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So A Haunted House?

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#1 Darkness Void

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 02:32 PM

So I want to add a haunted house to my game, similar to the few haunted locations in Pokemon games, so I wanted to ask fellow creators here if they have any ideas or suggestions? I basically got the house and its floors designed, I just don't know all what I could do.

 

I could have moving objects, a ghost walking about, a hidden dark tragedy that'll need putting together and so on. But I want to get the "creepy and unsettling" feeling down which I'm unsure how to do. I can only find tuts for a horror game but nothing for a single creepy house that really won't have any monsters, it's what you don't see that scares you the most afterall.

 

So what would you guys suggest for a haunted house and how I could make it unsettling without over doing it?


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#2 Takeo212

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 03:21 PM

What's the summary of your games/lore?

You can always try making it tie in with some lore. 

 

Maybe make it a "dungeon" type of thing. An NPC (maybe a curious child) mentions them hearing moans coming from this particular house, or they saw a shadow in the window of an abandoned house and the player then gets the option to visit the house. They explore the run down house with nothing creepy happening, just a creepy atmosphere. They get to the master bedroom and find a box and loot the treasure inside. Upon looting, a semi-transparent person appears behind them and fades out again as the sprite turns around to see. It keeps it subtle and also creeps the player out (and even maybe starts theories hehe).

 

Maybe even having the NPC who directed the player in the first place being the ghost themselves, so when you ask another NPC about it, they respond with "what NPC? Theres no one like that around here".



#3 lonequeso

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 03:36 PM

Ambiance is the most important thing fir a haunted house. If you're going with the classic model, that would be lots of old/dirty/broken tiles and objects. There's plenty of tile sets out there to where you can pick out what you like and Frankenstein 'em together. Or just make your own. usually a house is haunted because at least one person was brutally murdered. Or perhaps a demonic/satanic/or otherwise taboo ritual went wrong. Or right like a mass suicide. In any case there should be subtle clues/signs of what went on there. Even if they're not related to the main story or even a side quest, haunted houses are spooky because of their dark history so it should be featured. If it's a murder, maybe a bloodstain somewhere. If a dark ritual, have signs of the ritual site. 

 

Visual effects are great for ambiance, too. Your ideas of moving objects and ghosts are a good start. I always liked books floating from shelf to shelf. I can't remember the game, but there was one a played the books into an obstacle course. There would move left to right or vice versa, and you would have to navigate around them. Random shadows that shouldn't be thee and then dis appear would be cool. Especially if you can make them vanish when the player turns to face them. Scattered notes, diaries, etc of the events leading up to whatever tragedy occurred works well. Another idea would be unlit half melted candles that are suddenly lit after exiting and reentering a room. Maybe triggered by a quest event. 

 

Oh, and don't forget the music! Good creepy music will really bring out the uhh.. creepiness. There's plenty of free music tracks out there that will do the trick. 

 

So there are some good ways to make things nice and spooky. As far as what specifically fits into our haunted house all depends on what story the house has, and if it ties into the main story/ world history or just a fun random side quest.You can make a haunted house without any backstory, but to me they always feel plain and boring. Like someone just decided to have a haunted house for the sake of a haunted house. 

 

Hope that helps  :)


Edited by lonequeso, 16 March 2017 - 03:43 PM.


#4 Darkness Void

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 06:15 PM

@Takeo212

 

My game has no real lore atm, but it does takes place 3 years after season 6 of the show---all I'm saying on that. http://www.rpgmakerc...nightfall-demo/

 

As for making it a dungeon, I suppose I could have it where you enter different rooms via a hallway much like Pokemon. Altho today, before writing this topic, I went and designed 2 floors and a basement...but doing your suggestion would add more to the house and allow more things inside each room. Just my OCD will make it a bit hard, I'm still not good at designing maps but I did design around the house's design on the overworld map.

 

@lonequeso

 

You gave some good ideas, and would that game be Harry Potter 2 for Gamecube by any chance? I kinda have a idea for why the house is haunted, but wanted to design the house first before really writing down what took place there. In fact if you played my game's alpha so far Butter Joy already hints at something.

