the old 80s horror movie The Keep. If any sort of authority came there and was wiped out, you get their weapons (isn't this the reason why theoretical physicist Gordon Freeman is running around with rocket launchers in Half-Life 1?)

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