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Ideas for Objective for my game R.E.M (Forums : Ideas & Concepts : Ideas for Objective for my game R.E.M) Locked
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Jul 16 2013, 1:56pm Anchor

Hey guys i'm working on a game called R.E.M and have been for awhile now, it's a Survival Horror game about a man who has been in an accident and is in a coma, you play as him as he fights off his fears inside his mind to get a second chance at life. If you check out my page i have done a fair bit and i have all the core mechanics i want, i just need a purpose/objective for it. I have been thinking you have to walk around and collect pictures and memories by doing Puzzels and such using your Vortex and Soul and such, but i'm not sure this is enough.

If i could steal a few minutes from any of you to bounce ideas off and get your feedback on what I've already done that would be amazing. Let us know your thoughts

Billy,

Jul 16 2013, 5:24pm Anchor

The idea is good and has a lot of potential. The question is how to implement it properly.

Puzzles are enough, if you make enough of them and have sufficient variety. It's easy as that. Just look at Portal 2 which is a long game about Portals.

As for your game, I have some random ideas. Bear in mind that I have great interest in videogame stories, so it'll be an idea for the plot of the game, not the gameplay itself.
The first thing that comes into my mind would be that your objective is to remember your accident in order to wake up.
Imagine that you start in a room that contains nothing but doors. The doors have dates written on them and behind them lie the corresponding memories. Only one door is accessible at a time though, so you have to "relive" your life till the accident happens.

Let's say your character has severe head injuries. Your mind is totally messed up, hence you cannot access the most recent memories.
Solving puzzles makes memories more accurate, closer to reality and generally helps you to clear your mind from all the messed up stuff.
By "messed up" I mean a distant relationship with reality. I'm pretty sure you already had a dream in which you were in a familiar place, went down a familiar route but ended up somewhere else instead of where you were supposed to.
For the game this could be something like that the door to the kitchen doesn't lead to the kitchen, but the garden. It could be stuff floating around, standing at a table that stands on the ceiling, objects in your house that don't make any sense. All this kind of stuff.

As you get closer to the accident, your memories become more and more real since your head isn't as messed up anymore. However, instead of being unrealistic versions of your memories, they now become realistic but nightmarish versions of those. Since you are in coma, probably dying, it could be the reaper hunting you (for example).

That way you can have the player learn the mechanics of the puzzles in a safe environment before descending deeper into the depths of the horror genre.

Eventually you make it to the day of your accident, find out what happened and wake up.

Just written down the first idea that came to my head. :|
Don't know whether it's any good, so I'd like some feedback too. ;)

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Jul 17 2013, 4:52am Anchor

Hey SniperFan! thanks a lot for your comments and thoughts on both my posts :)

I do like this idea, using the memories as level type things is great! :) and the progressive finding information about the accident and such would work well
Although i would have to convert that sort of feel into a medieval feel as that's the sort of gameplay and world i want, but i can use what you said and have modern day objects ( which i guess you wouldn't have been able to see in the video, but i had planned on doing a similar thing where objects from your reality, being the hospital, is apparent in the dream state, such as people in wheelchairs and other modern day items ) i also like the idea of a having levels that don't make sense and such.

Would you mind if i took ideas from this and sorta implemented them in my own way?

cheers, thank you for your time and opinion :)

billy,

Jul 17 2013, 5:04am Anchor

Nice idea. Not too original as amnesia is such a common and almost considered cheap means to mystery in horror games.

I like the idea about doors and images, but you still have the actual gameplay aspect wide open. Is it for console / PC / mobile, controller / keyboard + mouse / touchcreen, 2D / 3D, first person / third person / overhead cam? Will the puzzles be physics / logic / memory ? Any action events such as real time enemies?

No matter how great an idea you need the gameplay to be fun and interesting.

Jul 17 2013, 6:11am Anchor

well my base idea wasn't that he didn't know what happened, it was he knew exactly what happened, but is trapped inside this dream state no matter how hard he tried to awake and communicate while hearing distorted voices and such in game.

it is a First person game, the puzzles will be a mix of physics and logic hopefully. and there will be real monster encounters, but yeah i haven't figured out a way to link all these together and have a solid structure of Storyline -> Objective -> Puzzels -> Enemy -> Win and what not

Thank you for your comments :)

Billy,

Jul 17 2013, 6:58am Anchor

If it was me I would ditch the dreams and coma idea. In fact someone already posted in the ideas section a few weeks ago about a game where you are in a dream trying to solve puzzles to retrieve memories or something. Also why would he have a lantern in a castle, seems like if he was in a dream he would just be walking about; to me the fact that he is in a dream somehow weakens the lantern gameplay mechanic. Also it's less of a survival horror game if you're in a dream, gives me the sense of yeah if I die I'm in a dream so who cares and also these monsters aren't real. I liked the original idea about ghosts, you should go in the way of a haunted mansion type thing. That's just my opinion anyway : )

Jul 17 2013, 7:31am Anchor

@shadowflar3:
Well the problem with amnesia is that it's probably the cheapest way to avoid giving context.

