Post news RSS The Kingsport Cases Weekly Update: Procedural Generation and Horror

Lead Designer and Head Writer behind The Kingsport Cases talks about procedurally generated stories and events in this upcoming survival horror game.

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To those who don't know, The Kingsport Cases is a fully procedurally generated survival horror game set in late 19th century Lovecraftian lore. This week, our head designer and lead writer behind the game talks about how procedural generation is helping this title along.

In her first developer blog, she talks about how Kingsport is procedurally generating stories, and how it creates a unique spin on the horror genre:

"In real life, carefully crafted stories are not handed down from a vantage point where humans volunteer to take the position of lead bad guy or noble heroine or even shop-keeping NPC. Stories are created by people through their actions and ambitions. Our game is no different. We let our characters craft the story."

Link: Touching the Surface of Procedural Story Generation in Kingsport
And following up story generation, she talks about what makes a horror game, well, a horror game and how procedural generation is the answer to making this genre scarier. You can check out the podcast here, or at our official site!


Some good stuff mentioned here typically attempted to be done in any horror game.

Procedural generated content is good start for crafting unique experiences which is seen in the SCP Containment Breach game and several others some more well done.

I think randomly generated stories though a neat concept could prove to be a flaw your story should be solid and route your mechanics and be a glue to your environment tying in the tension, though it could still work.

Psychologically people play horror games wanting to be scared so its very easy to use things such as messaging and the environment to really trick your player into scaring themselves. Such things as operant conditioning can be used to train your player through both negative and positive reinforcement to litteraly do whatever you want them to do and in the end scare the crap out of them.

I really hope this game turns out great I will be looking out for some gameplay!

Good Luck

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TabKey Author

Hey ENP, thank you for your comment!

While I definitely feel the procedural story is a huge risk, I think it's a venture that needs to be made. A risk with high success/high reward, or huge failure/no reward.

We're hesitant to completely reveal the story-telling engine just yet, but rest assured the plot is solid. We're generating guided stories with a lot of reasoning behind them, not completely randomly insane ones that don't make sense. The procedural aspect of the story is unfortunately hard to explain, but we hope our demo will do all the talking for us.

Thank you for your continued interest. The community's support is what motivates us to keep going strong!

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