How does this look, in your opinion, and what could I do to improve it? It's supposed to be a horror game, and this is a small part of it. Thanks!
The bobbing glare is serious annoyance, I'm already getting a lack of originality vibe so hopefully this is some real early work. The lighting while nice does not come off as ominous or scary rather it has a very warm feeling and creates a pleasant feeling of security. IMHO
Thanks for your honest opinion! It's really early work and I'm also a huge beginner at Unreal Engine 4 so yeah it's unoriginal. I get your point about the warmness of the light, but how else could I do a light without making a SLENDER-type flashlight which everyone does?
Everytime the viewmodel bobs up and down, light from the lamp blinds the player a bit. If you could lower the lamp a bit, maybe that wouldn't be an issue.
And there's only so much you can do with one hallway.
dont know if you're taking suggestions but this just popped into my head
add the sound of the characters breathing very subtly, I know it'd freak me right out
make it ragged when scared, speed up after running
Not him but look up real life actual candle lanterns and particular whale oil lanterns and brass lanterns (or other such laterns made of only semi-reflective materials, ultra reflective metal is a modern thing)
They're smokey, hazy, cast unreliable light, gutter in the wind (and as you move), and illuminate about as much as a lit match
Well, I'm sure there are better examples but I really enjoy the older Silent Hill games. And 2 being my personal favorite.
Take ideas from those maybe.
Sadly while I love reading and watching creepy and unnerving things I am not very good at coming up with them myself.
But mostly what I mean is don't have if you bump into what ever the enemy is it grabs the screen and just screams at the player. That is being done to death.
Good idea, I'll definitely do that :)
I considered that, and I really wanted to do that, but unfortunately I don't have the skills to make a real lantern yet, so I'm only using an electric lamp for now.
Yeah, you don't need to punish the player for messing up by giving them a heart attack. That's cheep
It's always best to make the player think about whats happening and fear what the thing could be, not fear when it will pop out at you
First of all, your main problem is you don't have a Design Document.
You need to do a bunch of writing, and talking, and figuring out a setting, and what's going on, and why, and where, and when.
On the subject of fear, most games STARTLE you by spooking your guts with jump scares.
Real fear or dread or apprehension is caused by "wrongness", something is wrong with the lighting in this room.
Something's wrong with the way that cat is sitting over there, is it watching me? Is that even a cat?
Something's wrong with the way she walks, like she's sick, and yet she's somehow moving so fast, how is that possible?
I'm certain that chair wasn't there a moment ago!
Those things are subtle, and are very effective, as you get less subtle you start to move into the realm of grotesque which principally preys upon people's innate sense of anatomy and injury.
When you see a monsterous human man with eyes bulging out of his head and crooked teeth, your brain is saying "Blunt force trauma has caused this person's eyes to evacuate from their orbital space" but your mind is saying 'OH FUCK WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOUR EYES?'
This *can* be effective but most of us are pretty jaded, having seen tons of car crash victims and shit on liveleaks, so that mostly only works on little kids and youtube streamers.
Also, an idea you could think about. I'm not sure how hard this would be to do. But have random the player be followed.
But the thing following you isn't chasing you.
Maybe you could be doing what ever the objective of the area is and notice out of the corner of the screen something watching you, and if you turn to see what it was it moves and you can't see it.
Make the player not sure if someone is there or not
Set your game in a place other than a dungeon, forest, old mansion, or hospital and you will get points in my book.
I know it's a lighting demo but what about doing a horror game in full daylight?
The constant bobbing up and down in the exact same way is annoying.
You can break it up by having multiple animations with varying side to side movements and varying bob heights and then use a randomizer to vary which one plays in your anim tree.
Or the much easier route, you can make the lamp a physics appendage with damping so that it sways with movements.
A general piece of advice: don't get caught up in perfecting technical details, focus on the basics of your game play and make sure you have an actual game first before doing artwork.
>I considered that, and I really wanted to do that, but unfortunately I don't have the skills to make a real lantern yet, so I'm only using an electric lamp for now.
That's alright Anon, you'll be able to make the engine do whatever you want once you learn the intricacies
>rather it has a very warm feeling and creates a pleasant feeling of security
why not make a game where you walk around a dark house in the middle of a blizzard? It would be
Oh and hell, you could make the thing that follows you actually never interact with you ever in game.
