Horror/Mystery-genre project...

Discuss and unveil current Marathon projects.

Post Nov 7th '06, 20:37

If this is in the wrong section, I apologize (Move it if you'd like...). I'm not sure if I'll really have the time to complete (or even work on...) this project, I figured I'd get it out in the open though. I know CitizenKane was talking about a defunct project he/she was working on and I'd been watching some horror movies and anime during the Halloween week (Check out Saw and Higurashi no Naku Koro ni...), so I started bouncing ideas around in my head. I'd suggest a scenario (Doesn't have to be a total conversion...) that is created to provide a fright and be fun.
What makes something scary (IMO):
Really, to have something that is frightening, you don't need some large, bloody, axe-weilding monster (If used properly, it can help...), but what really makes something scary is the events that lead up to the "final showdown" and foreshadowing. Little pointers that give little glimpses of what's to come? Any of you seen Alien? When it first came out it was actually pretty damn scary (for its time...), and it was some guy in an ugly rubber suit...My point is, there are many elements that'll help make a scenario scary or piss-in-your-pants frightening.
Elements that may help:
-sounds
-imagery
-enviroment
-lighting

EDIT:
Another thing that may help...something that could cause paranoia in the player...perhaps something that may tap into someone's fears...

Really, many of you know a lot of this already...But, I'm trying to get people's input to see if anyone's actually interested in even playing a scenario like this...or even working on one.
Personally, I'd like to make this a fairly short and sweet project...no 30+ level long adventures here...sorry, but my attention span isn't that long. I'll start thinking up ideas for a "antagonist" and such...but if anyone has anything they'd like to see, go ahead and post it.

Really, I haven't gotten that far into the planning stages, but I wanted to get this down before I forgot it all...
Last edited by LegacyTyphoon on Nov 7th '06, 20:41, edited 1 time in total.
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LegacyTyphoon

Post Nov 7th '06, 21:12

I think this could be a good idea, but you might be looking in the wrong place for anything of this caliber. Besides, you don't necessarily need "one" big scary enemy.

Most of the older Marathoners will say, without the slightest shadow of a doubt, that the scariest level in Marathon history is "Ten Thousand Spoons" in Marathon EVIL. The first time that Devlin comes rushing at you... it's scary!

Some of the elements that make other scary games scary include extreme difficulty. Back to Devlins, those guys were real bastards. They had a lot of health and could really tear you apart quickly. The key element behind them is that you didn't want to fight them, you wanted to avoid them, because they were difficult and you have no ammo.

At the same time, a good survival-horror game does have a lot of buildup. Not necessarily because of one single antagonist (like Alien), but because every fight was so costly and difficult, and you really felt like you weren't up to the task of defeating the entire alien army. So every encounter is preceded by a build-up of tension, because you can't see the enemy, but you know he is somewhere in this room. You can hear the sounds, you can see the eviscerated humans, whatever it is.
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RyokoTK
Saint Paul, MN

Post Nov 7th '06, 21:25

Compilers are scary the first time you meet one in Marathon. ::shudder::
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treellama
Pittsburgh

Post Nov 7th '06, 21:36

I thought Hunters were scary back when I only had Marathon and Rubicon AO. The fact that they're in dark corners and howl if they see you made me shudder.
The Devlins were terrifying. When I first got EVIL, I was sooo scared by the Devlins.
Compliers were scary, but not much now. (I think that the M1 Compliers are scarier than the M2/MI Compliers)
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Lugas

Post Nov 7th '06, 21:37

The ghost thingies that run up to you in RED is kinda scary, but most because their sudden apperance. You can have either lots of scary sounds and freaky thingies, or almost no sound atall wich can also make it intresting. Although, i remember first playing EVIL, and i agree, thoose Devlins was... are quite scare and hard to fight sometimes.

Like Ryoko said, a scary enemie can be fast, many and dangerus (spelling). Like in AvP 1/Gold, the Aliens are fast, many, dies easy but kills you easier. It was one of the scariest games ever when playing as a Marine, while AvP2 wasnt scary at all. It depends very much on atmosphere.
Last edited by Yowza on Nov 7th '06, 21:38, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Nov 7th '06, 21:39

sounds play a big part in scary, it would be cool to make something along the lines of a first person resident evil stuck in a mansion with zombies and killer dogs & what not. RE rule the WORLD. and if it takes place in a house or something it wouldnt require a ton of maps either :)
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Dieselfame3

Post Nov 7th '06, 21:45

Sounds, lighting, and "doodads" are generally more important to a good, scary experience than the actual architecture itself. Bloodstains, mangled corpses, broken glass, things that convey the message "something really bad happened here."

Of course, dark lighting is required for a good horror map. Nothing's going to be too scary in a bright room, but if the room is dark and has muted sources of lights, it's going to go a lot further. You have to get closer to each corner to make sure nothing is in there.

