WHAT DO YOU LIKE OR DISLIKE ABOUT RM HORROR GAMES?

Posts

Sooz
They told me I was mad when I said I was going to create a spidertable. Who’s laughing now!!!
5354
author=Dragnfly
Crap. I wrote this big long post and then lost it:(


Ctrl-A, Ctrl-C, every time.

And yeah, I am with you on the first person problems. I feel like it's sort of a shortcut for immersion, and people don't always design the visuals so that a player knows where to look.

(I have trouble with first person 3D stuff because it's just different enough from real life that I get booted out of the immersion most of the time. Give me a well-designed third-person view any day!)
Vandriette
"The purpose of life is to end." -Agent Smith
1778
To make a good horror game, immersion in my mind is simply a priority, and in my opinion, is harder to do on RM then on other game creation engines. First person is not a necessity, but I've found first person titles to be more scarier than their third person counterparts.
OldPat
OrudoPatto, kisama!
4948
First person view is highly effective, for me.

I think it really helped P.T. and Resident Evil 7 in creating tension and making the player feel more immersed, imo.

It depends on how the developers manage to get that kind of visual to work, I suppose. RE7 and P.T. have really claustrophobic and narrow corridors and rooms, so it's difficult to miss things that might happen while you're not watching. And you can totally feel the "claustrophobic...ness"(?) of the area you're in thanks to the first person view.

But third person and fixed cameras work too. I mean those old Silent Hill and Resident Evil games were scary as hell. My poor childhood.
Not to mention games like Rule of Rose. Brr.

Also nothing wrong with QTE if delivered in a good way. They help keeping the player more involved during things like cutscenes.
As LockeZ said, it would be best to create QTEs with keys that the player often use while playing normally. For example, a zombie dog that is trying to tear off your arm and you have to beat the crap out of him by pressing repeatedly the button you normally use to attack. That works.

QTEs like the ones in games like.... Beyond (argh) where you have to move the analog stick to dry yourself with a towel, well... wow. Just... wow. The tension, the gameplay... wow.
That kind of QTEs doesn't work so well, me thinks.
Dragnfly
Beta testers!? No, this game needs a goddamn exorcist!
1809
author=Sooz

Ctrl-A, Ctrl-C, every time.

T'was no good, Captain! I'd already put something else on my clipboard and my computer hates multi clipboards so I never use them.

I can be immersed just by the setting and liking the characters. For example I get more immersed in a jRPG with a pre-set lead than in a wRPG where I make the guy from scratch just because I have that feeling that I'm not part of the story when I've got no defined personality. My immersion gets broken quickly when they're presenting me with things commonly associated to build immersion like VR, QTE's and motion controls, then I still can't do the thing that I want to do, whereas just walking up to it and pressing Z would be sufficient any other time. I'm looking at you, David Cage! NOBODY has to try that hard to drink some damned orange juice. That'd only be immersive if I had severe mental and motor disorders.
Sooz
They told me I was mad when I said I was going to create a spidertable. Who’s laughing now!!!
5354
TBH I kind of wonder whether the argument of first person vs third person is comparing well-done examples of the former to mediocre examples of the latter. I've certainly seen plenty of first person "horror" games that just failed because the devs didn't really work on the atmosphere or any kind of tension.

Immersion is about getting the player into the "flow" of playing the game, which works in different ways for different players. I've certainly gotten totally immersed in third person games, so it's not like it's impossible to get into them.
OldPat
OrudoPatto, kisama!
4948
I was just editing my previous post with some more thoughts about QTE's as well (and I too mentioned David Cage. xD).
I'm always a bit slow when writing in English, you'll have to forgive me. (And I edit posts like a lot)

@Dragnfly: Yeah, I see what you mean and you're right. I too feel more immersed with a good character instead of a guy made from scratch. There are multiple ways to help the player feeling immersed in a game. First person view is one of those things if done correctly, especially when it comes to horror games.

