TELL ME MORE ABOUT IB, YUME NIKKI & MY PRECIOUS HORROR GAMES

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AkarithePeanut
A lazy teenager's spirit in a mid 20 adult's body
2205
Lately I´ve realized how little I know about the psychological, horror-brushstroked rpg indies I love and their development through time. In what sense were they influential to the genre, is there a genealogy sequence?


As a typical player of that genre I fell in love with Ib, The Witch´s House, Mad Father, Yume nikki and some others (very related to VGPerson´s translated games) and some basic common sense that these important games influenced the genre (yume 2kki, Miserere etc games heavily influenced by yume nikki... Dreaming Mary from our website was influenced by those as well. And of course these games were very important for the psychological games)





Here we have Ib´s cute menu


Here´s viola, protagonist of the witch´s house doing some exploring


Aya from Mad Father with a photograph/picture (is even possible to tell the difference though?) of her mother


Madotsuki surrounded by the vast worlds and possibilities in yume nikki


So I´m really wondering in what sense did the psychological indie genre developed through time? How was it combined with games from other countries, were there tendencies, you know, something like small-sized currents like in the development of paintings, music and such?? (Or in manga as well, where kinnikuman and hokuto no ken marked tendencies for example)


I´m really curious about the authors, context and impact of those games. (There´s little info to know about Ib´s author on the internet :( )

About other important games from the psychological/horror genre I also consider relevant:

Misao
Forest of Drizzling Rain
The Crooked Man
Re: Kinder
Mermaid Swamp
Ao Oni
Palette (I know this one was influential, and was even remastered and released for some console in japan, play station I think?)


Well, I know there is wayyyy more behind the rpg genre (things like Chrono Trigger must have had some influence as well) But I think mentioning all of that would be a bit too much info for me to process, for now I wonder the most about the Psychological-horror genre(s). If someone knows anything please help the procastinating me (@_@)

Aaaaand this is my first topic ever so if this was posted previously, or does not belong to this section etc let me know
one word. Pewdiepie. they got influential because some swedish guy played it on youtube.
If you're interested in the impact those games have, I can tel you that Dreaming Mary had a significant impact on Red Balloon of Happiness. Why Dreaming Mary? I very rarely play horror games but somehow Dreaming Mary's cute graphics caught my attention and made me play it... thus influencing my design ideas for the Halloween event.
author=bicfarmer
one word. Pewdiepie. they got influential because some swedish guy played it on youtube.

Pewdiepie never played YumeNikki. There's also the majority of games that he has played, that no one really cares about anymore. So, that's a bit of a poor explanation.
I've always figured that this genre got big because of their youtube appeal. They're a popular pick for youtubers to react and for people to watch.

But I also think horror games (or walkabout games like Yume Nikki) also let developers focus more time and resources into art and custom graphics, since they tend to only use a fraction of RPG Maker's core features. In a way, they are arguably easier to produce than RPGs because you don't have to dedicate time to balancing combat, stats, and other gameplay systems related to them. The horror formula is perfect for beginner and younger devs especially and that's why you see so many horror projects popping up all the time. More than anything, I think the accessibility of the horror formula has been a big factor in its popularity.
Sooz
They told me I was mad when I said I was going to create a spidertable. Who’s laughing now!!!
5354
People always rope Yume Nikki in with the horror games, though it really isn't. It contains some horror elements, but it's mostly just surreal and lacking in any particular genre.

author=Pancaek
author=bicfarmer
one word. Pewdiepie. they got influential because some swedish guy played it on youtube.
Pewdiepie never played YumeNikki. There's also the majority of games that he has played, that no one really cares about anymore. So, that's a bit of a poor explanation.


author=SgtMettool
I've always figured that this genre got big because of their youtube appeal. They're a popular pick for youtubers to react and for people to watch.


This isn't as dismissive as it first seems: Horror games of all stripes are very popular among the talking head LP crowd because they offer so much fodder to act against, even if they're not especially good. (Compare to traditional RPGs, FPSes, or platformers, where, without any particular "genre" trappings, mostly offer the bare minimum for reaction.)

