244 - Five Nights at Freddy's

Developer diaries about creating Neverending Nightmares.
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matt
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244 - Five Nights at Freddy's

Post by matt »

I am super lame and finally got around to playing Five Nights at Freddy's way later than everyone else. I was very impressed with the game and how it creates tension.

-Matt Gilgenbach
Lead Frightener at Infinitap Games

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RightClickSaveAs
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Re: 244 - Five Nights at Freddy's

Post by RightClickSaveAs »

I found the game to be really hard. I was never able to finish night 5, even after watching other people doing it on Youtube and trying to copy them.

It is super effective though, which was surprising because if you just hear the description of it, it doesn't sound like much!

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matt
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Re: 244 - Five Nights at Freddy's

Post by matt »

Yeah, I don't know if I will finish it because it requires a lot of patience, which I lack, but it works really well, and I think it's more about startling you than actually "completing" all 5 nights. Didn't you say part 2 is even harder? I dunno if I can handle that. I haven't got the hang of the first game. I always want to hoard my energy, and then I miss the creatures coming. It is a very careful balancing act!
-Matt Gilgenbach
Lead Frightener at Infinitap Games

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Re: 244 - Five Nights at Freddy's

Post by RightClickSaveAs »

I haven't played part 2, I have a feeling that one's going to be too tough for me! I think some others around here have though, and could say for sure, but that was the impression I got.

A strategy I picked up from others for the first game is to just keep an eye on Foxy, and go back and forth flipping the hallway lights on every few seconds. There doesn't seem to be much need to use the other cameras, which will drain the power. Although I seem to remember there is something to do with Freddy himself, where you DO have to check on him with the cameras later in the game or he can automatically pop up in the room.

Grabthehoopka
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Re: 244 - Five Nights at Freddy's

Post by Grabthehoopka »

Yeah, like I said, the second game did a good job addressing problems of the first game, but then makes it even harder by piling on tons and tons of extra bots.

Firstly, you only use up power when you turn on the lights, so using your monitor doesn't technically use any power. However, each camera has a light on it, and with a few exceptions, it's practically useless unless you hold the flashlight button when looking through one of the cameras. When you switch to a camera the room will be dark, then you hold the light button to turn on the camera's light and see if anything is in the shadows. This serves two purposes: one, it's creepy, and number two, if you spot a bot this way and shine the light on it, it'll "freeze" it in place and prevent it from changing rooms for a little while, thus giving you an incentive to actually use the monitor.

The downside to only using power with the lights is that there are no more doors. There's a big, open doorway in front of the desk and two open air ducts to your left and right. Each air duct has a light like the hallways in the first game, and you have a flashlight that you can shine out the door into the exterior hallway (which leads to probably the most intensely creepy images in the game, oh god). The only means of defense you have is an empty Freddy mask, which you put on whenever one of them is about to come into the office, and leave on until they go away. Unfortunately, you can't look at the monitor or do anything when the mask is on, you can just look out of the little eye-holes and listen to yourself breathe. This adds to the "less power" style of gameplay he moved in and is a logical way of defending yourself in-universe, since the robots only attack you when they think you're an endoskeleton without a suit on, so I welcome the change.

Unfortunately, the main problem is that it's just so damn hard. The first game had 4 robots, but the second game has not 4, not 8, not 10, but 11 freaking goddamn robots to worry about! He did a good job mixing it up so that they each have their own quirks you have to figure out, but it's just too much to handle all at once and the tolerance for failure gets really, really slim really, really fast. The "classic" bots go right into your office and pull your monitor down if you're looking at it, and the only way to not get killed is to immediately throw the mask on until they disappear. I never made it that far, but from videos I've seen, the time window that you have to do that gets so small, that you literally have a teeny-tiny fraction of a second in the later levels. And that isn't an exaggeration. So the only way to survive at that point in the game is to literally be expecting it to happen at all times, click the mask button the instant that your monitor goes down, and pray that you were fast enough (cause half the time you won't be).

