Survival Horror on a Cruise Ship

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Don't like the sound of it, I'm afraid. It sounds far too awkward and annoying to control.

Given how dull and repetitive "survival horror" has become as a genre, this "Untitled Cyberpunk Cruise Ship Game" concept could actually be the fresh and unnerving tact required to remind people what the experience of contextual uncertainty and fear should be. And the followup "Dark Harvest" expansion sounds like a blast, too. >:)

Seriously, if I had the means, I would fund its development... though maybe Kickstarter would be a better source. Surely, there are people in the world (with actual access to funds and an interest in games that feed their phobias ) who would back it.... if it were to be actually made, of course.

This actually sounds like a good idea, I would pay good money for it. It must be made!

Ok, now Mr.Croshaw, i would like you to go get an indie fund started. Maybe the way Tim Schaffer just did *wink wink nudge nudge.*

Then go hire some aspiring game designers, coders, modelers, you get the works.

After all that you go and create this game, and put it on steam.

At last, low and behold, you will have become the new game director everyone follows maniacly for another release.

Sound like a plan? Good, now get to it.

Someone MUST have mentioned that Resident Evil: Revelations is the THIRD RESIDENT EVIL GAME TO TAKE PLACE ON A CRUISE SHIP. Gaiden, Dead Aim, and now Revelations. What do they have against cruises, anyways? Yeah, the hallways are three feet wide, but there's buffets and gambling!

That sounds amazing!

It sounds like sorta like the bits in Psychonauts where you use telepathy to navigate and fight, only you'd be in it 24/7. An interesting mechanic that could be awesome, so long as the camera didn't actively fight the user.

Nobody's going to post this? No? Okay then.

(yeah, Peter Griffin etc)

Now... I'm not a survival horror fan, but that theoretical game sounds far too interesting to miss. Shame about the 'theoretical' part, really.

Was I the only one to play Resident Evil: Dead Aim? on the ps2 I distinctly remember it was a fun experience.... Never thought I'd play RE with a guncon but guess what it:

was Set on a cruise ship and,
switches between 1st & 3rd person perspectives

Ghost in the Shell meets Silent Hill on a spooky cruise ship?
Hell yeah i'd buy that.

Apart from the FPS controls and the manual of switching of cameras, it sounds like a pretty cool idea. I especially like the part about not knowing if what you're killing are actually zombies or real people. That's a cool twist. But that control and camera stuff sounds like a really stupid and pointless idea.

Interesting idea. I'd give it a try.

It sounds fun, very consistent theme and I like the part about how it might not even be real... and it's not a dream sequence or something. However I don't think I could get past the awkwardness of controlling an avatar first-person style from a fixed third-person perspective; especially when using a fixed-camera.

Huh, I have a visitor, hold on...

Nice design, I'd only want a toggle for the camera follow so it could be automatic as you explore physically (or run like heck) and manual as you search / manipulate the environment.

I can see a lot of potential for the idea but I think you might be so detached that it would no longer be scary and I also feel the cameras would be too conveniently placed a bit like those found footage films and it would make the whole experience feel fake.

I'd be most interested in seeing all the ways the camera gimmick could be used to create fear. A room with flickering lights would become much more hostile. Not being able to see the whole room and having to control the character through what the camera can see in the mirror to do something in the corner of the room. A lens with a smudge on it. Some rooms with night vision.

To be honest though I think the game would be a lot more fun if you simply played an evil virus controlling the ship and you had to use the environment to kill the passengers without raising suspicion.

Your eyeballs have exploded, there's an app for that!

Great one yahtzee, a fun read and some sentences I appreciated reading.

Sounds interesting. I would definitely want to play this.

Fiz_The_Toaster:
Why isn't this an actual game? I'd buy it and play the hell out of it, and I really mean that. It's such a shame that horror games don't explore more into the whole aspect of perception anymore, but rather use a lot of the cheap scares.

But as far as the perception aspect goes, I feel it would be much less frightening seeing the game from the POV of a security camera. The danger would just appear so much less iminent.

Numb1lp:

Fiz_The_Toaster:
Why isn't this an actual game? I'd buy it and play the hell out of it, and I really mean that. It's such a shame that horror games don't explore more into the whole aspect of perception anymore, but rather use a lot of the cheap scares.

But as far as the perception aspect goes, I feel it would be much less frightening seeing the game from the POV of a security camera. The danger would just appear so much less iminent.

True.