For me: characters\story = best immersion. But when it comes to horror games what works best is always the atmosphere and how well you can make the player feel a sense of tension and danger. I think that story and characters should not have top priority in a horror game. If there is a good story and there are good characters it's great, yeah. Those should be in these games as well. But atmosphere comes first.

@Sooz: As I said, everything works if done correctly.
And, like you, I too have seen plenty of first person "horror" games that just failed. And that is also true about third person ones.
author=chibievil
What i hate about the RM horror games, is they all have the exact same chase scenes, always stuck in a stupid mansion. They never give u any weapons, the only way to survive is to out run your enemies. Come on be original, give us something to defend ourselves, use something different.


In our game, you never get chased. You can walk out the house if you want. The light source you handle is more than "a safe area of light".
watermark
Got me my shiny new MZ
2968
@QZProductions
I guess I stopped just before scare. Didn't know I was so close, should go on then. I think your game has the potential to be long because of the freedom of exploration you give players. When I first played I talked to like every single person, and that took quite a while. For game length I used to think longer is better too, cause aren't players getting more bang for their buck? But then I read this critic saying how movies like The Hobbit(s) or Mockingjay(s) could be better if they'd condensed it into just one. Tighter storytelling. Just food for thought.

@Archeia_Nessiah
Those are great links! Thanks!

I read some article by the Broken Sword guy talking about adventure games in general. He had a great tip that I think applies to horror too. He said you should change the environment based on the player interaction. It's a subtle thing that I tend to forget. Like I would create a room and once its puzzle is done I would just go on to the next room. Combine this with the backtracking talked about in the RE article, it helps me rethink my haunted house.

author=watermark
@QZProductions
I guess I stopped just before scare. Didn't know I was so close, should go on then. I think your game has the potential to be long because of the freedom of exploration you give players. When I first played I talked to like every single person, and that took quite a while. For game length I used to think longer is better too, cause aren't players getting more bang for their buck? But then I read this critic saying how movies like The Hobbit(s) or Mockingjay(s) could be better if they'd condensed it into just one. Tighter storytelling. Just food for thought.

I hope you enjoy it, I can assure you you'll be surprised by SOMETHING at least ;) Thanks for giving it another chance!

I think it depends on whether the story in question has a lot of padding in it; for Prom Dreams, I tried to make sure that the structure allowed for in depth storytelling without too much padding, and that every scene either a) advanced the plot, b) developed something about the plot, or c) gave players a direction in which to go (such as the times you're supposed to talk to Randy). Whether I succeeded or not is gonna be up to you but I did try, at least. :V;;;

It also probably has a lot to do with medium; you can get away with longer, drawn out stories in video games, novels, and TV shows because they don't have that 2 hour-ish constraint that films have. In video games especially, you can hide extra details around the game for the player to find or ignore at their leisure, so that also brings up all new possibilities for telling your story.
I like legitimate horror/puzzle games with actual understanding of how to build real plot for horror.

http://hellnotes.com/gray-matter-13-tips-for-writing-horror-fiction/

http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2011/10/11/25-things-you-should-know-about-writing-horror/

Bottom line in both of these, you must write a good story and good characters to write a good horror. And in fact, you can write an okay horror without any monsters, or jumpscares, simply by creating flawed characters doing completely vile things for completely right reasons.

What I hate: yume nikki knockoffs; zombie killing beat-em-ups (largely because my keyboard jams and I die); and tired spooky sudden scares. Give me good story. This is why Stephen King is a good horror writer even today, he knows characters. Same with Lovecraft.

In fact, speaking of Lovecraft, more doomed rpg games where the final boss is hopeless.

RM horror appealed to me in that I've always liked scary and macabre things. So while Little Girl in a Spooky Mansion might be tired at this point, I'll still take it over Young Swordsman is The Chosen One just because I'm shallow and would like something that might have at least one ghost that isn't a generic enemy to farm gold from. ...Perhaps I never grew out of my 12-year-old mallgoth phase.

