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Somewhat49
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Somewhat49
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What would you think would HAVE to be included in a phsycological horror game? (warning: you can't post "zombies!" because it will be removed as spam.)

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EmperorPalpatine
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EmperorPalpatine
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Perhaps move it to Popular Media and allow it to include ideas for movies/books too?

Anyway, the audience tends to look for someone or something to direct their hatred/tension/aggression at: a traditional villain like the guy with the curly mustache who ties ladies to railroad tracks. I'd say the unseen adversary is quite effective to counter that, such as Death in the Final Destination series. Masks also work well for this purpose, but the conflict and hatred is still directed at the person behind the mask. In the case of Death, the adversary wasn't even personified, which means there was no outlet for the tension, no villain to hate.

Also, it needs creepy music. Perhaps a music box style like this or, more mysterious and meaningful, this where it was used as an important plot device. Carnival music is inherently creepy, but it's usually unnecessary for anything other than being creepy. If you're going to use it at all, then use it in an odd backstory where something tragic happened at a carnival. Don't make it a random setting in-game.

Avoid unnecessary plot twists because they're too common. Perhaps one needed twist as a resolution like the main character is the one who caused the problem without realizing it earlier (or caused his involvement, such as in The Bourne Trilogy).

Somewhat49
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Somewhat49
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Peasant

Anyway, the audience tends to look for someone or something to direct their hatred/tension/aggression at: a traditional villain like the guy with the curly mustache who ties ladies to railroad tracks. I'd say the unseen adversary is quite effective to counter that, such as Death in the Final Destination series. Masks also work well for this purpose, but the conflict and hatred is still directed at the person behind the mask. In the case of Death, the adversary wasn't even personified, which means there was no outlet for the tension, no villain to hate.

I was planning on not adding a clear villian to hate, to game is going to be more of a survival than a real objective (other than brining down some bosses).
Also, it needs creepy music. Perhaps a music box style like this or, more mysterious and meaningful, this where it was used as an important plot device. Carnival music is inherently creepy, but it's usually unnecessary for anything other than being creepy. If you're going to use it at all, then use it in an odd backstory where something tragic happened at a carnival. Don't make it a random setting in-game.

I was aiming for a more intense music for kindof a climax when seeing something, for the rest of the game I really wasn't planning on having music, or if I do then some quite mysterious msuic.
Avoid unnecessary plot twists because they're too common. Perhaps one needed twist as a resolution like the main character is the one who caused the problem without realizing it earlier (or caused his involvement, such as in The Bourne Trilogy).

Yea I wasn't going to have many plot twists.
Cenere
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Perhaps move it to Popular Media and allow it to include ideas for movies/books too?

Nah, let's keep it here, and perhaps more general.

--

To be honest, candlelight and black is a lot scarier than blue and black or red and black. But there has to be black.

I beg to differ.

Anyway, I think most of the horror tropes would help you out, but one especially horrifying one is this, along with much of the paranoia fuel page for extra ideas.

On a more general term:
To make something truly terrifying, you should probably not follow any of those advices. No 'always night', no 'creepy house with something after you', no 'trapped and have to find a way out'.
Little is scarier than everything being normal, yet feeling slightly wrong. Or when you leave a room, and when you get back something has changed, you just don't know what. You just feel that someone has been in the room and done something to it, even if there is no possibility that could have happened.
The feeling of going slowly mad.
Somewhat49
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Somewhat49
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Another thing you want is color/atmosphere. To be honest, candlelight and black is a lot scarier than blue and black or red and black. But there has to be black.

I was going to have for main colors, electric green, black, grey, and bright white.
And you want sneaky enemies. It's scarier when you think whatever is in the game can pop out right behind you...

I actualy am going for more phsycological horror than pop out, I was thinking of mainly having YOU walking into the enemies, not the other way around.
Little is scarier than everything being normal, yet feeling slightly wrong. Or when you leave a room, and when you get back something has changed, you just don't know what. You just feel that someone has been in the room and done something to it, even if there is no possibility that could have happened.
The feeling of going slowly mad.

