How to Make A Slasher Video Game

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How to Make A Slasher Video Game

Until Dawn is probably the best David Cage-style 'interactive story' type game I've played. Which sounds like damning with faint praise, and almost certainly is.

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And then the mass media would decry it as a murder simulator. Which means it will never get made outside an indie game.

So...you basically want a GOOD Hitman game with a slasher film skin over it?

I'm down for that.

I'd buy that game. The last stealth game I have played left out the "non-lethal" option, and it was a delight to just stab guards with a big knife and drop them into the abyss.
The horrified mooks in the stealth sections of the Arkham Asylum were as enjoyable.
There should be more stealth games where your enemies are scared shitless.

Yeah during the investigation phase you find out who their friends are, so later you can kill the friends and get the target's cell phone number off the dead friend's phone and then start sending them creepy text messages

Funny, a lot of what you described was already made into a game called Party Hard.

Exactly my first thought pool upon learning of this game. Imagine your own custom serial killer creation screen, favoured fatalities, weapons of choice, style of clues to seed paranoia to the police. This train of thought really maintains one's erection, i must say!

"peering inquisitively into the workings of threshing machines, "

Teen 1: Hmmmmm... this curious threshing machine seems to be in need of some lubricant, bro!
Teen 2: *Peers inquisitively*:
Teen 2: Looks fine to me!
Teen 1: Psych! I'm the killer, dawg!
*Threshing ensues*

MatthewYoh:
Funny, a lot of what you described was already made into a game called Party Hard.

That looks like a pretty cool game. Basically procedural generated Hitman?

Nice captcha. It's an ad. You're not asking me whether I'm a bot, you're asking me to repeat a company slogan back...

I had a similar (though less violent) concept for a game like this awhile back were you play as a ghost trying to scare people out of your big old mansion that's been converted into flats (or student accommodation).

Basically an anti-stealth game where you are start completely invisible and have only limited ability to interact with the environment (tacticly opening music boxes or scratching out faces on family portraits etc.) until people start believing in you more... then you can go full poltergeist on them and drive them away and get your house back.

And make it class based, so you can be a Norman Bates, a Freddy Krueger, or a Jigsaw, with extra skill trees and equipment for each.

So, Naughty Bear but with humans instead of teddybears, and some more elements?

09philj:
And make it class based, so you can be a Norman Bates, a Freddy Krueger, or a Jigsaw, with extra skill trees and equipment for each.

I don't think skill trees would be the way to go with this. There's no fun development of your own character to be had, the fun is in how you manipulate others. Slasher villains don't have character arcs or personal growth, they just show up with their full suite of powers (which is generally 'stab a guy,' 'appear suddenly and stab a guy,' and sometimes 'unusual trick manipulating the environment, and then stab a guy'). As well, it's not like there's tiers of enemies for you to face down; if you're going up against a SWAT team, or anything really beyond that one cop who believes the stories, you're out of slasher films.

Keep it very simple on the character front, and put the complexity in the areas you have for your crimes, with opportunities for traps and uniquely gory deaths. It's like an arcade game, where the challenge is not in getting through the level but in getting the highest score.

OT: While reading the article, I kept picturing a mash-up between Geist and Party Hard.

MatthewYoh:
Funny, a lot of what you described was already made into a game called Party Hard.

Found the original game jam version http://www.kongregate.com/games/makerart/party-hard

I found it funny that the cops will haul away the drunk passed out guy who's found in the same area as the body, or just nightstick some random dancer. Or sometimes just plain run over people out in front of the house as they pull up.

MatthewYoh:
Funny, a lot of what you described was already made into a game called Party Hard.

Yeah I was going to suggest someone introduce Yahtzee to that one

Sounds like a Hitman game without the weird clone plots.

I must say, the idea has a certain appeal... the next "A Yahtzee Croshaw Game" confirmed?

What movie are those screenshots from? It looks vaguely familiar but I can't place it.

That said, I've had similar ideas for a game for a long time, I think as Yahtzee points out a lot of people have. Getting around the "murder simulator" thing would be simply to give the protagonist-killer a sympathetic motive of sorts, as far as such things go. Have the protagonist be cursed or something, and some eventual meta plot leading to them being freed from their curse at the conclusion of the game.

That said I had the thought largely in regards to open world crime games, especially Saint's Row where you could wear weird costumes and stuff. The missions largely being what Yahtzee describes, but the game also being designed so the various "rampages" don't have to be kept entirely separate from the main storyline.

