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Blue Void (3D horror game)

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#1 Dragon47

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Posted 16 May 2015 - 05:42 AM

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Download:

http://www.mediafire...p/Blue Void.exe

 

 

A secret organization has lost contact with one of its research facilities, namely the IRF which is located thousands of meters below sea level to conduct research on underwater life forms. To find out what has happened, someone has to go down to the facility and investigate. Because of IRF's past, no one from the organization dares to accept the mission, which is why they choose you to go down instead.

 

Blue Void is a first person horror game. It started out as a 1-2 months long school project in 2014, but development stopped when the school year was over. The game was never finished, but we were so close, which is why we in 2015 decided to continue developing the game to try to make it into a finished product. The first few areas of the game are nearly complete. It's not possible to win the game, but if you find the "Sector A" security door, you've made it as far as currently possible.

We would appreciate feedback on what you think about the atmosphere of the game and how it affected you. Any compliments on what we have done right so far, or input on improvements of what we currently have (or new ideas) are also greatly appreciated.

 

Controls: WASD-keys to move. Mouse to look around. Left mouse button to interact. <Ctrl> to crouch, <Space> to jump and <Q> and <E> to look around corners.

 

Screenshots:

 

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dFdbLNT.png

 

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Edited by Dragon47, 16 May 2015 - 04:41 PM.

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Games:   Blue Void (3D horror)   Icebound (2D puzzle platformer)


#2 Tulloch

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Posted 16 May 2015 - 07:23 AM

There is very high attention to detail-- I can definitely tell you spent a lot of time working on this game. I enjoyed very much exploring the areas and seeing all the fantastic designs you created.

Without spoiling the game for anyone, I want to express my feelings from the start. I load up the game and was a bit disappointed in the lack of an options menu. I understand it's still in beta so it's forgivable. The beginning in the elevator was very cool-- You didn't just have the elevator drop down, you had it adjust into place. The controls are perfect and the ability to lean around walls makes the game fun. I thought the game was lacking in "horror" but I nearly had to change my pants in the cargo room (the window, and especially the part after returning the power).

I am excited to play this game when it's finished!
Thanks!

- Nate

 


Edited by GHZteam, 16 May 2015 - 07:51 AM.

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#3 Loaf

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Posted 16 May 2015 - 08:06 AM

I like it. For a 3D indie game of this style it was done well. Good atmospheric audio. The tense moments in it worked.


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#4 fel666

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Posted 16 May 2015 - 09:59 AM

i really quite liked it! i love the style! simple but really effective.

i did however get stuck as i didn't find the sector c card, so i don't know if i just didn't find it or if you haven't added it in yet.

 

the detail is really impressive! every aspect of the game has been thought off, and the engine works beautifully; i haven't gotten stuck and moving in the 3d space really works well (something that isn't given to all 3d gamemaker games)

 

i would definitely play the full game once it is complete!


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#5 Dragon47

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Posted 16 May 2015 - 04:42 PM

Thanks to all of you for the great feedback. Glad that you like it.

 

@GHZteam What kind of options would you like to see? Adding a mouse sensitivity slider would definitely help. And an audio slider (I think separating sfx and music could potentially affect the atmosphere in a bad way though). It's not supposed to be a very long game, so too many options would be unnecessary, but adding the most common ones is a good idea.

 

@fel666 To find the sector c card you have to trigger a door to open, which is done by looking outside the window in the 3rd area. I'll go ahead and tweak the timer and trigger box a bit.


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Games:   Blue Void (3D horror)   Icebound (2D puzzle platformer)


#6 Barvix

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Posted 16 May 2015 - 06:09 PM

HOLY CRAP THIS GAME IS SCARY AND AWESOME! However, the only things I don't like is that movement is slow, and I can't skip the elevator ride. Oh, and I'd like gamepad support. Other than that it's a pretty awesome game! It has a nice feel like an FPS from the 90s (except you can't run and you have no gun) The sounds go GREAT with the game, it really adds to the emotion. Like, I was terrified at some points in it, and some parts were creepy. Like when I saw that thing (not sure what it was) in the windows...crap that was creepy. Overall, 9/10



#7 Dragon47

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Posted 16 May 2015 - 07:26 PM

@Barvix Thanks! I think we're going to keep the movement slow just so the player won't rush through all the areas. And the lowering of the diving bell might be a bit long, but it's not like that scene will be repeated if you die. If other people think it's too long as well, we'll try to shorten it. As for gamepad support... I've been thinking about adding it, but completing all levels have a higher priority atm.


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#8 Tulloch

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Posted 16 May 2015 - 09:06 PM

@GHZteam What kind of options would you like to see? Adding a mouse sensitivity slider would definitely help. And an audio slider (I think separating sfx and music could potentially affect the atmosphere in a bad way though). It's not supposed to be a very long game, so too many options would be unnecessary, but adding the most common ones is a good idea.

 

 

Dragon47, Definitely a mouse sensitivity and audio slider. I thought the levels were pretty solid from the start, which is rare to find. I know a lot of people can be picky so I thought I'd help you out by mentioning that. Perhaps adding a windowed mode so streamers and "youtubers" can record gameplay. I know streamers who can only record in windowed mode so it'll help with publicity by making it easy for them.

One thing I forgot to mention was a glitch. I did take a screenshot but I completely forgot about it (I've since copied other things). At the top of stairs, you sometimes fall through. This happened in the area where you walk up a flight of stairs where the two couches are sitting.


Edited by GHZteam, 16 May 2015 - 09:06 PM.

