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When Good Ideas Go Bad.

  • Don't you hate when you have an idea for a game that you realy REALY want to make, but you can't or you know that, in the end, it won't deleiver the results you want? Or when you have an idea you THOUGHT you realy REALY wanted to make, put in weeks of work and get board of the concept? This has happened to me on 3 occasions already. My most recent flook that I worked all day on, ORIGINS. I knew once I started testing a demo I made that I coundn't make it scary. I feel like ****

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  • Scary is about angles, ambient, expectation and sound... Being the designer of the game, the ambient and the expectation are already screwed for yourself.

    You cannot judge on the scariness of your own game, you need to have it tested, and be in the same room as the player to take notes on what they experience, how to make it more scarier, and so on...

    Noticing what is not working is half the road, making the changes is the other, keep going ^^

  • Don't you hate when you have an idea for a game that you realy REALY want to make, but you can't or you know that, in the end, it won't deleiver the results you want? Or when you have an idea you THOUGHT you realy REALY wanted to make, put in weeks of work and get board of the concept? This has happened to me on 3 occasions already. My most recent flook that I worked all day on, ORIGINS. I knew once I started testing a demo I made that I coundn't make it scary. I feel like ****

    I've spent tonnes of time trying to make things that were out of reach, or I became bored of them. It's not really a waste though, because you always learn to do new things or get an idea for a better game idea while you do it (unless you're trying to remake the same game each time ).

    Although, if you've only worked on it for a day, you probably won't find it scary. Scary games usually are made with the engine/game control first, and then the scary stuff is put in. Try getting a solid gameplay engine together before putting the scares in.

    Also, Sved is correct as well, you know where everything is going to happen (unless you make the scary stuff happen randomly) so you won't be as scared

  • Scary isn't about gameplay. Most other types of games have enemies that you kill and want to kill you, etc. Scary games are no different than any other games in that regard.

    What makes a scary game different is the story, and character development. And psychologically messing with your player's emotions. You can't make something scary in a day.

    So, Jayjay, I absolutely disagree with you. Scary games do not start with the engine and controls first. They start with a story. And lots, and lots, and lots of pre-planning before you ever even start coding.

    Once the story is down, you can make whatever game mechanics and control scheme you need to fit the story.

  • Sorry, but I have to disagree here. A scary game doesn't necessarily have to depend on story line or character development. The games mechanics can lend a lot to a scary feeling, based on difficulty, and what you have to loose.

    To demonstrate here's a little match game where you drag the matching tiles together to move the game along.

    I'm not sure what everybody would consider scary, but when you spend some time arranging things only to have it all fall apart it can be rather frighting.

    To play wait for the tiles to auto arrange, and then drag the corresponding tiles together.

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/666516/Matchgamestart.exe

    Edit:

    Its unfinished, but you get the idea.

  • To play wait for the tiles to auto arrange, and then drag the corresponding tiles together.

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/666516/Matchgamestart.exe

    Calling that it's some kind of jump-scare thing a-la that maze game:

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  • Heh, can I call it or what. Even uses the same image from the video I posted.

    Sorry newt, I saw that one approaching from orbit

  • Well I had a choice of either that or Rick Roll, but Rick falls more into the torture category.

  • Scary isn't about gameplay. Most other types of games have enemies that you kill and want to kill you, etc. Scary games are no different than any other games in that regard.

    What makes a scary game different is the story, and character development. And psychologically messing with your player's emotions. You can't make something scary in a day.

    So, Jayjay, I absolutely disagree with you. Scary games do not start with the engine and controls first. They start with a story. And lots, and lots, and lots of pre-planning before you ever even start coding.

    Once the story is down, you can make whatever game mechanics and control scheme you need to fit the story.

    You're absolutely right about the story needing to be made before the game, but I assumed he had already planned what he wanted in that respect before he started any work on actually making the game. I was just saying that a good game gameplay-wise can not (usually) be made in a day.

  • Any of you ever played F.E.A.R.? It was the first game I played that I found genuinely scary!

  • Well I had a choice of either that or Rick Roll, but Rick falls more into the torture category.

    If it makes you feel any better it did startle me a little, even though I was expecting it. It's one of those tricks that always works.

    You're absolutely right about the story needing to be made before the game, but I assumed he had already planned what he wanted in that respect before he started any work on actually making the game. I was just saying that a good game gameplay-wise can not (usually) be made in a day.

    Ah, I see. Carry on, then

  • scary isnt about a super developed complex story as much as it is the atmosphere, although the final goal of the character should be a little scary and success should be uncertain and seem extremely hopeless. nothing can be said and a game can be creepy as hell. the prospect of unforseen death at every corner is kinda frightening because it keeps the player tense and in an "adrenaline like state". The concept of death doesn't have to be cliche violence either.

    i'd argue one of the scariest games i've played is pikmin. yea, that colourful cute semi ant-sim game. the graphics, and gameplay don't necessarily make you scared. what's scary is only a few core aspects. you're only given 30 days to collect like 50 parts of your destroyed spaceship. if you don't get all the parts it pretty much means you die because your life support gives out. Days are pretty short so you feel the constant weight of time pressuring you to move forward, but at the same time you don't wanna rush and make brash decisions that'll cause you to lose a lot of your pikmin and be set back even further. so patience is a virtue but also means you take more time/days to accomplish riskier tasks safely. multiple elements make you doubt yourself and your choices, a lot is uncertain and makes you think, "this is hopeless" but you hold onto that little bit of hope.

    the main gameplay can get pretty scary at times too. you need to balance out tasks that take time like foraging for new pikmin and plucking pikmin with collecting parts, fighting enemies that might be the way, etc. You will lose hundreds of the cute little guys that you've become reliant and attached to for survival. their death also weighs on you cause they're cute and innocent, so you try to prevent them from being wasted and they don't feel like tools as much as they do comrades, and this can slow you down. if you leave them unaccounted for at the end of the day you see their violent death as they try to catch up to your spaceship as it takes off and get eaten. so theres an element of loosing allies, friends all the time, that's completely because of your mistakes. the camera angle is set high so you dont see danger, and sometimes attacks come at you in unexpected ways, and you hear so many little pikmin screams as half your population gets decimated. you feel for them and fear your own survival because of the setback. enemies are verocious and you need to be very cautious, so slipups can be devistating, and you fear everything. water is also dangerous. there are so many unknowns about the world your in, you get intrigued but at the same time fear what danger comes up next.

    it's not about gore, it's just controlling peoples emotions to make them feel the need to be cautious and selfish, and question their own morals blabla. the idea of trying to survive hopeless situations always proves to be a scary goal.

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