Research and Learn From Other Games

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matt
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Re: Research and Learn From Other Games

Post by matt » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:36 am

We are still designing our enemy encounters, but you've given me some good things to think about.

Thanks!
-Matt Gilgenbach
Lead Frightener at Infinitap Games

Grabthehoopka
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Re: Research and Learn From Other Games

Post by Grabthehoopka » Thu Oct 17, 2013 6:03 pm

That reminds me of the developer's commentary on Amnesia: The Dark Descent, and their reasoning behind building the game as a series of "safe" hub areas branching off into the smaller, objective-based "scary" areas.

1.) It's more technically proficient. Smaller areas means less stress on the computer, which means a happier player.

2.) It's more addictive. By chopping the game into smaller, truncated segments, they were hoping to invoke the "5 more minutes" effect that we, as gamers, have all experienced at one point or another.

3.) (this is the important one) It makes the scary parts scarier. By having a safe area for the player to return to, the emotions and stress the player feels goes up and down and up and down like a roller coaster, as they venture back and forth from the safe place to the scary place and back, and prevents the player from getting desensitized to the game's heavy atmosphere. Also, since building up the fear in the player's mind is so important and effective, this gives the player a "safety blanket" that they dread having to leave behind, and by teaching the player that certain locations are safe while in other locations all bets are off, it clearly telegraphs to the player when they're in a dangerous place, and that builds up anticipation, which ratchets up the tension immensely.

I know you're not building your game the same way Frictional did theirs, but I thought that it was a very clear example of safety in a horror game, and a good argument of design over difficulty.

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matt
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Re: Research and Learn From Other Games

Post by matt » Thu Oct 17, 2013 6:14 pm

Frictional knows there stuff! I was really inspired by their GDC presentation. If you are interested in games and storytelling, check it out:
http://gdcvault.com/play/1016433/The-Self-Presence-and
-Matt Gilgenbach
Lead Frightener at Infinitap Games

loudERIC
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Re: Research and Learn From Other Games

Post by loudERIC » Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:19 am

matt wrote:Frictional knows there stuff! I was really inspired by their GDC presentation. If you are interested in games and storytelling, check it out:
http://gdcvault.com/play/1016433/The-Self-Presence-and
Have you checked out the interview Patrick Klepek did on Giant Bomb? I was listening to it and pretty blown away by the look behind the curtain they gave to some of the development of Amnesia.

Edit: Gonna drop links here for simplicities sake.

Audio interview: http://www.giantbomb.com/podcasts/the-n ... /1600-639/

Written interview: http://www.giantbomb.com/articles/the-n ... 1100-4763/
"If you're going through Hell, keep going." - Winston Churchill.

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RightClickSaveAs
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Re: Research and Learn From Other Games

Post by RightClickSaveAs » Fri Oct 18, 2013 5:00 pm

I love Amnesia, thanks for the links, you've given me some more to soak up about that game. Also on GDC Vault, did you see the post-mortem from 2011 Evoking Emotions and Achieving Success by Breaking all the Rules? That was a fascinating watch.

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LobsterSundew
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Re: Research and Learn From Other Games

Post by LobsterSundew » Sun Oct 20, 2013 3:06 am

Knock-Knock was another campaign I've backed. I've added it to my Steam library, but I've yet to actually install and play it. Visually I really like it, but I don't find the scenes within the house scary when watching footage. I enjoyed LaserFrog's review of Knock-Knock on Kotaku. Maybe someday he will eventually make a video about Neverending Nightmares.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vd0xfsQonh4

Recently I've been finding out about PS2 horror games I never knew existed before by watching the Two Best Friends Play's new October series. There were a lot of good games covered last year as well. Their experience with video game testing makes parts of their playthroughs worth it from a game designer's point of view. I grew up with Nintendo systems, so I haven't played much with PS1 or PS2. My brother has a working PS1 with Bloody Roar 2 sitting besides my OUYA, but he bought it this Fall and I haven't actually played with it yet.

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RightClickSaveAs
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Re: Research and Learn From Other Games

Post by RightClickSaveAs » Sun Oct 20, 2013 8:03 am

LobsterSundew wrote:Knock-Knock was another campaign I've backed. I've added it to my Steam library, but I've yet to actually install and play it. Visually I really like it, but I don't find the scenes within the house scary when watching footage. I enjoyed LaserFrog's review of Knock-Knock on Kotaku. Maybe someday he will eventually make a video about Neverending Nightmares.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vd0xfsQonh4
Knock-knock is an odd duck of a game. I expected nothing less from Ice Pick, as that's their thing, but it sort of defies expectations, both as a horror game and even more broadly as a game. It's more about being unsettling than scary in the expected sense. The sound is great, especially with a pair of headphones it can get pretty creepy.

It's too bad that you watched videos of it, because in my opinion the best way to go into the game is blind, and discover everything on your own. I backed it as well and even though I followed all the updates, I really had no idea what I was in for, so I went into the game pretty clueless. You should still try it though, it's not very long and is well worth experiencing. Although I haven't managed to "finish" it the optimal way yet after two tries, it's pretty difficult.

Also I've seen it compared to Neverending Nightmares other places online, but now that Knock-knock is out, I feel qualified to say that no one needs to worry about that, it's definitely its own thing.

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matt
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Re: Research and Learn From Other Games

Post by matt » Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:48 pm

I'm glad to hear we are our own thing. :) I will go read the interview about Soma. I'm not sure if I watched Evoking Emotions and Achieving Success before, but maybe I'll re-watch it. :)
-Matt Gilgenbach
Lead Frightener at Infinitap Games

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gagaplex
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Re: Research and Learn From Other Games

Post by gagaplex » Wed Oct 23, 2013 6:15 am

Grabthehoopka wrote:3.) (this is the important one) It makes the scary parts scarier. By having a safe area for the player to return to, the emotions and stress the player feels goes up and down and up and down like a roller coaster, as they venture back and forth from the safe place to the scary place and back, and prevents the player from getting desensitized to the game's heavy atmosphere. Also, since building up the fear in the player's mind is so important and effective, this gives the player a "safety blanket" that they dread having to leave behind, and by teaching the player that certain locations are safe while in other locations all bets are off, it clearly telegraphs to the player when they're in a dangerous place, and that builds up anticipation, which ratchets up the tension immensely.
Of course, being the jerk that I am, I would use that opportunity to - after having used that safety blanket perfectly fine a few times - mess up that "safe zone" on one of their return trips and make it horrendous, too, to add a "progression" of horror to it (until they find the next hub/safe zone). Not having finished Amnesia yet, I couldn't say whether they actually did that or not, though. It's just what I think I would've done with it in their situation!

Grabthehoopka
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Re: Research and Learn From Other Games

Post by Grabthehoopka » Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:57 pm

gagaplex wrote:Of course, being the jerk that I am, I would use that opportunity to - after having used that safety blanket perfectly fine a few times - mess up that "safe zone" on one of their return trips and make it horrendous, too, to add a "progression" of horror to it (until they find the next hub/safe zone). Not having finished Amnesia yet, I couldn't say whether they actually did that or not, though. It's just what I think I would've done with it in their situation!
If you haven't finished it, I won't say anything.

If you've ever seen Paranormal Activity, there's that wonderful moment where all the sudden something happens during the day. It's not too scary in and of itself, but it's horrifying because of what it represents - the violation of the safety that the characters, and viewer, had.

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