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#9 Dragon47

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Posted 16 May 2015 - 10:10 PM

Dragon47, Definitely a mouse sensitivity and audio slider. I thought the levels were pretty solid from the start, which is rare to find. I know a lot of people can be picky so I thought I'd help you out by mentioning that. Perhaps adding a windowed mode so streamers and "youtubers" can record gameplay. I know streamers who can only record in windowed mode so it'll help with publicity by making it easy for them.

One thing I forgot to mention was a glitch. I did take a screenshot but I completely forgot about it (I've since copied other things). At the top of stairs, you sometimes fall through. This happened in the area where you walk up a flight of stairs where the two couches are sitting.


Thanks for the info. I've uploaded a new version with an options menu containing sliders for volume and sensitivity. I'll take a look into windowed mode and the bug for a later update.
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#10 Loaf

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Posted 17 May 2015 - 12:54 AM

HOLY CRAP THIS GAME IS SCARY AND AWESOME! However, the only things I don't like is that movement is slow, and I can't skip the elevator ride.


Well  I mean, both of those mechanics are there for a reason, no?

 

Slow movement makes it more tense and frightening. You can't just rush out of the place. For horror games it's a standard technique.

 

The elevator ride is timed so you can read the text at the top right.

 

No need to be impatient!


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#11 GreatandWiseOne

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Posted 17 May 2015 - 04:53 PM

5/5 stars scared the bejeezus out of me!

 

However, I couldn't find the sector A key.

 

Shortly after I fell through the stairs and glitched out of the map.

 

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#12 Tulloch

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Posted 17 May 2015 - 06:46 PM

5/5 stars scared the bejeezus out of me!

 

However, I couldn't find the sector A key.

 

Shortly after I fell through the stairs and glitched out of the map.

 

 <<snip>>

And that was the spot I was referring to.


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#13 Dragon47

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Posted 17 May 2015 - 07:39 PM

Yeah, I will try to fix it when I have time (the exams are closing in on me).
The sector A card hasn't been placed anywhere yet, the only levels that are considered complete are area 1, 2, 3, and 5. The dining area and the two final levels still need work.
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#14 Alvare

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Posted 18 May 2015 - 12:18 AM

Hahaha x'D

I broke my Corona beer bottle on my desk at the first jumpscare. +1 pal


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#15 Loaf

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Posted 18 May 2015 - 12:53 AM

Yeah, I will try to fix it when I have time (the exams are closing in on me).
The sector A card hasn't been placed anywhere yet, the only levels that are considered complete are area 1, 2, 3, and 5. The dining area and the two final levels still need work.

 

Ah good. I stopped playing after I couldn't find the sector A key in any natural place, glad I didn't spend too much time going back and fourth.


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#16 Alvare

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Posted 18 May 2015 - 08:36 AM

Suggestions on improvements other than the stair glitch near the green door:

 

You should add lighting to the game.

The noise effect near the edges of the screen need to be scaled up. (Pixel art fits better)

Make the fog less black. It looks better, trust me. (Like the fog effect when you open the door.)

And make the background when looking outside the massive window a bit more blue-ish. and add a blue light near the window so it looks like the sea lighting shines through the glass.

Seaweed seems to be missing. Look at Bioshock for example.

The monster doesn't have anything but a head. I'd be scarier if it had a body.

Make a cutscene after escaping the monster, where the player turns around towards the monster and sees it's face/arm gets stuck between the sliding doors.

One of the floor levels or rooms are possible deathtraps.


Edited by Alvare, 18 May 2015 - 08:36 AM.

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#17 GreatandWiseOne

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Posted 18 May 2015 - 10:17 AM

You should add lighting to the game.

 

No.

 

The noise effect near the edges of the screen need to be scaled up. (Pixel art fits better)

 

No.

 

Make the fog less black. It looks better, trust me. (Like the fog effect when you open the door.)

 

No..Grey is less mysterious and voidy than black. The way he used grey works for the doors, not the main fog.

 

And make the background when looking outside the massive window a bit more blue-ish. and add a blue light near the window so it looks like the sea lighting shines through the glass.

 

No. Blue is a calming color. It's not mysterious or scary. Why would he add a light? The point of the scene was to make you feel limited to the building for safety (making outside feel mysterious and unsafe and in the dark.)

 

Seaweed seems to be missing. Look at Bioshock for example.

 

This is not Bioshock. Bioshock is not that scary. It's more dystopian and gloomy than scary.

 

The monster doesn't have anything but a head. I'd be scarier if it had a body.

 

No, it wouldn't. It would be more relatable, an therefore less scary.

 

Make a cutscene after escaping the monster, where the player turns around towards the monster and sees it's face/arm gets stuck between the sliding doors.

 

Oh. My. God. Hell no...That would destroy the internal narrative, shoving a cutscene in your face like that, leaving no room for the imagination, which makes things spooky in the first place.

 

One of the floor levels or rooms are possible deathtraps.

 

 

Only due a glitch that causes you to fall through the space between floor and stairs and glitch outside the map.

 

 

Suggestions on improvements other than the stair glitch near the green door:

 

Nothing you said would improve the game, only degrade it.


Edited by GreatandWiseOne, 18 May 2015 - 10:24 AM.

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#18 Alvare

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Posted 18 May 2015 - 11:02 AM

^_^ You do have some points. But..

 

Only due a glitch that causes you to fall through the space between floor and stairs and glitch outside the map.

I meant to say that there are possibilities to be killed by a jumpscare. It would make them more serious.

 

Oh. My. God. Hell no...That would destroy the internal narrative, shoving a cutscene in your face like that, leaving no room for the imagination, which makes things spooky in the first place.

Kind of inspired by Outlast. You should know there is a cutscene where the scissor villain wants to enter the elevator. It was pretty scary, even for me.

