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  2D Game's Possibilities?  (Read 3697 times)
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Offline OrlanofSolace

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« Posted 2013-06-05 05:01:08 »

I certainly hope this is the right place to post this, I have been wondering this for quite awhile. My mind has been wondering on a question. Can a game be scary if its 2D? Sure games like Amnesia take all the cake with expensive 3D renderers and shaders. But Can a 2D game scare you? People used to tell me about scary books but I've never read one to actually scare me. Text Based games that are scary are possible I think. Point and Click games is a definate. But what about a game like say Zelda take away the game's weapons. Put link in an environment that he can't control in the dark would you guys be scared of it? Just a question I've been wondering. Thanks for your replies and if its not the right place for it Sorry :\ Lemme know and I'll move it.
Offline HeroesGraveDev

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« Reply #1 - Posted 2013-06-05 05:10:08 »

Find the thread "making 2d games creepy".

Offline Troncoso

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« Reply #2 - Posted 2013-06-05 05:30:26 »

You're assuming that the essence of horror in a game is all about the graphics. A lot more goes into making a "scary" game then it's graphical presentation. Check out The Crooked Man sometime. It's definitely got a couple good moments.
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Offline BrassApparatus

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« Reply #3 - Posted 2013-06-05 06:36:33 »

Lone Survivor
Offline HeroesGraveDev

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« Reply #4 - Posted 2013-06-05 06:41:51 »


I found Terraria creepier than that.

Though I am more scared by anticipation of a scare than the actual scare.

Offline matheus23

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« Reply #5 - Posted 2013-06-05 12:44:02 »

You're assuming that the essence of horror in a game is all about the graphics. A lot more goes into making a "scary" game then it's graphical presentation.

The minecraft creepers are such a good example. Even though it might be arguable, whether they are actually scare, but still Smiley

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Offline Longarmx
« Reply #6 - Posted 2013-06-05 12:56:22 »

I think that the music, sound, and ambience noises make amnesia scary. If you take off the headphones, it's just another adventure game.

Offline princec

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« Reply #7 - Posted 2013-06-05 13:19:32 »

I remember being "scared" when playing Alien Breed on the Amiga. Admittedly not "jumped out of skin" scared because there was no LOS shadowing, but definitely there was a feeling of trepidation. The first time I was actually scared in a video game was the first time a Pink Horror rushed me in Doom. Yeah, you know that bit.

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Offline Oskuro

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« Reply #8 - Posted 2013-06-05 15:22:04 »

The earliest instance of a scary game I can clearly recall was the original King's Quest II, when you get into Dracula's Castle.

Click to Play

You can say a lot about the early King's Quest games, but none of it will be about the graphics being immersive, 3d, or entirely comprehensible.


Batmobile FTW though.


Offline gimbal

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« Reply #9 - Posted 2013-06-05 15:31:37 »

The earliest instance of a scary game I can clearly recall was the original King's Quest II, when you get into Dracula's Castle.
You can say a lot about the early King's Quest games, but none of it will be about the graphics being immersive, 3d, or entirely comprehensible.


Good example, although you'd have to question if it is actually fright or suspense. Some Sierra games had a deep impact on me for being really suspenseful due to being able to die so easily. Space Quest is a good example, right at the very beginning where you have to escape and you can get shot if you don't pay attention and hide; my heart would be racing. Kings Quest 3 - the screens where robbers could appear, or the wizard which could appear at any moment and zap you. Thump thump, thump thump.
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Offline kutucuk

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« Reply #10 - Posted 2013-06-05 16:11:16 »

Music: Diminished 5 scale. People used to believe that this is the scale of the devil. You might find them right if you can find a good example. Black Sabbath uses it time to time. But to get a real scary melody, get a acoustic guitar or classic guitar, play it on slow metronome. Let the bass notes ring. Also use minor chords, not major. Major fills you with joy. Black metal or other kinds of metal are not scary. Maybe the lyrics, but in a game, lyrics would spoil the atmosphere.

