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Creating a good custom story
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MaZiCUT Offline
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Post: #1
Creating a good custom story

So you want to create a great enviroment and a detailed atmosphere you say?

Well search no further, because this thread is soppoused to help you with that.


1. Sound

Fitting music for your theme is important.

Are you going to make sound effects that should scare the player for example when the player goes down some stairs? Always go over the sound effects and choose the best one.

Are you having water drops and wind blowing? You should really add sound for that to give it a better feel.

So you can't find a sound or music from the original game files that fits your needs? There is always websites like http://www.freesound.org on the internet that could help you, if that doesen't help then Google is your friend.

2. Sense

Now this is important, everything you do, every detail you create has to make sense, for example why is there books laying around in a mess on the floor? Maybe someone was fleeing in a hurry?

For example this over-used teleporting asshole guy, If you're going to use him then would that make sense?
I guess it would if you made a story behind it but usually you should avoid scares like that, make logical scares.

For example the castle you are in is haunted, so you most likely know there's a monster, doors shutting behind you would make sense if he shaked up the castle with his loud ROARRWRS.

3. Lighting

Having great lightning is always important, but in the theme of Amnesia having light everywhere wouldn't add up to a great atmosphere. But don't take this seriously, this can differ from what story you make, my custom story for example will have lots of lightning because it's on a fancy 1890s ship (okay i shouldn't spoil to much now).

Add detail to lightning, is the lightning behind a door? is it a spotlight, if it is then you should use a proper texture as if it was shining through.

4. Atmosphere

The absolutely most important, it isn't that scary being in an atmosphere where there is ponies.. don't get me started on that.

Billboards could add on to your enviroment pretty great, but don't over-use them in the wrong place.

Particles is another important thing, are you in a dusty old room? Why not add some dust particles flying around like crazies, depending on how much dusty you want the room to be.

5. Story

You always need to have a great and logical story for your custom story right? Well it is recommended that you spend some time off the computer and write down a great story on a paper to go from, trust me it will be much easier to work this way!

No less than that, blue prints on paper of rooms are great and easy to work from too.

6. Scary stuff

Are you going to make the player venture into a dark room, and you want him to be scared?

Add details, make it so that the player uses his imagination what could be behind that door, add blood!

Make the player want to feel the refuse of not wanting to go into that room, not knowing what could be behind that one door.

7. Grammar
Having grammar could be important in mementos, journals and so forth, Bad grammar could ruin the atmosphere and the feel, for example:

1856 Five augyst

today i saw a naked guy on my corridor, he scary! i should be carfull!!!!

Remember to go over spelling once in a while to avoid mistakes.

And the last thing:

Be original.



This thread will be updated from time to time, i hope a moderator would sticky this or something like that Smile

Hi.
(This post was last modified: 07-04-2012 09:44 PM by MaZiCUT.)
06-22-2012 12:45 PM
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SiderealStop Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Creating a good custom story

I think this is really good. But, I do have to disagree with you on one point. Lightning.

The players usually know the basics of what attracts a creature, one being light. If you've got a fully lit room, dim but lit, that monster will see you and you have no dark corner to hide in. I think that's a lot more scary than darkness. Playing to a person's subconscious fears is the best way to go if you want a scare. Why are people afraid of the dark? They think a monster is going to jump out. But they aren't sure. You can get over jump scares easily and you know that in a bright place there's no where to hide.

I think I'd rather face a brute in a dark room than a grunt in a bright one. ^^

Anyway, just my opinion. Great job!
06-22-2012 01:00 PM
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Rokotain Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Creating a good custom story

Very nice checklist.
Will be sure to use it myself.

Hope everyone making a custom story takes a look at this, it covers the very basics many custom story-creators tend to forget/avoid. :]

[EDIT: "I think I'd rather face a brute in a dark room than a grunt in a bright one. ^^" Nice metaphor/description : p]
(This post was last modified: 06-22-2012 01:14 PM by Rokotain.)
06-22-2012 01:04 PM
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SiderealStop Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Creating a good custom story

Thanks Rokotain. ^^

Yeah I agree, it covers the basics well. It's not saying 'jump scares are everything!' or anything like that and does a good job at making it simple. =D
06-22-2012 01:22 PM
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Adny Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Creating a good custom story

(06-22-2012 01:00 PM)SiderealStop Wrote:  I think this is really good. But, I do have to disagree with you on one point. Lightning.

The players usually know the basics of what attracts a creature, one being light. If you've got a fully lit room, dim but lit, that monster will see you and you have no dark corner to hide in. I think that's a lot more scary than darkness. Playing to a person's subconscious fears is the best way to go if you want a scare. Why are people afraid of the dark? They think a monster is going to jump out. But they aren't sure. You can get over jump scares easily and you know that in a bright place there's no where to hide.

I think I'd rather face a brute in a dark room than a grunt in a bright one. ^^

Anyway, just my opinion. Great job!
I disagree.
Darkness = Insanity
Insanity = Louder Daniel
Louder Daniel = more likely to get caught by creature
Getting caught by creature = scary

Darkness = Scary; the player knows this is a game and that's how it works, regardless of how it might work in real life.

