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What? I tried googling THE CRUX FINDER, but nothing (relevant) came up...

EDIT: Ah, now I get it. I'm going to pretend that I know whether or not this was irony, and ambiguously say: I know, I know.

Haha, I was just agreeing with your sentiment. No worries. ;-)

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Anemone, have you played any of the Penumbra games?

There were three, I think, and they took slightly different approaches each time.

I've played the first one, but the Penumbra games have more limited compatibility than the Amnesia games, so I haven't been able to try the others (though I do own them) since they have some kind of issue with my graphics card. Either displays just a white dot or else the shader goes all crazy and draws big splotches of white across everything. But from what I played of the first one, it was okay, but I don't recall anything that made it significantly different from Amnesia.

In the first one, it was POSSIBLE to defend yourself against (some of) the enemies but chances were against you.

It was mostly a stealth approach, as I recall. You needed to sneak by the enemies mostly. You could technically defend yourself if spotted, but your odds of doing so successfully were---as I recall---so unlikely/handicapped that there wasn't much point in trying. When I said before that I don't think that instant death scenarios are a good idea, I was sort of thinking of Frictional games, because they have a tendency to do that with their monsters. It's scary and it's stalking you, stalking, stalking. Oh it touched you? You're dead. (More or less.)

I think being actually attacked and seriously harmed by the creature/monster/whatever is usually scary enough. Killing the player immediately/swiftly is not strictly necessary. It should be very very possible for the player to die, but I don't think it should work like Super Mario where you die if a goomba walks into you twice. There should be a defined panic moment where the player is "caught" by whatever it is, and they have the opportunity to recover/escape.

You know how sometimes in certain shooter games you get shot and the game is like YOU HAVE 5 SECONDS TO RECOVER? Before you "bleed out" and actually die? Well horror games should have something like that. It should be terrifying when the monster grabs you and puts your head in its mouth and starts decapitating you with fangorious mandibles, but you should have the ability to recover. The "helplessness" you feel in this situation should not be a handicap placed on you by the developer. Instead, it should be something like when the thing grabs you it's like getting stabbed under a strobe light (no literal strobe lights please), so you're all flustered and panicked and bewildered and AAHHHH, and you have to enter a button sequence or perform some set of actions really quickly or SOMETHING to get out of this monster's clutches, and the only thing stopping you from doing that is your own freakout level. You have to quickly get yourself under control to survive. Beating that fear and keeping your cool becomes part of the game.

I guess I sort of feel similarly to Frictional's whole "sanity meter" thing. To me, the sanity meter seems like the game's way of simulating that the character is becoming more freaked out / terrified / insane with fear. But that's so weird to me because Amnesia doesn't make me feel fear. I will walk around in Amnesia until the screen is crawling with hallucinations---I don't care. I feel like the game is either trying to tell me how scared I am or should be, or else it is trying to simulate how scared I am or should be. In either case, I feel like that's up to me to decide. What's with this sanity meter?

I feel like having a meter in a horror game that says "this is how insane with fear you are" is like having a meter in a sex sim that says "this is how turned on you are". Isn't that up to me? I dunno. It just seems like a weird thing to do.

The most legitimately fearful moment I have ever had in any video game came right near the beginning. I was trapped in a room, had to manually barricade the door to delay some kind of of rabid monster dog from getting in, and the barricade was steadily failing.

I think I remember something like that. I seem to remember being trapped in a room and something trying to break through the door, but I managed to find a way to open a vent using a coin and avoid whatever it was. It's been so long ago I hardly remember. But I do remember feeling like that was a good horror moment. And it is, because:

--Not a jump scare

--Not just gory blood explosions

--Not just "oh noes zombies"

A situation like that instills in you a sort of DREAD and ANXIETY. There is real danger, but if you keep your cool, you can surmount it. That's good stuff.

When the dog finally broke its way in I chose to fight it off with a pickaxe... It wasn't like some action game where one or two clicks of the mouse button casually eliminated the thread, it was a damn fight for my virtual life, that dog could take a beating and it was so... ferocious and terrifying. I barely made it out of the encounter alive.

I admit that when I played the first Penumbra game, I was extreeeeeemely disappointed when I found out that the "monsters" I was trapped underground with were just some dogs. I thought maybe I was in some kind of H.P. Lovecraft story, but it turned out to be just plain old Jack London. Ah well.

The second game pretty much eliminated your ability to fight back and it just became a matter of finding hiding places and sneaking around the enemies or running from them in a panic. Still incredibly scary.

Well... don't know that I care for that, as I've described above. Would depend on the quality of the stealth in that case.

Or, this is going to sound funny, but... fighting Deathclaws in the original Fallout when you first got to them, instead of waiting until later in the game when you're better armed. When I first played Fallout 1 as a kid, the deathclaws gave me nightmares.

