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being in the dark will hurt you


Stroam
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In the playstyle Wilderness Survival, it states that being in the dark will hurt the player. I think the original intent was for the player to take damage when being in the dark but I have a what I think is a more interesting approach. This approach is the introduction of a sanity meter for the Wilderness Survival playstyle.

This meter is affected by a number of things, not just darkness. Around it will start to drop around monsters, being in the dark, low on health, going too long without sleep, and other stressful situations(modifiable list). The meter will slowly go back up in the sun with adequate rest, food, drink, and no current stressors. As this meter drops the player gains some benefits and downsides. The player will deal more damage and move faster but at the cost of increased rates of hunger and thirst. As the bar drops lower and lower the player is less able to handle stressors and their cost goes up. This means the bar will deplete more rapidly when it's low than when it's full making the beserker like benefits risky.

When the meter hits zero a wave of calm washes over the player as their mind snaps and rapidly changes their outlook fully restoring the bar... and something negative happens. It's a short-term/temporary effect such as a debuff, loss of character control(Can't stop running, won't jump, can't move or attack), etc and a long-term/permanent effect. Permanent effects include a decrease to the sanity bar, a psychosis effect such as seeing or hearing things that aren't there or not seeing and hearing things that are(I.E. chests, ores, mobs, voices in your head), seeing things for as they truly are(use different models, players looking like drifters, etc), something becoming a new source of stress such as carrots, certain stressors becoming more intense, food and thirst bars becoming unreliable, etc(modifiable list). These effects are chosen completely at random.

Overall I think this would add much more interesting gameplay than simple health loss. Might also be more fun to code up different effects. I think @Luk could even incorporate story elements into such a mechanic. Maybe there's an entity you only see during psychosis but it can still do real harm or a mob that's invisible unless you are insane. Maybe being insane can reveal more lore or distort it. What was a story about starving to death now has them battling a serpent creature. I'd love anything like that.

Edited by Stroam
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That's surprisingly similar to ideas we've thrown around internally regarding this mechanic. Yeah, we'd eventually like to make some sort of sanity mechanic that incorporates some of the things you're talking about. And I've already planned the story to work in concert with that. It's just a matter of figuring out the details and implementing it. So look forward to it! Your wish will more or less be granted I hope. 

Some things I'm considering in regards to this:  We've thought about loss of character control before, but I'm pretty sure that would be incredibly frustrating to play with. I definitely want a solution that's better than Don't Starve's darkness/sanity mechanic (although other team members like that mechanic >.>). But yeah, it still serves as good inspiration. Between that, Darkest Dungeon, and Bloodborne I think there are some interesting ideas that can be improved upon. However, first and foremost it should work well in a voxel environment. 

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Maybe make some kinds of "Fear of the Dark" reaction such as Paranoia which expresses itself through ghost sounds behind the back or maybe flickering shadows/ illusions in the field of view.

Just found the same thing in Stroam´s Text, take it as if Ive never said anything >-<

Edited by Telem
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9 hours ago, Luk said:

That's surprisingly similar to ideas we've thrown around internally regarding this mechanic. ...

 

Fancy that. Well, that's awesome!

You may have heard of such IRL moments where people freaked out and were not in full control of themselves at that moment (couldn't stop running, swinging frantically, froze, etc). I myself have been in such a traumatic event where for a moment I forgot how to breathe for a bit and almost passed out. I have also seen many individuals freeze in response to stressful events(a guy running at them with a chainsaw in a haunted corn maze, about to give a public speech, etc.)

While the loss of an aspect of character control could being frustrating, a bit of frustration is not always bad. If it's for common tasks such as inventory management then it's most likely bad but for events that you know will be difficult, it isn't if it can be compensated for. I don't think all the controls should be locked, just some ability is disabled(i.e. sprinting, jumping, etc) or you can't stop your character from doing some action(running backways, can't stop sprinting, attacking as fast as possible over and over, etc). That way it's more like you are telling your body to do something and it's just not responding or only working by reflex at that moment. You can still have most of the control but now you have to work with a temporary disability.

Edited by Stroam
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I agree from a purely narrative standpoint, it would be cool to make players lose control, and I'm certainly aware it happens in real life. However the disconnect between player and avatar can lead to problems when you take away control. When you lose control in real life, you generally have bigger things to worry about. The player is not caught up in the same fear that the avatar is, so they can't totally empathize with the lack of abilities. This is where it can be frustrating, because they'll know what they want to do but they won't be able to do it. On top of that, there's breaking the suspension of disbelief that comes from changing player controls on the fly. The goal of that fear would be to grip the player and keep them in the moment, but when they have to fumble around trying to figure out their controls, that can take them out of the moment.

I do agree that frustration is not necessarily a bad thing, though. It's just quite difficult to use well. I think games have a long way to go on that. At times it reminds me of dissonance in music theory. As though we're still in the Classical era trying to figure out perfect design. I really enjoyed Bennett Foddy's thoughts on the matter in Getting Over It.

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Some questions:
When you talk about darkness, how black is that? Are we talking about the complete darkness, like my monitor is off? Or do you want to have grades of darkness with different consequences?

As long as I have a torch in my hand do I need to worry about darkness?

Back to the darkness level! Is it your idea to have a complete darkness? If that is the case messing with the player controls is unnecessary. If there is no way for me to see where I am going, 

Better than wolves had a darkness system, that added a level of difficulty to the game, but to be honest, it was only relevant for the starting player, especially on the first night.

The player creates a world, the first night he tries to hide in a hole from all the mobs. for some reason, most of the times inexperience, this player does not have access to fire yet. As soon as he closes the hole, the darkness starts to affect and either the player dies from the darkness hurting or he tries to break free and gets killed by mobs. 
Player rage quits, creates a new world and never again will be caught without fire. 
Understand that I am not talking against the idea, just giving some feedback of the system as I am understanding and hoping for a better explanation on how it could be implemented in an immersive way.  

