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  • Results from Game Design Challenge: Time For Change

    [06.15.10]
    - GameCareerGuide.com staff

  • Ben Horwood, Swindon New College, Silent Hill 2: Mother's Love

    Protagonist

    The original Silent Hill 2 protagonist was a man trying to find (or rescue) his deceased wife as many male archetypes do.

    The protagonist in this version; is a woman and her little boy.

    The player does not have to rescue anyone per se, but they do have to protect the child from monsters; as they try to find their way out of Silent Hill.

    Gameplay Mechanics

    Previous versions of the game created horror through fog.

    This instalment creates horror because the Mother is burdened by a child which hinders movement speed.

    The Child can either be left to walk, in which case the Mother must move at the Child's speed or risk leaving the Child behind at the mercy of various monsters.

    The Mother can also pick up the Child, but this leaves the player with no way to defend the pair as the Mother's hands are full carrying the child.

    The Mother can give the child a tool to use such as a flashlight, radio or even a gun.

    At first the Child does not understand how to use the tools but as the game progresses, they become more proficient with them as the Mother teaches the Child by example when and how to use it.

    Choice of tool will affect how the child develops throughout the game.

    The Mother could also hide the Child in chests or cupboards or use a blindfold or ear muffs to protect the child from exposure to the horror.

    Another facet which I think would be optional depending on difficulty would be hunger and possibly defecation.

    After a certain amount of time has passed, the child starts to complain that it is thirsty or hungry and the Mother must find something for it to eat or drink to mitigate it complaining more and attracting monsters.

    Themes

    The game is about the consequences of the Mother's actions on the development of the child.

    The game over screen could appear because the Child dead because the Mother ran away and abandoned it in a "boss fight".

    Alternatively, the game could end with the Mother having taught the child to use a knife to aggressively attack monsters on sight; subsequently the Child becomes a homicidal sociopath and kills a friendly character.

    Another possibility is that the Child is actually imaginary or has been kidnapped by the protagonist or that it is a facet of her mind such as Pyramid Head was a part of the Protagonist in Silen Hill 2.

    Endnote

    I think it is critical that the Mother be portrayed as being as competent in combat as the Protagonist of Silent Hill 2 was.

    I believe that the Mother would be highly appealing to both genders, but I admit that the burden the mechanics place on the player may be unappealing to some as the Child is literally a burden.

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