Haha you read my mind! I was going to have for the plot you wake up in a special care place for mental patients and having a women over you saying, "I don't know what's gotten into him... Hi behavior started to be like this all after the 'incident'" and the docter replying "ok we'll keep him here for a while and then if he improves, we'll release him into your care."
Very simple intro, then he walks you to your room and you pass by someone sitting up on a strecher and waving a decapitated head at you and of corse you react, then the doctor looks back at you and says, "what's wrong this time?"
and you look back to where you saw it and it's just a nurse standing there waving a checklist at you to be friendly..

So what I was going for with the plot is the main character can't decide if he's going mad or if he's really sane.
EmperorPalpatine
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So... similar to that old Twilight Zone episode where the guy's on a plane and keeps seeing a creature on the wing, but it leaves whenever anyone else looks?

Riptizoid101
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The scariest thing would be something similar to like the weeping angels.

I quote from the top rated comments...

The angels are a work of genius, really. Being sent back in time would destroy your life, but you'd at least have a chance of living a fulfilling, if different life. But it's not the fate that awaits us that makes us so afraid. It's the tension, the fact that you and the angel have absolute power over one another, but if either of you wavers for a second, the other wins. Raw, undiluted suspense. Horror that doesn't shock or nauseate you, but thrills you. My favorite kind!
Somewhat49
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Somewhat49
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Peasant

So... similar to that old Twilight Zone episode where the guy's on a plane and keeps seeing a creature on the wing, but it leaves whenever anyone else looks?

Yea! It's got quite an unsettling feeling to it when you do something like that.
The scariest thing would be something similar to like the weeping angels.
I quote from the top rated comments...

The weeping angels are kindof scarry, but it's not really screwing with your mind scarry, it's more that it makes you look behind you for a day then you give up.
Somewhat49
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Somewhat49
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Anyway, I think most of the horror tropes would help you out, but one especially horrifying one is this, along with much of the paranoia fuel page for extra ideas.

I read it, but it didn't give me much pointers, I liked the idea of a sanity meter though, but I don't think it'l be an actual meter and I highly dout I would be able to code one.
KeenuTehUneek
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Pedobear.
Has "horror" written all over it.

Cenere
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It wasn't for pointers, it was for ideas. How others have done their horror stories and what not.
As for your idea, I was hoping it would be more vague than showing something that quickly, but I won't be making the game.

xNightwish
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Why don't you play some scary games and see if u can get inspiration from them. Like in Amnesia at the beginning you light a candle and walk away. When u look back u see the monster. But when u walk to the monster it is gone. Freaked me out.

And make the background change on your "level" of madness. Would be cool.

Dragonblaze052
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Dragonblaze052
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Long sharp things, torn skin, bleeding eyes, maniacal laughter, stuff suddenly appearing or disappearing when you look away, general darkness, a sense of despair, high contrast between colors, blood, more blood, even more blood, paranoia, hallucinations, hopelessness, big scary guys with dull meat cleavers, fast enemies appearing from nowhere, eerie silence and masks. I think that's everything.

Somewhat49
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Somewhat49
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It wasn't for pointers, it was for ideas. How others have done their horror stories and what not.
As for your idea, I was hoping it would be more vague than showing something that quickly, but I won't be making the game.

I will follow your advice and make it have subtle changes.
I was thinking more starting in a cheery, bright and open enviroment to make if calming then start with the subtle changes, like make the house samller, but in small quantities so you don't relize it at first maybe at one point your bed sheets will randomly disapear (lol I'm just trying to think of how to make it seem less friendly of an enviroment).
Why don't you play some scary games and see if u can get inspiration from them. Like in Amnesia at the beginning you light a candle and walk away. When u look back u see the monster. But when u walk to the monster it is gone. Freaked me out.
And make the background change on your "level" of madness. Would be cool.

I've been trying to get amnesia to see how it plays on you, but so far all I can get is lets play's of it. I am going to try to make the level change and more warped looking human models and stuff like that.
Long sharp things

I've found things like that to be laughable, since they usualy don't inflict pain if you walk into it, also long sharp things usualy are akward in small enviroments.
torn skin, bleeding eyes, maniacal laughter

Sounds interesting, but I have a big problem in which I have no idea where I'm going to get sounds, bleeding eyes is a bit hard to do if you want it to drip but might look cool anyway.
stuff suddenly appearing or disappearing when you look away

I don't want any sudden things, my goal is to scare the player without having anything jumping out at him and he walks into everything, not the other way around.
general darkness, a sense of despair, high contrast between colors

I think that would work. I was going for having a electric (hopefuly) glowing green and putting dark around it to make it look erie for entrences to another dimension or if I wanted writing somewhere giving you a hint.
blood, more blood, even more blood

Having that really dosen't make it scarry as just creator got bored of placing stuff and put blood here instead.
eerie silence and masks

If I can't find any music, you might get alot of erie silence =), but why masks?
Dragonblaze052
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I've found things like that to be laughable, since they usualy don't inflict pain if you walk into it, also long sharp things usualy are akward in small enviroments.