Lighting is the one thing many people overlook in mods for this game; lighting is one of the biggest contributors to atmosphere, yet so many people do it poorly. There's much more to it than having a torch+point light, there has to be contrast, and a sense of flowing between bright and dark areas.

Anyways, to OP:

I'm pretty sure this type of thread has been done multiple times before, or at least all the information here has been scavenged from many different help threads; either way, I feel I should weigh in on the subject!

1. Sound is extremely important, but you've barely scratched the surface with this post; the audio part of Amnesia's atmosphere is most effectively built by bombarding the player with many small, subtle sounds within a reasonable amount of time. I personally find the best mix is 50/50 random ambient sound loop/timers to scripted sounds associated with specific areas. Imo, if you open Amnesia with dev settings and it doesn't say you have at least 1 sound playing at a given time, you're doing it wrong.

On the same subject, music is vastly underused, of course I mean event music! It's not enough to just play the music, it should synchronize events happening in game. For example, say a brute's trying to break down your door and you decided on some event music for this special occasion - the strong notes (loudest) should be lined up with what the brute is doing, such as pounding on the door. If done properly, it will significantly increase immersion for these ever so crucial moments.

2. Good point to bring up; contrast between areas can give players relief or make them feel uneasy. Changes in ambient sounds and lighting can make one room feel tranquil, while the adjacent room will have an eerie feel.

3. Already touched on this at the beginning of my post

4. Atmosphere is a combination of the visual/audible aspects of the game that the player can observe; so if you have good mapping and good choices of sounds/music, it will come naturally.

5. Very important. If the story isn't good, there might as well not be a story at all! People shouldn't be afraid to try to emulate the type of literature found in the original game; hell, if your story is good enough to actually get the player interested, then hats off to you! (Please, try to avoid anything that has to do with Amnesia. Seriously.)

6. There is no limitation when it comes to scares, just the creator's imagination. Its something you want to be original in. A scare I found quite good a while back was the iron maiden scare/suitor in "Killings In Aldstadt"; it was new, and something I never saw coming (it's a shame countless PDP stories copy/pasta'd the script into their jumpscare fests, but what can you do?).

Although, there's nothing wrong with the usual types of "monster sequences"; by this I mean gradually giving the player hints towards the monster, whether they are subtle sounds, very quick visuals, then stepping it up to more dramatic encounters. In fact, it was done so well Followed By Death Chp2 I had to take frequent breaks (which I never do).

tl;dr - wall o' text crits for 5k.

I rate it 3 memes.
06-22-2012 01:33 PM
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MaZiCUT Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Creating a good custom story

I didn't scavenge or use any one elses opinions, as i said i'm not a pro myself but i'm trying to cover some basics.

I saw that someone needed help with creating an atmosphere, so i got an idea to create a thread to help everyone with some simple stuff Smile



If you want i can edit this and add on more details, covering some stuff you said.

Hi.
(This post was last modified: 06-22-2012 03:14 PM by MaZiCUT.)
06-22-2012 03:10 PM
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SilentStriker Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Creating a good custom story

(06-22-2012 01:00 PM)SiderealStop Wrote:  I think this is really good. But, I do have to disagree with you on one point. Lightning.

The players usually know the basics of what attracts a creature, one being light. If you've got a fully lit room, dim but lit, that monster will see you and you have no dark corner to hide in. I think that's a lot more scary than darkness. Playing to a person's subconscious fears is the best way to go if you want a scare. Why are people afraid of the dark? They think a monster is going to jump out. But they aren't sure. You can get over jump scares easily and you know that in a bright place there's no where to hide.

I think I'd rather face a brute in a dark room than a grunt in a bright one. ^^

Anyway, just my opinion. Great job!
Well the thing is that I don't want to meet a brute or grunt in either dark or bright room, I want to meet a brute or a grunt in a room where the lighting is well made and realistic (preferably dark (not pitch black) since darkness = unknown and is scarier than the light) if you make a room with realistic and detailed lighting then it will add A LOT to the atmosphere Smile

06-22-2012 03:14 PM
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SiderealStop Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Creating a good custom story

Ah yeah, I wasn't talking about the whole game being light or anything. Darkness is still important to the game. But don't forget that just because there's no dark place to make insanity go down doesn't mean that it won't. One, you can script it in. You hear the monster moving around and stuff so even if you're around the corner you're losing a bit of sanity no matter what. Also looking at the creature does the same. The player will feel helpless at this point- no where to really hide and still losing sanity.

I'm sorry, I'm not the type to find dark rooms with a jump scare the greatest thing in the world. This is what I think would really get into the player's mind ^^
06-22-2012 04:29 PM
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MaZiCUT Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Creating a good custom story

Updated!

Hi.
06-23-2012 10:32 AM
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LulleBulle Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Creating a good custom story

Also one thing that is extremely important; don't use poor grammar (it's spelled supposed)
06-23-2012 02:44 PM
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