H.A.C.T. (HORROR ANTAGONIST CREATION TIPS)

It's HACK but with a T on it. Plus, it's been published days before Christmas arrived!

Horror games are known for their creativity to make people fear and what it means to see the unknown and get your ass scared away from them. And what make it better are the antagonists or the nightmares of the games itself. They come in various and different details and some can be congratulated to be horrifying for thinking out of the box. But when you think of it, it seems easy enough for you to handle. However, the easy looking ones can be the hardest if you have never experienced creating a horror game without you scaring yourself out because of the jumpscare. And that is why I’m here today, to show you the basic ropes needed to just create that simple yes uncommon foe you will have as not only your character’s nightmare, but also to yourself as a creator.

Let’s go with the basics, shall we?



Think out of the box.
It may sound odd and outdated for a simple-minded (to some at least) such as you to go this way, but thinking out of the box has become the means to create something that would create a legend out of it. Of course, this would be difficult but it will pay off if you manage to pull the right string in order.

A perfect example is Outlast for how different it changed the players when talking about running and escaping. When you think of something, you always think of the common one such as enemies can see on the dark and you being killed doing so. Instead of just having night vision, why not have it yourself and the chaser not having it?

It also gives the players a mentality that they should go outside of the common sense box and think more lateral stuff that would not only make it scary, but also a thrilling experience as well. Thinking outside of the box can give you ideas that will generate more and more until you ran out of it, so it would be good option thinking than rushing.



Make the antagonist from a fear or a nightmare.
When you think of horror, you think of fear or a nightmare that would just scare the hell out of you. When you try creating an antagonist, make it from something that you really fear the most or from a nightmare, you recently have. The fear could be ensemble by the physical appearance of the foe, the weapon it holds or symbolism if you want something authentic.

It also creates a sense of dread as the antagonist itself also visualized from the fear itself when you feel that when you go to a place, you get scared of being alone or being in the dark or just because you think of something behind you or something watching you. You could use this as a standpoint for your antagonist to make it even scarier than it should have.

Also, why nightmares? It also gives you an idea as long as you are not killed (yeah, you can be killed by a nightmare) by it. The reason nightmares are also the best use of creating an antagonist is because of how unpredictable it was, how you never even visualized it from the beginning and its sense of the unknown dreaded you. In addition, what makes the antagonist scarier is because you never saw it and it was unknown to you.



Give the trademark.
If Slenderman’s trademark was his blank face, then yours too could be, unless you are the creator of Slenderman, of course. The trademark is needed for an antagonist to be complete so the player can get the meaning of fear and would get horrified again if he/she encountered it again for the second time. Seeing just the trademark can give you the goosebumps and the needed adrenaline for escape.

The trademark can be anything from a facial look to a weapon as long as it scares the person to Oblivion. Moreover, when they see that trademark, you know you are in for some deep trouble, my friend.



Give the antagonist the makeup.
Antagonists must be scary, as it would make them scary as well. When creating an antagonist, make sure it gives out the fear on what it means and what it exactly symbolizes. Giving the antagonist a bit of a scary look, you have got yourself a creepy bastard able to chase you for miles! Just make sure that it will not be like Ao Oni’s… well, Oni, of course.

Appearance would likely affect the scary values of the person. Seeing hell is just boring but adding gory context and bloody graphics would be a good idea. Let them know that you are dealing with a threat, not a laughable matter. Show that your antagonist has what it takes to scare the hell out of every player possible!



Make it more powerful than the character.
This is what HetaOni failed to realize in its genre. All I know is that countries may have superpowers, but not to the point where they can fight the demons AND STILL DIE AFTERWARDS FROM JUST A CHASE. A CHASE, DAMNIT. This is why I really left the HetaOni community for that reason alone. Moreover, yes, do not let the player have the advantage.

Make sure that the antagonist himself is a powerful entity unlike the foe he is facing. Giving them a sense of dread and mortality, it would guarantee on how it would really scare the heck out of the character and the player himself!



Give it some powers or something.
Just like what indicated above, giving the antagonist powers makes a lot more sense than making it the worst alpha dog in the history of humanity. I do not want to reference HetaOni anymore, so I am just going to zip my mouth and erase everything about HetaOni and its failure.

Powers are not just powers that kill people but powers that frighten people and ensure that the antagonist is on the top of the damn food chain. It shines light to the player to just run and hide rather than playing the hero’s role. Seriously, it is not an idea to leave someone mentally scarred because of you dying from something you can just escape.





THAT IS ALL I HAVE, FOLKS! THIS IS KATANAHIROSHI, SIGNING OFF!

Posts

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Good article! (^ヮ^)

I want to make a horror game in the future (after I make a first game first), and what I always think of when thinking of it is the best advice of them all:
"The game has to scare you".

The best example of this I can think of is Five Nights at Freddy's (I don't like that this is my best example). The creator admitted to have had nightmares with one of the animatronics while he was in the making. And everybody knows the result is scary (the stressful gameplay also helps to make it scary XD)
Well, I'm in the same case as of the creator of FNaF. But right now, my own horror character became a reality. Seriously, I'm getting hallucinations to the point that I'm even seeing more unrealistic things.

And also, thank you for reading this article! It's appreciated!
That's development on a whole new level O_O; I hope you're alright

You're welcome!
Frogge
"nothing can beat the power of gay"?
7454
One other thing I really wish people actually tried to do is be original. I'm getting sick of seeing these monsters in every horror game ever.
author=Frogge
One other thing I really wish people actually tried to do is be original. I'm getting sick of seeing these monsters in every horror game ever.


That's true man. These are very cliché nowadays, and they aren't even scary :P
author=Frogge
One other thing I really wish people actually tried to do is be original. I'm getting sick of seeing these monsters in every horror game ever.


I know. Instead of actually thinking of something else, they use the copypasta method with a small modifications that would make it slightly different.

(we need good horror games ;-;)
I'd think you could mostly lump rule #3 and #4 together, as well as #5 and #6. A horror antagonist could just have access to equipment you don't to give the edge. One thing you can do by making the horror villain more down to earth is to prove the player "this could be you".
author=LightningLord2
I'd think you could mostly lump rule #3 and #4 together, as well as #5 and #6. A horror antagonist could just have access to equipment you don't to give the edge. One thing you can do by making the horror villain more down to earth is to prove the player "this could be you".


Thanks for reminding me about this... but I'll just leave it be. This is just an old article I made long ago, so I didn't have time to edit this. Gam mak is waiting.
Frogge
"nothing can beat the power of gay"?
7454
author=KatanaHiroshi
author=LightningLord2
I'd think you could mostly lump rule #3 and #4 together, as well as #5 and #6. A horror antagonist could just have access to equipment you don't to give the edge. One thing you can do by making the horror villain more down to earth is to prove the player "this could be you".
Thanks for reminding me about this... but I'll just leave it be. This is just an old article I made long ago, so I didn't have time to edit this. Gam mak is waiting.

It's been a year if you know what I mean
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