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Blog: "10 Ways to Evolve Horror Games"
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SquigPie Offline
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Post: #11
RE: Blog: "10 Ways to Evolve Horror Games"

In my opinion, there is no such thing as superior horror, or even something that can be defined as "true horror". The people who hate Dead Space often say that Silent Hill is where it's at, but even Silent Hill leaps great distances in horror styles. 2 was a very melancholic and "creepy" game, where most of the scares where subtle and took some thought to get the full extent out off. 1 and 3 where far more straightforward, especially 3, which was very close to Amnesia in terms of scaring methods, if Silent Hill 2 is a creepy knock on the door, Silent Hill 3 and Amnesia are loud bangings on every door and wall in the room, and Dead Space is the psychotic, mutated homeless guy who jumps through your window and throws stuff at you. The fact that it's bright for most parts, made alot of people call it unscary. They fail to see that Dead Space is driven by body horror, a form of horror which works best if viewed in its full glory. Then there's the "You have way too much ammo and the game is easy" camp, I wonder if these people have ever actually played Silent Hill 2, where every monster was slow, only took 3 shots to down, and where ammo practically rained from the sky. And of course, the "The game isn't scary" camp, the problem here is that you can't define horror this way, some people found Dead Space terrifying and Amnesia dull, this doesn't make them stupid, impatient or immature. People are scared by different things. To some people, the implication of a hint of a monster is true horror. To others, the monster, standing in its full, twisted, puking glory is true horror.'

I appreciate both. Though I prefer Silent Hill 3/Amnesia horror.
(This post was last modified: 06-08-2012 08:56 PM by SquigPie.)
06-08-2012 08:47 PM
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AspiringFailure Offline
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Post: #12
RE: Blog: "10 Ways to Evolve Horror Games"

I want to say something about the difficulty of the enemies, -It's not the ACTUAL difficulty that I think really matters, but the PROJECTED difficulty. Practically, killing enemies is easy as pie in SH2. But the combat is SO timing based, and the controls SO clunky, that I, personally, dreaded all combat encounters, because even though it's easy to kill the enemies, it's also easy to slip up and then get brutally raped by them, permanently hurting your odds of beating the game later on.

Now with Deadspace, I never found myself worried about enemy encounters. The problem is that combat is FUN in Dead Space, therefore, I even enjoyed it. Now I know it can be argued that "Un-fun combat doesn't make the game scary", but you have to remember, nobody's scared of doing something they enjoy.

I also think it's unfair to compare Amnesia to SH3. SH3 just threw TONS AND TONS of enemies at you. I mean that game SUFFOCATED you with 'em. Amnesia hardly does this. It's not scary in a loud or forced way. It's scary in a more psychological way. I.E. I have personally found myself becoming downright PARANOID, closing every door that I open and checking to make sure should a monster show up that I have a place to run and hide to. This kind of horror touches you on a FAR deeper level than "OH GOD LOOK AT ALL THESE ENEMIES I GOTTA GET OUTTA HERE.".
06-09-2012 09:20 AM
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SquigPie Offline
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Post: #13
RE: Blog: "10 Ways to Evolve Horror Games"

Combat didn't feel the least bit threatening in Silent Hill 2, you didn't enjoy it yes, but not because the monsters felt threatening, you didn't enjoy it because it was bad. As long as you had a gun, it was just "hold down aim buttom and fire a couple of time". And considering the amount of ammo, you'd spend most of the game using a gun. Dead Space at least required some tactical thinking, which made shit tense when there was 6 enemies bearing down on you and you had to dismember them all.

Even then, the enemies isn't what makes the horror style, Amnesia and Silent Hill 3 are both straightforward, they both lack subtlety (not in a bad way, mind you), in Silent Hill 3, the Otherworld is a hellscape with weird, almost melting walls. In Amnesia, you aren't stuck in a creepy castle, you're stuck in a Lovecraftian demonic dark world where the music blares ungodly tunes at you. Both games are very "loud". The horror isn't sneaky or creepy, it's roaring chanting and thouroughly terrifying.
(This post was last modified: 06-09-2012 11:55 AM by SquigPie.)
06-09-2012 11:54 AM
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AspiringFailure Offline
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Post: #14
RE: Blog: "10 Ways to Evolve Horror Games"

Tactical and deep = Dead Space.
Difficult and awkward = Silent Hill.
Difficult and awkward = Real life.