 

This is not Bioshock. Bioshock is not that scary. It's more dystopian and gloomy than scary.

 

Well, it doesn't really look like a sea the way it is now. I'm not saying he should copy Bioshock's atmosphere but only to make it slightly more underwater looking.

 

No. Blue is a calming color. It's not mysterious or scary. Why would he add a light? The point of the scene was to make you feel limited to the building for safety (making outside feel mysterious and unsafe and in the dark.)

Trust me, lighting adds depth to a scene. Even if it's dim and dark.

 

No..Grey is less mysterious and voidy than black. The way he used grey works for the doors, not the main fog.

A very, very dark grey isn't. It's still pretty scary and it looks better to have slight values on the brightness. Remember, in real life, nothing is entirely black. Even the darkest spaces. Has to do something with the human eye.

 

No, it wouldn't. It would be more relatable, an therefore less scary.

I have to agree with you on that one.

 

Nothing you said would improve the game, only degrade it.

That's your opinion. I disagree.


Edited by Alvare, 18 May 2015 - 11:03 AM.

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#19 GreatandWiseOne

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Posted 18 May 2015 - 11:21 AM

I was under the impression the jumpscare could kill you if you didn't outrun it. If it cannot that's lazy coding. I am with you on the argument, the jump scare should kill you if you don't outrun it.

 

Not sure what Outlast is but it probably had a team of coders and artists. This is a one man studio. Less is more. Better to do something right than halfassed. Adding a cutscene would be jarring because its not a cutscene based game. Half Life 1 was not some cutscene laden modern garbage FPS.

 

This applies to your other arguments. Adding lights and other trivialities would probably ruin the atmosphere, because the atmosphere is simplistic, it's a one man game. Adding such trivialities would be conflicting with the already established energy level.

 

Very very dark grey is base on your monitor, not eyes. He would have to change the text darkness too, because the text woul appear darker than the fog.. All it would do is lessen the dynamic range of the game, or even worse have objects closer to you appear darker than the fog. It would feel a bit strange with dark grey, london fog medium gray, and morning mist light grey. I must remind you that my monitor has been calibrated to use the official Microsoft color settings.

 

What you are probably thinking of is on a per-room basis, where fog in pitch black rooms are not pitch black because of noise in your eyes. However the noises are already in your eyes, you don't have to add in extra noise in-game to compensate. this is why Doom clones use pitch black fog. Doom era games also have an advantage because each room has an independent fog level from other rooms. 

 

In this game, the fog is a constant thing in the background, the pupils would never dilate because objects are always there, therefore the fog would always be a maximum contrast to things in the foreground, eg. pitch black. The door space being grey gives the illusion that there is another door beyond the door, but mysterious and you can't tell exactly what that door is.


Edited by GreatandWiseOne, 18 May 2015 - 11:27 AM.

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#20 Loaf

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Posted 18 May 2015 - 11:25 AM

I think this game has found a style that suits it, and some of those suggestions might not be fitting even if they work in other games.

 

I'm sure the developer appreciates both of you offering suggestions though. I'd like to see the next section of the game built before any fancy additions are considered.


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#21 Alvare

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Posted 18 May 2015 - 11:54 AM

Not sure what Outlast is but it probably had a team of coders and artists.

 

Red barrels studios. They're indie game developers. So the team was kind of small. It's one of the scariest games I've played in my entire life, next to Cry Of Fear.

 

Not sure what Outlast is but it probably had a team of coders and artists. This is a one man studio. Less is more. Better to do something right than halfassed. Adding a cutscene would be jarring because its not a cutscene based game. Half Life 1 was not some cutscene laden modern garbage FPS.

Lol go ahead and play Outlast. See how they do it. Then you might think differently.

And no, don't just watch a walk-through gameplay video.

 

Adding lights and other trivialities would probably ruin the atmosphere, because the atmosphere is simplistic, it's a one man game. Adding such trivialities would be conflicting with the already established energy level.

Even the scariest game I've ever played has great lighting and atmosphere.

And as a game artist hobbyist and as I've had the education I think I have to disagree with you on that matter.

But indeed, if someone's not capable of using these techniques I don't recommend using it.

 

Very very dark grey is base on your monitor, not eyes. He would have to change the text darkness too, because the text woul appear darker than the fog.. All it would do is lessen the dynamic range of the game, or even worse have objects closer to you appear darker than the fog. It would feel a bit strange with dark grey, london fog medium gray, and morning mist light grey. I must remind you that my monitor has been calibrated to use the official Microsoft color settings.

I think you've misunderstood how GmStudio's 3D fog looks.

 

What you are probably thinking of is on a per-room basis, where fog in pitch black rooms are not pitch black because of noise in your eyes. However the noises are already in your eyes, you don't have to add in extra noise in-game to compensate. this is why Doom clones use pitch black fog. Doom era games also have an advantage because each room has an independent fog level from other rooms. 

Our eyes see everything yes. But does that mean we don't have to draw things on screen? What about depth of field? What about bloom, motion blur and hdr lighting?

What you're saying now is to not draw something on screen because our eyes in rl already see it. That would mean we also have to remove the noise effect from the hud draw event.

 

The door space being grey gives the illusion that there is another door beyond the door, but mysterious and you can't tell exactly what that door is.

 

Funny, I was under the impression it was a darkening effect instead of another door.


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#22 fel666

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Posted 18 May 2015 - 12:28 PM

i quite like the style too. i don't thing lighting is necessary at all. in fact, i think it could even make the game worse.

 

however, i must agree that some of the fog is a little weird; with the doors, for example, i wasn't sure i was supposed to step in at first because i could see another wall behind: i think you should make the door entrance much deaper, ewit ha lighter, deeper fog.

