0.4 New enemy discussion [SPOILERS]

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JPrice
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Re: 0.4 New enemy discussion [SPOILERS]

Post by JPrice »

matt wrote: 1) Kill her if you leave the hallway. It isn't quite the reaction I want, but I think it still gives her that ghostly/hallucination feeling that I am happy with.
2) Stretch out the first encounter hallway. This will give you more time to escape her.
3) Have her time out in addition to stopping based on distance. That way, if you just walk away down the new longer hallway, she will just go away on her own.
5) Force you to pick up the candle since that wasn't meant to be a puzzle solution.
I think that out of the solutions you've put forward, these are ones that would help alleviate some of the frustrations for sure. Hopefully it's enough to clue in the player on what they're supposed to do within that section.
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matt
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Re: 0.4 New enemy discussion [SPOILERS]

Post by matt »

Thanks for the feedback! I'll try them, and I guess we'll see when I push the next build. I might try to push one sooner rather than later even if the final level in the first playthrough isn't done since we just submitted to IndieCade, and I want them to get the best experience possible. However, we aren't too far from getting the next level in playable shape, so maybe we'll wait! Tough decisions...
-Matt Gilgenbach
Lead Frightener at Infinitap Games

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AironNeil
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Re: 0.4 New enemy discussion [SPOILERS]

Post by AironNeil »

matt wrote:1) Kill her if you leave the hallway. It isn't quite the reaction I want, but I think it still gives her that ghostly/hallucination feeling that I am happy with.
2) Stretch out the first encounter hallway. This will give you more time to escape her.
3) Have her time out in addition to stopping based on distance. That way, if you just walk away down the new longer hallway, she will just go away on her own.
4) Maybe play with her speed a little? Perhaps that would hint to people that you have to run. I really like her slow, deliberate pace.
5) Force you to pick up the candle since that wasn't meant to be a puzzle solution.
These sound good actually. I feel like #3 might be a good solution, since having her stop every so often might get the message across a little easier and I guess just leaving the hallway is still the same kind of idea as running away since it's like when someone throws a blanket over their head to get away from the scary thing and when they take it off it's gone. It does add a second solution for the different people out there who can't seem to think of running farther away from it; plus, the player's forced to go through the door eventually if they just lure her over to them so it makes it easier as well.

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matt
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Re: 0.4 New enemy discussion [SPOILERS]

Post by matt »

For time out, I was thinking rather than her stopping and taking a break, just doing something like if she doesn't get you after 15 seconds, she disappears. I like the idea of her relentlessly following you, so stopping would go against that, but I don't mind her just disappearing back into thin air.

What do you think?

Thanks!
-Matt Gilgenbach
Lead Frightener at Infinitap Games

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gagaplex
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Re: 0.4 New enemy discussion [SPOILERS]

Post by gagaplex »

You could actually push the disappearing angle (reinforcing your notion of her being a ghost) by having her vanish and reappear every couple of seconds even while onscreen. If possible, make her not disappear but turn her invisible for a short moment, meaning that she'll "keep coming" towards the player even while invisible. Ghosts in the show "Supernatural" do that a lot, almost mechanically disappearing and reappearing and slowly but unstoppably advancing. Then, when the player runs so she's fully offscreen, you can have her vanish for good (within that corridor).

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AironNeil
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Re: 0.4 New enemy discussion [SPOILERS]

Post by AironNeil »

matt wrote:For time out, I was thinking rather than her stopping and taking a break, just doing something like if she doesn't get you after 15 seconds, she disappears. I like the idea of her relentlessly following you, so stopping would go against that, but I don't mind her just disappearing back into thin air.

What do you think?

Thanks!
Oh I see, but when she times out can the player progress through her at that point? Because if that's the case, then it might seem a lot less threatening. Unless she teleports back to her starting point so if the player does progress, she's back.

But I don't know, maybe just having her disappear after following you for a curtain amount of time would still enforce the fact that you're supposed to run away from her.

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Re: 0.4 New enemy discussion [SPOILERS]

Post by Grabthehoopka »

Honestly, I got stuck, too. I didn't think that I was supposed to run away since she moved so slow, much slower than the other enemies so far. Her eyes were missing, so my first thought was that she couldn't see, kind of like the asylum enemies, so I stood up against the wall and waited for her to pass, and only noticed that she was slowly listing towards me when it was too late. My next line of reasoning was that you drew attention to the sparks and she moves slow, so maybe you were expecting us to apply our pyramid head knowledge. So, I thought maybe I should run around her, but that didn't work, either. Twice. My next, next train of thought, after watching her and running away, watching her and running away, backtracking, and then running back to observe her at a safe distance again, was that the only thing I hadn't considered up to that point was the candle. So, I let her kill me, then woke up again and DIDN'T pick the candle up. I went out in pitch blackness, feeling immensely creeped out and vulnerable, but satisfied in the belief that I had figured it out, coyly wagging my finger at Matt for his sneaky little devil trickery...and then she killed me. I tried running straight at her, she killed me. I tried lighting the candles that are on the table, I tried mashing the space bar at her, she killed me. I tried standing still and facing the other way, she turned me around and killed me. I didn't know what I was trying to accomplish anymore, but I was frustrated and hoping to sort of blindly stumble into something happening. So, I regretfully exited out and trudged my way here, to the forums, to see what the deal was, expecting to go "oh, of course! Duh!" But when I read the actual solution, my reaction was more like "...wh...huh?"

