The classic dial-up modem handshake noise can be slowed down into an ambient track. That would be cool if a protagonist in a game was sneaking around old computer hardware in a server room. Other public domain sounds or pieces of music could be slowed down for creepy sections. A future reward tier could have a backer provide a recording of a message they want to be put into the game that is so warped and distorted that it won't be recognizeable without speeding it back up. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IF2v32xCD0Y
Posted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 2:06 pm
Holy crap, nice. Those computery, glitchy noises have always creeped me out, and they were used to such good effect in System Shock 2. There's a lot of ambient noises that are like computery-sounding beeping and grinding mixed with bits and pieces of indistinct voices.
Anyways, randomly came afoul of this image again and thought of Neverending Nightmares, though I can't imagine why! :
A while ago, in the suggestions thread, I think, I talked about treating a wound or injury being a natural and satisfying objective for the player. What I mean by "natural and satisfying" is the player immediately recognizes the problem, immediately comes up with a logical estimation of the solution, wants to solve it, and is satisfied when they solve it. If the player character has a nasty, bloody wound, the player will draw upon their own experiences and instinctual urge to not get nasty, bloody wounds and empathize with the character. So immediately, they're empathizing with the player character, which is good, and they clearly recognize the problem. Next, once the game establishes that the character is not Wolverine and that the wound is here to stay, the player will think "I need to heal this". Even if the player doesn't know anything about first aid, they've played games and watched movies, and will at the very least think "throw some bandages on it". When they find said first aid and use it to treat the wound, it's satisfying because that's what you do with wounds. Wounds are bad, first aid fixes wounds, I just fixed this terrible problem. Also, it establishes in the player's mind that the character is just as vulnerable as they are and this game treats its wounds with some gravity.
Anyways, I was thinking back on that recently, and another, seemingly unrelated train of through crossed paths with it and I thought of Viscera Cleanup Detail, a game designed to make my OCD happy.
(this video came out just after E3 last year, so some of the current events they discuss are a little dated)
If you've never seen this game before, just watch it. I dare you. It's hypnotizing.
The fine fellows who make these videos discuss this, and say that cleaning is a nice, effective objective in games, and that got me thinking. Now, obviously, it is a very effective goal to give the player, and the only example I could think of in a horror game was Silent Hill 4: The Room, which would have been much more effective if they didn't make exorcising the ghosts in your apartment such a pain in the ass to do. So, since we're smart gaming folk and we can learn from that game's faults, perhaps Matt could give the player an overarching goal of fixing or restoring something in the next game? I know he said he liked the apartment for the most part in Silent Hill 4 and he liked the idea of the house in Fatal Frame 3, but that he didn't want to do a hubworld kind of design. So, if he doesn't want to deal with a living space or a car that the player slowly repairs or something like that, could there be some recurring element that the player is fixing as they progress through the game? It could be reflected in the environments, or in a recurring NPC character or characters?
This also got me thinking about this phenomena in general, and I think the reason why such things are so satisfying is because they are relatable and give us a sense of satisfaction when we do them in real life, but in a video game we don't have to expend any actual effort. So, there's an element of wish fulfillment to it, like satisfaction-porn or something. So, with that in mind, is there anything else besides relatively realistic first aid and cleaning that anyone else finds particularly satisfying to do in games? And is there a way to incorporate that into a horror game?
Posted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 9:31 pm
Interesting ideas! That amputation picture is pretty disturbing. Have you played the game? It is in Early Access and has a crazy amount of good reviews. Maybe it's worth checking out. Maybe you are on to something with the joys of cleaning. I sure as heck don't like to in real life. hahah
Silent Hill: The Room was interesting. I'm not sure the choice of having the ghosts invade the home/hub world. In theory, it is an interesting idea. What was once safe is being invaded, but in practice it was annoying because for practical reasons - you went there to save, but have to fight off ghosts. As you said, they were really annoying to fight - especially because it was a resource management pain. I never knew exactly the best combination of items to kill the enemies, and sometimes I'd waste items because I didn't place them close enough. *grumble*
Silent Hill 4 had a ton of great ideas, but the execution was flawed... I'll give some thought to the idea. I'm not sure it'd work for what I have in mind, but perhaps I need time to mull it over.