One of the big reasons I thought of it as well is simply because there are computerized/organizational systems like the old VICAPS to predict criminal behavior and assist with the apprehension of criminals. I was thinking part of the missions could be playing against the equivalent of such things, with degrees of success coming not only from killing but doing it in such a way that makes you harder to catch. Leave behind too much evidence and there would be penalties where the police eventually raid your horror bad guy lair in the abandoned basement under the local high school, or on the 13th floor of an insane asylum or whatever. I envisioned the game as having a sort of "terror meter" or whatever which goes up from things like torture and messy kills, which of course makes things harder to get away with, and losing your lair and trophies would reset that making you comparatively weaker, some missions might also require a certain level of terror to be present.

The true beauty of this "slasher-film" game idea is it can copy the other aspect of that sub-genre of movies: SEQUELS! Endless sequels that copy the same basic formula, with retcons and reboots too! You'd make a mint!

jabrwock:

MatthewYoh:
Funny, a lot of what you described was already made into a game called Party Hard.

That looks like a pretty cool game. Basically procedural generated Hitman?

Nice captcha. It's an ad. You're not asking me whether I'm a bot, you're asking me to repeat a company slogan back...

Mine asked me what Verizon Wireless is offering me. I don't know which one is right!

So... Yandere Simulator, but with an american setting? Yes, that'd be quite nice.

I personally really enjoyed Heavy Rain and Beyond Two Souls, I like these types of games in general. I remember there actually WAS a horror game in development where you played as a killer for the PS2 and Xbox called "Campfire".

If I remember correctly, it got cancelled due to potential controversy from playing as a killer. Course nowadays that type of game would get greenlit on Steam in no time flat.

Isn't this what Lucius or Lucius II tried to do?

I've read that the AI in Lucius II is unfortunately kind of broken such that instead of trying to lure NPCs into your clever traps, it's actually much easier to just throw a box of poisoned donuts into their paths.

Until Dawn was another one of those games I liked watching more than playing. Though even I got annoyed at all these 'friends' trying to scare each other. Made no sense. Like, you're here a year after one of your jump scares got two people killed. Reel it in a little.

Yahtzee Croshaw:
How to Make A Slasher Video Game

Until Dawn is probably the best David Cage-style 'interactive story' type game I've played. Which sounds like damning with faint praise, and almost certainly is.

Read Full Article

So your ideal slasher game is basically Ghost Master, but with blood and guts - maybe crossed with Manhunt or Condemned.

Just in case you're not familiar, Ghost Master was basically like Sims, except instead of the omniscient being running their lives, you're basically some sadistic phantom whose whole raison d'être is scarring them for life.
So basically it's like Sims, but when you've gotten bored of all the usual stuff.

Michael Prymula:
I personally really enjoyed Heavy Rain and Beyond Two Souls, I like these types of games in general. I remember there actually WAS a horror game in development where you played as a killer for the PS2 and Xbox called "Campfire".

Fahrenheit (AKA Indigo Prophecy) on the PS2 wasn't too bad either. David Cage's second game I think. The one thing that bothered me was that for all its bark about branching storytelling, you only have any significant agency at the very end, and even then you can just reload 3 minutes back in time and go for a different ending. Basically you're sticking to a script no matter what, and your "choices" are there to flavor the cutscenes.

jabrwock:
And then the mass media would decry it as a murder simulator. Which means it will never get made outside an indie game.

Heh, my first idea how to counterbalance that a bit was setting the game in Nazi Germany or occupied France. Drunk young SS-volunteers would probably be a lot like Slasher film teenagers, perhaps while standing more of a chance against Stabby McGee. Could include some scenic ski resort in the Alps, or some 'requisitioned' French pleasure palace.

"USE (X) the Reich Eagle to Collapse it when someone walks past. +100 Phwoar!-points."

So basically what you're saying is that your ideal slasher game is, as near as I can tell, pretty much IDENTICAL to the core gameplay of Hitman (except, uhm, you're killing teens and are forced to get "Silent Assassin" on every level), a game that came out in 2000 and has had like 5 sequels? Why not just say I want a slightly tweaked "Hitman" game, but with teen targets?

"Obviously the main objective is to sneak through Chad's party house and murder the targeted teen, but there are going to be a lot of other horny teens in Chad's party house, and if any of them discover your presence and get away from the mission area long enough to call the police then you'll have failed. So naturally you'll want to lure away and kill all the other teens surrounding your target before any of them can realize something's up, almost as if it's a standard slasher movie or something.
It'd be a score based game, and you'd earn points by killing your victims in the most creative ways - waiting for them to stand next to the garbage disposal or the side of a speeding train, you know the drill - and by killing them at the right dramatic moment. "

C117:
So, Naughty Bear but with humans instead of teddybears, and some more elements?

