Chris' Survival Horror Quest Long Walk Short Pier
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Interesting Reading for "Horror/SciFi" Fans.
Posted by: REDVWIN on 2015-03-05 23:06:54
Well... it has been a while since last time Chris or anybody writes or share something here. If you enjoy the Aliens, Predator or even the Prometheus universe, this is worth a read:

How to Make a Cohesive (and Compelling) Alien Cinematic Universeā€

http://observationdeck.io9.com/how-to-make-a-cohesive-and-compelling-alien-cinematic-1689080135

I think Chris will find this author's article quite interesting.

Good-day everybody! >;D
A big thank you coming from an jr. game developer
Posted by: Max on 2015-02-20 05:33:28
Just wanted to thank you for writing this article. It really helped me to improve the game I'm currently working on. It's an adventure point and click horror game inspired from my father's life...yeah...he had quite a unique experience when he was a child in an communist country.
Posted by: David on 2015-02-01 04:40:05
Hmm, this is an interesting opinion. I can empathize with your running over sneaking, as I have found many of these horror games as of late, in their complete removal of combat or their toning down of combat, are basically narrowed down to:

1. Sneaking so as not to be caught.
2. Running from everything.
3. Scripted events in which failure does not exist.

I feel that in removing power from the player, developers walk a fine line between creating a truly stressful experience or a game where you are more frustrated than scared. Outlast unfortunately looks like one of these games to me. What splendor there is to look at in its sheer visual design appears to be met in equal with an endless stream of things jumping at you and you attempting to outrun them.

I am kind of left wishing for that happy medium between a classic title like Resident Evil, with its emphasis on inventory management and making the difficult decision of when to stay and fight, and a game like Amnesia, where you are forced to be uncomfortably close to a monster and with little to do about it.
Predictability and non-combat
Posted by: Keith on 2015-01-25 05:10:43
I suppose your right Chris, but as I read your reply, another point occurred to me - It's not the lack of combat, it's the break in immersion, which leads to a break in the fear. In siren, you CAN fight. And whilst it's largely ineffective, it remains as an option. In games like amnesia though, the option is just unavailable. It's not so much the lack of combat as a lack of depth, like you said, but it's also like those invisible walls in Skyrim, Oblivion and Morrowind, "You can go no further: Turn back". It's a entirely artificial, and obviously constructed barrier, that breaks immersion immediatley.
Posted by: Riah on 2015-01-22 05:53:46
*outlasted I mean
Posted by: Riah on 2015-01-22 05:53:07
I generally have a policy of never really watching LPs/playthroughs more than 30 minutes into a horror game, basically so I can get a sense of the atmosphere but not really get spoiled much. I found it a bit underwhelming from what I've seen, though I keep telling myself I'll get it sometime just because some friends of mine quite love it, thus it's always been at the bottom of my "buy this later" list.

I certainly don't think a the lack of combat makes horror games boring by default, more that too many developers can't think outside of the box of violence very well. Non-combat horror games have been around longer than Alone in the Dark/RE style horror games have, and even outdated them. We quite need both, though, because pigeonholing things into certain mechanics for a genre like horror just makes things predictable.
Posted by: Chris on 2015-01-19 12:47:47
Keith, I don't think it's combat specifically that makes some of these games boring. Combat is just an activity with some gameplay depth. Any other activity with depth would work. Siren is effectively non-combat because combat is always too dangerous, and it's very deep. The real problem is just not enough depth (in any area) to sustain interest for the duration of the game.

NegFactor, there's probably an element of truth to the jaded angle. I probably notice a lot of stuff that novices would not. But if your game design is "good for people who don't know any better," I still think that's a pretty poor design.
Too much experience?
Posted by: NegFactor on 2015-01-15 18:53:11
Do you ever feel like the amount of knowledge you have concerning survival horror and the amount of experience you have from playing said games contributes in a negative way to your perceptions of survival horror games?

I'm genuinely curious about this. I actually agree 100% with you on Outlast, but I've noticed a lot of horror games have left me jaded, and I wonder if that might not be because of the extensive amount of time spent playing other games from this genre.

I wonder how you would feel if Outlast was your first survival horror game you'd ever played? I don't think treating it as the first excuses the strict linearity, but it would remove some of the "Rubik's Cube" predictability that you talked about.
Predictability and non-combat
Posted by: Keith on 2015-01-15 16:29:14
Non combat games are prone to this failing of predictability, in my opinion. I know that the idea is to make the player feel more vulnerable, by giving them no defense save flight - but In reality what it means is that you have less options as a player for dealing with situations in game, and less situations and solutions the level designer can put you in.
Game Experience
Posted by: Coolghost on 2015-01-13 08:35:16
Cliches honestly don't matter if it contributes to the game experience in a beneficial way.