 

also, there is one room where the fog is so close, you can only see a few meters (cant remember which room) the problem is that the fog appears as a straight wall, (because of how gm works) i would suggest using your own fog shader, that would curve it a bit more, making it seem like less of a moving wall.

 

however these are my opinions, and i have to say that the rest is spot on!


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#23 Dragon47

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Posted 18 May 2015 - 01:53 PM

Thanks for the suggestions.

I don't think we'll add any additional lighting techniques. It's supposed to be a very stylized game.

The door being gray was actually sort of a glitch if I remember correctly, I think we'll just go with a black one in the end, might attempt at making it a bit deeper as you're saying.

And I know the fog doesn't look very natural with it being pitch black and everything, but that's part of the art style, and it works in making you feel more claustrophobic, not knowing what's ahead. Making it curve around you is a good ideas though, we'll look into it.

We might make the black window a bit more blue, or at least add some seaweed. The fact that it is completely black can be explained by it being thousands of meters below sea level though. So the light from the sky wouldn't reach it. And the fog is black, so it just made things easier keeping it black. We'll see if we can do something about it though.

Edited by Dragon47, 18 May 2015 - 01:54 PM.

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#24 GreatandWiseOne

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Posted 18 May 2015 - 05:57 PM

Thanks for the suggestions.

I don't think we'll add any additional lighting techniques. It's supposed to be a very stylized game.

The door being gray was actually sort of a glitch if I remember correctly, I think we'll just go with a black one in the end, might attempt at making it a bit deeper as you're saying.

And I know the fog doesn't look very natural with it being pitch black and everything, but that's part of the art style, and it works in making you feel more claustrophobic, not knowing what's ahead. Making it curve around you is a good ideas though, we'll look into it.

We might make the black window a bit more blue, or at least add some seaweed. The fact that it is completely black can be explained by it being thousands of meters below sea level though. So the light from the sky wouldn't reach it. And the fog is black, so it just made things easier keeping it black. We'll see if we can do something about it though.

I really wouldn't recommend it. The black window (along with the text description) and the book next to it, provided a really unique and nostalgic experience. Changing it blue...nah. As you already stated it's thousands of leagues under the sea. As for seaweed...nah, that just removes the mystery of the scene ensemble. (It feels good not reading the topic description and not knowing that you are underwater.)

 

If it ain't broke don't fix it. I don't hand 5/5 stars very often...

I'd just focus devoting all my energies to finishing the game.


Edited by GreatandWiseOne, 18 May 2015 - 06:00 PM.

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#25 orange451

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 03:08 AM

It is rare to find a 3d game released on the GMC, and Dragon, you did a fantastic job. The game has a great atmosphere; its graphical art is simple but still quite polished, and the whole game gives off a spooky vibe. 

 

I enjoyed playing it :)


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#26 Dragon47

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 03:20 AM

Thank you for the kind words :)
Couldn't be done without the other team members' great audio, art and ideas.
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#27 HopelessComposer

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 08:20 AM

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lol. I was too spooked at the room with all the cargo containers, so I quit playing. 2spooky4me I guess. :'D

...I'll make my little brother play it tomorrow. We're 3D GameMaker horror game connoisseurs, hahah. The game is very well made so far, and has a very good atsmosphere. I legitimately didn't want to go anywhere, hahah! X'D

 

Well done, Dragon. =D

(Well done to the people who made the public art assets, too!)

 

Edit: What the hell, did you sample the GMC forums for your tables, Dragon? That screenshot blends right in, hahah!

 

Also, diving bell sequence wasn't too long, but the dialog could be a bit better. The "we didn't want to risk out lives, obviously...." part made me a little confused - I didn't know if it was supposed to be a joke or not without voice acting until the next dialog popped up, and it became more obvious that you were being forced into descending. The diving bell sequence takes awhile, so you could really get the atmosphere started before you make your landing. Maybe add something creepy you can barely see in the distance. Make the dialog a little more foreboding. Etc, etc.

 

Anyway, looking forward to playing the rest of this game. =)


Edited by HopelessComposer, 19 May 2015 - 08:55 AM.

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#28 Glock18

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 10:19 AM

I agree with Alvare, although, I don't recommend adding cut-scenes, because it's so flippin hard to code the camera movement! And somehow it's scarier if you don't know how far the monster actually was from catching you.

 

Anyway, I decided to make a little review of my own since I was so impressed with this game:

 

I'll start by pointing out small things that I noticed, which could be changed

 

Having the player be able to run

- I feel as if chase scenes are much more intense if the player is running for his/her life. Walking away from the monster in the large container room was intense, but it felt weird to be moving so slowly.

 

Remove the edges of your water models

- It's pretty obvious how thick the water is, and honestly it looks more like ice than water because you can visibly see the edges. Remember puddles of water sink into small troughs in the floor, they don't expand upwards.

 

Have the cursor change icon when you can interact

- I understand that you interact with almost anything in the game, but it's still nice to know how close you must be / if you're aiming correctly to see if you may interact with an object

 

Make the machine noise louder

- You can only hear the machines when you're almost touching them, which is not realistic. Sometimes the noise surprised me and I thought a monster was coming out of the darkness. Highly suggest you make the range of the sound longer!

 

Set a rule for how the doors are locked

- I noticed that when trying to open some locked doors, some will say "Locked", others will say "Jammed", and others will say something else. I feel that if a door will never be able to be opened then it should stick to one type of comment like "Jammed". And if you're meant to open it / or it will be triggered to open, then use another type like "Locked". Alternatively, you can number the doors and keys or have a different texture for distinguish between them.

