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A question for y'all
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Froge Offline
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Post: #1
A question for y'all

One of the reasons why I found the original ATDD so scary is due to that, before I encountered any monsters, I felt very scared of how the game was going to kill me. By that I mean I wasn't so much afraid of dying as I was afraid of what the monster would do to me before I die. Since the monster didn't appear until about 25% of the way through, I kept imagining that what would get me would be an incomprehensible eldritch abomination.

I wasn't afraid of death, I was afraid that right before I died I would be exposed to very disturbing images and sounds. Dying in a game isn't permanent, but seeing disturbing things kinda gets scarred into my brain. You guys know all those creepypasta pics that circulate around on the internet, right? I was sure that ATDD would make me see something profoundly shocking before I died, like a monster with a disturbingly wide smile on its face.

Anyways, do you think one of the reasons people didn't get too scared by AAMFP was because it wasn't "eldritch" enough? Players could probably tell from the title that they were going to deal with pig monsters crafted by some insane human, which instantly makes the monsters very comprehensible, like mechanical things rather than an unimaginable abomination. Furthermore, AAMFP didn't present much in the way of death: you die after you get hit a few times, and then you start over.

I was really hoping that the monsters would force me to view something disturbing when they killed me. Like maybe getting killed actually affects the storyline by making Mandus wake up in a different location, where he proceeds to see very dark and disgusting things like the torture rooms from the original ATDD. If they had at least shown some part of the torturous process of creating the pigs, and presented a few flashbacks that allowed us to hear the victims screaming "NO, I'M INNOCENT, I JUST WANT TO LIVE" and break down crying (like what happened with the arsonist from ATDD) or some other disturbing shit, the game could've felt even more impactful.

Have any of you read "Enigma of Amigara Fault?" It's a truly unsettling story about human-shaped holes that people are forced to walk into and become imprisoned in. If I saw something like that in AAMFP - like a room full of pig-shaped holes where people were forced into for days so that their bodies could be bent all out of shape - I would be very frightened. Especially if continuing on in the story required me to walk into those holes myself.

What could have made AAMFP more "eldritch" in your opinion?

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(This post was last modified: 09-22-2013 08:03 AM by Froge.)
09-22-2013 07:52 AM
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Nice Offline
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Post: #2
RE: A question for y'all

I think you pretty much nailed it for me


Sorry but we cannot change your avatar as the new avatar you specified is too big. The maximum dimensions are 80x80 (width x height)
09-22-2013 10:33 AM
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Tiger Away
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RE: A question for y'all

(09-22-2013 07:52 AM)Chronofrog Wrote:  Have any of you read "Enigma of Amigara Fault?"

Why did you have to remind me of that ;_;



But, yeah, maybe it could have been more shocking if it had some "eldritch"-element in it.
09-22-2013 10:38 AM
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Mechavomit Offline
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Post: #4
RE: A question for y'all

This , pretty much. I felt like there wasn't enough of this. Not enough ambiance and creepy music.
One of the scariest parts in all "official" Amnesia games was in Justine, when we had to crawl trough the little tunnel in the ceiling.. accompanied by that unnerving music. I was panicking, even though there was no monster.
09-22-2013 01:23 PM
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VaeVictis Offline
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Post: #5
RE: A question for y'all

I think a lot of this assumes that fear was their only objective. If it was, I agree that it fell short of what TDD set up.
But, there are other visceral reactions that horror games can call forth. In the instance of AMFP, it was shock, disgust, and bitterness. The game made me feel these very palpably and certainly succeeded in that regard. For me, the monsters aren't intrinsically scary. They're scary because of WHAT they are, HOW they were brought about, and what they represent. The way they appear is only a fraction of what makes them frightening.
The whole 'disturbingly wide smile and red eyes with no pupils' has become pretty cliche, and I'm glad they didn't go that route.
09-23-2013 04:01 AM
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Alardem Offline
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Post: #6
RE: A question for y'all

I'd been visualizing a giant pig to be at the heart of the Machine.
09-23-2013 04:14 AM
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sasaluvsamnesia7 Offline
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Post: #7
RE: A question for y'all

Throughout as I played, I tried my hardest not to die because I didn't want to experience death in game. I wanted to feel as if I was in Mandus's shoes, and so, yeah, I was nervous to know what happens when you die, but when I saw how I felt less afraid. (I didn't die until close to the end, when I fell in the water and the electric, invisible water-dweller got me.) The game actually put me ahead of the fall instead of making me try again, sadly, so I know what you mean. Some sort of death sequence would've been quite interesting, instead of the same-old scratch marks on the screen like what we got in the original.
09-23-2013 06:52 AM
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Hirnwirbel Offline
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RE: A question for y'all

Quote: One of the reasons why I found the original ATDD so scary is due to that, before I encountered any monsters, I felt very scared of how the game was going to kill me. By that I mean I wasn't so much afraid of dying as I was afraid of what the monster would do to me before I die.
Quote: I wanted to feel as if I was in Mandus's shoes, and so, yeah, I was nervous to know what happens when you die, but when I saw how I felt less afraid.
Exactly my thoughts. I think the next big hurdle in the evolution of horror games is finding something other than player death and savepoints as a consequence for failing.
We already got rid of combat and are experimenting with finding alternatives for traditional ressource management and item-based puzzles (whether successfully or not is open for debate), but we're still stuck in the mindset of healthpoints and die-and-try-again. Games like Amnesia are forced to make sure the game is easy enough that the player rarely dies, because they have to hide the fact that dieing is actually nothing to be afraid of...
Quote:For me, the monsters aren't intrinsically scary. They're scary because of WHAT they are, HOW they were brought about, and what they represent. The way they appear is only a fraction of what makes them frightening.
I agree... maybe this means the way to go is not trying to startle the player or show him disturbing imagery, but to give him an actual reason to be afraid of getting caught by enemies? Not mere gameplay repercussions, but consequences related to the setting and story, that stay "inside" the game world.
Very simple example: Imagine you were playing as a prisoner instead of Mandus and you were trying to escape from the machine. You don't fear death, you fear what would happen to you if they caught you and dragged you back to your cage... I think with the proper setup, a game could maybe succeed in making you feel this fear.

One experimental game that I found to have an interesting approach is I Can't Escape btw. A very short and simplistic flash game, but with a nice idea of how to induce a feeling of helplessness and rising panic in the player...
(This post was last modified: 09-23-2013 01:32 PM by Hirnwirbel.)
09-23-2013 01:27 PM
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Alardem Offline
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Post: #9
RE: A question for y'all

(09-23-2013 01:27 PM)Hirnwirbel Wrote:  One experimental game that I found to have an interesting approach is I Can't Escape btw. A very short and simplistic flash game, but with a nice idea of how to induce a feeling of helplessness and rising panic in the player...

You mean boredom?
09-23-2013 02:11 PM
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Hirnwirbel Offline
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RE: A question for y'all

Quote: You mean boredom?
*sigh* What a very constructive and informative post. See, that is the reason I prefer to have game design discussions outside of these forums nowadays...nothing against you personally, mind you, it's just an annoying tendency I'm noticing lately. -.-
09-23-2013 03:01 PM
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