Survival Horror on a Cruise Ship

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lacktheknack:
Oh, you mean this one?

image

You play an unknown someone trying to guide another unknown girl around a destroyed (science) vessel. You guide here around by using the security system to turn lights on and off, removed dangers for her, and generally do what you described, except she's controlled by an AI instead of FPS controls.
**snips**

Yep. I've played through the first bit of it, but havn't completed it by any stretch of the imagination. Theres some fiddily business that turned me off, but the third-person-escort-sorta-survival-horror-on-a-boat is all there. Its a very nice little game, and I'd suggest anyone interested in yahtzee's concept try it out.

Come on, the revelation about the virus would have been, or should I say, would be one of the coolest endings of any game ever, so it sucks that he already spoiled it for us

oh hey! the big twist at the end sounds almost exactly like the big twist at the end of this:

http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/515898

but yours looks to be a lot better presented, so that's pretty cool

I would stay in the Kubrick vein with a cruise-ship horror game with a mix of detective mystery. Our character slowly devolves into madness aboard the last voyage of a historic (and rumored to be evil) ship, and must fight his own sanity. To unearth the ship's secrets, the game will focus primarily on exploration and conversing with the various other people on the ship. But the kicker is twofold, what clues has he uncovered that are real and which is ones that are just the product of his own insanity? Secondly, there would be no meter for a player's insanity level. The higher the level would alter things in game, but the extent to which you notice them isn't so assured. The player would never be quite sure what was real, and what was fake. Insanity is increased by following red herrings and sanity is restored by uncovering more pieces to the puzzle of the ship.

The ending would be dependent on the level of insanity reached by the voyage's end. Is it really one man fighting against time to save himself and others on a cruise? Or is it already too late?

DUN-DUN-DUUUUUUUHHHHH

I had an idea similar to this in high school but set in an alternate world fuedal Japan.

In it, you played as a blind Ronin who had a pet bird that he could see through the eyes of. It would perch on vantage points for most of the gameplay, but would actually require realtime flight to get to the next vantage point in an area, leaving you temporarily vulnerable from attack by whatever antagonist i was eventually going to think up.
For a few sections i thought about having it perch on the characters' shoulder and the side of his head would be constantly visible, leaving your field of view hindered on one side.
About halfway through the game, the enemies would figure out that this supposedly blind man who kept beating them up used the bird as his eyes and would actively try to attack it, meaning you would have to keep it alive in order to progress.

Then a game came out on PS2 that was a third person action adventure with some sort of barbarian dude who had a pet bird that you could see through the eyes of in order to solve puzzles and see around corners to ambush enemies.

So i gave up.

I eventually made him into a character in a very short lived comic. But it was a bit shit, so i left the idea alone until now.

This idea kind of reminds me of an episode of Immersion. Even though it would take some getting used to, I think it would work nicely with some practice (a skill curve? Of course!). I like this idea (and this is coming from a guy who very much DIDN'T like the original RE, though not because of the awkwardness of the controls, but because they were slow and it took WAY too long to turn around).

P.S. Thanks

The cameras part remind me of The Experiment 112 or something like that.

I would like there to exist a survival horror game all inside a submarine. A cruise would also be cool but give total freedom to the player to explore every room of it.

Interesting idea. Truthfully I do kind of wish people would do more cyberpunk horror games, there have only been a few that have showed the potential of it as a genere, but few people seem to want to take on the challenge. "Hell", "Bloodnet", "Ripper", and others all blended those elements to some extent. Honestly though I'm not entirely sure I consider a technological threat like a perception distorting virus to really count as "horror" in the constraints of Cyberpunk (or what most people consider cyberpunk) because most works within the genere are already techno-thrillers with a lot of bad things going on. Truthfully I'd think if you were going to do a game like this it would probably be better to go the "Cthulhupunk" route and use a supernatural menace. For all the trippiness of "what was I actually fighting" as a question, within the context of the genere, that's not horror, that's your average thursday. All the points about how viruses could be used for terrorism or an anti-personell weapon are well known to genere fans.

That said perhaps you (Yahtzee) if you are despite all odds reading this, should make your next adventure game about you as a seriel killer, murdering other game reviewers, editors, and various analogies to some of the more deserving industry personalities in a biting satire of the industry and it's nature. Sort of like the imagine that comes to mind if you know anything about Spider Robinson and notice one of his titles is "Kill The Editor", though the less said about the actual story in question the better. :)

that sounds like an amazing idea for a game. i would totally play something like that

awesomeClaw:
Actually sounds like a pretty good idea. Maybe later in the game when you find out about the virus, itīll start messing with your ability to transfer/remove power to/from areas(because thatīs how viruses work in the future) making you even more exposed and vunerable? Or is that to much

Regardless, sounds like a game Iīd buy.

Viruses could work like that now. I mean, we have viruses that interfere with brain and nervous system functions, and ostensibly your neural interface would require at least one of those. Though you probably don't need it to be more than Treknobabble to make it work, long as the game is compelling enough.

This is a game I'd totally try, even though it's kind of against my normal genre of play.

Im not quite understanding the perspective

so you are guiding yourslelf in third person from the fixed veiw of the security cameras?