 

Monster should have a relation to the setting

- I don't want to give away any spoilers, but the monster in your game doesn't seem like it belongs there. I was expecting it would be a hideous sea-creature. And also how did it break through the glass and yet the facility isn't being flooded with a torrent of the water from outside?

 

Cut down on the boxes

- This next thing is annoying for most people (including me) because boxes are perfect for many things: taking away emptiness in a room, hiding behind, jumping onto to reach high platforms and windows and breaking open to find ammo and weapons inside! There's just one problem... why the fck would there be a box there? Some games have crates lying around in offices and schools! I read on this somewhere, so my suggestion is to challenge yourself and try to replace some of your boxes with something else. May it be computers, desks, whatever. Of course it's fine in the cargo room, because boxes are meant to be there, but in the lift lobby at the start of the game? I think not.

 

General review

 

The above was all criticism, so now I want to get to the overall pros and cons of the game.

I found it amazing. The graphics fitted in together like a hand in a glove and the little details of the machinery and bill-boards added a nice essence to the overall atmosphere. It reminded me of a low-res, spooky version of Half-Life 1. The modeling work was down-pat, and the textures looked really nice together.

Some nice audio tracks added to the immersive environment and also made everything seem more creepy.

 

I think the part that made me cum was the amazing game engine that ran the game; the collision-checking was perfect, the player could jump on boxes and chairs and the ray-checking for interacting with objects was absolutely precise! I even tested to see where the hit box of the book was on the table, and it fitted perfectly around the book. How did you manage to do that may I ask? My attempts have left me with the player being able to interact with objects, even when the player's cursor is 4-5 inches away from the target. The engine put everything all together and I had a lot of fun playing. I couldn't get past the monster in the container room, but I do feel like loading up the game again and trying another time!

 

I feel as if the story-line was a bit rushed. Many questions came to my head like: Why were people scared to go to the facility? Why did they pick you? How did it go to hell? The monster should be more intimidating! The first time I saw it I didn't even run away because I thought it wasn't a threat and simply a little scary addition you made. Also I think that the sector doors should open faster because every time I would reach the door, it would take years to open and before it did I would be killed by Mr White Face. The final thing is... your game needs to be longer! I read somewhere that with horror, its all about letting your player get sucked into the your world. Only then will he get really scared by the atmosphere and think that's he actually in the game, being chased!

 

Oh and your game needs lighting! It helps to direct the player, and you can use cool effects like flickering lights, or having the lights turn off all of a sudden. If you're going to go with the fog effect, there must be a reason! Perhaps the player is holding a glowstick? Or a lamp? Otherwise why the hell is there a glowing light just following the player? Is he a fire fly now?

 

Good game man, keep working on it!! Force yourself if you're demotivated and try to find an area of the game that keeps you coming back to develop. I wanna see this finished ;)

 

EDIT: Check out my game if you time too :)

http://gmc.yoyogames...opic=640785&hl=


Edited by Glock18, 19 May 2015 - 10:30 AM.

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#29 Alvare

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 10:55 AM

Good suggestions. Especially the "Cut down on the boxes" one.

I was thinking about how we could possibly add more diversity to the world space.

Here are some things I listed after replaying:

 

-Lowpoly rock or corals model to indicate an underwater world at the starting isolated elevator.

 (Door of elevator opens more slowly and makes a heavier sound.) Not really a model suggestion.

-Ventilation shafts and pipes on ceilings.

-Cylinder or oxygen tanks.

-Electricity panels.

-Loose light with cables hanging.

-Floorlevel indicator above elevator in starting area.

-Broken or fallen stair pieces hanging loosely. And maybe some seaweed.

-Water leak area.

-Horizontal concrete columns in the high room.

-Surveillance camera's.

-Round circle-like windows.

 

Some other things you mentioned got me thinking:

"Make the machine noise louder" Maybe let the machine make a really unnerving industrial sound. Repeating over and over. xD

 

"Remove the edges of your water models" It does give them that extra 3D-ish look. Water seems to have these kind of glowing edges to them like this. Maybe reduce the height slightly would be enough to make it look better?


Edited by Alvare, 19 May 2015 - 11:01 AM.

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#30 Glock18

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 12:47 PM

Cool prop ideas there Alvare :)

Actually I get what you mean about the water, if it were thinner it would be okay. At the moment its too thick, especially since the water is on such a smooth surface.


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#31 RujiK

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 01:19 PM

I played until the spooky part with the monster. It got me. Controls feel good, I like jumping up and down and crouching. I like the low poly too.

I really like poking around every nook and cranny and opening drawers. I wish there was more stuff to open/look for and interact with.

 

I also think this engine would work really well for a non-horror game. Like maybe you could just be avoiding cameras or sneaking around looking for stuff in broad daylight. I love snooping.


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#32 Dragon47

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 05:05 PM

Thank you for the feedback. I'll visit the topic when my exams are over to see what I can improve.

@Glock18 I agree with most of what you say.

"Having the player be able to run." - Would be nice, but it would also allow the player to rush through the game which is something we don't want.

"Remove the edges of your water models" - I think I'll lower them a bit like you two concluded with.

"Have the cursor change icon when you can interact" - Interaction works by using a bitmap. We draw different colors for all the objects you can interact with and then check the color below the cursor when you click the mouse to see if there's an interaction. If we made it so you could see what you can interact with, it would have to do the interaction draw pass constantly. The game is pretty fast to begin with, but not sure if this feature is worth slowing the game down that much. The range of interaction is pretty high anyway, so I don't think it's a big issue, you would just have to explore for yourself to see what information you can get.

"Make the machine noise louder" - Trust me, we had it a lot louder to begin with, but it was such an annoying bzzing sound, so I just had to adjust it. What I can do though is to change the falloff factor and decrease the gain, so it wouldn't suddenly become loud.