Developer A: "Hey! This game focuses on story. We've probably written the most epic story ever! It's about [...]"
Developer B: "Cool! How does the character get into this situation? How does the game start?"
Developer A: "..."
Developer A: "Let's just make him have amnesia and skip that part, okay?"

The concept of amnesia isn't overdone though, since games don't use its full potential. You can make an original story with amnesia, it's just a question of how you use it. Don't use it to avoid telling the beginning of your story (see: every game with amnesia ever made ever).

The idea I had wasn't about full amnesia, but a "partial" one. Your character remembers, but the memories aren't quite right yet. Some details are off, some are missing.

@MrBillyGoatsGruff:
Just don't make the mistake of creating a game with one of those missing, thinking that you can shove it in later on.
Creating puzzles requires knowing where they take place. Knowing where they take place requires knowing the story.
Creating a game and writing the story around the already existent content just doesn't work.

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Jul 17 2013, 8:48am Anchor

@TheSniperFan:

So true. The phenomenon is especially blooming in modding where everyone and his cousin has a horror game idea for an FPS engine. They can maybe make some levels but don't know how to code / model so they just skip the plot thing altogether and just straight into first person view. "He just wakes up, doesn't know where he is". I bet most of these cheap cases are also planned to end up with "it was all just a dream" type ending, but luckily almost none of them live to see a release due to the fact that the "team" consists of "idea guys" without any sense of what is feasible. The truth is that having a proper introduction to the player character, location and the general setting is vital for a good story which in turn is vital for immersion and the experience of horror.

I have to say the R.E.M. project shares many of the novice aspects (young developer age, horror fps, darkness overuse, amnesia card) but it already has gameplay material which means it has surpassed the "noob threshold" in my books. The lighting I hear they are already improving, amnesia is really some kind of memory distortion (I hope you guys create intro of some kind) and they seem to be in a phase where they prototype their gameplay together with the story objectives which is promising. Having patience to try, ask for feedback and improve is always a good sign.

plinkie wrote:If it was me I would ditch the dreams and coma idea. In fact someone already posted in the ideas section a few weeks ago about a game where you are in a dream trying to solve puzzles to retrieve memories or something. Also why would he have a lantern in a castle, seems like if he was in a dream he would just be walking about; to me the fact that he is in a dream somehow weakens the lantern gameplay mechanic. Also it's less of a survival horror game if you're in a dream, gives me the sense of yeah if I die I'm in a dream so who cares and also these monsters aren't real. I liked the original idea about ghosts, you should go in the way of a haunted mansion type thing. That's just my opinion anyway : )

I am also more fascinated by a haunted mansion of sorts approach. Dream world is less threatening to the player but on the other hand allows for more abstract and imaginative environments. But then again Silent Hill did abstract environments and explained none of how streets suddenly turned into rusted steel grating floating in void. And it was _really_ scary.

I would reckon dream world is better oriented towards fantasy than survival horror but the truth is none of us have yet to see MrBillyGoatsGruff rendition of it. Maybe it will be scarier than anything else and turn our opinions around?

Jul 17 2013, 11:11am Anchor

@plinkie:
I have to disagree with you.

plinkie wrote:In fact someone already posted in the ideas section a few weeks ago about a game where you are in a dream trying to solve puzzles to retrieve memories or something.

And? It's about how an idea is being realized.
An idea:
Modern military shooter taking place in Dubai where you are an American soldier.
One developer might make something like CoD, where you are a glorified American soldier who saves the world from those evil arabs (since they're all terrorist who are totally jealous of our freedom anyway).
Another developer might make something like Spec Ops The Line and surprises the audiences worldwide by showing the horrors of war and basically saying that there are only losers in war.

I wouldn't drop an idea because others have done it badly.

plinkie wrote:Also it's less of a survival horror game if you're in a dream, gives me the sense of yeah if I die I'm in a dream so who cares and also these monsters aren't real.

I think Mr. Krueger would love to have a little talk with you. :D
All you need to do is to introduce the concept of you dying when you die in your coma-dream. A very effective way of doing so would be when the player has his first encounter with a hostile.
Upon getting hurt you play sounds like the beeping of life-support machines in the hospital and muffled voices of the doctors saying stuff like "We're loosing him!".