I guess I'm used to being physically trapped with slow, inescapable doom monsters in my horror games, with emphasis on inescapable. With Pyramid head, the door locks behind you when you're stuck in the stairwell with him, and when he chases you in the hospital basement, there's only one way to run. In Resident Evil, with the descending Jill Sandwich-Maker 3000, the doors lock behind you. In Silent Hill 1, when the demon babies attack you in the alley at the very beginning, the gate locks behind you. So, I did run away, but the fact that I could just walk out the door led me to believe that there was something else to it. I can understand why you would do that, since you didn't want to make it a scripted sequence, and if the doors locked or disappeared, that would lead the player to believe that it was a scripted sequence. Although, they'd be expecting her to come and kill them, not disappear...

Have you considered doing your little teleport trick, like you do in the last hallway with her? I know that you wanted it to be in that one hallway, but I think it's a pretty good solution to the problem. The player will figure out to run, so they turn around and run in the opposite direction, and then all the sudden she's in front of them again. So, they'd either think she teleported and run away, down the direction you want them to go in, or they'll think they're sandwiched between two of them, which really is inescapable, and as they slowly nudge their way to the left, eventually will figure out that the coast is clear on that side and make a break for it. In theory.

But, your solutions are also good. I know if she despawned after I left the hallway, I would definitely be on much higher alert, and you can take advantage of that by either respawning her once they pass her spawn point, so they run in the right direction, or, just to mess with us, spawn her just off-screen to the right once we're close to the door, so right when we feel relief that we're finished with the hallway, *skreeeeeeeeenk!* you get your last jump scare laugh.

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matt
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Re: 0.4 New enemy discussion [SPOILERS]

Post by matt »

I think making the enemy disappear and reappear might not really be noticeable since basically she is not visible in the blackness. We could do more of the teleport behind the player, but I don't think that would reinforce the idea of running.

I'm not sure locking/removing the door would work because when the player walked back, they'd be stuck and probably wait for something special to happen other than getting massacred.

It's a tough one for sure! I had no idea that running away from an enemy would be so counterintuitive... I mean I understand it now given everything you guys have said, but I had no idea I was designing something that no one will get. That's the advantage of doing alpha access. I can correct my mistakes before most people see the game.

So once again, thank you all so much for your help!
-Matt Gilgenbach
Lead Frightener at Infinitap Games

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AironNeil
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Re: 0.4 New enemy discussion [SPOILERS]

Post by AironNeil »

matt wrote:I think making the enemy disappear and reappear might not really be noticeable since basically she is not visible in the blackness.
The first thing I noticed with the enemy was the sound, I think if the scratching of the blade stopped when she timed out the player would notice it.

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Re: 0.4 New enemy discussion [SPOILERS]

Post by Grabthehoopka »

matt wrote:I'm not sure locking/removing the door would work because when the player walked back, they'd be stuck and probably wait for something special to happen other than getting massacred.
I wouldn't think this is a problem. The "anti jumpscare" is a legitimate scare, as you've proved with the disappearing shadow in the closet in Nightmare Begins, or the hallway with cabinets and no enemies in Lost Child, or the entire uneventful trek from your bed to the kitchen and back in whatever the last level is called. The player is expecting to get slaughtered, but you'd already established how forgiving the death mechanic is that I doubt anyone would quit out and re-load the game, so really, the player thinks they are in immediate danger, when they are actually in zero danger, and isn't that the holy grail of horror game design?

The only downside to this approach is that it doesn't convey what happened to the player. Like I said, they would probably think it was a scripted event, so they wouldn't be in the mindset to learn the mechanic, and you'd have to do the same thing two or three times before they noticed the pattern and learned it.

AironNeil wrote:
matt wrote:I think making the enemy disappear and reappear might not really be noticeable since basically she is not visible in the blackness.
The first thing I noticed with the enemy was the sound, I think if the scratching of the blade stopped when she timed out the player would notice it.
Yeah, I thought the whole point was that you can't see her anyways. She makes the horrible noise and you see the sparks, but if you get close enough to her to get more than just a glance, you're pretty much already dead. I don't think I've seen her below the neck. And if I did, I had other things to worry about and wasn't paying attention to what she looked like. I don't think being able to see her is an issue. In fact, I think the fact that you can't get a good look at her makes her even more effective.

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