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What is the secret formula for scaring someone [No cheap scares!]
jssjr90 Offline
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#1
What is the secret formula for scaring someone [No cheap scares!]

So what is the formula for scaring someone?
No not the teleporting naked guys, not the man behind the closet.

I think it is safe to say that the Amnesia Monsters are getting old. With that saying it is hard these days
to realy scare someone in amnesia. Why? Becouse by now with all the custom storys out there, they have seen
it all. for example.

Pick up item = BOO!!!
The man behind the closet.
The man behind the door.

These are just the most used. What truly scares anyone is, the unknown. Now the unknown is well damn hard
to do science everyone has seen the monsters of frictional games. The only thing we can do to scare someone
is to build up that tension. The atmosphere, the music. Those special non amnesia sound fx. Then release something to say oga booga! Sure that might work every once and awhile. But if you just let that tention float for too long, people will loose interest sooner or later if you don't have a release, and the release is the only thing we have at this point from penumbra and amnesia monsters witch are getting a tad bit old.

So this leaves us in a pickle. We can build up tension, but not so much release. This is something that I have felt worried about on my custom story. Sure the atmosphere is there, with those custom sound fx and such but, using the same monsters becomes a bit of a problem.

The solution? Im sure you know by now, make a new custom monster.

So with that saying, are we at the brink of letting amnesia just going down the level of horror? We all seen the baddies. We get used to it by now. Is it all just now fun and games today? Can we reclaim that horror?
(This post was last modified: 04-18-2012, 04:20 AM by jssjr90.)
04-18-2012, 04:07 AM
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Damascus Offline
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#2
RE: What is the secret formula for scaring someone [No cheap scares!]

I think to make something truly scary you need to perfect the art of anticipation. Create an atmosphere that makes the player afraid to peek around the corner. A sound coming through the walls that make the player fear what might be on the other side. A sudden change in the music that makes the player wonder what's next.

Then, a good escalation on that is making the player feel helpless. Trap the player in a well-lit room as a grunt comes after him, or force the player to wander in a patrolled area to find an item.

There's plenty of things to experiment with, but I find anticipation and helplessness to be the two most critical things in making a good scare.

04-18-2012, 04:15 AM
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Adny Offline
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#3
RE: What is the secret formula for scaring someone [No cheap scares!]


Sadly, there is no magical formula for making someone scared because everyone is different. But there are a few things that can help: Atmosphere and build-up.

Atmosphere consists of visual and audio aspects of the game. The amount of detail you put into your maps will go along way, as will the proper music choice. For build up (the example I will use it based around the monster), don't just have monsters pop out, but give the player subtle hints at what's to come. Do things like having a monster sound in the next room over. Then, give the player a glance of the monster.

Think Archives. One of the first levels of TDD, but it has a really big impact on the player because they used techniques like this.


A nice, disturbing story line also does a good story justice. Hope I was of some help!


I rate it 3 memes.
04-18-2012, 04:18 AM
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Putmalk Offline
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#4
RE: What is the secret formula for scaring someone [No cheap scares!]

Yup, I have the monsters patrolling around before they actually become dangerous, to give anticipation and not jump scare the player.



around 9:40 to see what I mean.

04-18-2012, 04:37 AM
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Kman Offline
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#5
RE: What is the secret formula for scaring someone [No cheap scares!]

Yeah build up is really the way to go. The anticipation of an act tends to be much more scary then the act itself. Say right now some psychopath starts breaking down your door trying to kill you, you'd probably be shitting your pants in absolute fear. But you know what would be worse? Hearing your front door creak open, heavy boots going across the floor and then suddenly cutting out, especially if say you were home alone and no one was expected to be back any time soon. At this point you'd be absolutely terrified. You don't know who it is, for all you know it could actually be someone you know coming by the visit. But you can't tell for certain, and THAT'S what makes it so scary.

In my mind almost all fear stems from fear of the unknown (as was stated in the OP), you don't know if that noise was some maniac that's come to kill you or if it was some ordinary every day noise that you just can't think of at the time. Really that concept can be applied in some way or another in any place where you feel scared.

As for your question, tension is hard to balance, but the main key is you can't let the player feel stuck or familiar with a place. What I mean by this is the longer you spend finding out a puzzle in an area, the more time you spend back tracking, etc., the less scary or tense it will be. This is when the player will start to lose interest. This was actually one of the problems I had with the Jail in Amnesia, I spent so long trying to find my way around there that I stopped being scared and started feeling a tad bit annoyed. When you begin to feel aggravated you tend to lose immersion, which leads to you no longer being scared.

Really the way to avoid this is to make sure the player can't get stuck in a tense area, or at least make sure if you know think they might get make sure to have some areas unexplored, that way you never do know if there's some monster waiting behind it or not.

Hope this was helpful, and I swear to god if this turns into another stupid arguments I will slap a small child. srsly.

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04-18-2012, 04:41 AM
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jssjr90 Offline
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#6
RE: What is the secret formula for scaring someone [No cheap scares!]

Your totally right kman. From all of your suggestens,and others too that posted. Its time for me to go back to the drawling board in some areas. You know, Is there any video tutorial how to master the build up?
04-18-2012, 05:10 AM
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Kman Offline
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#7
RE: What is the secret formula for scaring someone [No cheap scares!]

(04-18-2012, 05:10 AM)jssjr90 Wrote: You know, Is there any video tutorial how to master the build up?
Ehh... Not really. What I'd say is just look at things that pulled that effect off well and take notes on it. A great example of it would be SCP-087. The whole game is basically you walking down stairs, but yet it's incredibly scary simply for the fact that it keeps you interested. What I mean by this is every once in a while a random sound effect that sounds like it's coming from below you, or what I found really terrifying was the fact that every 5 minutes or so these shadows like things flash in front of you, but they're there for such a short amount of time it creates this sense of paranoia as you don't really know if you saw them or not. I'd just say look through movies and games that pulled it off well, you'll start to learn from them over time Smile

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04-18-2012, 05:45 AM
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Adny Offline
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#8
RE: What is the secret formula for scaring someone [No cheap scares!]

(04-18-2012, 05:10 AM)jssjr90 Wrote: Your totally right kman. From all of your suggestens,and others too that posted. Its time for me to go back to the drawling board in some areas. You know, Is there any video tutorial how to master the build up?
It's honestly something you have to get a feel for by yourself, just have friends test it or get beta testers feedback. There has to be some degree of rhythm to it as well, you don't want the build up to be too short or too long.

Also, it might sound strange, but certain literary techniques can be applied very well to Amnesia. Foreshadowing is definitely the most applicable to the situation I'm talking about. Just kind of "hint" at whats to come without making it super obvious. Also, semi-related, try using the event music when an event does occur, sudden changes in music are pretty effect for getting someone on their toes.


I rate it 3 memes.
04-18-2012, 05:47 AM
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Rapture Offline
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#9
RE: What is the secret formula for scaring someone [No cheap scares!]

Look deep inside your soul, their you will find the answer.
04-18-2012, 03:07 PM
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Cranky Old Man Offline
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#10
RE: What is the secret formula for scaring someone [No cheap scares!]

This is a sort of a weird question, because I'm thinking that if you don't know how to scare somebody, then why bother? Why would you want to scare people, if you have nothing scary to tell to begin with? I can respect an Amnesia story that tells a good story without being scary, but I can't respect a story that I know is just deliberately out to scare me.


Noob scripting tutorial: From Noob to Pro

04-18-2012, 03:14 PM
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