I had a similar idea, set in the near future where the blind are linked to MK.II type machines by a chip and they control it with their thoughts. The MK.II have taken over the role of guide-dogs.

Colour me interested, and I don't even like survival horror games!

If all this data from cameras can be passed wirelessly then why doesn't the protagonist detach one from the wall, attach a powersupply, (there must be some on the ship somewhere to power a camera) and then just wear it on their head? I know it would take a few minutes to get used to your new height, but the brain will adjust, and it will be a lot more convenient...!? And you will still have the ability to see the other cameras...! (Apart from that one room you stole yours from of course...!)

I seem to recall there being a PS2 game that basically did the same as The Experiment, with one exception: you controlled the woman's actions entirely through voice command via a microphone bundled with the game. You vocally commanded her to go through rooms, pick up objects, and fire on enemies.

As you can probably guess, the game controlled like ass and was basically unplayable. The game could never accurately register your voice commands, and would either do nothing or do something contrary to what you wanted.

Alright, I'm gonna have to pause for breath for this next bit.

You mean to design a game that is essentially Resident Evil as told by System Shock 2, through the mechanics of Siren, in the setting of Echo Night, with the combat of Clock Tower/Silent Hill, introducing power rerouting puzzles a la Dead Space, ending in the twist from the middle of Silent Hill 3?

lacktheknack:
Oh, you mean this one?

-snip-

Or that, right.

And if I seem to remember correctly, aside from Echo Night didn't Cold Fear also take place on a ship?

It doesn't really work out because most people don't go on cruise ships. Me personally, would not be scared of this as I would be as "Murderor in an underground car park simulation game". You see the plot is that when you go down into an underground car park you find out that you are being followed by a serial killer (you hear over a loud speaker in the mall that he is one and is really evil!). No one can stop him because he is actually a ghost. Anyway, after you run around trying to avoid being killed you find out that you are also a ghost and that the serial killer is actually a car!

This sounds a lot like the film Ghost Ship, except instead of ghosties and demons, it's computer virus' and stuff.

A luxury ship, with its once opulent trappings brought to ruin and decay by its residents giving into their base instincts

Yup, Ghost Ship.

The mechanics sound very interesting. What is regarded as maybe a "pain" to play would not be more than challenging controls (as opposed to just "complicated") and it would add nicely to the desperation that survival horror should produce (like when you can't run fast enough in a nightmare).
Overall it seems that good planning and intelligent decisions will be ever present and imperative for the escape. I am betting that once we clear a stage using a series of well thought manoeuvres we will squeal with delight at our astuteness.
There was an Adventure game that relied on the out of body experience but was not presented very successfully. A girl gets marooned on an island and someone guides her to safety using fixed surveillance cameras, radio and the like, but as I said it did not quite make it. But the idea was sound.
I hope that this game of yours, the "Cyberpunk horror cruiser of the future", can be produced.

I'm not a fan of the genre, but what I really like is the fact that you might have been murdering survivors this entire time, and the idea of how that plays out on the character's psyche intrigues me.

That's actually an interesting idea. There was a game similar to it from back in the early PC days. I can't think of the name but you're onboard some space station and one the crewmates (of course the crazy one) hands you some drugs saying that you've been doped up this whole time and that the "monsters" outside your station aren't monsters. At the very end of the game your oxygen tank is empty and you're outside the space station so you rip off your mask.. to discover you're breathing oxygen and the monsters are human or human-like. (so not exactly with the cameras but there was some trickery as to your perspective)

My idea to bypass the whole 1st person controls in 3rd person crisis:

Instead of the primary camera angle coming from a security camera, the protagonist has a camera that he can hook up to his ocular nerve or whatever. With this, it would essentially be a 1st person game but with a narrower field of vision. As an alternative mode, the protagonist could turn off the neural implant and rely solely on his other senses. His other senses would be heightened while his vision is gone.

It would be cool to be able to level up these two separate perspectives. For example, if you focus more on the handheld camera you could gain the ability to attach the camera to guns (or hack into optics attachment on guns) and gain skills like learning how to hack into the security camera system and use them to see (a la Croshaw's vision). Or, if you use the heightened senses mode more you could gain more benefits from your other senses, like being able to visualize scents (Twilight Princess) or echolocation from hearing.

Yahtzee, this game idea sounds absolutely amazing. Even if I couldn't play it, I definitely want other people to play it, just for the sake of the experience. Bravo, my good man.

P.S. The reason why I said "if I couldn't play it" is because I don't have either a 360 nor a PS3 (I know, right?!). However, I do have Steam, so if Yahtzee made it available on that platform, then I'd happily buy it!

This is eerily similar to a cyberpunk-horror game I had recently, it also used the idea of "modded neural interface to replace eyesight", except its system was based off using geo-tagged images from the net to construct a 3d space, with other features like people's appearance being a collage of images from whatever online accounts they have and most of the horror elements coming from the manifestation of strange creatures that seem to exist partly in reality and the net.

There's more to it, but I don't want to babble on.