Let people question what it was that was following you.
If it gets big enough people might start talking about it and making up their own ideas of what it was, spreading it even more.
Of course you could still have a different monster/monsters what ever interact and be after the player. But this one odd thing that always seems to be around you, but never gets close and you can never really get a good look. Could really put players on edge.
Thank you for all the advice guys! I have some questions:
Would it be a good idea to take place in a normal, well lit, house, but you're alone and there's SOMETHING following you?
I'm loving the idea of having something following you without ever being seen, but how could that be incorporated into gameplay without having it be very linear?
Say I want to do a house map, but let the player explore, how could there be an "end" to the game while the pursuer never touches you and there's no story?
I'll fix the bobbing and make it a lot more subtle.
Something that might be nice, keep the warmth/secure feeling of the lamp, but make it a hand-cranked lamp. If you want the security light, you have to make noise, spend time winding it. Could be cool if you had a blind thing that relied on sound, and vice-versa.
There could be some objective for the player.
Solve a mystery. Maybe something happened to a loved one and you want to find out.
Also, while well lit you could still have some dark areas
Make the viewbobbing less intense. It's annoying as fuck and distracts the player.
Everything else looks alright, but the hallway probably leads to a cheap scare that the player will definitely be expecting.
A la Ao Oni
Something in the house/dungeon is looking for you. You have no idea where it is, it can pop up literally at any time.
Instead of making it into scripted events, it would be better to make it into a monster that can travel various rooms, so you literally have no idea when/where it will pop up, forcing you to hide/run away
Damnit...you made me look that up and now I won't be able to sleep :P
Any idea how to make it work better?
Yeah, I don't like cheap scares so I was thinking of making a psychological horror in a house or something, but I really don't know how to implement it. Any ideas?
>HEY ANON WHY DON'T YOU SCRAP WHAT YOU HAVE PLANNED AND USE THIS BROAD BASIS I'M SUGGESTING?
I do like your idea though, it'd be like Cryostasis if Cryostasis wasn't primarily in metal corridors
Make sure to add innovative gameplay, literally the only thing a game needs to be good.
Just look at PS4, none of their games innovate and are thus all boring as fuck.
Now look at nintendo, their games innovate so theyre atleast a bit interesting, but they're too babbymode as fuck.
Now look at the xbox, look and laugh. Wow what kind of faggots actually buy an xbox
the walking speed is too fast (as is the bobbing). the lamp bobbing should be a lot slower. it would be nice if it was more of a subtle random sway, like it's only swaying a couples inches in front of you
Nodev, listen this anon advice if you're making good horror game. We don't need another jump scare games like FNAF or Slender Man.
Most cases of 'wrongness' can be seen in the very early parts of most horror games (before they get lazy and just make things go BOO), or survival games. STALKER and Metro 2033 do this pretty well in parts using simple things like shadows (for people that aren't there). Or just read a book nigga. Books do this really well.
>I get your point about the warmness of the light, but how else could I do a light without making a SLENDER-type flashlight which everyone does?
This may not exactly answer your question but it is related advice that I saw in a video. Shovelware horror games typically follow a certain rule in which if you have no light source, you can't see SHIT. Apparently moonlight and ambient light isn't a thing in the minds of shitty developers. Total darkness doesn't make a game scary, it just makes it ridiculous because you can't see shit. Amnesia did well with this by involving mechanics with the light source (and making it easier to see), rather than making it absolutely required to use in order to even see.
Some of the best horror games limit your vision in one way or another. Be it fog/mist, or just a limited camera angle. There is a reason why its effective my friend. Anything could be beyond that point you can't see. The strongest fear is the fear of the unknown.
Jumpscares are fine as long as that isn't the main form of horror. As long as its only used rarely then you're good. Some games are pretty good with jumpscares and have some nice build up to them instead of just throwing them at your face for some cheap jumps.
Speaking of Silent Hill, something you should try out that not a lot of games took from SH is just have a few rooms here or there of rooms that only consist of horrifying sounds/atmosphere/background but no actual enemies around to antagonize you. Let the setting do all the terrifying instead of a random spook.
On the flipside, plenty of games provide too much ambient light at night, making light sources not really needed. In Fallout 3 and NV, as well as Skyrim and Oblivion, there was never and need for the pipboy light because even the darkest areas were bright enough to see pretty easily.