By long, sharp things, I meant oversized claws and teeth.

Sounds interesting, but I have a big problem in which I have no idea where I'm going to get sounds, bleeding eyes is a bit hard to do if you want it to drip but might look cool anyway.

Not tearing skin, torn skin.
Not necessarily dripping, but likely running.

I don't want any sudden things, my goal is to scare the player without having anything jumping out at him and he walks into everything, not the other way around.

I mean have something be there in the corner of the screen, look away, look back and it's gone.

Having that really dosen't make it scarry as just creator got bored of placing stuff and put blood here instead.

It depends on how artfully it's placed. Putting blood everywhere doesn't work. Having bloody handprints smeared across glass, however...

If I can't find any music, you might get alot of erie silence =), but why masks?

Have a VERY quite heartbeat playing through the silence, so quiet you wouldn't notice it.
Same reason Cenere said, disassociation.
Cenere
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Have a VERY quite heartbeat playing through the silence, so quiet you wouldn't notice it.


An audio book reading of 'the Telltale Heart' had this as its background noise. It started out silent, but grew gradually in volume in a way that made the listener doubt they were actually hearing anything at first.

Another example of the same concept, albeit used differently and for a different outcome, would be the use of white noise before a certain play in the theatre. White noise was playing through the speakers in the hall and lounges before the play started, gradually becoming louder and louder, but so gradually that the audience never noticed. Then, at the start of the play, the white noise was turned off, and a sense of complete and utter silence was left.

If you have ever tried to suddenly be left in clear silence after something has hummed for a while, especially before you fall asleep, you will know how uncomfortable that is, and it will most likely call the player to attention.

Now, I know there are different takes on psychological horror and horror in general, enough for one thing to work well with one author which will fail with another, not to mention some people being more resistant against the horror genre as a whole, or lacking the primal fears and imagination that will cause others to jump out their chair at the sound of the floor creaking, even if nothing is going on on the screen, and haven't yet.

Amnesia is a good example of this. Some players find it to be awesome and creepy and not something you should play alone, others are just shrugging it off as it was nothing (perhaps because their own mind has been numbed for its effect).
I think, while haven't played Amnesia myself, that the real thing that gets to you is the fact that you barely know what is going on, and the fact you can't look at your enemies without going insane, while there are relatively few enemies actually around.
Humans have always had trouble with stuff they don't understand, and being left without a reason for what is going on, will most likely bother the players to the core while having their curiosity move them forward to see what is going on.
Just like the unknown is far more scary than anything we could meet. not knowing what you fight against, what might be around the corner and so on triggers our imagination, and that is a powerful tool.

If you read the 'High Octane Nightmare Fuel' pages on Tvtropes, you will most likely see the same pattern. Yes, gore and horror makes the player uncomfortable and ill, but the thought of why someone might have done it, if the killer is waiting just outside your field of vision and why no one has managed to stop the killer, is far worse than all that.

Two other games seem to use this well. Sadly I can't recall the names of the games since I just like frightening myself by reading about what scared others... But I believe one might have been 'Edge of Darkness' or something to that account.
Anyway.
The first use the fact that you will be finding weapons and ammunition very early in the game, and continue to do so, even if you won't actually be needing these weapons until much later in the game. Players are used to quick action, that if there is weapons, you will be needing them in a moment, but with this, they will be on their toes for most of the game and possibly even feeling relieved when they are finally allowed to shoot something.
The other is based on Little Red Riding Hood, which means that you from the start knows that in this forest, there will be a wolf. Even if you see no signs of anything that might otherwise trigger your fear, the simple notion that there is something in there you need to be afraid of, is enough.
Especially if the monster is never actually shown.

But enough about this...
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