Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Atmosphere for Horror

What to Acknowledge when Designing a Horror game
A very useful website that gives tutorials and tips on game design workflows- I was lucky enough to find a large article on designing Horror games and what to avoid/acknowledge when designing- Horror/Survival Level Design.

Sound for Atmosphere
I've come across some videos that show how discomforting music can create high tension, especially when you cannot see the monster. This is the music played when a Regenerator is about in Resident Evil 4.

And here is the art of discord from Silent Hill

Ignoring the images of Demented children, I really like this music to influence the regular theme of the game. When nothing is happening, there should at least be a constant eerie sound.

Wondering how I will make my own music, I'm thinking of downloading a music making program to at least try to mimic a horror theme. Fruity Loops is one I've heard of, but you must pay for this.

Camera Angles
I looked into Camera angles to try and give myself better insight of what I could achieve when I manipulate the angles correctly. Since I am now using 3rd person for the sake of the puzzles and traps, I would need to look into techniques that would help bring more scare factor into game with a potentially free roaming Camera.

  • Alfred Hitchcock, famous film director for his effective camera work in psychological thriller & suspense masterpieces between 1920-80's often made human like motions with the camera movement, and introduced the up high angle shots. These high angle shots that induce suspense and makes the character that much smaller (and more vulnerable), would seem to work very well in the setting of a maze, especially a maze with a monster roaming about.


  1. Awesome post! It's rare that I read something so cool to justify using the word "awesome" ^_^

    I'm inspired to say a few things about effective horror, if I may....

    I LOVE Silent Hill. Part 2 is the scariest game ever. The use of camera angles, the music, sound effects, confusing story...they all contribute to a weird, original experience.

    And that right there is not only the key to a terrifying game, but the big difference between Japanese and American horror. The Japanese understand that the key to effective horror is to utilize the idea of "weird" to create an original experience. Familiarity is a killer. Familiarity is boring.

    The game, or movie, becomes predictable = no fear. You want the audience to have no idea what's going on, what to expect. So what keeps them playing? After much thought, I figured it out: Give answers, yes...but the answers must also present more questions. It's never-ending. Therefore, in theory, the suspense, the horror, should last until the end of the movie/game.

    Look at popular American, supernatural horror films. Which ones work? Aside from The Ring (which is a remake of Ringu), for me anyway, I'd say none work. US ghost movies and games fear being too weird, too confusing. Everything has to be spelled out, and that's a no-no in my book of horror.

    Can't wait to see the end result of your game! Wish I were in your shoes =D

    PS: I make moody music for indie films. Mainly student stuff. But if you're ever in need of a composer for whatever, I'd love to help! ^_^

  2. @Raymund Hensley
    Hello Hensley! I'm so sorry for not replying, I didn't realise you commented (blogger is quite rubbish at telling me when somebody comments ^^;). Thank you very much for all your insightful tips! I agree completely with what you say- I'm a big fan of horror (even if I am too chicken to play something like Amnesia hehe).
    It would be amazing to get your work in. But I would hate to take up much of your time!

  3. Wanna hear some of my older stuff? For fun? (Sorry if I shouldn't be putting links here, lol.)

    Kinda scary?