Ambient light is fine outside, and near windows, but if I'm in a windowless dungeon or a cave or something, it should be pretty fucking dark.
OP, I'd suggest buying some candles and maybe a cheap oil lantern to get an idea of what a scene should look like if it's lit up that way. Real life experience with that kind of thing makes the game feel more realistic and immersive. Just go in your bathroom or block out all the windows and try to navigate around with the candle/lanterns.
put things around the environment that aren't necessarily the focus of attention but when you do notice them they spook you a bit, like a face outside a window or something
after all most creepy things in vidya threads are weird environmental things that people don't notice their first times around
>just have a few rooms here or there of rooms that only consist of horrifying sounds/atmosphere/background but no actual enemies around to antagonize you
I hate that shit so much, in a good way. Spooks the shit out of me. Especially if it was after a recent enemy encounter.
>Escape terrifying enemy and get to a room that is comparatively safe
>Exploring rooms, looking for items
>Things start seeming out of place, signs of things being 'wrong' (corrupted/fleshy growths on walls and floor appearing)
>Wrongness increases and ambient sounds ramping up in the background, faint clangs and things that sound like distant footsteps
>Really wish I was back in that first room fighting the enemy now
>I hate that shit so much, in a good way. Spooks the shit out of me. Especially if it was after a recent enemy encounter.
It puts you on edge. You're EXPECTING an enemy to come out at any second, and that fear of a possible encounter when everything else is already fucking with your head is terrifying.
It's shit like this is why I can't actually play horror games. I'm scared of being scared. I know something is going to pop out to scare me, I just don't know when or how and that freaks me out. I LOVE horror games but I'm literally physically unable to play them. I just freeze up. I enjoy watching my friend play horror games or watching an occasional LP, because then I don't have to be in control. Yes I know im a massive pussy. Pic related, I'm always a 5-6.
>You can't get killed
As in there's no game over condition? Because that's really lame. The moment the player figures that out he'll just be wrestling the enemy to do what he wants.
>Need to grab item
>Enemy appears and you're supposed to run and hide, then grab the item and get out before it finds you again
>Player figures out they can't actually be killed
>Starts trying to push their way past to get to the item, ignoring the bloody screen as the enemy uselessly claws at them
Hey, OP here.
Would you say that it'd be a good idea to have a section like in the OP, where you're walking down a corridor, but you don't know when there's going to be a scary thing?
People expect a scary thing when they go down the corridor, but what if there wasn't anything? Maybe there's a door at the end. Would you be scared to open that door? Is that the type of fear you're describing?
I'm just brainstorming ideas for my game :P
Please answer if you can!
Fuck that. How do you make something "really scary" if it's harmless?
Monsters in horror games need to be very deadly in order to be scary. That's where Dead Space failed; you can't have fodder enemies if you want them to be scary.
hold the lamp steady and make the PC walk slower but also allow them to speed up when they are frightened.
you should make it so that the PC can fumble items held in their hands if they are frightened or if they move around too fast.
Heavily scripted scenes.
I just think that getting killed takes all the fear of the game. After your first death you already are in the "i gotta get pass that room" so every time you get spotted you say "welp i'll get myself killed and start again".
I guess there should be game over states but enemies killing you is counter productive to a horror atmosphere.
Just walking down a dark corridor isn't too spooky. You need to have the atmosphere to back it up. Creepy sounds and unsettling visuals. Even if its dark to the point where you can't see much, the visual design is still important.
You ever play Silent Hill before?
I think getting killed in games like Amnesia where the enemies are walking fail conditions takes away the fear.
In horror games where you have access to weaponry, dying is entirely your fault, and in games that actually require you to aim while giving you highly limited resources, staying calm under pressure - while the game constantly tries to unnerve and surprise you - can be a horrible experience. A fun one.
But when the player knows that there's no danger, it takes away all the fear of the game.
Once a player gets over how spooky the monster looks, they'll just have a laugh whenever he shows up since he's harmless as a mouse.
I dislike the roof texture, it's too repetitive and smooth. I wonder how that lantern is held, but I guess that could have a good explanation. I like the effects a lot to be honest famiglia
Yeah, that's the best kind of horror.
In things like Amnesia and Outlast, you can't fight back because ______. It kind of ruins the enemies, because there's no good reason that they instantly kill you, and there's absolutely no reason why your character can't at least push back.