Hmm. Not sure about this one. On one hand I totally agree with you. After I got ganked by my first death claw, I was nervous around those things. It was all good as long as they didn't appear to notice me, but if I turned around and saw one of those things trotting toward me, it was like OH SH*** RUNNING RUNNING RUNNING NOPE NOPE NOPE.

But my opinion on the deathclaws as usable for horror purposes really depends on the character's level and loadout. If the character's level and loadout are super high, then deathclaws are still dangerous, but they can be dealt with simply enough. On the other hand, if the character is like, level 1 to 5, there is NOOOO way they are going to take down a deathclaw. It's not enough to say that "well, technically it can be killed". The player actually has to have a certain legit ability to do it (or to escape).

That's sort of what I mean by handicapping. If horror is created by asking a player to contend with a death claw, but making that player level 1 and the deathclaw level 100 or whatever they would be, then that's just handicapping. That's putting shackles on the player's legs, you know?

But if you make that fight very challenging but reasonable/possible (like fighting your first Black Knight at the beginning of Dark Souls), then I think that is astronomically better.

Also regarding how you say the anxiety of getting a jumpscare IS legitimate fear... not when they're overused and done cheaply.

Yep, but I also said that they shouldn't be overdone or cheap, so I'm not sure we actually disagree.

Maybe it could be compared to the fear of getting a shot at the doctors?

This actually reminds me of the last thing you have to do in Dead Space 2... did you play it?

The very last bit of the game is super duper close up of Isaac's quivering eyeball, and you have to guide a needle directly over his pupil so you can jam it into his eye.

With stuff like that, just as with gore, I feel like disturbing =/= scary.

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Shock, Fear, Horror, Dread, Discomfort, Disgust, Queasyness, Terror, Angst, Anxiety, ...

There are several different aspects of negative emotions, and the horror genre seems to be very confused about what it is and what they are trying to convey. In general, I think I would split it up in three rather broad general categories: Those that promote twitchiness (jump scares etc.), those that promote disgust (gore etc.), and those that promote discomfort (making you do things that you feel bad about to someone or something that you've built a positive connection to).

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In a bad jumpscare game, you aren't afraid for your life, you don't really feel like you're in danger, you're just anxious over something intending to jump out and go "PEEK-A-BOO" You know it's going to happen and that you're going to be fine but it's not going to be pleasant so you're anxious to get it over with.

So Five Nights at Freddys

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In a bad jumpscare game, you aren't afraid for your life, you don't really feel like you're in danger, you're just anxious over something intending to jump out and go "PEEK-A-BOO" You know it's going to happen and that you're going to be fine but it's not going to be pleasant so you're anxious to get it over with.

So Five Nights at Freddys

Baziiinga

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I'm trying to think about what works for me and really boil it down. Here's what I'm thinking so far:

---If the objective requires the player to go to a location, make that location such a terrifying place to go that the player wants to avoid it over all other locations, but make them have to go there. It's better if you don't TELL them they have to go there, but just let them come to the dreadful realization on their own and force themselves to venture inside, by their own decision and of their own volition, fully aware that they are probably going to regret it. Oh, and then make them regret it a little. ;-)

---If the objective requires solving a puzzle or carrying out a routine at the current location, terrorize the player in such a way that you're not just annoying them or breaking their concentration, but where they find it difficult to look away from the horror and concentrate on the task at hand. Like if a monster is slowly breaking through the door in a dramatic and terrifying way (think of Jack Nicholson chopping down the door in The Shining). The sight and sounds of this are not only effectively breaking the player's concentration, but it kinda makes the player want to keep checking the door. They check the door partly because they are checking the countdown on the death time bomb, but they are also partly checking the door because something horrifying is happening and they can't tear their eyes away from it.

---Teach the player that certain things tend to come in pairs or groups. For example, sound A goes with danger X (e.g. the witch in left 4 dead). Visual effect B goes with danger Y (e.g. seeing an enemy's identifiable shadow or aura before the enemy itself). Sighting of environmental clue C indicates danger Z (e.g. the air vents in Dead Space, which you know basic necromorphs can jump out of). If you teach the player these types of pairs, you can then use them to toy with the player. Give them the witch sound but worry them by making them unable to locate the witch. Give them a shadow but no enemy to go with it. Give them the air vents but have nothing come out of them. It sounds simplistic, but if done right, it's excellent.

--Make the player see things that they don't understand, but make it subtle and don't explain it. A really good example, although this isn't from a horror game, is something like the GMan sightings in Half-Life 2. There are so many of them, and a person playing the game for the first time might not notice a single one, or might only accidentally notice one or two of them. There is no explanation given for the sightings (although players following the story will have an intuitive sense of their meaning). It's just a WTF? kind of a thing. (Video showing all GMan sightings:

). This principle would also apply to manipulating things in the environment (adding them, subtracting them, moving them around) in such a way that the player doesn't actually see it happen, but only notices it after it's happened. One thing that some games have done before is to have a player enter an area through a door, but when the player turns around, the door is gone. And other such mind games. The trick is to make sure it feels mysterious and intriguing, though, rather than random or theatrical. (The PT demo for Silent Hills did some of this sort of thing, too.)