This is what I was talking about before, about me being afraid that he's alienating new customers by catering exclusively to people who mastered the previous game and making it more challenging each time. And the strange thing is, it doesn't seem like it would be that hard to make multiple difficulty levels in a game like this. He already has a 7th, "custom" night in each game where you can adjust each bot's AI level on a scale from 0-20. So...if those tools are already in place, why couldn't he just tweak the values of everything a bit to make them more or less forgiving, depending on the difficulty, and then boom, suddenly, curiously, everyone's happy? I really don't get the stigma that a lot of developers seem to give multiple difficulty levels these days. I mean, I know it's extra development time, but...as long as you aren't changing the AI or anything, it isn't that much extra time and effort, is it?

That said, I am really interested in where he's going with the third game, and how the game's description seems to point to there being just ONE animatronic, instead of 11...

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matt
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Re: 244 - Five Nights at Freddy's

Post by matt »

What if you leave the mask on the entire time in FNAF2? They should never detect you, right? :)
-Matt Gilgenbach
Lead Frightener at Infinitap Games

Grabthehoopka
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Re: 244 - Five Nights at Freddy's

Post by Grabthehoopka »

Unfortunately not. The biggest addition to the enemies is the puppet, which is basically a jack-in-the-box type of thing. There's a music box that you have to keep wound by opening up the monitor, switching to the room, and then clicking and holding a button to slooooowly wind it up. There's a meter on that particular camera that tells you how wound up it is and there's flashing indicators that tell you if it's close to winding down and if it's dangerously close to winding down. As long as the music box is wound and music is playing, he stays in his box. But if the music box stops, then he disappears, and you hear "pop goes the weasel" tinkling away distantly. Then, at some (indistinct) point in the near future, he will jump through the window and kill you, and there's nothing you can do to stop it, unless you happen to make it to 6 am. So, if you're looking at the monitor or have the mask on, it'll pull you out of it, and then SKREEEEEEEE-

Then, there's foxy. I mentioned before how there's a big, open doorway on the other side of the desk right in front of you. In the first game, you had to look at foxy with the monitor to keep him from leaving his room, but in the second game, he stands at the far end of the hallway right in front of you and you have to occasionally shine your flashlight on him or else he jumps into the office and kills you, regardless of whether or not you're wearing the mask. So, you can see why keeping the music box wound is so stressful, since foxy and other animatronics like to stand in the open hallway just outside your office. And the reason why it's so scary is because most of the time they don't bumrush your office, they just kind of stand there. So, you have no choice but to open up the monitor to keep the music box wound while they're standing there. Oh, and your flashlight has a limited battery life. Oh, and also they can come in through the vents to the left or right of you, so you have to keep an eye on those, too. Some of them give you a warning and you have to throw the mask on really quick, while others don't give you that luxury and you have to be wearing the mask as they enter the office or they'll immediately kill you.

And so the whole dichotomy of what makes the game scary changes. In the first game, it was that you're paranoid that you're going to be eaten by monsters, so you look at the monitor, which drains your power and leaves you vulnerable, which leaves you closer to getting eaten by monsters, which makes you more paranoid, which makes you look at the monitor, which drains your power even more, which leaves you even closer to getting eaten by monsters, which makes you even more paranoid, which makes you check your monitor, which drains even more power, which leaves you even closer to getting eaten by monsters, which makes you even more paranoid, and so on and so forth until SKREEEEEEEE-

In the second game, you want to put on the mask. You want to put on the mask, but you can't put on the mask, cause you need to look at the monitor, but you can't look at the monitor because there's 11 goddamn monsters to worry about. You look at the monitor, but you can't look at the monitor because you need to shine the flashlight in the hallway and check the vents, but you can't shine the flashlight in the hallway and check the vents because there could be something you missed and you want to put the mask on just to be safe. Then, the warning indicator starts flashing so you know you need to look at the monitor, but you can't look at the monitor because there's monsters everywhere, and you want to freeze them in place with your flashlight but your flashlight has a limited battery. But you need to wind up the music box, so you need to look at the monitor. And so on and so forth until SKREEEEEEE-

So. You can see where the jump in difficulty comes from.

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matt
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Re: 244 - Five Nights at Freddy's

Post by matt »

Holy crap. That sounds near impossible! Thanks for the write up. :)
-Matt Gilgenbach
Lead Frightener at Infinitap Games

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