Posted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 11:40 am
Oh wow, Viscera Cleanup Detail, I almost forgot I bought alpha access to that. I haven't played the latest update, but the biggest issue I had was how excruciating it was to have to pick up individual items like shell casings, by hand, one at a time. Other than that though, it's really funny and oddly relaxing to play. There's something very satisfying about starting in a gore-soaked room and ending with a spotless, shiny place with everything back where it belongs. It's great for zoning out and listening to music or something, I haven't had much time lately but I'll definitely go back to it.
Posted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 6:24 pm
Is the gore procedural? Is it level based? Is there a story? It sounds interesting, but I pretty much only like games with a story, ending, and/or progress, so I'm not sure it'd be my thing.
Posted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 7:32 pm
As of the current state of the game, the gibs and blood splatters all are pre-placed in a number of different space-station themed levels. There's a high tech space station, an old and dirty looking Doom 3-styled space station, and a few others.
There's not much of a story or goal currently, other than start at one end of the station and follow the trail of carnage to the other end, cleaning up as you go along. You can kinda tell what happened in some areas by the placement of shell casings and location of blood splatters (I thought I'd finished a section once, only the gore detector device was still going off, until I finally found a bunch of blood and bits on top of one of the vents near the ceiling).
It still seems to be in a very early Alpha state, and the physics are kinda wonky. Which means that it's way too easy to capsize your carefully collected bucket of body parts you were almost ready to cart over to the incinerator, making a huge mess and spraying blood all over the nice clean floors, putting you right back where you started
Posted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 12:27 am
There isn't really a story, no. You can actually find logs like you would in Doom 3 or System Shock or any other game of that ilk that sort of hint at stuff that happened earlier about illegal experiments, but it doesn't have anything to do with you. I think that's kind of the point, like the game itself is just a big joke. All of the interesting videogamey stuff happened earlier, to other, more interesting people, and that's not really any of your concern. You're just the guy who comes in afterwards and mops up all the blood.
There is multiplayer, though, in case you were wondering!
Posted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 6:31 pm
Hmmm... Interesting! That is a neat twist - the cool stuff happened, and you just have to deal with the consequences! Is it just silly - or does it have some horror elements? The premise seems similar to games like Dead Space, so it might be interesting to combine horror with menial tasks. Being a janitor seems like a good vulnerable horror protagonist.
Maybe my ideas would totally ruin the humor though. haha
Posted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 9:28 pm
There are really no horror elements, other than being alone in a deathly quiet space station with a bunch of dismembered parts strewn around. They don't do any scares or noises or anything really though, just some quieter stuff in the background. It's actually really peaceful!
The closest thing to horrifying is accidentally dumping over your bucket full of bloody mop water and having to mop it all up again.
I just downloaded the latest alpha, and it looks like they've really improved the physics issues. There's also going to be a lot of focus on multiplayer, as there are a lot of new options added geared towards that.
Posted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 2:49 pm
In the development road map, they said they'll eventually add a broom and dustpan, to help group bits together and make cleaning shell casings easier. No, there are no horror elements, it's entirely silly. The developers have a very sadistic sense of humor, and try to beleaguer you every way they can. You, essentially, are the butt of the joke.
In fact, it kind of reminds me of the flavor text of Retro/Grade, in a way. You can see it as a deconstruction of this whole Doom marine/Dead Space/mad science and demons gone wrong in spaaaaaaace trope. One level has you cleaning a hallway in some dingy industrial basement of some sort, and you're told at the beginning that the memorial plaque dedication ceremony is this weekend and it must be SPOTLESS before the Saviour Of Humanity arrives, lest they be disrespected, so failure will not not be tolerated! And when they say spotless, they mean spotless, so in addition to picking up all the gore and viscera, mopping up blood (on the floor, and sometimes the walls and ceiling), picking up shell casings, and welding bullet holes shut, you also have to pick up all the normal garbage like soda cans, chinese take out boxes and chip bags. And amongst all this, you pick up a data pad that the Saviour Of Humanity presumably cast aside that says "Primary Objective: reach end of access corridor. Secondary Objective: break everything!", or "Primary objective: move through sewage plant. Secondary objective: endanger neighborhood!"
And then, with each subsequent level that they've added, you find documents hinting at what went wrong at each particular accident site, and having to clean up after all the increasingly proposterous and stupid applications of illegal genetics experiments (combining genetically modified plant DNA with house pet DNA, for example) just sort of adds to the humor.