I would think other elements would have to be involved for it to actually be scary like atmosphere. With perception though you can make it have something like mind tricks or not knocking if the person you're killing is an actual person or not, and you don't know that until they are actually dead. Maybe go with the Amnesia route and you're not running into monsters all the time, but when you do you feel helpless even though you can kill them.

I think there can be many ways to tackle it so it can be frightening, like monsters being able to go into the system and mess with you there. It sure as hell beats throwing a character in an abandoned boat infested with zombies, hand them a gun, and tell them to go nuts. Oops, I think my biased came out, d'oh well.

Fiz_The_Toaster:

Numb1lp:

Fiz_The_Toaster:
Why isn't this an actual game? I'd buy it and play the hell out of it, and I really mean that. It's such a shame that horror games don't explore more into the whole aspect of perception anymore, but rather use a lot of the cheap scares.

But as far as the perception aspect goes, I feel it would be much less frightening seeing the game from the POV of a security camera. The danger would just appear so much less iminent.

True.

I would think other elements would have to be involved for it to actually be scary like atmosphere. With perception though you can make it have something like mind tricks or not knocking if the person you're killing is an actual person or not, and you don't know that until they are actually dead. Maybe go with the Amnesia route and you're not running into monsters all the time, but when you do you feel helpless even though you can kill them.

I think there can be many ways to tackle it so it can be frightening, like monsters being able to go into the system and mess with you there. It sure as hell beats throwing a character in an abandoned boat infested with zombies, hand them a gun, and tell them to go nuts. Oops, I think my biased came out, d'oh well.

I agree that there are ways to make the atmosphere frightening, and you had some pretty intuitive points yourself. However, I think that the whole "amnesia" route is getting a bit TOO cliched.

Numb1lp:

Fiz_The_Toaster:

Numb1lp:

But as far as the perception aspect goes, I feel it would be much less frightening seeing the game from the POV of a security camera. The danger would just appear so much less iminent.

True.

I would think other elements would have to be involved for it to actually be scary like atmosphere. With perception though you can make it have something like mind tricks or not knocking if the person you're killing is an actual person or not, and you don't know that until they are actually dead. Maybe go with the Amnesia route and you're not running into monsters all the time, but when you do you feel helpless even though you can kill them.

I think there can be many ways to tackle it so it can be frightening, like monsters being able to go into the system and mess with you there. It sure as hell beats throwing a character in an abandoned boat infested with zombies, hand them a gun, and tell them to go nuts. Oops, I think my biased came out, d'oh well.

I agree that there are ways to make the atmosphere frightening, and you had some pretty intuitive points yourself. However, I think that the whole "amnesia" route is getting a bit TOO cliched.

As of late it has been, but damn did they do atmosphere like a champ. Maybe with Frictional Games new game on the horizon they might be able to do something new and terrifying that isn't like Amnesia.

I'd buy that. I'd buy it even if I had to pay the full 54 for a brand new boxed copy.

Fiz_The_Toaster:

Numb1lp:

Fiz_The_Toaster:

True.

I would think other elements would have to be involved for it to actually be scary like atmosphere. With perception though you can make it have something like mind tricks or not knocking if the person you're killing is an actual person or not, and you don't know that until they are actually dead. Maybe go with the Amnesia route and you're not running into monsters all the time, but when you do you feel helpless even though you can kill them.

I think there can be many ways to tackle it so it can be frightening, like monsters being able to go into the system and mess with you there. It sure as hell beats throwing a character in an abandoned boat infested with zombies, hand them a gun, and tell them to go nuts. Oops, I think my biased came out, d'oh well.

I agree that there are ways to make the atmosphere frightening, and you had some pretty intuitive points yourself. However, I think that the whole "amnesia" route is getting a bit TOO cliched.

As of late it has been, but damn did they do atmosphere like a champ. Maybe with Frictional Games new game on the horizon they might be able to do something new and terrifying that isn't like Amnesia.

I didn't even know Frictional Games had a new program coming out. But personally, I've never been much on survival horror, so if there are anything you could suggest to kind of "get me into" the genre, that would be appreciated.

Numb1lp:

Fiz_The_Toaster:

Numb1lp:

I agree that there are ways to make the atmosphere frightening, and you had some pretty intuitive points yourself. However, I think that the whole "amnesia" route is getting a bit TOO cliched.

As of late it has been, but damn did they do atmosphere like a champ. Maybe with Frictional Games new game on the horizon they might be able to do something new and terrifying that isn't like Amnesia.