Sounds: Rare high volume sounds and more frequent low volume sounds. Some low volume sounds going around would make you feel a little scared and prepare you to the high volume ones. And some sounds must be irrelevant of the characters. It is coming from somewhere you can't see.

Graphics: Of course, dark. If you watch some movies and pay attention to the environment, sun always shines when something nice happens and clouds get into its way when things are going to get worse. If you always use dark images, game would be just a game with dark images. You should use both dark and light colors, but of course in different scenes. The joyful scene should be short. And if there are transitions between these areas, it should tell you that you're going to somewhere dark. Not immediate transitions.
For example; When going to the dark place from the light one, first there are less living creatures. They feel like dead, they walk slower, even attack slower. Some of them don't even bother attacking you, then you see dead trees and maybe a couple of cut trees. Suddenly you see a shadow, it's so pale that you can't tell what it was. Finally, you realize that the sun is behind you. Long shadows of small creatures. As you walk, you see a lake which is not blue as you would expect, but more like black or dark blue. Or maybe it's contaminated and it's dark green. Then the sun goes down, you are all alone in the dark, but even in the dark, there are shadows around. The small creatures don't even bother attacking you, because they know both you and they will be dead in 10 minutes. You walk slower as you go into dark etc.
There should be some shadows around. Walking around slow or real fast. A moving shadow indicates that there is something moving. It could be you, it could be a baby, it could be a monster. It could be the cloud in front of the moon.
And maybe when a shadow overlaps your character, your character stops for a while and asks "What was that".

Story: This is the hardest part. It should be both believable and scary. It shouldn't be in the far future. Just around the corner, 2016?  Or 2020 just because there are two 20's in 2020?
Tuberculosis bacteria just got stronger in 2016. No present drugs can cure it. It's spreading fast and you don't know if it is as lethal as it was or more. President of some country calls the scientists to duty and ethical committees approve that nearly dead people can be used as subject of the experiments regardless of their consent.
Because the time was a precious thing with that, they didn't  have the chance to conclude the tests, but preliminary results show that it cures people in 1 month. Then everyone uses it.
Of course there are some people dying despite that miraculous drug. Sick people go to their funerals and they are not sad but in joy that the one under the ground was not them.
Then a case report comes from some far land. A guy turns into something else just 32 days after he took the drug. New research is launched and it is found out that the drug can have this effect only on some people with a specific gene mutation. Unfortunately, that mutation was so minor, you never researched before and it has no manifestations on the morphology of a 'creature'.
By 2020, there are those with that gene mutation, turned into something else, a band of rebels angry at governments for making them use drugs before it was tested further, and there are governments with their soldiers, their citizens and their pride.
Funny thing with the ones with the mutation is that, when all these three meet, they don't just attack to government. They choose one of the groups. And it is based on nothing. Just random. Rebels don't want to kill them but don't want to be dead as well. And, well, government wants them all gone, no matter how.
And maybe there is a mad scientist who performs tests on the mutated gene and no one knows where it will lead and no one can stop him. He just broadcasts his progress time to time.

How's that?
Offline Oskuro

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« Reply #11 - Posted 2013-06-05 16:46:01 »

Good example, although you'd have to question if it is actually fright or suspense. Some Sierra games had a deep impact on me for being really suspenseful due to being able to die so easily.

I mentioned Dracula's castle specifically because it felt scarier to me than the rest of the game, even when it wasn't the most lethal area (That'd be the thorns outside the castle). I think it had a lot to do with it being an actual dark castle, as opposed to the rather cheerful surroundings in the rest of the game, and the knowledge that Dracula was inside (Keep in mind this was long before vampires were turned emo by hollywood).

King's Quest III, for example, was extremely tense (until you turn the Wizard into the first lolcat), but not so frightful in my mind.

So I think the setting can do wonders. If you can convince the player to be scared, even ascii art can be terrifying.