Like most people, jumpscares and chase scenes don't really do much for me. I'll definitely be started the first time a jumpscare happens, but never after that. Chase scenes seem like they would be okay in moderation and in certain situations, but if your chase is super dark and added unnecessary difficulty (winding path, falling floor with the chaser right behind you, etc), there's a 90% chance I'll ragequit h-hahaaaa. Especially if there's multiple chases. If the progression is always "solve a puzzle -> HERE COMES THE MONSTER!!! RUN RUN RUN!!!," I don't think anyone will be scared by the third time it happens, and anything after that would be just annoying.

Also the notion that bloodsplatter and excessive darkness make games automatically scary is something I could do without. Please, be kind and don't make me up my already intense monitor brightness just so I can figure out where the wall I keep walking into is...

As for things I like, I prefer paranormal and surreal horror rather than "oh no there's a murderer somewhere. maybe." Even if the game gives you no option to fight back, the knowledge that the main threat is just a human being isn't scary to me. ("But Meaka, the cruelest monster of all is Man!!!!" ok Kevin I'm glad you like Philosophy 101) I mean yes the human being can stab your main character and you die, but then they're dead and that's it. With paranormal or cosmic horror or what have you, there's the implication that death itself won't even release you from whatever the main antagonistic force is. That's much more spooky than a dude with a knife.

I'm better at naming games that did things I like. OFF did a lot of Good Things, in terms of establishing a bizarre world, introducing the player to colorful and weird Zones then taking you back post-Purification and it's just... white silence with spooky French whispering, art direction in general, and essentially everything about the role of The Batter. Ib was very good at being eerie yet charming and had very nice character interactions that made you empathize and care about them. Das Heim is very good at building tension and an oppressive atmosphere based on the fact your character is doing something "forbidden." ... So I guess making me care about the characters and making the world and situation believably dangerous is something important to horror for me!
-deadloli-
Death threats are a banworthy offence.
4
Most RPG Maker horror is bad, that much is true. The ones that ARE good are the ones that are truly psychologically disturbing; say, Beautiful Escape: Dungeoneer, or the Dooms series.

I remember playing Dooms 2: Seas of Blood when I was 12, and it scared the piss out of me. That series is more genuinely disturbing than most commercial AAA horror games, for the simple reason that it can get away with a lot more, and the same goes for Dungeoneer.

Gothic horror, psychological horror, Lovecraftian horror, and splatterpunk/torture porn work pretty well in an RPG Maker game, especially mixed together.

I feel like most RM horror developers are just trying to make a scaled down version of what they see in AAA games, which aren't very scary to begin with, because they're limited to an M rating. Making a good, successful RPG Maker horror game requires going to uncomfortable places.
Or maybe most devs don't go in for the hardcore blood and guts stuff because it's usually seen (and comes off as) as juvenile, silly and over-the-top.

-deadloli-
Death threats are a banworthy offence.
4
author=Liberty
Or maybe most devs don't go in for the hardcore blood and guts stuff because it's usually seen (and comes off as) as juvenile, silly and over-the-top.



That's not what I meant.

Why was NBK was given an NC-17 initially and require over 100 cuts to get an R, when dozens of films far more violent had come out that year with an R rating? Why did Hatred get an AO rating despite being less violent than a lot of M-rated games? Why does Megan is Missing (the ending, at least) bother people on a deeper level than Jason Takes Manhattan, even thought the latter has a lot more "hardcore blood and guts stuff"?

Because those three things had an element that most mainstream horror doesn't have, and they touched a nerve as a result; they actually scared people.

A bunch of over-the-top gore is fine, but it's the context that makes it horrific. Neither Dooms 2 nor Dungeoneer were really that gory, but they're RM2K horror classics because of the direction they take their violence. Because they explore pain, which is what makes the violence scary, and psychological aberration.

You can't get too deep into that realm in Hollywood films or AAA games or anything like that. Even stuff like Saw and Hostel that "disturb" all the normies are pretty watered down and tame. You have to, again, go to some REALLY uncomfortable places to make that genre work right.

