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Kage 08-09-2009 10:35 AM

What scares you?
I'm currently trying to build a level in Hammer, and I'd like to ask you: What scares you? Which places would you rather avoid than walk through/past?

What I've done so far can be seen here (as well as a Youtube link):

sbodie 08-09-2009 10:54 AM

Put some displacements in that map, far to boxy right now but a good start. Use lighting and sounds to your advantage for some scares.

ddelisle 08-09-2009 01:55 PM

Look to other games that have come before that excelled at delivering scares. The Resident Evils, the Silent Hills, and so on. Bioshock, Dead Space, etc.

Even some games used scare tactics intermittently. Ravenholm from Half Life 2 or the swamp that preceded the Flood int he first Halo game spring to mind.

Also draw on movies. I recommend The Mist from 2007. It uses the titular effect to conceal the many creatures, and in that way it causes the viewer to exaggerate how menacing the creatures might be. The movie happens to be based on the Stephen King book which also inspired Half Life.

When you can't see monsters it causes your mind to fill in the blanks. I still find it unnerving to hear creatures running all over surrounding me in a FPS, and when I cannot see them, argh! I venture cautiously...

I would recommend implying carnage too, with a destroyed environment, bodies strewn about, and blood splatters. It causes the player to wonder 'what happened here?' and put them on the defensive.

And the most common trick used? Make it dark and shadowy. Your environment is a bit too well-lit.

Eagle.S 09-02-2009 08:25 PM

Something that really scares me in games is when I have to fight a powerful enemy or overcome a great obstical with very few options. Try working in realitives. For example giving sight of the end at the very beginning could make a not so scary area a little more frightening as well as give your audience somthing to strive for. I know you are looking for a more traditional horror feel but that was well answered already so i figured I would throw something a little different in.

Tenacious Stu 09-03-2009 03:48 AM

I played Batman: Arkham Asylum recently and there are a few examples I could use from that that made me slightly jumpy. The Scarecrow Levels (Dead Bodies talking to you/whispering voices ect) and the Section with Killer Croc (walking on floating boards on top of dark water when you know there is something down there is pretty scary).

Kage 10-03-2009 04:05 AM

Yeah the scarecrow levels are awesome. Quite inspiring.

rikonsmith 10-04-2010 02:26 AM

MY wife scares me sometimes.
every time i fight with my wife she give me ultimatum.

MattChristian 10-06-2010 11:34 AM

There are 3 things I find scary in games:

1) Ambient noises, bumps, and voices. I'm actually a fan of the Silent Hill movie and one of the most chilling portions in my opinion is hearing the scream of the janitor echo down the hall as Rose runs away. Those background bleeps and bloops can really set a tone.

2) Sudden, non-expected surprises. It doesn't have to be super fast or scream super loud music as long as it catches you at the right time. I would suppose an immersive environment has to do with part of this. Again calling on Silent Hil, in Homecoming I literally jumped out of my seat at the beginning when a wheelchair fell down some steps. I couldn't tell what it was. A wheelchair scared me...

3) The unknown is always scary. Notice a lot of monsters and creatures are very 'pieced together' in most games. It triggers something unconsciously so you see the thing but can't put your finger on what's wrong exactly...

A tricky thing that might work or might end up horrible, is tweaking gameplay so enemies disappear or move fast. Not knowing where an enemy can be terrifying (although it can also be really aggrivating if done inappropriately).

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