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Blog: "10 Ways to Evolve Horror Games"
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Thomas Offline
Frictional Games

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Post: #1
Blog: "10 Ways to Evolve Horror Games"

My thoughts on how to take horror games to the next level.

http://frictionalgames.blogspot.se/2012/...games.html
04-26-2012 11:14 AM
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Traggey Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Blog: "10 Ways to Evolve Horror Games"

Great read, thanks for putting this together Thomas!

04-27-2012 12:52 PM
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Prelauncher Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Blog: "10 Ways to Evolve Horror Games"

Really intresting, I agree with your thoughts and hope they´ll be used. Perhaps we´ll see more of this in future Frictional Games titles? Wink

Socialism (noun): A great way to run out of other people's money.
04-27-2012 08:53 PM
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SquigPie Offline
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RE: Blog: "10 Ways to Evolve Horror Games"

Ya know, if you guys ever decided to make a horror game based on Junji Ito's works, I'd throw money at the screen until it started eating them.
Then again Ito's stuff is pretty much a japanese Lovecraft on steroids. The man is pure genius at horror, but he doesn't do subtlety. In Uzumaki, it starts out pretty insane (A guy gets an obsession with spirals and breaks every bone in his body to form himself into one). But it somehow manages to go even further down the rabbit hole. Until the thing turns into a surreal nightmare. I don't know if this clashes too much with your own perception of what horror should be.

Still though, tell your monster designer to read some Ito.

Although Ito's stuff might look silly when not in 2D.

Also, if you want to evoke the question whether or not everything is real, I'd point you towards the infamous question posed in Silent Hill 3 (which you, no doubt, have played):
"Monsters, they look like monsters to you?"
(This post was last modified: 05-01-2012 05:05 PM by SquigPie.)
05-01-2012 04:59 PM
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Cranky Old Man Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Blog: "10 Ways to Evolve Horror Games"

Junji Ito always brings something fresh to the table (and by "fresh" I mean "revolting").

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(This post was last modified: 05-01-2012 11:39 PM by Cranky Old Man.)
05-01-2012 11:38 PM
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AspiringFailure Offline
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RE: Blog: "10 Ways to Evolve Horror Games"

Meh, I really disagree with the idea of human interaction. Movies can build horror from the drama that people can have with eachother. But unless this is the main source of horror, I just can't see it working. Human interaction provides comfort and assurance to the player. Unless every human you see is horribly insane, -that adds horror but subtracts realism and immersion substantially. It also becomes repetitive.


Human interaction is part of what ruined SH: Homecoming for me, and it even negatively affected SH: 2 IMO. It definitely ruined Downpour for me. Now it can be argued that human interaction isn't the issue, and that EXECUTION is, as Thomas said, but I just don't believe there' s RIGHT way to do it without using wholly unrealistic people and/or focusing on said interactions.
06-05-2012 10:34 PM
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Bridge Online
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RE: Blog: "10 Ways to Evolve Horror Games"

(06-05-2012 10:34 PM)AspiringFailure Wrote:  Meh, I really disagree with the idea of human interaction. Movies can build horror from the drama that people can have with eachother. But unless this is the main source of horror, I just can't see it working. Human interaction provides comfort and assurance to the player. Unless every human you see is horribly insane, -that adds horror but subtracts realism and immersion substantially. It also becomes repetitive.


Human interaction is part of what ruined SH: Homecoming for me, and it even negatively affected SH: 2 IMO. It definitely ruined Downpour for me. Now it can be argued that human interaction isn't the issue, and that EXECUTION is, as Thomas said, but I just don't believe there' s RIGHT way to do it without using wholly unrealistic people and/or focusing on said interactions.
Depending on the setting, meeting no human characters is also unrealistic. It's just that games that have absolutely no other humans (even if they are only in cutscenes or flashbacks) are usually really depressing. Horror games should be horrifying and it's fully possible to do this with other human characters. The key word really is execution. But it makes the game much more varied which is never a bad thing. Even if the human interaction is negligible it still makes you feel hopeful, and shattered hopes are much more horrifying than no hopes at all, IMO.
06-05-2012 11:20 PM
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SquigPie Offline
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RE: Blog: "10 Ways to Evolve Horror Games"

(06-05-2012 10:34 PM)AspiringFailure Wrote:  Human interaction is part of what ruined SH: Homecoming for me, and it even negatively affected SH: 2 IMO.
Silent Hill 2? Was there a single person you met in that game who where even slightly normal or sane? And was there a single one of those mad men and women who where just OMGSOCRAZY? They where all disturbed in very subtle, creepy and imaginative ways.

Silent Hill 2 was about a group of disturbed people and their personal hell. It would've been much less interesting if it was just James running around.
06-06-2012 03:44 PM
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AspiringFailure Offline
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RE: Blog: "10 Ways to Evolve Horror Games"

SH 2 wasn't about the group of people, though. The direction wasfocus exclusively on James. The other characters were inserted with the purpose of SUPPLEMENTING James's course, in order to make it more eerie or disturbed, or to add more variety and keep the player enticed. The problem is that they felt misplaced. No in the good way that seeing a wheelchair outside of the context of a hospital feels misplaced, but in a bad way. Like they were tacked on. Now there are some inherently deep ties that the characters have with the game, such as how the help direct the story from one part to another, but the only character that ever should have been there was Maria in my opinion. Allowing James to interact with other real people just ruined the mystery of the town. Execution does not solely mean the personality given to the characters. They're placement and purpose are important, too.

It's important for me to say, too, that I don't strictly think the inclusion of people always RUINS horror games. No, they don't. Sometimes they DO work out for the better. But they ARE NOT necessary for the game to be better, nor does their inclusion make the game better. It really depends on the kind of atmosphere the game is shooting for, if the people are beneficial or not.
06-08-2012 05:05 AM
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Theforgot3n1 Offline
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RE: Blog: "10 Ways to Evolve Horror Games"

What are your takes on games like Dead Space? You always seem to be talking about silent hill. Is it really so superior in horror?
Dead space has a little interaction with humans, mostly as they're dying or when you meet up with someone. I find it important that the player can feel comfortable and (as said earlier) with hope, so that they can be susceptible to more scares. In the cistern it was even said in a commentary that they made cistern so that people would feel safe and relaxed, only to be scared even more.

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06-08-2012 04:34 PM
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