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All you want from a Horror-Adventure-Zombie game

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Hi There.
FIRST OF ALL,SORRY IF MY ENGLISH IS NOT GOOD.I AM A VIDEO GAME DESIGNER.ME AND MY COLLEAGES HAVE DECIDED TO OPEN A STUDIO AND PRODUCE HORROR-ADVENTURE GAMES.I AM COMPLETELY INSPIRED BY Resident Evil 1,2 AND 3 SO ME AND MY PARTNERS WANT TO BRING BACK ALL THE PUZZLES,SCARY-SHOCKING MOMENTS AND REAL ZOMBIES.
We are working on a game named "Once upon a time..." the title does not look scary,but it is :-). I have some Ideas and a storyline,I will be grateful if you guys help us by criticising and giving us ideas.
First of all,we want to add these features.
When the main character encounters a zombie or an infected creater,for instance,when he faces a zombie,his hands start shivering,his heart pounds so fast and loud in his chest,that gameplayer can hear him respiring rapidly.his mouth become dry,he can barely breath or speak and etc.a feature that has not been seen in any Horror game.a reaction that any individual will do in these situations,in real life.
I am working on the story,i will post it asap.

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FIRST OF ALL,SORRY IF MY ENGLISH IS NOT GOOD


Avoid capitals and you're gold. If in doubt, do not capitalize.

Quote:
when he faces a zombie,his hands start shivering,his heart pounds so fast and loud in his chest


Expressive characters are very important in art.

But consider that the player character is an extension of the player himself.

You say this "has not been seen in any Horror game".

This might be because it is a bad idea, but it might be historical accident. Without examples, you'll need to understand what you're doing and think critically.

Ask yourself:

Is it jarring when the character's emotions clash with the player's? If I'm yawning, and the character representing me is terrified of the 5th panzy monster, will that annoy me?

I don't know the answer to that; I have not thought about it much. But you should. Think critically about this.

Quote:
a reaction that any individual will do in these situations,in real life


Your #1 goal is to scare the player.

This is very difficult and you'd better 'hit the books' on this one.

Quote:
SCARY-SHOCKING MOMENTS AND REAL ZOMBIES.


These two things might not jive with each other.

Familiar & well understood things like zombies are inherently less scary.

Artistically speaking, anyway.

There's a whole other dimension of gameplay here.

There was a good article on fight-or-flight response recently on Gamasutra. Go fish for it.

Quote:
I am working on the story,i will post it asap.


No point.

If you're thinking about the background mythology, understand that it may be completely superfluous to making a good game, a good story, and a scary story.

The parts that matter are not going to come through on a text forum.

A rich mythology can add a lot, but make sure you've got the basics down first, and don't go far past the minimum story necessary unless you have a good writer.

General rule; a bad story is not better than no story.

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Original post by Nemesis1985When the main character encounters a zombie or an infected creater,for instance,when he faces a zombie,his hands start shivering,his heart pounds so fast and loud in his chest,that gameplayer can hear him respiring rapidly.his mouth become dry,he can barely breath or speak and etc.a feature that has not been seen in any Horror game.

You haven't played Amnesia!

And somehow, after all these zombie games, I find zombies more funny than scary.

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Welcome Nemesis!

I'm glad you're working on a project that you care about. I think we all have some idea that truly inspires us, that we want to see realized very badly. However, don't let that passion carry you away. There is a difference between a good idea, and a good implementation of that idea. Now that you've brought the concept here, we can offer a few opinions that might save you time and improve your design.

I've only played a few zombie action-adventures, but I agree with JoeCooper: if the character is scared when the player is not, then it's not a fun experience. If the player is scared, even if the character is not, it's still freaking scary. The most effective tool you have is to try and scare the player.

If this is your goal, you should focus on gameplay, and events that lead to scaring the player, instead of the character's mechanical response to these events.

If your heart is really set on having the character respond that way, I would offer one suggestion:
Make the character respond like the player feels. Since it is hard to accurately predict how the player is going to feel, base it on their actions. If they are darting around the room checking all the windows for a way out while the door begins to splinter under the press of the undead mob, that might be a good time to show some concern/fear on the character. However if they are standing ready in front of the door with a shotgun and several grenades, that might not be the best time to make the character wet himself.

You could even include something in the gameplay, like an adrenaline meter that gives a speed boost when the player sees sudden movements/zombies. Just remember that people have a fight-or-flight instinct. Some players will want to stay and fight, while others naturally want to flee. Be careful when deciding for them which the character will do.

Good luck!

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This post made me think of Dead Space, specifically the areas where there's no atmosphere, and the sounds get wonky. They try to simulate what it would sound like if all that you could hear were the vibrations coming into your spacesuit from the floor. You can hear your guy breathing loudly, and when you get hurt his breathing becomes louder, faster and more irregular, so there's a really strong sense of second-hand terror, which I find very immersive. It helps that Dead Space--especially on higher difficulty levels--is a very scary game. Rooms are large and complex, with numerous possible entry points for the game's fast, powerful enemies, and you're always swiveling around in response to noises or changes in lighting. Very tense, very good.

If the game was less dangerous or less scary, the character's behavior would become silly, though. As chris said, zombie games are often less tense than they could be, and I often find that the zombies themselves are entirely quantifiable and predictable, so when I'm playing Resident Evil or something, I'll find myself very calm in a room full of the shambling dead, systematically manipulating their movements and dispatching or evading them as I gather treasure or unlock doors. If my guy was flipping out and crapping his pants while I completed a task that I found mundane, it would hurt immersion, serving only to make me think my dude is a sissy. I don't want that.

In terms of scary games, I'd suggest you look into Minecraft and an older game called Penumbra, which I believe had three "episodes" released.

Minecraft surprised me with its scare factor, since the sandbox world often lets you hear monsters that can't get to you, and is riddled with ways for monsters to get to you unexpectedly. That means that sometimes the moans and skittering are just background noise, which can lead to complacency, and then moments later that complacency can get you killed or seriously hurt. particularly in the early game, getting hurt is a big deal, since health is tough to regain (find or grow food, process food into rations, consume rations) and armor damage reduces armor effectiveness, and armor is even tougher and more costly to produce than food is.

In Penumbra, the novel control scheme often makes you feel clumsy. It's not combat-oriented at all, and when you have to use force for something, you feel like a secondary character in a horror movie, flailing wildly and screaming and hoping it works.

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