"Set a rule for how the doors are locked" - It would be easy to change this, but we don't want the player to know which doors will be triggered by the game later on. I think we'll just remove the "jammed"-answer and do different types of "locked"-answers in that case.

"Monster should have a relation to the setting" - Good idea, we're going to have more scares, so I'll see if I can incorporate some mussels or seaweed or whatnot for some of them.

"Cut down on the boxes" - There's a lot of boxes, so maybe we'll reduce the number, but I don't think it matters too much. I can imagine a few reasons for there being boxes there. Maybe they lowered a few down with the diving bell to the entrance area. Or they brought them up from the cargo room to prepare or build something. Or maybe they just had to put it somewhere.

"I feel as if the story-line was a bit rushed. Many questions came to my head like: Why were people scared to go to the facility? Why did they pick you? How did it go to hell?"
The game isn't finished yet. I think we'll explain some when you get to the research laboratory, but a lot of it is supposed to be up to the player to interpret.

"The monster should be more intimidating! The first time I saw it I didn't even run away because I thought it wasn't a threat and simply a little scary addition you made."
Not sure if we'll change much about him, I thought the "RUN" on the walls would explain that he was a threat.

"If you're going to go with the fog effect, there must be a reason!" - It's part of the style. I don't think there must be a reason. Many games keep areas with no lights visible for the player, so I don't see how this is much different.

"Also I think that the sector doors should open faster because every time I would reach the door, it would take years to open and before it did I would be killed by Mr White Face."
That's just how the doors in the game works. If you wanted to, you could open the door before taking the keycard, so that it would stay open when you get back to it after the chase. The monster gets slower if you don't make it in your first 3 tries anyway, so it shouldn't be too much of a hindrance.

"The final thing is... your game needs to be longer!" - It was a school project that was supposed to be done in about a month. And it's inspired by other short GM legacy horror games, so I think we'll keep it realtively short. But as you know, it's not finished yet, so there'll be more content in the 3 unfinished levels.

Edit: Your game looks really cool. Haven't tried it yet though, spent so much time writing my replies in this post that I think I just have to hurry up and practice for the exams.

@Alvare
"I was thinking about how we could possibly add more diversity to the world space. Here are some things I listed after replaying:"
Good suggestions. We still have some unused assets for our games. But first of all we want to focus on scares and progression. Always nice with more models to add to the world though.

Edited by Dragon47, 19 May 2015 - 05:12 PM.

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#33 fel666

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 07:14 PM

about that interaction-bitmap, since you can only click on the center of the image, you only need a very small surface to render to, and since your range is limited and not all objects are 'interactable', you can reduce the number of draw calls quite a bit. it shouldn't be a problem to do a render pass every step. and if its just to update the mouse cursor, you can also render it out once every 2/3 steps.

 

what might be a problem is getting the color, however, to update the cursor, there is quite an easy and very nice solution:

 

make a cursor shader with three samplers; the interaction bitmap, the normal cursor image, and the interaction cursor image.

then, just use the first image if the color at the center of the interaction bitmap is 0. if not, use the second cursor sampler.

 

ofc, for interaction, you will still need to use a cpu based approach.

 

hope this makes sense/helps!

 

oh, and im totally playing more of this! its awesome!

 

[edit]

also, may i ask what technique you are using for 3d collisions? is it a model approach?

 

 

[re-edit]

one last thing: i would suggest also adding a bit more contrast between the areas. start with a lot more greenery, aquariums etc, and then have it get more and more industrial and grungy as you go on (i dunno, maybe you have done that, and i just wasn't paying attention :P).

 

and if people criticize and suggest so many improvements, its just a proof that your game is great! if it wasn't, we wouldn't bother. just saying this because i feel like this thread isnt getting enough compliments for your (and the teams) amazing work! keep it up :)


Edited by fel666, 19 May 2015 - 07:26 PM.

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#34 Alvare

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 07:20 PM

ofc, for interaction, you will still need to use a cpu based approach.

I just happen to have backed up a technique Tepi made a while ago. Some years ago. It's simple and effective.


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#35 FyodorKaramazov

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 10:50 PM

Much better than I expected. The game seems well thought-out. I played it with expensive studio headphones, in the dark, so it certainly made me anxious, which I wasn't expecting. The pixel graphics, while strong, certainly detract from the "horror element," remedied slightly by the short sight distance and the static on the screen edges. Perhaps, I'm just a bit too jaded, but I thought the "run" scene with pixel red letters was ultimately a bit more silly than terrifying. The jump mechanic, I didn't like. I really recommend you removing it. The horror vibe is sorta broken when I'm jumping ten times in a row, and the game didn't seem to need it. A "climb over" fits horror a lot better.

It perhaps had a bit of the "haunted house game" weakness, where the main fear is of the next jump scare, but less than a lot of other indie horror out there.

 

I personally hoped for more "Sierra" adventure game puzzles, instead of just keycards, but I'm probably biased in nostalgia. 


Edited by FyodorKaramazov, 20 May 2015 - 04:17 AM.

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#36 Dragon47

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Posted 19 May 2015 - 11:32 PM

@Fel666 That's a great idea! I started this project a year ago when I didn't know that the GPU automatically performs clipping when vertices are located outside the render target. I thought draw_sprite_part was faster than draw_sprite when used on the edge of a render target etc :P Didn't even think about it when I revisited the project.
The collision along x and y is simply normal precise 2D collisions, and the collision along z is rectangle in rectangle collision. The stairs is an exception; when the player is "in stairs", his xy projection is used to calculate a minimum z value for the player to stand on (dependent of the stairs' angle and scale), some vector math.