Basically the first thing I thought Yahtzee was referring to...

09philj:
And make it class based, so you can be a Norman Bates, a Freddy Krueger, or a Jigsaw, with extra skill trees and equipment for each.

That would definitely give the game more of a choice system the more skill trees you try to focus on while you basically murder an entire town of teenagers both "native", "tourist", and all those in-between depending on which teen-based twists ends up happening throughout one's playthrough... It can even have a section where you can "recruit" other teens to "work" for you so that no one can fully figure out your "killer identity", for example...

Johnny Novgorod:

Michael Prymula:
I personally really enjoyed Heavy Rain and Beyond Two Souls, I like these types of games in general. I remember there actually WAS a horror game in development where you played as a killer for the PS2 and Xbox called "Campfire".

Fahrenheit (AKA Indigo Prophecy) on the PS2 wasn't too bad either. David Cage's second game I think. The one thing that bothered me was that for all its bark about branching storytelling, you only have any significant agency at the very end, and even then you can just reload 3 minutes back in time and go for a different ending. Basically you're sticking to a script no matter what, and your "choices" are there to flavor the cutscenes.

Yeah, it was clear that Cage ran out of money as the last bit of the game felt rushed.

K12:
I had a similar (though less violent) concept for a game like this awhile back were you play as a ghost trying to scare people out of your big old mansion that's been converted into flats (or student accommodation).

Me too. Already mentioned this in another thread, but I'd like to see a sequel or spiritual successor to Murdered: Soul Suspect. In the introduction, it said something about your talents in life becoming your superpowers in death. But all ghosts had the same powers. Limiting them would allow for different approaches. Say, if you were an extrovert, you'd lack the power of invisibility. You'd be able to spook people by simply being in the right place at the right time. But you'd have to work harder in situations that require a stealthy approach.

Any setting would do. Maybe you could play as Abigail...

Therumancer:
Getting around the "murder simulator" thing would be simply to give the protagonist-killer a sympathetic motive of sorts, as far as such things go. Have the protagonist be cursed or something, and some eventual meta plot leading to them being freed from their curse at the conclusion of the game.

Pretty much, yeah. Of course you could discover that you simply like killing innocent people for no reason.

Dammit, beaten to mentioning Party Hard three times over. That game looks interesting, if rather rough at the moment.

Therumancer:
What movie are those screenshots from? It looks vaguely familiar but I can't place it.

If this is a case of sarcasm not translating via text, please correct me, but those aren't from a movie. They're in-game screenshots from Until Dawn.

Two things:

1: I find the image of Jason creeping through the darkness - Mr. Whiskers in hand - waiting for someone to open the door so he can throw the cat in their face to be surprisingly hilarious.

2: This definitely sounds like a game I would buy and enjoy the crap out of. You could even get bonus points for recreating scenes from famous slasher films...like shoving an arrow through a bed to pierce it through Kevin Bacon's throat! :D

Edit:
Ooooo! You could even have it allow you to pick just which type of killer you are! Are you the classic insane asylum escapee, just broken out and looking to immediately get back in the swing of things? Are you the disfigured, undead monolith lumbering around and impossible to truly stop? Are you the creepy, disgruntled old man who lives in the creepy, run-down house in the cul-de-sac where only one house stands? Or are you the jealous and vengeful ex-boyfriend who decides the best way to get back at the girl that dumped him is to completely butcher his entire circle of friends?

Each "class" has its pros and cons, bonuses and weaknesses! Someone needs to make this game happen...NOW!

Areloch:
So...you basically want a GOOD Hitman game with a slasher film skin over it?

I'm down for that.

Only this time, you're encouraged the scare the crap out of your victims, rather strike when they suspect nothing.

ExileNZ:

Yahtzee Croshaw:
How to Make A Slasher Video Game

Until Dawn is probably the best David Cage-style 'interactive story' type game I've played. Which sounds like damning with faint praise, and almost certainly is.

Read Full Article

So your ideal slasher game is basically Ghost Master, but with blood and guts - maybe crossed with Manhunt or Condemned.

Just in case you're not familiar, Ghost Master was basically like Sims, except instead of the omniscient being running their lives, you're basically some sadistic phantom whose whole raison d'être is scarring them for life.
So basically it's like Sims, but when you've gotten bored of all the usual stuff.

Only with a hint of stealth.

Yahtzee Croshaw:
CHAD MURDER SIMULATOR

The fire rises, brother

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