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Games Entertainment

Making a Horror Game Scary 129

GameSetWatch has put up an article about the characteristics that give games in the survival-horror genre the ability to unnerve, startle, and scare players in ways that most games don't. The genre has seen a resurgence lately, with titles like Dead Space, F.E.A.R. 2, and Left 4 Dead posting strong sales numbers. What triggers your fight-or-flight impulses in games like these? From the article: "Being visual creatures, humans are most comforted by sight because of our ability to discern objects, action and consequences based on a picture. As a result, cutting visual stimuli and sticking purely to audio or speech is one of the best ways to keep a player on their toes. Even with weapons, it's very hard to find what you cannot see, and what you do not know. Even if visual stimuli is used, limiting or obfuscating the player's view can enhance the horror in a game, especially if the player sees it for an incredible short time. This can hint both at the difficulty of an upcoming encounter, or even allude to matters earlier in the narrative that the player will soon have to face."
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Making a Horror Game Scary

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  • by jamesh ( 87723 ) on Sunday March 01, 2009 @05:03AM (#27028371)

    The only game that has truly given me a scare was the undress Britney Spears game.

    She starts out fully clothed, and you have to perform a task requiring a reasonable amount of concentration. I think it's something like move the mouse through a maze without touching the sides.

    After the first round, she says something to you but you can't quite hear it so you turn the volume up. She does take off an item of clothing though.

    Same again after the second round, so you turn the volume up a bit more. Or maybe this bit wasn't in there... just the first and last round

    Half way through the last round a vaguely scary face appears in place of the game coupled with a loud scream - made even louder by the fact that you now have your volume cranked right up. That made me jump.

    Another good one was a video I saw on youtube - a car is shown in the distance driving along a winding road until it goes behind a building or something and never comes out the other side. While you are trying to figure out why it hasn't appeared on the other side a scary face appears coupled with a scream.

    While playing a horror game you expect scary things to happen, so it's not a big deal when they do. Not so much when you are undressing a pop star...

    So... I guess the answer to the question is to put naked pop stars in your games.

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