I didn't even know Frictional Games had a new program coming out. But personally, I've never been much on survival horror, so if there are anything you could suggest to kind of "get me into" the genre, that would be appreciated.

Well, there's always the original Resident Evil with the ever hilarious dialogue, but it's still a good game. Silent Hill 2 is a good place if you want to really be scared, and then there's Fatal Frame. Oh, you can always try out Frictional's early series Penumbra, it's like Amnesia, but not as scary.

Fiz_The_Toaster:

Numb1lp:

Fiz_The_Toaster:

As of late it has been, but damn did they do atmosphere like a champ. Maybe with Frictional Games new game on the horizon they might be able to do something new and terrifying that isn't like Amnesia.

I didn't even know Frictional Games had a new program coming out. But personally, I've never been much on survival horror, so if there are anything you could suggest to kind of "get me into" the genre, that would be appreciated.

Well, there's always the original Resident Evil with the ever hilarious dialogue, but it's still a good game. Silent Hill 2 is a good place if you want to really be scared, and then there's Fatal Frame. Oh, you can always try out Frictional's early series Penumbra, it's like Amnesia, but not as scary.

Alright, thanks for the tips. I'll have to check those out.

Other than the control scheme, this sounds vaguely like Starship Titanic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starship_Titanic). Wonder if Yahtzee could review that ancient... gem?

Sound's like the sort of game I'd buy. Never finish, cause I get frustrated at some particular point. Throw away, to waste my life on a much easier game, for example building shitty houses on Sims, that I'm far too proud of and no one else thinks are good. Then forever sleep with my eyes open for fear of Yahtzee coming to murder me. Or Worse, have him take me back to his lair and be tied up with his beautiful Filipino boy!

I'd play the game Yahtzee described.

Sound like an awsome game yahtzee. The ideas sound like a new perspective on survival horror that could be implemented one way or another into the genre.

Char-Nobyl:

But, at any rate, the perspective: allow players to view things through their destroyed eyes, but view the ship by its blueprints or floorplans. In other words, the world you see is basically darkness covered by the lines that denote where everything is supposed to be. A wire-frame world, I suppose.

id say just provide a map with a hotkey that progressively reveals upon each room/hall discovery. i just wouldn't want to play any part of any game in a wireframe mode.

Char-Nobyl:

That leaves the monsters, however. They're obviously not a part of the blueprints, and neither would debris, wreckage, etc. That's where the security cameras come into play. When you 'activate' a camera, it adds the camera's field of vision to your perspective. In essence, it takes the slice of the room/hallway that the camera can see and puts it onto the wireframe. You can't view every camera at once, so you need to pick which one you're looking through. As an upgrade to your neural chip, maybe you can 'look' through two at one time, widening the area in any given zone that you can see.

So I guess there would be like a central camera room with the monitor or monitors that you use, or just one single terminal? I'd have a monitor room, like the security room of the vessel, with several monitors each with several cameras, and you can switch between them. Then game progress can be segmented into monitors then subsegmented into camera views.

Char-Nobyl:

As a backup, and for areas without working cameras, you get a handheld camera. It's not a great camera to begin with, and it didn't fare too well in the chaos, but it can give you a tunnel of vision that sees the world as it is. Think of it as a flashlight for an environment that's still fully lit, yet completely black from where you're standing.

I'd say that there are 3 security rooms (i guess with X monitors each) in the game, and you just need to run between them with this handheld at distinct stages of the game. Its a big vessel. You'll have to collect the necessary batteries as you progress, but you will find the handheld early on, with no batteries. That could kinda foreshadow what you need to do as a goal.[/quote]

Char-Nobyl:

So...yeah. I guess that's about it. Oh, and it might be worthwhile if the virus also picked out a small group of people who would see each other as human: it allows for the protagonist to run across fellow humans to reinforce his belief that what he sees is reality, and the effects would be the same on them.

how would you explain this though?

Yeah I really like this idea. Some additions I would do in implementation:

  • Your character arrives onboard during sunrise. Just a twist to the canonical "horror must emerge at nightfall". And then after certain stages, the daylight fades and nightfalls during the gameplay. But I'd end the game at sunrise again, say you wake up on deserted island for the sequel lolz.
  • Also I'd make it more puzzle focused then action. Then with the multiple camera view togglability that you unlock, you could have puzzles span multiple rooms. Such as setting a trap for a monster you need to aggro and ensare and murder to get through some door thats two rooms ahead.
  • I would make it about setting traps for monsters rather then engaging in combat. Maybe get the monster stuck, then you have to go up and beat it to death.
  • Also lots and lots of quick-time events. And some compelling cinematics too.

holy shit I'm really liking how this is shaping up. maybe someone could whip up a prototype in unity or unreal with just a little bit of concept art. hhhmm...

careful:
id say just provide a map with a hotkey that progressively reveals upon each room/hall discovery. i just wouldn't want to play any part of any game in a wireframe mode.