On the flipside a dream opens many new possibilities by not restricting the developer by realism.
You can do practically everything without having to explain it lengthy.

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Jul 17 2013, 11:45am Anchor

I didn't say others have done it badly. If anything it's an overused idea that has been done well. Also Nightmare On Elm Street is a film. I imagine Nightmare On Elm Street : The Game would be pretty awful.

shadowflar3 wrote:
I would reckon dream world is better oriented towards fantasy than survival horror but the truth is none of us have yet to see MrBillyGoatsGruff rendition of it. Maybe it will be scarier than anything else and turn our opinions around?

I guess I was just more opinionated with it because I have played a demo prototype of the game and I was giving feedback on which idea I preferred and would work better with what he has right now in gameplay form.

MrBillyGoatsGruff wrote:Hey guys i'm working on a game called R.E.M and have been for awhile now, it's a Survival Horror game about a man who has been in an accident and is in a coma, you play as him as he fights off his fears inside his mind to get a second chance at life. If you check out my page i have done a fair bit and i have all the core mechanics i want, i just need a purpose/objective for it. I have been thinking you have to walk around and collect pictures and memories by doing Puzzels and such using your Vortex and Soul and such, but i'm not sure this is enough.

If i could steal a few minutes from any of you to bounce ideas off and get your feedback on what I've already done that would be amazing. Let us know your thoughts

Billy,


You'll probably have to give more info on what these 'fears' are that he has to fight. Once we know that then the objective could become obvious. Collecting pictures and memories is too generic sounding too, only words really which don't specify a purpose.

Jul 17 2013, 12:11pm Anchor
plinkie wrote:I didn't say others have done it badly. If anything it's an overused idea that has been done well. Also Nightmare On Elm Street is a film. I imagine Nightmare On Elm Street : The Game would be pretty awful.

Please elaborate.

You say it's overused, but also said this:

plinkie wrote:I liked the original idea about ghosts, you should go in the way of a haunted mansion type thing.

Those probably count to the most overused horror scenarios alongside abandoned hospitals and industrial facilities.

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Jul 17 2013, 12:23pm Anchor

I'm referring to the gameplay we previously discussed about sucking in ghosts with the vacuum mechanic. The only other thing I can think of is Ghostbusters but if it is tweaked heavily then it should be nowhere near similar in the end. Yes the dream mechanic is overused in the survival horror field but the fact that a haunted mansion location is overused is kind of irrelevant, I'm only really interested in the gameplay here.

Jul 17 2013, 12:36pm Anchor

Ahhh, I see what you're up to.
I was referring to the plot and the locations there and left the gameplay aspect entirely open, hence my dislike for the whole mansion thing. Seems we didn't talk about the same thing.
There's just so much you can do with first-person puzzle games. Portal, Antihamber, QUBE and whatnot.

The developers need to create a solid concept including the plot before starting to create the assets. There's no point in creating those when you don't even know what your game is about.

Edited by: TheSniperFan

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Jul 17 2013, 6:35pm Anchor

Hey guys, thanks heaps for your open discussion, was really good to read through and brain storm ideas and reflect on what i had previously created.

Just for some back story, i'm an 18 year old from Australia, and am making this game on my own, i am doing a course currently and have been for the past 4-5 months. This was actually just a project i used to learn and build up my coding and knowledge of the engine ( Being Unity ) so none of it was professionally thought out or planned really. I know this is by far the worst way to do it ha, but once i began to really start making the game i liked it more, so i wanted to put a lot of time into it and see how well i could make it. Hopefully this explains my lack of ideas for things that should have been decided before putting key to script, and the lack of direction. But i'm very glad you guys are open for discussion on the topic as it helps me figure out what the industry has and what it needs, as well as what i've got and what i need gone haha :) i will give you more information about the monsters and such after i've fleshed out the encounters a bit and they are more interesting. so i'll keep in touch!

Cheers! Billy,

Jul 18 2013, 4:47am Anchor
plinkie wrote:I'm referring to the gameplay we previously discussed about sucking in ghosts with the vacuum mechanic. The only other thing I can think of is Ghostbusters but if it is tweaked heavily then it should be nowhere near similar in the end.

So that's what the game was like before? Sounds much like Luigi's Mansion to me?

Jul 18 2013, 5:05am Anchor
shadowflar3 wrote:
plinkie wrote:I'm referring to the gameplay we previously discussed about sucking in ghosts with the vacuum mechanic. The only other thing I can think of is Ghostbusters but if it is tweaked heavily then it should be nowhere near similar in the end.

So that's what the game was like before? Sounds much like Luigi's Mansion to me?


As described. It's a semi-realistic survival horror game though, not a cutesy platformer.

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