But I also think horror games . . . also let developers focus more time and resources into art and custom graphics, since they tend to only use a fraction of RPG Maker's core features. In a way, they are arguably easier to produce than RPGs because you don't have to dedicate time to balancing combat, stats, and other gameplay systems related to them. The horror formula is perfect for beginner and younger devs especially and that's why you see so many horror projects popping up all the time. More than anything, I think the accessibility of the horror formula has been a big factor in its popularity.


I'm going to disagree that horror is any more "entry level" than the traditional RPGs; there's nothing saying you HAVE to balance combat/stats/etc., since RPG Maker is intended to be usable for complete beginners. You have to do that to make a GOOD game, but that's the same with horror games: You have to know what you're doing and fiddle with timing and presentation to accomplish something good. There are just as many terrible horror games, proportionally, as there are terrible RPGs, platformers, or whatever.

(One could argue that traditional JRPGs are, plotwise, much more entry level, requiring only some maguffins to motivate heroes, and generally being entirely formulaic and railroady. In the end, there's different levels of complexity to all genres, and it's silly to think of any individual one as "easier.")

I think the rise in horror-style games is probably as simple as there being a niche audience who are inclined for that thing, combined with the internet's ability to share that thing easily, plus better tools for the non-coder. People discover, "Hey, this thing exists! Awesome! I had no idea!" A few of those people add, "Wow, I'd LOVE to do that!" And then they have access to the tools to actually accomplish this.

By contrast, in previous generations, the demographic of "Likes little creative horror games" was so dispersed that it was difficult to find out about any games that DID get made, which was a rare, rare event because games had to sell, and niche affairs are rarely profitable. (It wasn't as bad as it is now in the AAA arena, but it was never that great, and a game like Yume Nikki would never have made it far without the internet's help.) On top of that, even IF a person had the inclination and funding to create a hypothetical game in this genre, they'd have to be able to do it pretty much from scratch with coding- not a common skill, nor an easily learned one.

In summary, I think the rise of this style of horror games was basically inevitable once the barrier to entry was low enough to accommodate more creatively-inclined but less coding-able devs, and the genre just happened to be shaped by whoever got big first.

OK, so that discussion out of the way... I can address the (curiously large) OP itself!

author=AkarithePeanut
Lately I´ve realized how little I know about the psychological, horror-brushstroked rpg indies I love and their development through time. In what sense were they influential to the genre, is there a genealogy sequence?

. . . .

So I´m really wondering in what sense did the psychological indie genre developed through time? How was it combined with games from other countries, were there tendencies, you know, something like small-sized currents like in the development of paintings, music and such?? (Or in manga as well, where kinnikuman and hokuto no ken marked tendencies for example)


I´m really curious about the authors, context and impact of those games. (There´s little info to know about Ib´s author on the internet :( )


I can't help much on the development end, since I'm unfamiliar with the Japanese indie scene and all. But I do know a few things about the history of psychological horror in gaming, and I'm willing to blather on!

A good deal of the horror genre- especially in the RPG Maker subcategory- owes a lot to the Adventure games of the 80s and 90s. This was a very popular genre for psychological horror games, including such titles as the 7th Guest, the Phantasmagoria series, and I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream. These were generally known for extremely bizarre item use puzzles, and I would not be surprised if some of the devs of RPG Maker horror games were at least passingly familiar. (Or at least familiar with games inspired by them.)

As far a Japanese games, I expect Sweet Home had at least some influence.
AkarithePeanut
A lazy teenager's spirit in a mid 20 adult's body
2205
author=Sooz
People always rope Yume Nikki in with the horror games, though it really isn't. It contains some horror elements, but it's mostly just surreal and lacking in any particular genre.