That defeats the purpose of being blinded in the first place. And how would a map (digital or otherwise) do things like show enemy locations and fallen debris? It might not be a pure wireframe, because that can be nauseating for some people to look at, but it would be clearly aesthetically different than the actual condition of the ship. If it was intended to be some sort of 3D tour program, it'd also work in exposition about various locations, possibly hinting where you need to go next.

careful:
So I guess there would be like a central camera room with the monitor or monitors that you use, or just one single terminal? I'd have a monitor room, like the security room of the vessel, with several monitors each with several cameras, and you can switch between them. Then game progress can be segmented into monitors then subsegmented into camera views.

Erm...not that I planned, no. I imagine there probably is a central monitor room, but you're remotely accessing most cameras when you enter rooms. They appear to you, and then you 'look' through them, which appears to you as the cone of vision of the camera being placed over your own wireframe. You're not looking through the camera so much as having its viewpoint added to your own.

careful:
I'd say that there are 3 security rooms (i guess with X monitors each) in the game, and you just need to run between them with this handheld at distinct stages of the game. Its a big vessel.

Again, it's not about finding security rooms with walls of monitors. You're interfacing with cameras as you come across them.

careful:
You'll have to collect the necessary batteries as you progress, but you will find the handheld early on, with no batteries. That could kinda foreshadow what you need to do as a goal.

That's not really foreshadowing, mate. That's like finding a gun without any ammo, which isn't foreshadowing the future plot-relevance of ammo so much as simply triggering the player's desire to find ammo for it.

careful:
how would you explain this though?

Alright, imagine that the virus is tailored to pick a group of, say, fifty people off the passenger list. And those fifty people (when infected with the virus) will still see the other several hundred people aboard the ship as monsters, but they won't see the other forty-nine people with their strain of the virus as monsters.

Now, obviously a lot of those people are going to die in the chaos straightaway. But that's fine, because the terrorists had the foresight to pad the numbers. So there'll probably end up being a handful of people who A) can see a few others around the ship as being the sole 'survivors' of the monster attack and B) can see human corpses splayed around every so often (the dead members of the 50) and thus believe that the monsters are genuine monsters, not just people driven mad and rendered into hallucinations.

careful:
Your character arrives onboard during sunrise. Just a twist to the canonical "horror must emerge at nightfall". And then after certain stages, the daylight fades and nightfalls during the gameplay.

But...you're blind. You won't care one way or another if it's day or night after the opening cutscene and maybe a little bit of roaming before 'console explosion ex machina.'

careful:
But I'd end the game at sunrise again, say you wake up on deserted island for the sequel lolz.

I'm really not sure how that's supposed to work. A cruise ship has blueprints, cameras, and other means of compensating for your lack of vision. An island...not so much.

careful:
Also I'd make it more puzzle focused then action. Then with the multiple camera view togglability that you unlock, you could have puzzles span multiple rooms. Such as setting a trap for a monster you need to aggro and ensare and murder to get through some door thats two rooms ahead.

I still don't think you understood what my idea for viewing through cameras was.

careful:
I would make it about setting traps for monsters rather then engaging in combat. Maybe get the monster stuck, then you have to go up and beat it to death.

That I can agree with. The easiest way to make a scary enemy not-scary is to let the player kill piles of them.

careful:
Also lots and lots of quick-time events. And some compelling cinematics too.

That sounds a bit...vague. Like setting out to write a book and saying that you want it to have lots of good dialogue and vivid descriptions.

We're still collectively ignoring the existence of resident evil: Dead Aim? Good.

Would Yahtzee even bother getting one of his games onto XBLA/PSN? Isn't his usual way of relasing anything, past published books, on the internet?

Nothing coming from a Survival Horror background I'm pretty opinion-less on this one

-M

I know this will eat into the realism, but how about a infra-red camera/sensor which you carry and is 1st person. This would make fighting enemies much easier to fight but make exploring not much easier. That or a motion sensor?
The other idea could be that you start with passenger level computer access, but have to get staff then captain passwords to progress.

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