And when you do, the end product is anything but "juvenile", because your art reflects real horror.
Dragnfly
Beta testers!? No, this game needs a goddamn exorcist!
1809
The sci-fi story "On the Uses of Torture" is a good example of that. Sure, the descriptions are brutal but the torture scene isn't the truly terrifying part of that story. When I read that thing, it put me in a total funk. It worked because it used a common shock factor vehicle to dig really deep into a whole new angle of disturbing thoughts. Kind of Lovecraftian without the Lovecraft in a way.

Like most things, I don't think excessive gore is instantly juvenile. It's all in how the content gets put to use. Most people just don't use it properly.
-deadloli-
Death threats are a banworthy offence.
4
http://crimefeed.com/2017/02/killer-couples-daniel-and-manuela-ruda-germanys-satanic-vampire-slayers/

https://owlcation.com/social-sciences/Murderous-Children-Alyssa-Bustamante

https://trenchreynolds.com/2010/04/28/alex-pacheco-pleads-guilty/

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/05/17/guatemalan-massacre-possibly-carried-zetas-forces-state-emergency.html






There are three types of horror that really work, IMO. One of the them is abstract/cosmic/Lovecraftian horror, one of them is the exploration of madness and psychological aberration, and the other is the feeling that most people get when they read the above articles. That's the vibe you want, and doing it properly isn't popular because most people just want stimulation (jumpscares, action) and not actual horror. Actually scare anybody and you'll get slapped with an AO or NC-17.

Even non-horror mainstream movies get hit with an NC-17 just for being disturbing, as with Kids or Happiness, and even the watered-down version of that sort of horror (Manhunt 2) is too much for an M rating in video games and lands an AO instead.

So it's generally not done in mainstream horror, but I wanna see more horror fiction of whatever format that combines those three elements; they're the perfect formula when done properly.


author=Dragnfly
The sci-fi story "On the Uses of Torture" is a good example of that. Sure, the descriptions are brutal but the torture scene isn't the truly terrifying part of that story. When I read that thing, it put me in a total funk. It worked because it used a common shock factor vehicle to dig really deep into a whole new angle of disturbing thoughts. Kind of Lovecraftian without the Lovecraft in a way.

Like most things, I don't think excessive gore is instantly juvenile. It's all in how the content gets put to use. Most people just don't use it properly.

Sounds cool. I'll check it out.
halibabica
RMN's Official Reviewmonger
15558
I feel it's important to note the extreme subjectivity of horror when it comes to audience reception. In some ways, horror is even harder to pull off well because different people are scared of different things, so there's an extra layer to consider beyond mere taste.

Like, the problem I have with the argument made earlier about the importance of being able to fight is that it depends on the type of game it's being applied to. Combat as a mechanic is more important for some types of games than others. Including it certainly adds a level of interactivity, but it can also detract from the game's other effects on the player, particularly immersion since game mechanics that are blatantly such are a constant reminder that you're playing a game.

What makes a successful RPG Maker horror is something more complex. I think the important points have all been touched on so far: atmosphere, art direction, character investment, dread to slow you down + curiosity to push you forward. It's sad that the genre has such a bad rep from all the failed projects that are barely worth a mention. It can be effective, you just have to remember that games create tension in different ways than other mediums and that the tools you use will only be as effective as your ability to use them.
-deadloli-
Death threats are a banworthy offence.
4
author=Sooz
Those sure are some great horror games there!

Your sarcasm can't be a reference to the fact that what I posted are not, in fact, horror games, because I never thought they were horror games, and you are (probably) intelligent enough to realize that.

So I have to assume that your implication is that we should only be talking about horror games in this thread, and not anything else... but that can't be right, either, considering that you didn't respond like that when people talked about horror fiction like Lovecraft, or horror in general, and I was clearly talking about how to better draw inspiration for making horror games.

The only other alternative, then, is that you were disturbed by the content in question.