Well yes indeed, yume nikki is quite a surreal and unique thing. Still, I think as a possibility that yume nikki influenced other psychological and horror games; miserere, a yume nikki-inspired game, does have some psychology traces at certain places.

at a certain point of exploring, after lots of stuff you get to a little normal place where you find a picture that says "friends"
connecting that with how lonely our protagonist seems to be, a plausible conclusion would be, that person is quite lonely, and that realization is quiiiite hidden, maybe to avoid a mental breakdown.


And I believe we cannot rule out yume nikki as a psychological game so easily, since some aspects may be related to "exploring madotsuki's mind and psychology" the characters, effects, landscapes may be related to madotsuki's life or experiences? It may be similar to Miserere's case explained above. After all, we're exploring madotsuki's mind, that is a psychological concept itself. (We never find out for sure, that's beautiful as well)

Now, horror, psychology and that bizarre yume-niki-ish feeling get combined sometimes; The Witch's House is definitely horror + Psychology. Horror-filled games can also be mentioned however, like corpse party (though I'm not sure it's influence on the rpg genres we are discussing)
Sooz
They told me I was mad when I said I was going to create a spidertable. Who’s laughing now!!!
5354
I wasn't ruling it out as psychological, I was ruling it out as horror, at least in the sense of "specifically a horror game."
I would have to agree with Sooz, from what I have seen in the lets play videos of it Yume Nikki seems more like a Psychological game than a horror. It almost sounds as if you are trying to bind both genre's together.
slash
APATHY IS FOR COWARDS
4158
I don't play a ton of horror games, but I have always pondered about how these small cult hits (Yume Nikki, Ib) seem to have very quiet authors who don't talk about their game much. It's possible that I just haven't looked much, but it certainly seems that way. It kinda helps build the mystery around those games even more! It was super surprising to see so much chatter around Yume Nikki's recent anniversary and re-release.

On the flip-side, accha is an absolute sweetheart <3
AkarithePeanut
A lazy teenager's spirit in a mid 20 adult's body
2205
author=Martimus
I would have to agree with Sooz, from what I have seen in the lets play videos of it Yume Nikki seems more like a Psychological game than a horror. It almost sounds as if you are trying to bind both genre's together.


I´m replying late, haven´t get into RMN for a while. I though about some weeks ago and I though you guys are right. You see, my first language is spanish, and in spanish-speaking game pages we kinda tend to blend together those. For example there´s this blog

http://indiehorrorrpg.blogspot.com/

The very url tells you all the games are horror, yet there are also psychological games. Translation problems I guess.

Having said that, I pointed to games that are psychological, horror-brushstroked)(part of the intro) which is to me the same you said, games like yume nikki that focus more on the psychological rather than horror genre.

Yes, maybe I tried to bind them, sorry for that.

author=slash
It was super surprising to see so much chatter around Yume Nikki's recent anniversary and re-release.


Speaking about those re-releases, is Yume Nikki´s good in your opinion? When I saw the Mad Father one I was not satisfied. rather preferred an new edition for a different platform (saw only the trailer though, I´m the worst). Palette for example, was released for Play Station (sadly japan-only) and damn it was beautiful in the artistic sense. Same plot and game interface, but aesthetics made a big change.
Sooz
They told me I was mad when I said I was going to create a spidertable. Who’s laughing now!!!
5354
author=AkarithePeanut
Speaking about those re-releases, is Yume Nikki´s good in your opinion?


I personally felt like the new YN was pretty lacking. It seemed to miss what was so appealing about the original (vast, open levels full of subtle weirdness; mechanics that relied mostly on exploration and interaction; vivid visuals) and instead just made a bog-standard linear puzzle platformer with blah visuals.

Some other people have enjoyed it, though, so your mileage may vary. vOv
Gretgor
Having gotten my first 4/5, I must now work hard to obtain... my second 4/5.
3420
While we're on the subject of indie horror games, I was wondering if I should try out .flow. I heard it's basically Yume Nikki with the horror cranked up to eleven.

So, for those of you who played .flow: is it good? Also, is there a decent English translation?
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