Offline Cero
« Reply #12 - Posted 2013-06-05 17:40:18 »

If you dont have the immersion of 3D, I think the most effective factor is music

It might be because I have been marked as a child, but every tone of this resident evil 1 song makes me genuinely uncomfortable:
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/Bi-Dz_t1AHM?version=3&amp;hl=en_US&amp;start=" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/Bi-Dz_t1AHM?version=3&amp;hl=en_US&amp;start=</a>

Offline Oskuro

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« Reply #13 - Posted 2013-06-05 17:47:02 »

I've been told that the true aural horror of RE1 lies in the dubbing.

Offline OrlanofSolace

Junior Newbie





« Reply #14 - Posted 2013-06-05 19:43:58 »

I've been thinking of maybe just a 2D game where the player is locked in a house with a ghost or something, but i was thinking of what would make the game scary is the anticipation or confusion of not knowing that the ghost is capable of, not know what can happen and even worse having to deal with what it can do when it does happen. I don't know I kinda like the idea of building suspense. You walk into your kitchen and find something not the same as you left it, and it only progresses from that. To eventually your trying to escape the house.
Offline Cero
« Reply #15 - Posted 2013-06-08 15:26:35 »

Yeah the dubbing... well as a child and english not being your native language, you dont really know that its bad :D
Other question is why was I playing this at age 12 - but hey ;D


Good examples for 2D horror games are also:
Clock Tower - Snes (very nice)
Sweet Home - NES (which is of course the inspiration of Resident Evil to begin with)

Offline Oskuro

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« Reply #16 - Posted 2013-06-08 17:52:01 »

Also to keep in mind, unlike film or books, games offer interactivity.

In an scary movie, the audience is along for the ride, unable to make choices, as such the horror atmosphere can be broken by, for example, the characters being unbearably stupid.

In a game, visuals and audio can help, but the best bet is to have the player feel dread based on their actions. For example, rather than inform the player that the character is going down to the basement through a cutscene, actually have the player make the choice to go down (even if it is just the illusion of choice).

I've been thinking that that was probably another reason I found Dracula's Castle in King's Quest II so scary. I hand't been plopped into it against my will by being captured or falling into a trap or something, I was going there on my own free will, wondering with each step if I should go elsewhere, if I was ready enough to go in there.


Offline MatthewNicholls

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« Reply #17 - Posted 2013-06-08 18:57:07 »

The only game that I remember scaring me was Alien on the Sega Game Gear. Going through dark passages never  knowing what direction the Xenomorph would come from persecutioncomplex.

come to think of it the Aliens game on  the pc was pretty scary too.

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Offline CyberAxe

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« Reply #18 - Posted 2013-06-29 16:34:00 »

I remember creepy 2D games and they were all adventure games, Lost Eden, The Pandora Directive, here's a more modern one called Home http://store.steampowered.com/app/215670/

Now that i think about it the original X-COM games were creepy too especally when on a mission at night
Offline gimbal

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« Reply #19 - Posted 2013-07-11 06:55:42 »

I remember creepy 2D games and they were all adventure games, Lost Eden, The Pandora Directive, here's a more modern one called Home http://store.steampowered.com/app/215670/

Now that i think about it the original X-COM games were creepy too especally when on a mission at night

Calling Home a 'game' is stretching it though, its more like an interactive story generator. It certain has a creepy aspect about it when you walk through it the first time around.
Offline CyberAxe

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« Reply #20 - Posted 2013-07-11 15:26:19 »

Calling Home a 'game' is stretching it though, its more like an interactive story generator.

You could say the same about the Tex Murphey Adventure games, Shadow the Hedgehog or Chrono Trigger.
Offline wessles

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« Reply #21 - Posted 2013-07-11 15:31:49 »

I hated home. At the end they just throw out the entire story. They set up the whole "can't remember who I am or where I was and woke up with an injury and a dead guy next to me who I may have murdered" cliche, and set up the entire dark story, how his wife left him, and then they just go lazy by 'solving' the entire story creatively. Apparently, at the end you get to choose what you realized happened. They shouldn't have made that choice. It's either the choice that throws off the entire creepy effect, or to wrap it up nicely. What happened? IMO, the game had potential with it's atmosphere, but then threw the story's effort out during the second half of the game...

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