Author Topic: Planning to make a game inspired by Horrorsoft.  (Read 235 times)

JadeWizard

  • Carry On My Wayward Son
Y'know those Elvira and Waxworks games with the horrible game over screens? Yeah those ones.

I never played these games before and I'm okay with that. (Seems impossible to beat without a walkthrough and stuff.) But something about it draws me in somehow. Maybe it's the rpg elements, maybe it's the death screens, maybe it's the music...I dunno.

I don't have a plot yet or much to go off of really. I do have an idea of a cave level that may or may not lead to hell itself.

To anyone who played the Horrorsoft games before what are your pet peeves and how would you improve the games?  Trying to make a list of things to avoid when making it.

What do you think?

Oh and by the way what's the worst death in the games in your opinion? The zombie death in Waxworks disturbed me greatly.

Re: Planning to make a game inspired by Horrorsoft.
« Reply #1 on: 06 May 2019, 18:41 »

In my opinion it's the rpg/dungeoncrawlin' part the worst thing. Death scenes the best in a wicked way. (Well, even Elvira  :-[)

A modern point-and-click setting will be fine, limitating the battles. Deaths could happens for a wrong response or action (example: use a fire spell on a fire demon = death). And death scenes (the originals are cool, with just a smooth refining) could be collectable.

And... more Elvira.  :-[

_

Ghost

  • AGS Baker
  • Here, I light candles.
    • Ghost worked on a game that won an AGS Award!
    •  
    • Ghost worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Re: Planning to make a game inspired by Horrorsoft.
« Reply #2 on: 06 May 2019, 18:44 »
"Oh, are we trying something dangerous now?"
- Planetfall's Floyd, after the player types "save"





The most memorable death screen, for me, is in Infocom's Infidel text adventure. You're exploring a pyramid, looking for treasure, and once you pick up the riches, the chamber collapses around you, burying you deep in the bowels of ancient architecture.
Then you get:

You have died.
You have won the game.

--

Personally, I rather like adventures where your actions can lose you the game. Never played the Horrorsoft games but game deaths were par for the course in King's Quest et al. Shrugged at today, yes, but still I liked the risk of screwing up. And back then we actually tried to find the most obscure deaths in games like Malcolm's Revenge and the odd Space Quest game.

If you're planning to make a game in that vein, I suggest you add an "undo" button to the death message. Basically, resetting the player to the action before they died so they can easily try something else, instead of having to load an earlier savegame. It takes out the frustration and still leaves in the death. Alternatively, make an option that allows players to use the undo, use it only a limited amount of times, or never use it at all- that way, everyone gets the kind of challenge they feel comfortable with.

KyriakosCH

  • Alien spiral maker
    • I can help with backgrounds
    • I can help with story design
    • I can help with translating
Re: Planning to make a game inspired by Horrorsoft.
« Reply #3 on: 06 May 2019, 19:02 »
Having one or two death-risk situations is ok imo too :)
A number of 90s adventures have those.
Envy can ruin a man; try the Chrysalis...

JadeWizard

  • Carry On My Wayward Son
Re: Planning to make a game inspired by Horrorsoft.
« Reply #4 on: 06 May 2019, 20:57 »

In my opinion it's the rpg/dungeoncrawlin' part the worst thing. Death scenes the best in a wicked way. (Well, even Elvira  :-[)

A modern point-and-click setting will be fine, limitating the battles. Deaths could happens for a wrong response or action (example: use a fire spell on a fire demon = death). And death scenes (the originals are cool, with just a smooth refining) could be collectable.

And... more Elvira.  :-[


I think I would've loved the dungeoncrawlin if it wasn't so confusing. I plan to keep those elements but maybe not? It's too early to say.  :undecided: At least I will make it less annoying with a map in game, teleportation and a lot more ways to heal ect...

One can never have too many death scenes.  :tongue: If I add achievements there will totally be one for getting all the deaths.