 

The house I intend to tie in with, and spoiler tagging it for reasons

Spoiler
. I know I can't really write what happened in this 1 house as I wouldn't be able to really carry it over and leave enough open.

 

Tho I need to figure out enough, again look at Pokemon----mostly the haunted house in Gen4, the 2 ghost locations in Gen5, and the ghost girl in Gen6. There's so little there yet you remember them because you want to know more and just can't in-game, you'll need to theorize and draw connections from other in-game events and lore. I said the game doesn't have any real lore, but I do have the backstory down enough to reveal through the different optional outcomes as to why the character is targeted and such.

 

I have things planned, just need to fully finalize them. I should also state, through another spoiler as I'll be flat-out stating why the house is haunted by 1 ghost at least so if you wanna be surprised, don't open this one, as it'll also spoil the story just a bit.

Spoiler


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#5 KilloZapit

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 07:13 PM

I say use a lighting script and had some nice lights around, maybe have more ambient background music, maybe even some interesting spooky random stuff that may happen if you interact with things...



#6 Tarq

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 01:50 AM

Moving to Theory. (This area is to ask technical questions about the engine)


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#7 Darkness Void

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 10:03 AM

@KilloZapit

 

Any suggestions on what spooky things?

 

@Tarq

 

Ah sorry I didn't know where to ask this. ^^;

 

EDIT:Let me ask as I'm not finding any results, are there tilesets for dust and cobwebs?


Edited by Darkness Void, 17 March 2017 - 10:20 AM.

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#8 lonequeso

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 10:25 AM

Lighting is important, too. I forgot about it. Probably because I don't have time to mess with it. :/ My "lighting" is just the Tint. That works, too, but actual lighting maps are better. You can make lots of dark corners and shadows. Or flickering lights/candles or even blackouts. Overall, the lighting in a haunted house is usually pretty dim. That way it's easy to make lots of dark areas. Also darker areas naturally feel scarier. One fun thing you can do is randomly have a brightly lit room. Like player is going around all this dark dusty stuff, but then they enter the dining room. Everything looks shiny new and the chandeliers and candles are brightly lit. having tings out of place like that is a fun way to mess with the player. ideally, there would be some significance for that room being different, but you can use it just to mess with players =p


Edited by lonequeso, 17 March 2017 - 10:26 AM.


#9 Darkness Void

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 12:18 PM

I tried looking up tilesets for a haunted house but had no luck, I found a tileset with cobwebs but after importing it was---well, not layered right so I couldn't use it. I don't know how to arrange a tileset or have to make the BG transparent. So does anyone know any free to use tileset that could make for a abandoned house?


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#10 lonequeso

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 03:10 PM

I've just found bits and pieces for "spooky" tiles. It can be hard to find a full set with everything you want and need. Do you have an image editing software program? A lot of people use GIMP (cuz it's free! :D ). If you have software that supports layers, mixing and matching tile sets is pretty easy once you know how. 



#11 KilloZapit

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 11:18 PM

@KilloZapit
 
Any suggestions on what spooky things?


There is the good old one when sometimes in the bathroom when you turn on a sink it fills with blood...

 

A hand coming out of a mirror as you look at it and trying to strangle you...

A room full of mannequin where sometimes one moves and is knocked over revealing someone behind them...


Edited by KilloZapit, 17 March 2017 - 11:21 PM.


#12 Darkness Void

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 10:19 AM

@lonequeso

 

I do use GIMP 2.6.11

 

@KilloZapit

 

How would I do the sink? Suppose similar to the doors, maybe. And I see you're a fan of Clock Tower, never got to play that game sadly.


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#13 KilloZapit

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 10:30 AM

Yeah, I guess animated events like doors would be the easiest way. All my examples were from the original clock tower (or 'the first fear' if you prefer), but there are plenty of other games with similar interactions. I wouldn't say I am really a fan, I only played the original and never finished it. In general I am not a big horror fan anyway, I don't really get scared easily or maybe at all. I find some horror charming or interesting though, and generic haunted houses are always fun scary or not.

 

Also: I think it's best if the interactions are random or spread out in such a way that it's harder to find them. You have generic interactions, and then you have spooky wooky ones that only happen sometimes, based on random chance or particular triggers. If it's all spooky all the time it loses it's edge and becomes too much. If a sink always is filled with blood for example, it loses it's impact. You want to have traps and spookiness that catch the player completely off guard, that maybe some players would never even see.