And sounds, of course, really help, but good sounds are a lot harder to get right in Marathon, just because of how the engine handles them. Generally, you want it to be quiet. Any "natural" sounds should be in the background, but for the most part, you shouldn't be able to hear much. The scary scenes in movies don't happen at the end of the "scary music sting," but shortly after it.
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RyokoTK
Saint Paul, MN

Post Nov 7th '06, 22:26

I thought the Lookers from M1/Rubicon were scary.
And the Wasps.
Last edited by Lugas on Nov 7th '06, 22:26, edited 1 time in total.
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Lugas

Post Nov 7th '06, 23:03

I thought the Lookers from M1/Rubicon were scary.
And the Wasps.


Yes, but ultimately, Lookers just get annoying (especially in Rubicon), and Wasps are so non-threatening that I don't think the scariness really lasts long.
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RyokoTK
Saint Paul, MN

Post Nov 7th '06, 23:19

RyokoTK wrote:I think this could be a good idea, but you might be looking in the wrong place for anything of this caliber. Besides, you don't necessarily need "one" big scary enemy.

Most of the older Marathoners will say, without the slightest shadow of a doubt, that the scariest level in Marathon history is "Ten Thousand Spoons" in Marathon EVIL. The first time that Devlin comes rushing at you... it's scary!

Some of the elements that make other scary games scary include extreme difficulty. Back to Devlins, those guys were real bastards. They had a lot of health and could really tear you apart quickly. The key element behind them is that you didn't want to fight them, you wanted to avoid them, because they were difficult and you have no ammo.

At the same time, a good survival-horror game does have a lot of buildup. Not necessarily because of one single antagonist (like Alien), but because every fight was so costly and difficult, and you really felt like you weren't up to the task of defeating the entire alien army. So every encounter is preceded by a build-up of tension, because you can't see the enemy, but you know he is somewhere in this room. You can hear the sounds, you can see the eviscerated humans, whatever it is.

Hmmm...
I loved the howl from the Hunters activation...that was great (wonder if we could modify it....). I had an idea for a monster of some sort that was always invisible (or just out of view...) that you could always see on your radar when it was in range...when it was nearby, we'd have some creepy noises or something. Since this is Marathon, what would you think of an AI that has called you out to a location to help it figure out what's going on in the ship it's controlling (something of the sort...maybe a whole facitlity instead...) and it slowly goes insane (not rampant...but literally insane...) or maybe there's a plot twist or hidden agenda of some sort...Making the AI really, really creepy sounding (in the writing...) wouldn't be that hard.
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LegacyTyphoon

Post Nov 7th '06, 23:40

Or avoid AIs going nuts, because it's an idea that's been done to death, reborn, and killed again. Please?
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RyokoTK
Saint Paul, MN

Post Nov 7th '06, 23:46

RyokoTK wrote:Or avoid AIs going nuts, because it's an idea that's been done to death, reborn, and killed again. Please?

What kind of "going insane" though? Most of them have been the AI going rampant or something right? When I said insane I didn't mean any stupid hex type or random digits placed throughout a paragraph...So should it just be a naturally evil and twisted AI instead? Completely normal, but it's a sadist?
The Pf'hak - Read it.
Science technology jargon physics.
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LegacyTyphoon

Post Nov 8th '06, 00:15

So should it just be a naturally evil and twisted AI instead? Completely normal, but it's a sadist?


Karuma.
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RyokoTK
Saint Paul, MN

Post Nov 8th '06, 01:35

What about the THING?
Now thats some scary shit. Thats the one movie that gave me nightmares.
I can play Doom 3 but the THING. scares the shit out of me, I cant handle that game's second level. WTF?!

Anyhoo... it could be done.
Bob running around that when it "attacks", the attack sprites are the THING. And the other sprites are just bob sprites.

The one problem is that this crowd likes to shoot bobs on site because your all wierd that way...
There would need to be a massive consequece for suspecting the wrong bob as the thing.








And on the other hand you could have some CRAZY SCARY monster, release a mystery and NOT advertise the monster. The reason Marathon Evil scared the living daylights out of me is because I didn't know about the Devlins prior to download. I just heard the TC was good.

Halo, the flood isn't scary.
But they were scary as hell first time around because I didn't know about them until I played.

My point is... dont advertise plot twists.
Marathon RED would have been even sweeter if they didn't tell you about the Organics or Metalloids BEFOREHAND.

So that when your in the level where you first meet them, you dont need the TERMINAL to tell you your surprised, because you'd genuinely be surprised.
Last edited by MoppyPuppy on Nov 8th '06, 01:36, edited 1 time in total.
MoppyPuppy
Lake Nebagamon, WI

Post Nov 8th '06, 01:47

I always thought Marathon 1 had the scariest feel of the series.

I've talked about my views of making thins scary in the other threads so won't repeat them here.