Farther than stars:
This is a far cry from the Yahtzee who made the "No More Heroes" review in which he said and I quote:

Yahtzee:
"...any game designer who sacrifices fun to make an artistic statement is obviously stuck so far up his own ass that he's in danger of choking on his own head."

At least he acknowledged that those controls that he described would be about as smooth as gravel, but that last paragraph did have a bit too much of a god complex associated with it to be to my liking.

I agree.

Seeming cool on paper and playing well are too different things--the latter of which being an order of magnitude more important. I believe he also once commented on developers acknowledging game design problems inside their own game with humor and the frustrating stupidity of that.

I have a feeling Yahtzee would enjoy Cryostasis.

That sounds like an awesome idea, I'd definatly give it a try at the very least.

That... just... I am slavering. SLAVERING.

Imagine how you'd feel upon realising that everything you've seen and guided your character through could be false. That you, as a person, have actually been through all those things, blind as a bat, trusting to digital senses you now have reason to doubt.

It's chilling. I'm not 100% on your suggested control scheme, but I think it might be necessary to maintain the impression that it's actually you in there, and that you're not just watching someone through a screen.

How Yahtzee is able to open his mouth without someone trying to jam fistfuls of dollar bills down his throat to fund his ideas is beyond me.

I'm a bit puzzled at everyone saying the controls would be too awkward, surely it would just be like the first resident evil games which while certainly not perfect were hardly unplayable. A bit of tuning up from that and it would be fine.

I find cruise ships creepy as hell too. I think it's the size of them. Btw does anyone remember a light gun resident evil game from ages ago, set on a ship, or am I just imagining things?

xXxJessicaxXx:
I'm a bit puzzled at everyone saying the controls would be too awkward, surely it would just be like the first resident evil games which while certainly not perfect were hardly unplayable. A bit of tuning up from that and it would be fine.

I find cruise ships creepy as hell too. I think it's the size of them. Btw does anyone remember a light gun resident evil game from ages ago, set on a ship, or am I just imagining things?

I was about to say the same thing. Movement in the older resident evil games was easy to adjust to. The aiming was much more of a hinderance since you couldn't go for headshots unless you had a shotgun and waiting to aim UP at the last second before a zombie attacked you.

What a lot of people aren't getting is that these relatively awkward controls are ON PURPOSE in this theoretical game. The concept of being blind and watching yourself, but having to move and listen locally is utterly terrifying. I would love the shit out of it.

Sell the idea, or collaborate, with Double Fine. Make it Horror/Adventure point and click with some FPS aspects. Would be interesting to start in FPS mode and then be forced into the 3rd person cinematic point and click (which would be easier for people to handle rather than the first person controls). But you could have levels that force you back to FPS, like someone else said about sensory modes where you're bumping around listening to sounds (though that may be difficult), though the different types of cameras (x-ray, infrared, ultraviolet, etc.) would be interesting.

Still wondering why the guy couldn't grab a networked wireless camera and strap it to his head so he can see in the first person again. This is a cyberpunk world where he's got neural network connections in his head, there should be wireless cameras he could strap on. Maybe that could be a level, he finds the wireless camera, straps it on, completes the level and then it gets smashed, fries, or the battery runs out.

Well I know which game I am getting now. The Experiement. But that doesn't mean I wouldn't get this other untitled steampunk cruiseship game if and when it comes out.

Well I know which game I am getting now. The Experiement. But that doesn't mean I wouldn't get this other untitled steampunk cruiseship game if and when it comes out.

Could it be that there's a GOOD use of third-person controls in modern PC gaming?

...After spending far more time than I ever wanted staring at Batman's arse in "Arkham Asylum", and wondering why the hell my character constantly shot down into the ground whenever I raised the camera high enough to see what the hell I was actually supposed to be shooting at in GTA3, I'm tempted to say "No. No there isn't." But I'm not totally opposed to the idea.

I just get the feeling that if this game were made and Yahtzee reviewed it, he'd give it props for uniqueness but end up pointing out that it doesn't work in practice, "Mindjack" - style.

Drake666:
Awesome modification there! :)
Not sure about the handheld camera, but the blueprint and the first person view mixed with camera information (like a flashlight) is genius.

Thanks, man. The camera was mostly for those areas that don't have cameras and might also have monsters in them. Sure, you can see the blueprints, and if you're moving through a crawlspace there probably won't be any debris in your way, but if you're walking through and you suddenly hear something in front/behind you...

...come to think of it, that could just be a great horror mechanic: you can't see your enemies in certain areas and have to rely on the sounds they make to know where they are. Maybe a replacement for the camera could be some sort of echolocation device. You can use it to modify the blueprints by sensing where debris are, and you can use it in a pinch to show you where monsters are...for the moment, at least. I imagine it'd be a one-use item or some other mechanic to limit use, but that's thought for later.

Drake666:
I wonder if implementing that game would be though ? You would have to make a shader that use spot light mechanic as texture shader :P funny...

I don't pretend to know a lot about programming, but it seems like the 'light' provided by cameras would be reasonably easy to pull off because it isn't actual light. You don't have to deal with making things appear to be partially lit or in the shadows around the borders: one side is visible, and the other is not, with a very definite line between the two.

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