Wednesday, October 4, 2017

"7 horror games (plus some movies) every designer should study"

GS: The Forest from Endnight Games
“Best answer I can give without sitting and brooding over it is very recent, from The Forest," says The Magic Circle designer Jordan Thomas. "Now, The Forest is not for everybody. It's over-the-top grisly in a way that borders on the comic and at first didn't work for me...until this player interaction that emerged naturally."

"Stephen [Alexander, co-founder with Thomas of indie studio Question, LLC] and I were checking it out, co-operatively, building our first shelter. We had almost forgotten that the server he set up was open to 2 additional players. Eventually, a stranger logged in, and spoke tersely to us at first. We repelled an attack from the cannibal tribes, and the stranger helped. Then, while Stephen and I - who have not worked on a truly violent game in a while - set about the business of moving the bodies away from our little camp, the stranger began to methodically dismember them. Hacking and hacking until each limb would detach. My reaction to it was visceral, grounded, somewhat realistic despite myself - it got under my skin."

"I thought 'Ah, yes. What's worse than a tribe of cannibals? Why, the Internet, of course!' And dismissed him as a psycho, or an adolescent, or both - but we played it cool because hey, we left the server open."

"That night, we were raided by several groups of them that were attracted, presumably, to our sad little fire. It was harrowing. Our new companion constructed an effigy from body parts - which we had not yet known was possible. He then set the effigy ablaze, and it kept the tribe at bay for the night. In effect, it was the only language they understood."

"By the next 'day' we were dismembering bodies as a matter of course.