--Instead of using jump scares, try to do more of the opposite of jump scares. In other words, instead of springing an enemy/threat on the player all in one sudden explosion, instead use foreshadowing (subtle at first, heavier as you go) to slowly build the threat level of an encounter toward a climax. This is one thing that I give Five Nights At Freddy's huge points for. The way that the characters change location to stalk closer and closer to you, but you never actually see them move. Unfortunately, Five Nights At Freddy's decided to use a jump scare as the climax, but you can also do this without a jump scare. For example, the way Alan Wake introduces its hitchcock birds has a very slow build up all throughout that chapter and ends with a dramatic but non-jump-scare encounter. Dead Space 1 also used foreshadowing like this on several occasions. One example that springs to mind is seeing the tentacle holes in the walls several chapters before you ever encounter a tentacle. The slow-boiling build up, your growing suspicions around the foreshadowing, and your imagination considering all the terrible possibilities that are soon to happen to you becomes the thrillingly creepy part about leveraging foreshadowing. As perhaps a smaller, mini-version of this effect, I might propose the scene at the beginning of Alan Wake where Alan is trapped inside the cabin and the eyeball appears on the television screen and starts chanting "die... die... die.. die...". It's like a smaller, fast-food version of this dramatic build-up effect WITHOUT jump scares:

--Last but not least: SOUND DESIGN AND LIGHTING ARE INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT. Dead Space 1 and Alan Wake were both greatly served by exceptional sound and lighting.

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3 things

Neverending Nightmares, the game I brought up on an earlier page, is getting a sequel: Devastated Dreams.

http://bloody-disgusting.com/news/3346729/neverending-nightmares-dev-announced-devastated-dreams/

The game Until Dawn, a game coming out on PS4, is a slasher game done in a Heavy Rain style of choosing how the narrative goes. It also looks creepy as hell.

http://bloody-disgusting.com/news/3346911/dawn-sure-nifty-box-art/

Tom Savini's producing a video game called Summer Camp, which is heavily inspired by Friday the 13th.

http://bloody-disgusting.com/news/3346891/someone-bled-new-summer-camp-screens/

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I has skepticism, but it would explain a lot of things... and MS did just make that huge Minecraft purchase.... then again, SH doesn't have the following that Minecraft does....

Then again, MS has always seemed to have a MUCH huger boner for cross-media IP (i.e. game/movie/tvshow AT THE SAME TIME) than Sony. After all, it was MS who pushed the hardest to turn consoles into media centers.

I also agree that Konami having an IP quick sale would maybe explain a lot of their weird behaviors lately.

Then again "this guy we know who was right about a thing one time" is not a very convincing source. I've also never heard of that youtube channel before.

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Hopefully, if it doesn't turn out to be bogus, they'll be able to get back Kojima, Del Toro and Reedus. Because if they decide to have an American company work on it like with Homecoming and Downpour, it'll be dead on arrival.

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Hopefully, if it doesn't turn out to be bogus, they'll be able to get back Kojima, Del Toro and Reedus. Because if they decide to have an American company work on it like with Homecoming and Downpour, it'll be dead on arrival.

I think if they bought it and didn't get Kojima, Del Toro, and Reedus back, people would be extremely disappointed and upset. MS no doubt has the money to make it happen if they REALLY wanted to make it happen badly enough, but we'll see.

Out of those three people, they may be able to get away with merely disappointing people if they couldn't get Reedus or Del Toro, but if they don't get Kojima on board, they'd just be sinking money away. The people most enthusiastic about it would be turned off instantly.

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Reedus would probably be easy enough to get because he doesn't really do that much except for Walking Dead and probably Boondock Saints III. As for Del Toro, it's his film work that could get in the way of his involvement. Have you seen the in development section of his Wikipedia page? He's got development hell projects coming out the ass!

And I really hope he gets to make inSane someday.

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It's looking pretty likely.... and it looks like I'll still never play it unless they put it on PC as well. We all know PC never counts in exclusivity deals.

I was initially going to post a whole thing about how logistically improbable buying the game would be with licensing and whatforth, but I didn't actually read much of the rumours. I was unaware that they were talking about buying EVERYTHING. That would work... and be crazy.

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I'll be the buzzkill here and point out that, unlike Minecraft (which MS also bought in what's probably the closest we have to a precedent to this sort of thing) Silent Hills is NOT a profitable franchise - it certainly wouldn't make back the money MS is apparently spending on getting the thing. The whole deal doesn't make sense business-wise, which is why I will remain incredibly sceptical of the whole thing until MS says it's a done deal.