Now I know that DS is technically superior. I'm not denying this. But I still think trying to make combat fun in a Horror game is a horrible idea. :]


Amnesia's scope of Horror is WAY beyond just being loud and blatant, though. It does have subtleties and they tie in very well with the tension induced by the monsters. You're not just running from these guys and hiding, -you're trying not to look at them. You're always considering what to do should one show up, and you're curious about what they are. None of this is true for SH3. I'm not telling you enemies are the sole method of projecting horror in either of these games. They aren't.

But they are a very, very large part of it. I sure will admit that if ANY horror game I ever played removed the enemies, it would be zero scary and zero enticing to play. If there's a horror game out there that doesn't have you running away from baddies, -and it's actually good, I'd love to try it and see how that changes my opinion on the importance of enemies.
06-10-2012 08:35 PM
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Bridge Offline
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Post: #15
RE: Blog: "10 Ways to Evolve Horror Games"

(06-09-2012 11:54 AM)SquigPie Wrote:  […] they both lack subtlety (not in a bad way, mind you) […]
I don't understand this. In what way do you mean Amnesia lacks subtlety? Certainly not in the story, the music/sound, the visuals or the gameplay. What else is there really? I guess it's a matter of opinion, but I think almost everything about it is subtle. Sure there is bombastic music at times and the scares are sometimes decidedly unsubtle but you need to have scenes that emphasize the mood. Constant and static build-up is pretty boring.
06-11-2012 11:01 PM
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SquigPie Offline
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Post: #16
RE: Blog: "10 Ways to Evolve Horror Games"

(06-11-2012 11:01 PM)Bridge Wrote:  
(06-09-2012 11:54 AM)SquigPie Wrote:  […] they both lack subtlety (not in a bad way, mind you) […]
I don't understand this. In what way do you mean Amnesia lacks subtlety? Certainly not in the story, the music/sound, the visuals or the gameplay. What else is there really? I guess it's a matter of opinion, but I think almost everything about it is subtle. Sure there is bombastic music at times and the scares are sometimes decidedly unsubtle but you need to have scenes that emphasize the mood. Constant and static build-up is pretty boring.
I think you misunderstand, I don't mean it lacks subtlety as in "monsters pop up all the time". What I mean is, in essence, the sounds, the monsters, the atmosphere and the design, it roars at you, the best way to explain this quickly is by this example, when you enter the menu, you don't see fog with silent, beatiful and creepy music in the background, what many other horror games do. Instead, you see a barely lit doorway with an almost daemonic darkness surrounding it. The music is loud, screaming, hellish, doomtastic. The rest of the game has small moments of "subtlety" but for most parts, it's this, not the melancholic empty Silent Hill in SH2. But something cosmic, most of Amnesia bombards you with things to fear, wether it's the darkness itself, or monsters, it doesn't matter.

The devs somewhat said it themselves in the commentary, at the front hall (the part with the fountain, can't remember the name.) They say that it's a small area to calm down in.
(This post was last modified: 06-12-2012 05:54 PM by SquigPie.)
06-12-2012 05:46 PM
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bloogleford Offline
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Post: #17
RE: Blog: "10 Ways to Evolve Horror Games"

Disclaimer - i've only played through a a bit of Overture so far, but the whole thing that made me interested in it was the Lovecraftian feel to the story.

Really liked the ideas in the OP!

Maybe it's just being older, but honestly I think most horror games are a joke, then again I think the plots of most games period are a joke. The only survival horror i've played that left a lasting scare was Silent Hill 2. The other Silent HIll games weren't bad, but they lacked stuff like the pyschosexual element, and the sadness and relationship stuff blending with horror present in that game, I think that game is an anomaly in terms of complex emotional content.

If someone tried marketing that game to today's audience very few would get it because games, and what gamers expect today is mostly spectacle, not substance. Truthfully I don't think mainstream gamers really have much taste in terms of narrative - too many years of garbage. Many games from 20 years ago (the Ultima RPG's spring to mind) dwarfed anything made today in terms of narrative - not what gamers seem to like sadly.

Most mainstream horror movies are abysmally bad too..so it's not really that surprising.

The fear of the unknown and it's manipulation is the height of horror for me, this combined with a serious sense of isolation and despair I personally find scarier than anything else. I wish there were more games doing it, most are very formulaic and involve something jumping out and saying boo.

My only comment on the game design thing is that I think agree that combat should not be fun..however it should be rewarding, and not punishing, you should wish for it to be over soon, and feel a sense of relief when it is.

PS I will be checking out Juni Ito, sounds fantastic!
(This post was last modified: 09-11-2012 02:16 AM by bloogleford.)
09-11-2012 02:01 AM
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