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Old 07-16-2010, 07:05 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by Cactusgod View Post
...for a horror game, I just feel like some impending sense of POSSIBLE death really changes the game.
That's an excellent discussion topic you have there. It brings me back to when I first played Day of the Tentacle (I know the point you were making referred to horror games, and DOTT isn't one, but bear with me just for the sake of the argument). I was perusing the game manual, and I stumbled upon the warning that "you cannot die in this game, so don't be afraid to try eveything etc.". I was new to the genre, and I remember that my first impression was on the lines of "I can't die? it's ridiculous! How can I be excited by the game if I can't die in it?", I came straight from games like DooM and such, you see. I was young. Don't judge me.

I later learned that games could be entertaining even if (if not especially because) you couldn't die. Arguably, though they never were particularly scary. Which is, I think, the point you were making. The possibility of death adds a certain quid to the experience.

This makes me think. What is it exactly that we find scary in games? In these terms, the question is too broad. To pursue this line of thoughts we have to exclude all scare tactics (disturbing images, unsettling soundtrack, sudden visual cues, a small amount of cheap thrills etc.) that are common to both games were you can die and games where you can't. Let's rephrase the question to something more manageable, then: which scare component is present only in games were death is possible?

Well, certainly not death itself. Although we may be caught in the game action, the pillowy chair we sit on will always remind us that there is no real death risk. So what is it then? The only answer I can think if is that we're scared of the nuisance of possibly losing game progress. So, once you decide that in the game you're designing death will be possible, you face two options:

1) Implement an autosave feature. This way, whenever your character dies, the game will be restored to a previous state immediately before the death sequence, so that no game progress will be lost in the process. Well... doesn't this defeat the purpose? If our fear stems from the possibility of losing game progress, won't eliminating such possibility also... eliminate the fear?

2) Leave saving to the gamer. You forgot to save? Though noogies. The monster eat you. You're dead, and you can either pick up from that savegame you created two hours ago, or start the game from the beginning altogether. I have no rational argument against this strategy but... although I can take it from an FPS, you shouldn't be surprised if you see me hurling an adventure game out of the window if this happens. The frustration overcomes the excitement, and the result is a negative sum.

So, option 1 makes me go "meh", and option 2 makes me go "ARGH!". I'm not sure a game developer would want to elicit either out of their faithful gamer... From my point of view, I've always felt sufficiently scared by those tactics I mentioned earlier, and games aplenty are stuffed with them (The Lost Crown, Barrow Hill, Scratches, Dark Fall... etc).

Let it be clear that I'm not attempting to prove or disprove anyone or anything here, it's just my two cents.
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Old 07-16-2010, 08:00 AM   #62
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While you are entitled to your opinion, Mr. Cordes has been very kind to come here and update us on his new game's development. Many of us enjoyed Scratches and look forward to this one. I just think it's a bit rude to list numerous complaints to the developer like this. I know they appreciate feedback, but it seems odd to voice harsh criticisms while Mr. Cordes and his team are working so hard to give us a great product.
I'll second that. Well said.
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Old 07-16-2010, 08:49 AM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeframCochrane View Post
That's an excellent discussion topic you have there... (not quoting the entire wall of text when it's a few posts above )
Let it be clear that I'm not attempting to prove or disprove anyone or anything here, it's just my two cents.
interesting point, and I have to admit that dying in games is almost always far more frustrating than anything else. especially when it's an unexpected death like in several of the older Sierra games (Gabriel Knight being a strong exception since the deaths were usually easily avoided by common sense), the first Legends of Kyrandia game was also notorious for sudden and unexpected deaths if I remember correctly
that being said, the possibility of death can work quite well for the games story if executed (no pun intended) properly, as it's easier to identify with the fact that the protagonist really is in a life or death situation
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Old 07-16-2010, 08:04 PM   #64
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@ZeframCochrane

Interesting points indeed! I too was amazed at the idea that you couldn't die in some early adventure games but when I was young it didn't bother me too much.

I'm brought back to games like Resident Evil, which, when I was young, scared the daylights out of me. I would literally feel strange and uneasy after turning the game off, almost as if I had done something I wasn't supposed to do. I do remember, in those horror games, the terrible feeling of dying while remembering that the last time I saved was an hour ago. Generally, it caused me to put the game down in disgust for a few hours (sometimes a day) before I had enough spirit to return and do everything again.

But weren't games supposed to be hard? I mean, not extremely hard, but look at all of the hand-holding we see in games today. The number one complaint I hear about new games is that they're "too easy." The problem is, people have been brought up to think games should be easy (this generation that is) and people also, in my opinion, have been more prone to ignoring personal responsibility in their daily lives.

