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RE: Lock In's new title screen might evoke a familiar feeling (gameplay screenshots too)

in #gamedev3 years ago

From what I have seen, horror games tend to place you in an isolated or dark area and then restricts your view to bring out that inner claustrophobia and angst that comes with not being fully aware of what is going on around you.

If I had to summarise the easiest ways to do that I would say I see two common techniques:

  1. The flashlight look where the entire screen is black and you can only see stuff in a part of the screen. Personally, most of the time I find this just ... meh...
    pAH-JB2djIn9Gwvgog-XHXzoM40rQCZzV6Aelb7QUSk.jpg

  2. The second system is where the fog around you blocks your view so depending on how thick you make the fog you could be standing a few feet away from the ghost/zombie before you notice it... or you just discover more vacant houses appear after one another while you walk blindly down the street. This type of view restriction definitely gets my preference!
    silent-hill-origins-720x720.jpg
    silent_hill_2_g1_by_sparkenstein-da0o3s8.png

I have no problems with a flashlight used properly but many people discover their games engine has a spotlight light type and just go "Cool. I will make my game show only what that light reveals" and with that their game is doomed to looking n00b before they even started.
vignette_flashlight_5159_2.jpg

Years back I was willing to pay someone to create me a mist/fog type system that would allow me to have that same look/feel that I described above but the guy got busy and nothing ever came of it. I abandoned my project because it just didn't look scary without it and that was the end of it...

Years later (i.e. a few months ago) I found this

If you are willing to experiment a little then seriously get yourself this asset. It is free and it kicks Unity's built in fog system's butt! Drag two components onto your camera and tweak the thickness, height and distance of the fog and you are done... instant Silent Hill look :)

Use it excessively or moderately but either way this can only help in creating a more eery feel. :)

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Hmm, thanks for the asset, but I will keep the flashlight. It's a core part of the gameplay. I will still have fog in some areas. Also, the games that you posted (Silent Hill for example) have large sections of mostly darkness, illuminated by the flashlight, and those are arguably some of the scariest sections.

I apologise if I came across as saying "Ditch the flashlight". Not what I was trying to say at all... As you pointed out, a flashlight done well can be very effective indeed. Conversely, a flashlight done lazily just spoils the game completely.

As I said, use the fog excessively like in Silent Hill or use it subtly... This was meant as a supplement, not a replacement. What is nice about this fog is that you get a height based option (as opposed to a distance only option) which is nice for a subtle effect. Stuff at ground level are obscured but they become more visible the further off the ground... I.e. show the table but the legs start to fade out nearer the ground... It just adds to the mood.

Anyway, it's awesome and it's free so experiment and play with it... or not. At least you now have one more option than you had yesterday :) Hope it helps :)

@jansensensei
I will probably use the fog thing you suggested. :) I just mean that being in the extreme darkness is part of the gameplay. One player has a flashlight, one has a gun. The two are supposed to need each other. The flashlight will stagger enemies so the other player can shoot them. I just mean that the flashlight will be extremely important to the player, and the story.

Don't get him wrong, it's just that indie devs focused on a single project are usually more concerned about getting the game done than experimenting new things.

Scrambling new ideas in can make us sidetrack and burden us out, which we can't afford to do since it already takes a lot of time until it's ready for release.

@felipejoys
It's true! But don't expect everywhere in Lock In to look just like this :)
And expect many monster mechanics too. It will probably stay this dark, but there will be a lot of monsters to fight, and it will probably be a decently long game.

Hi jansensensei,

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