@Fyodor You might be right about "RUN" being a bit silly. Maybe we'll change it into something else. But we'll probably keep the jumping mechanic, other people seemed to like it.
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#37 FyodorKaramazov

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Posted 20 May 2015 - 04:14 AM

@Fyodor You might be right about "RUN" being a bit silly. Maybe we'll change it into something else. But we'll probably keep the jumping mechanic, other people seemed to like it.

 

If other people liked it, more power to ya. I did think it had a cool jump arc.

 

(I forgot to mention the crouching was excellent. It felt cool that you had to crouch to pick up items on the floor.)


Edited by FyodorKaramazov, 20 May 2015 - 04:18 AM.

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#38 HopelessComposer

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Posted 20 May 2015 - 04:40 AM

Alright, finished it with my brother earlier today. Had a lot of fun with it, so thanks again, Dragon. =)

That said, a few things hurt the experience a little, I think. First of all, the movement speed is slow so that you can't sprint through the game, which is fine...the only problem was, it made the whole game feel a little safe...like "if my top speed is 2 mph, that means any monster must move that slowly, too. So what the hell is going to be able to kill me?" That problem really came to light when you finally meet the monster and it gives chase. There was no feeling of panic or horror for us, because we were just walking the whole time - with the movement speed so slow, and the monster so sluggish to match, we had way too much time to plan our route through the containers without any worries.

 

One possible fix is to have a sprint bar or something - make it so you can run in short bursts anytime during the game. Make it so when a monster pops out, your character is adrenaline-d up, so you can sprint indefinitely. It would make chases more hectic and nervewracking if the monster was sprinting toward you, and you had to quickly decide how and where to escape.

 

Another problem is that you have no way of attacking or slowing your enemies...when you know all you can do is walk away from any enemy you meet, there's nothing really to fear, except jumpscares. If you don't want players to be able to kill enemies, that's fine, but you should at least give them some way of slowing or deterring enemies, I think. The ghost-pinning sword in Silent Hill 4, or the flashlight in Alone in the Dark 4 are good examples, I think. The more you have to think in a horror game, the scarier it becomes, because by thinking about how you're going to survive the next encounter, you become more absorbed in the game. If you only have to worry about jumpscares, it's easy to "switch off" and just walk through, treating it like a virtual haunted house.

 

The last problem was the look of the monster himself...he just wasn't that creepy looking (sorry!) When we saw him in the window, we were just like "what the hell is that thing? Is it looking at us? There's blood going up the wall. Is he gonna spook us?" Then later we noticed the window broken, and were like "oh god, the white face thing is gonna spook us 4 real dog!" We...just weren't very worried about meeting it. The way it just floats toward you isn't too scary either. We ran into him once to see what would happen, and were disappointed to find out you just sort of fade out for ten seconds before getting a game over screen.

 

Basically....everything leading up to the monster was fantastic. The monster itself didn't hold up to the buildup, unfortunately.

Still, the game isn't done yet, and we had lots of fun playing it. Really looking forward to seeing more of this. Thanks again for taking the time to make it. Awesome job so far, Dragon! =D


Edited by HopelessComposer, 20 May 2015 - 04:50 AM.

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#39 Dragon47

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Posted 20 May 2015 - 05:19 AM

Thanks, maybe we'll add a run button after all, we'll talk about it.

"Another problem is that you have no way of attacking or slowing your enemies..."
I don't really think this is a problem. If you attack or slow down the enemy, you'll learn what the monster is capable of (which makes the "fear of the unknown" diminish), I don't think it makes it scarier.

"The more you have to think in a horror game, the scarier it becomes"
In certain cases it might be, but probably not in general.

"The last problem was the look of the monster himself...he just wasn't that creepy looking"
I could say the same thing about monsters in many other horror games. If you know how it looks, it's not really that scary anymore. Especially if you're playing with someone else, then it's much easier to just make fun of it. Things are scarier when you play alone. Maybe we'll change it into a sea creature or something, idk. The monster is inspired by Imscared where the main monster is this face: http://i.ytimg.com/v...xresdefault.jpg. I don't find the face to be scary really, but it worked for the horror game.

"disappointed to find out you just sort of fade out for ten seconds before getting a game over screen"
Maybe we should make a "slender"-like jump scare when you die? Would that be better? Any ideas?
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#40 FyodorKaramazov

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Posted 20 May 2015 - 05:29 AM

Just putting this out there: my vote is against adding a run, and against increasing the movement speed.


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#41 Glock18

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Posted 20 May 2015 - 06:06 AM

I agree with Hopeless composer. When you're running, you have less time to think about which direction to take and how to solve problems to proceed. When you're walking, it makes it too easy.


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#42 HopelessComposer

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Posted 20 May 2015 - 07:25 PM

I don't really think this is a problem. If you attack or slow down the enemy, you'll learn what the monster is capable of (which makes the "fear of the unknown" diminish), I don't think it makes it scarier.

That's the problem, though. Right now, it's possible to learn everything there is to know about your monster ten seconds after your first meeting with him.

We:

Know exactly what he looks like.

Know he slides slowly toward us in a straight line.

Know when he catches us, the screen slowly fades out to black.

 

Adding different ways to stun of harm him will create new situations for the player to think about and stress over. The Evil Within had an excellent example of this, with its famous "hair monster spider lady thing." You couldn't really realistically kill her with your weapons, but fire slowed her down. Part of the stress of dealing with her was having to sit in cramped areas, scrambling to find sources of fire to slow her down while gates opened and stuff. It was one of the best, most stressful horror game experiences I've ever had. If you just have to run away from the monster, there's no stress involved. You're literally just holding down the forward button until the monster is safely behind you.