So... point proven. Even linking to real horror on a web forum can set people off. Obviously, I didn't expose poor Sooz to any real violence by linking to those articles, but it put imaginary images in his (her?) head that were enough to elicit an emotional response, and the point of fiction is to elicit an emotional response. Make a game channeling that, and you're set.

This is what Dungeoneer and the Dooms series did right, and which you rarely see in horror games at all, because... well, it scares people.

author=halibabica
I feel it's important to note the extreme subjectivity of horror when it comes to audience reception. In some ways, horror is even harder to pull off well because different people are scared of different things, so there's an extra layer to consider beyond mere taste.

Like, the problem I have with the argument made earlier about the importance of being able to fight is that it depends on the type of game it's being applied to. Combat as a mechanic is more important for some types of games than others. Including it certainly adds a level of interactivity, but it can also detract from the game's other effects on the player, particularly immersion since game mechanics that are blatantly such are a constant reminder that you're playing a game.

What makes a successful RPG Maker horror is something more complex. I think the important points have all been touched on so far: atmosphere, art direction, character investment, dread to slow you down + curiosity to push you forward. It's sad that the genre has such a bad rep from all the failed projects that are barely worth a mention. It can be effective, you just have to remember that games create tension in different ways than other mediums and that the tools you use will only be as effective as your ability to use them.

Well... people are generally scared of the same basic things... horror generally boils down to exploiting fear of the unknown, exploiting fear of pain, or abusing our reflexes (jumpscares).

The latter doesn't really work on anybody anymore. Everyone's too used to it. It's been too many decades of movies exploiting jumpscares, games exploiting jumpscares, flash animations ("SOMETHING REALLY COOL WILL HAPPEN IF YOU STARE AT THIS DOT FOR TEN MINUTES!") exploiting jumpscares, and "clever" people hiding behind doors exploiting jumpscares.

As for the other two, they still work, but the stakes have been raised a lot by the fact that we live in such a genuinely horrific world. Bela Lugosi in a cape is no longer enough to trigger our instinctive fear of the unknown, and the vague threat of a killer raising a knife before the screen cuts away doesn't make us fear and feel pain the way it did forty years ago. (And people who say that "less is more" when it comes to gore in horror fiction are sometimes right, but more often than not, just squeamish.)

Nowadays, it takes the likes of cosmic horror and splatterpunk to bring us to a level that actually makes us feel anything. When was the last time you were genuinely afraid of a vampire movie or a Jason film?

That's what horror game makers these days have wrong, and not just the indie ones.

Atmosphere, art direction, character investment, slow pacing, etc. aren't going to do you any good when you're essentially trying to emulate shitty PS1 haunted mansion/town games from the 90's. You need something that's either disgustngly visceral or psychologically disturbing enough to keep you paranoid long after you've turned off the computer and into the late hours of the night.
author=-deadloli-
Your sarcasm can't be a reference to the fact that what I posted are not, in fact, horror games, because I never thought they were horror games, and you are (probably) intelligent enough to realize that.

So I have to assume that your implication is that we should only be talking about horror games in this thread, and not anything else... but that can't be right, either, considering that you didn't respond like that when people talked about horror fiction like Lovecraft, or horror in general, and I was clearly talking about how to better draw inspiration for making horror games.

The only other alternative, then, is that you were disturbed by the content in question.

So... point proven. Even linking to real horror on a web forum can set people off. Obviously, I didn't expose poor Sooz to any real violence by linking to those articles, but it put imaginary images in his (her?) head that were enough to elicit an emotional response, and the point of fiction is to elicit an emotional response. Make a game channeling that, and you're set.

This is what Dungeoneer and the Dooms series did right, and which you rarely see in horror games at all, because... well, it scares people.


Oh that was just a good old fashioned rib poke there, I wouldn't look too much into it. However the grasping at straws reasoning of "If she poked fun at me then therefore she was offended by my hyperlinks!" was a tad unnecessary =/