Seems someone fancies the mistress. Well she is kinda cute.
Might add her as an Easter egg...  :undecided:


JadeWizard

  • Carry On My Wayward Son
Re: Planning to make a game inspired by Horrorsoft.
« Reply #5 on: 06 May 2019, 21:07 »
"Oh, are we trying something dangerous now?"
- Planetfall's Floyd, after the player types "save"





The most memorable death screen, for me, is in Infocom's Infidel text adventure. You're exploring a pyramid, looking for treasure, and once you pick up the riches, the chamber collapses around you, burying you deep in the bowels of ancient architecture.
Then you get:

You have died.
You have won the game.

--

Personally, I rather like adventures where your actions can lose you the game. Never played the Horrorsoft games but game deaths were par for the course in King's Quest et al. Shrugged at today, yes, but still I liked the risk of screwing up. And back then we actually tried to find the most obscure deaths in games like Malcolm's Revenge and the odd Space Quest game.

If you're planning to make a game in that vein, I suggest you add an "undo" button to the death message. Basically, resetting the player to the action before they died so they can easily try something else, instead of having to load an earlier savegame. It takes out the frustration and still leaves in the death. Alternatively, make an option that allows players to use the undo, use it only a limited amount of times, or never use it at all- that way, everyone gets the kind of challenge they feel comfortable with.

Never heard of that game before I might check it out. Though I'm not too in to text adventures. Is that how that game ends? With you dying?

I know what your talking about. The Nancy drew games do that, oops ya died try again.  :wink:  Gotta make dying fun that's half the reason these games exist anyway. I'll think it over, it kinda sounds like a good idea.

JadeWizard

  • Carry On My Wayward Son
Re: Planning to make a game inspired by Horrorsoft.
« Reply #6 on: 06 May 2019, 21:11 »
Having one or two death-risk situations is ok imo too :)
A number of 90s adventures have those.

Didn't quite understand what you meant. Are you talking about deadly situations in general or something else? I might be over thinking this.  :confused:

Re: Planning to make a game inspired by Horrorsoft.
« Reply #7 on: 07 May 2019, 03:06 »
Having maps for the mazes is a good idea. The most important thing though would be for the game not to have any dead ends or cases where the players actions could make the game unwinnable.

KyriakosCH

  • Alien spiral maker
    • I can help with backgrounds
    • I can help with story design
    • I can help with translating
Re: Planning to make a game inspired by Horrorsoft.
« Reply #8 on: 07 May 2019, 04:26 »
Having one or two death-risk situations is ok imo too :)
A number of 90s adventures have those.

Didn't quite understand what you meant. Are you talking about deadly situations in general or something else? I might be over thinking this.  :confused:

Ability to die :)
Eg in Gabriel Knight 1 you can die in a few places, but it is still pretty rare. In Broken Sword1 you also can die in (at least) two places, but again it is rare. Likewise with Cruise for a Corpse and Lure of the Temptress.
In rpg dungeon stuff you can die everywhere ^_^
Envy can ruin a man; try the Chrysalis...

Ghost

  • AGS Baker
  • Here, I light candles.
    • Ghost worked on a game that won an AGS Award!
    •  
    • Ghost worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Re: Planning to make a game inspired by Horrorsoft.
« Reply #9 on: 07 May 2019, 10:33 »
Never heard of that game before I might check it out. Though I'm not too in to text adventures. Is that how that game ends? With you dying?

Even better, that is how you WIN the game :) But yes, that is the end.

Mandle

  • NO PIXEL LEFT BEHIND!!!
    • Mandle worked on a game that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Re: Planning to make a game inspired by Horrorsoft.
« Reply #10 on: 07 May 2019, 17:00 »
I was so entranced with the Elvira Horrorsoft game set in the small British village as a kid, but I couldn't get very far. I remember I did manage to kill the witch after much trial and error but the interactions to move the game forward were ridiculously impossible to find. I've watched walkthroughs and thought "NO WAY!!!" when seeing how far the "read-the-game-makers-minds" thing goes with this game.

The great positive things for me was the way time moved forward and events happened on schedule, like the pub closing and of course the traffic accident outside etc.

This is what amazed me and what I wanted more of, as it was groundbreaking gameplay at that time and really made the town feel alive when it happened.