So perhaps that's what emotion the game brings to the table when death is a possibility. MY actions, MY decisions, can lead to MY own downfall. There is no game to hold my hand, no second chance (except to re-load a previous save of course ) no redemption. People are terrified of making mistakes and games can bring that out in us.

Also, and here's an interesting concept, death is the great equalizer. Its something that we're all annoyed by in games and, of course, fear in life. While generally, a game is only as scary as the person who plays it allows, death in games is something that even the most hardened person will be "afraid" of. So for someone who literally puts themselves in the shoes of their character and immerses them into the world, fear will come as a result of their involvement in the story. Those people who don't do that end up complaining that the game wasn't "scary."

I don't know. I'm not trying to prove anyone wrong either, just tossing my two cents into the ring ;p
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Old 07-16-2010, 09:22 PM   #65
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I just feel like some impending sense of POSSIBLE death really changes the game.

I don't even think it has to be a fear of dying, you just need to create an atmosphere where you never quite know what's around the next corner. You could make the blandest, most mundane game of all time but if you told the person playing that at one point in this dull quest they'd witness one of the scariest things they've ever seen, it'd instantly create a sense of tension in even the most safe of scenes. The horrible, terrifying things that players dread might be ahead are always going to be far scarier than any monster or gruesome death that the game shows you.
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Old 07-16-2010, 10:26 PM   #66
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Quote:
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So, once you decide that in the game you're designing death will be possible, you face two options:
You missed out a third, rarely implemented, option. I've only seen this option once in my gaming career. The game Dungeon Hack was a simplistic first-person RPG which created random dungeons based on a set of criteria you provided (how deep it was, whether some levels could be flooded, general challenge level of monsters, etc) There was a tick-box option called "Real Death". If you ticked this box then all your save games for that dungeon were deleted when you died. Now THAT'S scary.

I disagree with you slightly on two fronts. Firstly, the fact you know you're sitting in a comfy chair and not in a den of evil does not mean that the prospect of death won't scare you. If a game is well-designed then you'll come to empathise with the player character and the fear of their death will become the fear of yours (mentally only, of course. Players dying when a game character dies only happens in cheesy horror films)

Secondly, I don't think incorporating death in a game is just about the fear factor. It's often about the story being realistic. If the player character is in a cave full of ravening monsters then to remove the possibility of ravening monsters eating them blows the realism of the story world. That said, I'd prefer the game to alert me to the danger (a sign saying "Cave of ravening monsters" perhaps ) so I have fair warning to save my game.

Despite that, your discussion on the "scare" part of death in games was most thought-provoking.
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Old 12-21-2010, 04:46 PM   #67
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BUMP

Any news on Asylum?
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Old 12-21-2010, 05:54 PM   #68
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We are preparing a few surprises that should be revealed soon. This is besides a brand new video that will be introduced on Christmas

All in all, we expect to announce some news during January!
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Old 12-22-2010, 11:13 AM   #69
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Any chance you might release this game on a console?
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Old 12-22-2010, 11:56 AM   #70
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We would like to but development is very expensive and vendors are fairly anal about including adventures on consoles. Xbox and Wii are possibilities, but the PS3 is though (Heavy Rain was an exception but, then again, many would hesitate to say it was a "typical" adventure).

In any case, we will certainly give it a shot. We want to put Asylum in as many places as possible. I can confirm for sure Windows, Mac, Linux and iOS devices (including iPad of course)
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Old 12-23-2010, 04:02 PM   #71
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Oh ok. I will have to upgrade my pc with a better graphicscard just so I can play this game. My wallet is crying already lol.
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Old 12-24-2010, 09:37 AM   #72
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Check out the Christmas Greetings video at the 15:20 mark
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Old 12-24-2010, 12:16 PM   #73
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Perhaps you won't have to upgrade much. Chances are that if you were able to play Scratches DC without problems, you will be able to handle Asylum
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Old 12-25-2010, 08:04 PM   #74
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That's good to hear. Scratches DC worked well on my pc.
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Old 06-18-2011, 10:09 AM   #75
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bump again since I've seen Agustin on the forums lately.

How's the game coming along? Any tidbits you can share with us? Thanks!
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Old 06-20-2011, 08:11 AM   #76
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Hey there!

Yeah, news have been slow lately. We're actually preparing a little something to make a strong "comeback"... Can't tell you exactly when, but we will release this within the next few weeks. Plus, you can expect a playable teaser after Gamescom

For the time being, make sure you check out the dev diary on Slightly Deranged. I will be posting new stuff THIS week! For real.
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Old 06-20-2011, 11:47 AM   #77
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Sounds good, thanks for the update. We're all very excited!
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Old 08-10-2011, 11:42 AM   #78
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First gameplay video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0Yez3aLbts
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Old 08-10-2011, 03:45 PM   #79
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That looks truly spectacular!
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Old 08-11-2011, 01:30 AM   #80
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How many people are working on this game?
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