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They aren't a record breaking franchise, but considering they have almost annual instalments, I'm sure they make their money back. Plus they would have everything and control. The next game is already sure to be one of the(if not the) best selling of the series with all the publicity. A billion would surprise me though.

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...I was gonna go on a rant about console exclusivity being a bad thing, then I remembered Bayonetta 2.

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There's no chance of MineCraft earning Microsoft back what they paid for it, not to mention Silent Hill(s) series. However, if they can drive sales of their console through it, they just might consider it valuable enough to do something...

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There's no chance of MineCraft earning Microsoft back what they paid for it, not to mention Silent Hill(s) series. However, if they can drive sales of their console through it, they just might consider it valuable enough to do something...

I think this would be the crux of it. I don't think it would be about Minecraft itself or SH itself making their own money back. Sony is KILLING right now, and Microsoft surely has a desire to make itself more sexy. Bringing SH back from the dead, and doing it right, would earn them a lot of good will and probably score them some console purchases, which will inevitably score them more game purchases.

Of course, some people will just be really angry that it's an XBONE exclusive and lament that they'll never get to play it now etc etc etc, totally. But those people weren't going to buy an xbox anyway, so MS doesn't care about them. This could be a smart long play for improving the attractiveness of their console.

*edit*

Also, anyone ever consider that leaks like this are actually just "leaks", i.e. MS deliberately has someone toss out a tip like this knowing full well that a blabber mouth will start the rumor going around, just so they can get a preview of how people will react to a thing they are thinking about doing? Positive reaction = hmmm! Negative reaction = no, no, no, that was just a rumor someone made up...

I bet that's a real thing that happens.

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I already have an Xbox One because I prefer the feel of an Xbox controller over a Playstation controller, even though I also have a PS3 (Uncharted series and Heavy Rain), so I'm good to go with in case it's not bogus. Assuming it’s legit, buying Silent Hills would be a very smart move on Microsoft’s part. Sony has been steadily accruing an impressive library of console exclusives such as Bloodborne, SOMA, Kodoku, DayZ, Daylight, The Forest, H1Z1, Killing Floor 2, and Until Dawn for the PS4, but a high profile horror game like Silent Hills would go a long way in closing that gap.

And as for whether or not they'd get the original team of Kojima, Reedus and Del Toro back, it would kill the game's sales and the game itself if they DIDN'T bring them back, and I'm pretty sure if MS has the power to buy Silent Hills, it could be able to put the band together again.

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Got it.

Anyways, I recently finished Outlast. It was scary as hell, but I can't stand not being able to fight back.

Next on my list is Sirens: Blood Curse and The Grudge video game

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Sirens: Blood Curse was actually better than I had anticipated. Also, wasn't it rather obvious Scott Cawthon would make a fourth FNAF and sell the movie rights? That series, despite being weak, is a total cash cow. And it just keeps getting milked.

Also, I mentioned Pig Farmer games earlier, and I wanted to say it changed it's name to Puppet Combo. http://puppetcombo.com

The first game the Pig Farmer developers made as Puppet Combo is Power Drill Massacre, which is still being retooled but the available demo is absolutely terrifying. There are a bunch of playthroughs online right now, and here are two:

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Frogware, the company that makes the Sherlock Holmes games, has been working on a Call of Cthulhu game for a while. The concept art for it looks creepy, but with how quickly these guys put out games, at this point I'm thinking it won't be released until 2016 if it hasn't been swept under the table. Lovecraftian games tend to not have a good track record and most end of getting cancelled, like inSane, Beyond the Mountains of Madness and Destiny's End.

Also, I had a good idea for a horror game where you're a woman who found a baby after stumbling upon the sight of a ritual mass murder, and then you have to traverse through some sort of haunted world where the key is survival. Sometimes you can fight back, but at other times it's best to run and hide. And the baby has a meter where if it starts crying, you can be easily found. What will shut it up is if you feed it or sing a lullaby, but the lullaby will gain the attention of the creatures that stalk you.

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Also, I had a good idea for a horror game where you're a woman who found a baby after stumbling upon the sight of a ritual mass murder, and then you have to traverse through some sort of haunted world where the key is survival. Sometimes you can fight back, but at other times it's best to run and hide. And the baby has a meter where if it starts crying, you can be easily found. What will shut it up is if you feed it or sing a lullaby, but the lullaby will gain the attention of the creatures that stalk you.

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I don't know what makes my eyes roll harder: that writing or the voice reading it.

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I don't know what makes my eyes roll harder: that writing or the voice reading it.

eh, i think it's meant to be tongue-in-cheek so i give it some leeway. the only part that grated with me was how the line "They say wolves eat their own pups when they die" is just dropped in with no transition

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