Though for making some nice false readings on your radar, you could have aliens on adjacent halls that don't connect to anything, but just make the radar give the reading of things moving about.

While Pathways into Darkness was scary, sort of, due to the strangess of it, and the enemies that spawn behind you, the walking was just too slow for my taste. You want something to be scary but not annoying. Unexpectedness is the best.

If you could have parts where aliens can be seen by the player (perferably really scary ones) but they activate and move behind an obstacle, thus alerting the player to their existance, but not allowing them to exterminate it. Better if they don't show up on radar. :)

And I don't know if you can make it this dark...but If you can adjust the lighting in Marathon to pitch black, you could force them to navigate using their Minimap, would could be scary, if you adjust the colors somehow. :)
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Zott
Earth

Post Nov 8th '06, 02:00

Zott wrote:If you could have parts where aliens can be seen by the player (perferably really scary ones) but they activate and move behind an obstacle, thus alerting the player to their existance, but not allowing them to exterminate it. Better if they don't show up on radar. :)


BIG TIME AGREEMENT!!!!

But... you cant expose the monster completely.
An arm, a leg, a third head, but not the whole monster.
Start off with SOUNDS!!!!!!!

But never, EVER, show the whole monster until the REAL CONFRONTATION.
MoppyPuppy
Lake Nebagamon, WI

Post Nov 8th '06, 02:16

As hard as it may be... if your gonna make a horror game, dont tell anyone!
THIS IS IMPORTANT!
MoppyPuppy
Lake Nebagamon, WI

Post Nov 8th '06, 02:50

scarry games dont have radar, unless your playing avp1 or 2. now those games were scarry, my frineds and i still lan avp2 quite alot. the game makes good use of enviroments and lighting. maybe theres a way to change the color of the lighting in the game, red lights usually make things a bit more frightining, and if some sort of smoke/fog could be used, it would make it even more creepy!
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Dieselfame3

Post Nov 8th '06, 02:54

Why don't you make it so the radar gives out false readings.

I thought the enforcers in A1 were evil as, also the jugs in sigma are lethal as they shoot through water. It would be cool to create scenery of moving/mutaletd bobs on the ground. Another idea is to add monster sounds to the level so you can walk through a passage then the activation sound plays and they check behind them then continue walking. The level should have a light fog and footsteps would be cool too...

A flash light would be pretty awsome as well, you could beat guys with it and the flashlight could stun some guys like zombies or something.
Last edited by Samus on Nov 8th '06, 03:00, edited 1 time in total.
Samus

Post Nov 8th '06, 04:19

Oh I just got another cool idea.

Scenery Monsters. :)

Heh Heh Heh,

You have a Monster with a very average looking scenery. You make the alien both blind and deaf, and only activates when the player steps on the activation polygon, or shoots the scenry. Then you mix the scenery monsters with regular scenery.

To save space in the shapes file for monsters, you could have 8 scenery for one monster in its idle position, so that you can just rotate the alien for the scenery that you want to show up to the player. Then if you don't activate the alien, At least the scenery will change depending on which way you are looking at it. :) Plus, if you could have the alien return to its scenery pose between attacks, it would make the player harder to determine the attacker in a bunch of scenery.

This'll either 1. Waste the player's (hopefully limited) ammo supply since they will shoot at all scenery, Think Resident Evil, low amount.
2. Surprise the player the first time, and make they very careful the next times.

This is unlike BOB, since People just have the tendancy to shoot BoB.
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Zott
Earth

Post Nov 8th '06, 08:21

Yes, M1 was scarier than M2 and MI. The dark alien ship was scary and the hunters howling when they saw you. I would think something to scare me would be invisible lookers that make no sounds but are visible on the Radar. In a dark room, nothing is more scary than your radar going mad on you. You think it is lying, until it gets closer and BOOM. Dead BOB. You'd need to use M1A1 to get Hunters that howl.
In Rubicon, I thought a lot of things were scary. I thoght the High Pfhor and the Chamberlain were scary. I was also scared of the AMDD BOBS.
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Lugas

Post Nov 8th '06, 08:54

Imagine... Landmines... That would be awsome, the hidden death trap. Also A fire effect like on EMR would be cool on fires and heat, etc...
Samus

Post Nov 8th '06, 18:41

That isn't scary...that's just a trap...
The Pf'hak - Read it.
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LegacyTyphoon

Post Nov 8th '06, 19:02

another thing to think about are using the scenery creatures like the bouncing balll and the frog. replace them with a creaping hand or a torso that is trying to pull itself to freedom. the scenery thing is a good idea. Mazer bobs scared the crap out of me. you can't see them and they kill you soooo fast.
coolguy

Post Nov 8th '06, 21:17

A cool feature would be poisons, A zombie or something could infect you take damage slowly for a few seconds, your health bar could go green too and maybe your vision could tint green (whilst poisoned)...
Samus

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