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About puzzles, collectibles and horror stuff

So I actually really like to read stuff about horror, horror game mechanics and just horror design in general. It helps me get new ideas about how things work and what I can do to make things work, especially now that I’m making my own horror game. And somehow, I ended up writing this essay-y rant type of thing that’s pretty much just me putting out some thoughts about my own game’s development and also horror games in general? Oh well, maybe it’ll help me sort out my thoughts so I can continue with development.

(this turned out longer than expected, oops)

Anyways, let me first talk about the collectibles of the game:

Each chapter has its own collectible for you to, well, collect, and by collecting all of each chapter, you’ll unlock a bonus scene that you can view later. Aside from these four specifics there’s another one I’m calling ‘Lingering Thoughts’ which are certain specific notes to collect through all of the game from people who went through the same ordeal as our six protagonists. Still no idea if this will unlock something or not, and so far, these are the only types of collectibles to hopefully add some replayability along with the different endings you can get. (Maybe I could have added a difficulty select, but now it’s too late for me to start thinking about implementing that, oops)


(You can see your collectibles through the pause menu.)

Now, about puzzles, I’m kinda... just literally making things up as I go along. I tried to have at least one or two ‘major puzzles’ per chapter (aka the more difficult ones) along with a few easier and medium ones to try create a balance (so that it won’t be too hard to the point of the player giving up on the game, nor too easy to the point that there is no challenge). I also tried not having puzzles that rely on ‘trial and error’ much because they can get pretty frustrating, and I’ve been trying to scatter clues and hints about the puzzles throughout the areas so it’s not just guessing work. It’s working so far in my mind, haha, but I still need to have testers to tell me if it actually works (but that will come later). I would still love some feedback on the puzzles of the demo tho *wink* *wink*


(To press or not to press, that is the question.)

Also!! I’ve been trying to make most puzzles have something to do with the overarching storyline, like symbolism and all that stuff, but not to the point where it’s too obvious. Like, I hope people won’t get what it means on the first run, but looking back at it they might ‘oooh that’s what it meant’. The question remains, though: will I be successful in doing this? :oo

And finally, about horror stuff.


You know, stuff.

These days I went back to playing Fatal Frame 2 and one of the main things I (re)noticed is how it uses atmosphere and sound effects to make things scary and doesn’t rely 99% of the time on jumpscares, which ended up making me remember what I was going for with this game. Like, I’m betting everything on the atmosphere here and if it doesn’t work, I’m screwed, haha. Sound effects, strange noises in the distance, things that you can’t explain and all of them shenanigans, I’m trying to have them all (but not too much). Maaaaybe there’s a jumpscare here or there to get the blood pumpin’ but the more jumpscares a game has, the less effective they become and they start becoming an annoyance.

Also!! Making things unpredictable. From my own experience, a big of the horror comes from not knowing what’s coming next, if the next time you walk through a door a monster is going to pop out at you, or when you’re walking through an area you’ve been through before and then suddenly something different happens. And that’s something I’ve been trying to incorporate in my game.

(Fun fact! I was playtesting my game after a long time without doing so and I ended up scaring myself because I forgot that one event was there. Twice. Does that mean it works...?)

Of course, this is kinda my first game so I’m still discovering things as I go along (there was another project I started before this one but that one was mostly scrapped and it ended up becoming this game anyway, so) and only time will tell if I was able to accomplish everything I set out to do.

Also I swear this started as something about collectibles and then it sort of became a mini rambly essay?? oops

here have a screenshot

Posts

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author=SpaceZeta
(Maybe I could have added a difficulty select, but now it’s too late for me to start thinking about implementing that, oops)


We're in the same quota, but I've implemented mine from the get-go (and trust me, it is damn hard).

Also, it's nice to see that you look upon the little things at this kind of rate plus the fact that jumpscares are obscure nowadays (except Outlast 2). It kinda makes the game implement a sort-of world-building vibe as to what happened and how the Collectible came to be in the first place.

Lastly (of course), great blog that you made! Looks like my subscribe button is in the game's bag.
InfectionFiles
the world ends in whatever my makerscore currently is
4338
Oh, okay that makes a lot more sense! You have it correct :)
author=InfectionFiles
Great blog! I have one question though, is Silver Die supposed to be Silver Dye as in like a coloring item?


Thank you! ^^ Actually it's a die as in the (old?) singular form of dice, or so the dictionary says. As a non-native English speaker, I've always been a little confused about the whole dice/die thing so I did a little research about it and that turned out to be it, but correct me if I'm wrong, haha (pls)

So yeah, it's a little die/dice made out of silver c:
InfectionFiles
the world ends in whatever my makerscore currently is
4338
Great blog! I have one question though, is Silver Die supposed to be Silver Dye as in like a coloring item?
Pages: 1