Thursday, 18 February 2010

Concept idea- FPS.

Now as most who read this know we have an assignment to do the pre-production of our own game followed by the making of it's box and manual and then pitching it to Ubisoft (scary stuff).

(Thats just a summary for the people outside of college who read mah blog)

So you've probably seen the title of this post and maybe sighed a little, done a little old roll of the eyes and thought to yourself as you blast another terrorist on modern warfare 2 "yeah, yeah. FPS I gettit, been there done that."

Well my version of an FPS means something slightly different.

F- First
P- Person

So the idea might have been done before, I dono but it's different than the standard genres of games.

So I was thinking what makes a good game? Who would play my game? and most importantly WHY would they play my game?

I love games that are chock full of atmosphere so thick it practically chokes you. Games like Bioshock, resident Evil 4, Dead Space, Batman Arkham Asylum etc. You'll notice these games have either alot or parts of horror in them usually to scare the player.

I love games that scare me and alot of people are with me on this one.

So there I had the basic premise of my game: "To scare" It's that simple.

After all the attention Paranormal Activity got for being so gosh darn shit yourself scary I wanted to replicate that atmosphere and sense of terror in my own game.

So here's the concept:

Your in the shoes of a boy or a girl (you choose). The game is set in the first person and staged in one single environment; a house. This is a fairly big americanised style house where everything in that environment is simulated perfectly. Every book has weight to it and apsects of it's own such as the ability to rip/catch fire/get wet and so on.

Every item in the house would be interactive. The player needs to feel they are in that environment and be fully immersed in the game. This is where the simulation part comes in as the level of detail is beyond that of most games.

The game itself is set at night in this haunted house. yes I'm going for the overly cliched haunted house thing here but hey-ho.

SO. The game will revolve around a string of randomly chosen events or "hauntings" which can feature anything from bulbs smashing to full on fucked up white japanese kids crawling out from underneath beds and sofas. These "hauntings' are levelled in how scary they are so the game engine would run the small scares (messages on walls, TV turning on, screams) first then escalate to pure horror madness (Bleeding corpses pinned to walls, windows smashing, walls bleeding, axed killer and so on).

The aim of the game is purely not to die. There are various ways to die such as freak accidents occurring in the house (each object is fully simulated remember so knives obviously will kill.) or getting caught by a killer to being thrown down the stairs by a ghost.

The game is hardly game I realise but more as if your in the movie. It would be a great game to play with mates at night with the surround sound cranked up and the lights off...

It's a game where people can enjoy watching instead of being a solo experience.

Every play of the game is different as the engine chooses a mix of over thousands of "hauntings" which can each effect the house and the player in different ways and open up new play mechanics such as putting out fires, needing to fix the lightswitch in the cellar after the circuits broke)

It's a full simulation of a haunting.

I've been thinking and I've come to the conclusion that the game definitely needs a structure to it with a definite ending as these "hauntings" could go on forever only to just fizzle out (which would suck)

So one possible structure is this:

Initiation stage:
Normal house, something bad happens, a sign for the player that the "hauntings are about to commence"

The Haunting Stage:
The main chunk of the game where the player needs to survive by any means necessary. They could hide under beds, in wardrobes and so on but the game engine will recognise this and lure them out for example; putting a hanging corpse in the wardrobe that slowly catches fire.
Certain key events will display in the bottom right hand side of the screen to let the player know whats happened as they can't be in all rooms at once eg; the gas being turned on, on the stove. Something crawling out the TV. It'll be up to the player if they turn the stove off and risk going near there (something might be waiting) or risk the chance of a huge explosion killing the player and resulting in game ovah.

The Escape Stage:
A linear fast paced stage where the player escapes from the house. Each escape has multiple routes with a few escape sequences already planned. An example of this is a car scene still in the 1st person. The player must drive away from the house and a chasing enemy in a huge action set piece stage.
Another idea was to have an actual slasher movie style killer enter the house and the player must outwit the AI of this character and either call the police and wait or run through a linear street segment away from the killer although there would be obstacles in the way such as locked doors and such.

It's a start on the premise anyway. This blog doesn't really give it justice as there would be so many branching paths for the player to take as well as many events happening in the "haunting" stage that could not be seen through one playthrough.

It's basically taking the best scenes from the old style horror movies, mashing them all together and putting the player in a fully simulated environment right in the middle of all these.

I think being as the player would feel as though they are in the game given the amount of detail gone into the environment and actions it would only heighten the tension and horror. Plus the thought of an instant death around the corner is also something that gives many gamers nightmares.

I have shit loads of ideas for this concept and more on the story possibilities but I'm aware of the length of this beast of a blog post.

So, ideas? D'you think this could open up to a whole host of audiences who just want to be terrified outta their wits? D'you think that it's a poor idea that would be boring? D'you just wanna stop reading now ? Most importantly will it work??

Let me know what you think in the comment box !


  1. hmmm well done,

    but dont expect alot from college students :)

  2. It sounds like a good idea.

    From what i read, the game could be a great for a number of players, as apose to arkham asylum whereas you just have one player.

    For e.g BAA only one player can really be dragged into the story - The player.

    your game sounds like even it there were people just sat around watching someone play this game, they could easily get involved in the story. That's great.

    Might be a few rough patches here and there, but as you said this blogs just a start.

    Sounds like a good idea... can't wait to hear more about it!

  3. I rike it! (thats engrish not a typo!)
    ill put my thoughts in bullet points:
    - FPS = first person shocker or slasher maybe?
    - houses are good, but what about castles and prisons? just throwin that out there!
    - house scenario reminds me of evil dead films, they were pretty scary! u seen them? if not u REALLY shud!
    - hauntings concept seems top notch!
    - your idea reminds me of fatal frame for the ps2, played it? look into it!
    - your idea reminds me of silent hill, which is a good thing!
    - ideas like the book having properties reminds me of the 2008 alone in the dark game, which allows seemingly normal objects to be combined to make useful items, look into that!
    - branching is what keeps a player replaying your game, good feature!
    - the level of interactivity with your house reminds me of the house in shenmue. every draw could be opened and every switch flicked. i do miss that level of interaction! if you can achieve that here a winner is you!
    - music plays an important part in scares. shame we cant get that deep! if you made this, good luck finding samples!
    - in conclusion i think you could make people loose their shit with this game! and thats why dragons den style, im out! id help make it but NEVER play it! my mind is messed up enough!

  4. I like the concept and I completely agree that you can't include all the info in the blog that would do this justice, but that just means there's lot of questions you need to ask.
    So you've already established your audience and what the product is effectively supposed to do, which is a good start.
    The level of interactivity you are talking about sounds immense, I'm not sure that you would be able to include so many interactive objects in a big house where multiple stories/paths occur and keep everything looking crisp and atmospheric. If you were to do an on-line type then it wouldn't be the same kind of social interactivity as you I just don't think you'd get people sitting around a PC/MAC to take part in the game/simulation. Raiden mentioned Shenmue, which is one of my favourite games, but it nearly bankrupt Sega because of how much time and money went into making this massive game. I guess
    All I'm saying is that maybe have a think if you're going to be able to create a vertical slice of this in time for the FMP deadline; whether you would (at this stage in your progression) be able to finish this game in the next 5 years;will you have enough time to learn all the mad skills needed before FMP deadline.
    Food for thought my friend