I really liked Alien Isolation, because it gives you many tools and weapons to fight off enemies, but they can still easily fuck your shit up and that makes them even scarier.
Think about it,
>I'M GONNA KILL YOU AND YOU CAN'T PROTECT YOURSELF BECAUSE THE GAME SAYS SO
is a lot less scary than
>I'M GONNA KILL YOU NO MATTER HOW HARD YOU STRUGGLE; I WILL ALWAYS BEAT YOU.
Whatever creature you have in the game, make sure its movements or animation is bizzare.
Its all fine and dandy if it looks scary, but I feel it really sells the scary factor if its actions and movements are strange (probably twitching) and unpredictable (from a slow movement to suddenly fast)
Even more terrifying in Alien Isolation was the resistances the Ayylmao built up.
>Feel like a hardass the first time you drive the bastard away
>Later running out of ammo but figure you can just squirt in their general direction and it'll flee
>It does nothing
>It's still coming
>You're now Ripley, the Most Holey.
If that was a game mechanic for every enemy, it'd have to be that you're trying to escape from some place, and the game would have to be set up that your fail condition brings you back there by being carried by the enemies. Otherwise it'd just be a frustrating experience, like getting caught in the Forsaken Fortress in Wind Waker.
Hey guys, OP here.
I'm loving all of the feedback, thank you so much for giving so many ideas!
If you guys want to keep track someway, I made a twitter account (@marcuswong890) for this and I'll be posting some development updates. I'll probably also make a devblog on a site soon!
Link to twitter: https://www.twitter.com/marcuswong890
Follow so you can keep track! :)
Anyone remember Breathless: A World out of AIr?
It was a pretty far-fetched idea, but anon did a really good job pitching it.
The idea was that somehow the atmosphere of Earth suddenly evaporated, probably by ayylmaos, and it had strong survival elements. Whenever the player was outdoors, it would be completely silent.
The environment looks very game-y and mazelike from just this. You should probably make the ceiling higher and make it seem more organic. From this, it seems transparently designed to accomodate the player which kinda hinders immersion.
I haven't read the thread but you have a few issues on the power of the light.
Here's what you do: take the walls further apart, about 1.5x or 2x the distance between them now. This is going to make the lighting from the lamp a lot less effective because of the distance, while at the same time taking away the feeling of safety of things only being able to come from behind or in front. Even though you don't actually put anything on the sides, it makes the player anxious having to pay attention to a wider area.
>I'd love to do psychological horror but I don't really know how to, could you give me some ideas please?
Make it so there are hints of something stalking you that you don't know what it is.
Like a objects being manipulated when you weren't around. Such as a door you closed being opened the next time you go back. So you go, "Oh fuck someone is here."
Then you see hints of what is out there. Like bloody footprints going up a wall. Harness the player's own imagination to scare them. Let them fill in the blanks.
How's this for an idea?
The protagonist is
>16 years old
>He lives in a rural area/possibly a farm with his family
>He lives in a huge mansion
>It's Christmas Eve
>MC is celebrating it with his family
>But he hates his family and he's getting sick of them lately so he says jokingly
>"I don't believe in you anymore Santa Clause but I wish you would make my family disappear"
>The next day his family members start disappearing mysteriously one by one
>He can't get out of the house because of an intense snow blocked his house
>The snow storm was so strong it cut his electricity and his phone line so he can't contact anyone
In the Christmas Eve have a scene where
>The mom says "Son you might have to cancel your date tomorrow the weather forecast just said a snow storm is happening"
>He replies "Whatever mom,they're never right"
>Yeah, I don't like cheap scares so I was thinking of making a psychological horror in a house or something, but I really don't know how to implement it. Any ideas?
You're in a house with a bunch of NPC characters. You don't know if one of the people is the thing that is dangerous. You can search for makeshift weapons. Kitchen knives, tire irons, stuff like that spawns in reasonable spots for the object but which ones and where is randomized. Depending on your behaviour, like holding a weapon in your hand, they might think that you are the threat and flee from you, coalition build or attack you.
That would be simulating paranoia, it's up to you to research psychological accounts. There are plenty of things to be paranoid about nowadays, perhaps the source of fear can lie entirely outside of this house, much like cosmic horror.