Edited by KilloZapit, 18 March 2017 - 10:40 AM.


#14 Darkness Void

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 04:59 PM

https://i.imgur.com/U87V3bI.png

 

That's not for VX Ace, is it? I guess that's why the layering is off, I can't use anything in that without the edges of the nearby titles are in it as well. ONLY tileset with cobwebs that I found, too...possible to resize or rearrange?


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#15 Takeo212

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 05:36 PM

You won't be allowed to use those for ACE, sorry. That tileset seems to be an edit off the MV RTP, so unless you own MV, you don't have permission to scale and use those assets.

 

I admit though, those cobwebs look amazing - as much as I can't stand spiders - they look cool.



#16 Darkness Void

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 07:17 PM

@Takeo212

 

Ah that would explain it, I thought cobwebs would add to the haunted house as it's been untouched for years and would, in all logic, but dusty. Yet nowhere can I find tilesets to add that touch of realism.

 


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#17 Cookie Ninja

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 04:16 PM

What you are essentially asking, is how to do horror like? This post will mostly be a rationale around the haunted house when implemented in general.
 
The most effective scary situation is when the player is dis-empowered. Try to make the player feeling like they are a long way away from safety. Legend of dragoon did this fairly well with the ghost ship. The whole section happened while the party was traveling far away from home and you didn't really know where you are going. Fear of the unknown is a primal instinct that people can't really help but reacting to. The more unknown variables in the plot and the actual "curse" of the place in question the more uneasy people will feel.
 
For studying purposes check out Cry plays Corpse Party. (Chose a maker example on purpose ;))
 
This is a case of the concept done right, pls note how fast your investment and tension drops as soon as you figure out what is going on. This is because: Unless the plot drop speaks to you personally you just end up waiting for the conclusion. Therefore it is wise to try and rap the show up as soon as possible once the reveal has happened.
 
Corpse Party has a rather un-engaging setup and a long investment in that bad start, but because of the excellent execution I will forgive the undelivering end. I despite the slip up I could recommend the game. :P
 
An example of a failure is FF7. (Speaking as a HUGE fan of the game) What broke the feeling of creepy hunted house was two points. First, the player got to know the major plot points early on. No more mystery and fear of the unknown. Second, safety was always easily accessible running out the front door from the main hall. This way the player was alway in complete control and thus had a security going forward.
 
The reminiscent success of pokemon ghost temple, I think.. , had more to do with the player base than the actual execution. It basically failed all the standard horror doctrines. (Maybe intentionally) Yet, due too the young minds exposed to it made it burrow in all our minds for a lifetime.
 
Summary, timing matters more than people generally consider. Surrounding aspects of the plot matter too. As a simple rule of thumb, will this option/circumstance add or subtract from the players sense of control/safety? Less control and safety equates to more effective horror. (Hugely simplified but should give a push in the right direction.) :ph34r:


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#18 KilloZapit

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 05:20 PM

FF7's Shinra Manor really didn't seem to me like it was intended to be much of a 'haunted house' as such in the first place, as much as it might have some ghost-like encounters. Other then the music and one encounter in the basement, there is nothing particularly horrific or even really creepy. Sure it could have been more important and bigger but it always seemed more sad to me then anything else.



#19 Cookie Ninja

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 06:00 PM

If I remember my FF7 correct, they tried to set the mad tone to Hojos' research in the manor culminating in the face off on Shinra tower.. If you are looking for the sad portion of the story, (Nibeheim wise) it was the final broken mind of Sephiroth were he essentially starts cutting down the people closest to him and how people in the village saw their friends and family massacred for nothing.

 

If creepy horror house wasn't the intention, they could have done that part of the story much better. :( (lol, since the horror house theme didn't get good anyways. I would simply have remade it)


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#20 Darkness Void

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 06:07 PM

@Cookie Ninja

 

The haunted house is a optional location in game, think of Tumberweed from Red Dead Redemption. Atm I need help with making the house look old and---well, wanted dust and cobwebs to add to the oldness but could only find them for MV.


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