 

 

In certain cases it might be, but probably not in general.

I'd say it's in every case, for the reason I gave above. If there's nothing to think about....there's nothing to stress about.

 

 

I could say the same thing about monsters in many other horror games. If you know how it looks, it's not really that scary anymore. Especially if you're playing with someone else, then it's much easier to just make fun of it. Things are scarier when you play alone. Maybe we'll change it into a sea creature or something, idk. The monster is inspired by Imscared where the main monster is this face: http://i.ytimg.com/v...xresdefault.jpg. I don't find the face to be scary really, but it worked for the horror game.[/qyite]

Yar, it's all subjective. It was just my personal opinion that this monster wasn't scary looking.

[quote]"disappointed to find out you just sort of fade out for ten seconds before getting a game over screen"
Maybe we should make a "slender"-like jump scare when you die? Would that be better? Any ideas?

There are three little games called Ghoul's Forest. They were pretty scary, and did feature jump scares/loud noises when you died. I would check them out. The only problem is iirc, Ghoul's Forest 3 features some disgusting pictures of real corpses as part of its final jumpscare. If not corpses, then something disgusting, at least. I played it a long time ago, so I honestly don't remember. It just flashes some horrible looking pictures for like a tenth of a second when you die. 18+ and nsfw warning, obviously. Proceed with caution if you check that one out. Parts one and two don't feature anything disgusting like that, if you want to see how to make your monster a bit scarier without subjecting yourself to anything horrible.

 

Anyway, looking forward to your game. Hope it scares the **** out of me next update, hahah! =)


Edited by HopelessComposer, 20 May 2015 - 07:29 PM.

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#43 Dragon47

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Posted 20 May 2015 - 08:47 PM

"I'd say it's in every case, for the reason I gave above. If there's nothing to think about....there's nothing to stress about."
Yeah, but it's not like horror is all about stress. The feeling of being afraid isn't the same as the feeling of something being stressful.
I think we'll do some changes to the chase scene anyway though.
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#44 HopelessComposer

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 12:07 AM

Yeah, but it's not like horror is all about stress. The feeling of being afraid isn't the same as the feeling of something being stressful.

Anything you can do to make the player less comfortable is good in a horror game. ;)

If I'm stressed out, that's means I'm engrossed in your game. If I'm engrossed in your game, I'm much more likely to be afraid of the things that are supposed to scare me. =D

If I have nothing to worry about besides waiting for the next jumpscare, it's much easier to play on autopilot, so the scares are less effective.

 

An actual example was your bookshelf scare in the demo...I jumped a little, but when my little brother played, he didn't even flinch. I was like "that didn't scare you at all?! X'D" and he answered "no....obviously nothing is going to attack me over here...I wouldn't be to do anything about it. It surprised me a little, though." I've done the same thing he did, even in very good, professional horror games, but it's something you want to avoid. The best way to avoid it is to always make the player vulnerable. You can't make the player always vulnerable if they can't attack anything and move so slowly.

 

Remember: the more options the player has, the more options the monsters have. The more options the monsters have, the more ways you have to torture your poor players. =D

Anyway, that's enough advice out of me, lest you start to think I didn't like your game. I'd like to reiterate that I loved what I played so far, and really am looking forward to playing the rest. Which is why I'm bothering to give you so much advice, hahah. X'D

 

Cheers, Dragon. =D


Edited by HopelessComposer, 21 May 2015 - 12:09 AM.

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#45 Loaf

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 01:45 AM

I disagree about the game losing its horror value once you meet the creature.

 

For me, this game gave me a sense of dread and unease. The feeling I'm trapped deep underwater, in a facility with such ambiguity. Meeting the creature doesn't take away from that.

 

I'm not much of a horror game fan, so maybe I'm just more sensitive to these kinds of games. I didn't feel safe or bored after getting away from the creature. I wondered if there were more like it, or more of other creatures. I wondered what would happen if I got caught, and what happened to other people in the facility. 


:duck:


#46 Alvare

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 11:47 AM

Interesting, I am a fan of these type of games. As long as the narrative part seems to be alright.

As for the horror value thing, you don't ever lose the horror value in any way, as it's just a theme for the game. You do lose the suspense when the character meets the monster.

It has to get into the terrifying part when the monster is going to chase you. I think this game delivers that well, but, at times, the part seems to be problematic when you get caught to easily.

Also the fact that it has a checkpoint seems to be a bad choice. I'd suggest to move the checkpoint to start over in that room instead at picking up the keycard once..

or making the monster move slightly slower when closer to the player.


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#47 Glock18

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 12:05 PM

Yeah I thought the chase was too difficult. Generally in horror games, you wanna make sure it's not super easy for the monster to catch you. It's the feeling of running away that's scary as hell. Once you get caught you don't really feel anything, because nothing happens in real life and you remember that it's just a game. I died 3 times in the cargo room and it turned from creepy to repetitive and annoying.

Obviously if the player screws around and doesn't move very fast then he can be caught, but I was literally going as fast as I could and still got caught.


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#48 Dragon47

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 01:55 PM

Ok, we'll try to make it easier.
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#49 ThunkGames

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Posted 22 May 2015 - 11:07 AM

This game looks incredible! Do you mind if I do a WIP review of it on my YouTube channel (new one, not the one in my sig)?


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#50 Dragon47

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Posted 22 May 2015 - 01:26 PM

This game looks incredible! Do you mind if I do a WIP review of it on my YouTube channel (new one, not the one in my sig)?

Sure, go ahead :)
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Games:   Blue Void (3D horror)   Icebound (2D puzzle platformer)






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