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1 hour ago, Luk said:

The goal of that fear would be to grip the player and keep them in the moment, but when they have to fumble around trying to figure out their controls, that can take them out of the moment.

Maybe some type of jump scare(control loss scenario) which is followed/accompanied by a ghastly sound like whispering could do the trick in terms of atmosphere. If such a thing is well done it totally gives you goosebumps over the whole back which fits the paranoia in a dark environment. 

Some kind of "Shadowplay" could also be quite nice if the torches project some kind of Devil on the Wall.

E.g. You play VS on an evening its dark in the room and you are exploring a dark cave with a torch in hand. Suddenly you start hearing low voices(might be ghosts in the ruins you often find) you start looking for the source of the voices(maybe they indicate a specific creep) and the moment you turn to a specific point there is suddenly a black hand directly on your screen.( Or maybe large Violet/Yellow eyes staring at you).

Not to mention since I read the thread I have an earworm of the Iron Maiden Classic "Fear of the Dark" which describes the kind of feel darkness gives quite accurately.

Edited by Telem
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11 minutes ago, Telem said:

Maybe some type of jump scare which is followed/accompanied by a ghastly sound like whispering could do the trick in terms of atmosphere. If such a thing is well done it totally gives you goosebumps over the whole back which fits the paranoia in a dark environment. 

Anything but jumps cares, please. They're really cheap, and rely on shock value rather than making you actually afraid and uncomfortable.

Rosemary's Baby and The Thing didn't rely on those, and the atmosphere was solid. 

Alien, my all time favorite movie, uses a few jump scares, but the difference is that the movie is otherwise good and the scenes are well executed so they add to the tension, like when Dallas gets killed, or Kane gets facehugged.

Edited by Balduranne
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@tony Liberatto since gamma can be changed to see in complete darkness I'm not talking about darkness as in a color but darkness as zero light in VS. Carrying a torch would keep you safe as long as it's held in your hand. 

Thanks for that bit on better than wolves. I didn't know it had a feature like that. I started MC around 1.6.4 and Better than wolves is a mod I've heard about but haven't actually played with.

@Telem stop suggesting things. You are scaring me.

31 minutes ago, Balduranne said:

Anything but jumps cares, please. They're really cheap, and rely on shock value rather than making you actually afraid and uncomfortable.

Rosemary's Baby and The Thing didn't rely on those, and the atmosphere was solid. 

I don't know what you are talking about but I don't like it. 

This is a thread about the effects and consequences of being in the dark in Wilderness Survival Mode. Not horror elements that could be added in the game. Just so we are clear on this I'm not advocating that horror should be used in VS. Fear of the unknown and unknowable sure. Jump scares, extremely creepy creatures, the undead, and gore are all things I think should be left out of VS unless it's for a very good reason, is used extremely lightly, and is talked about in a different thread.

Edited by Stroam
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2 minutes ago, Stroam said:

I don't know what you are talking about but I don't like it. 

This is a thread about the effects and consequences of being in the dark in Wilderness Survival Mode. Not horror elements that could be added in the game. Just so we are clear on this I'm not advocating that horror should be used in VS. Fear of the unknown and unknowable sure. Jump scares, extremely creepy creatures, the undead, and gore are all things I think should be left out of VS unless it's for a very good reason, is used extremely lightly, and is talked about in a different thread.

Uh, the point I was making is that I don't want jump scares in the game if it's going to use horror elements like Telem mentioned. Plus, You're the one who said:

On 7/9/2018 at 5:39 AM, Stroam said:

(use different more horrifying models, players looking like drifters, etc)

...alongside wanting to include sanity mechanics and a state of psychosis, that sound like like something out of a survival horror game,  so maybe make up your mind there. Sheesh. 

 

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17 minutes ago, Stroam said:

@Telem stop suggesting things. You are scaring me.

Such things are part of the Human psyche since the dark also symbols the unknown and the unknown is scary.

I might ve been a bit specific but I can´t imagine any other reason why you should lose control than getting shocked/scared by some kind of prank your mind is playing you.

Also I didnt say that it should include any undead or gore, the example was just some kind of "free running mind lost in his own fantasy".

 

And most fears in the dark in the wild that I can think about are kind of like "please dont let me meet with a wild animal that´s so hungry that it will hurt me", getting lost,  beeing anxious about loneliness.

 

Not to mention that a sanity system is quite hardcore to begin with.

Oh and please dont mention anything like things in "Rim World" where not eating at a table will turn you either into a pyromaniac that burns everything burnable or into a psycho that tries to kill all his mates.

Edited by Telem
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7 minutes ago, Balduranne said:

Plus, You're the one who said:

Fixed.
A sanity system is hardcore and a state of physcocis can be elements of survival horror games but I mean more like how it's used in Senua's sacrifice and not the likes of which you'd find in a resident evil game or Dante's Inferno. No creepy undead things or blobs of flesh and teeth or creepy dolls, etc. This is going to be mainly a mechanic for early game when you don't have many resources, unprepared and away from the base, and situations you find yourself low on health. The goal is to make the player use light sources whenever it's dark, consider combat and death more carefully, and potentially tie into lore.

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7 hours ago, Stroam said:

a state of physcocis can be elements of survival horror games but I mean more like how it's used in Senua's sacrifice

I must admit I ve never played the game but from the reviews I read I get the simulation of a psychosis with the following symptoms:

- Hypervigilance ( character gets kind of a non controllable movement boost caused by some kind of fear or premonition)

- Visual and Auditory Hallucinations that range from mundane to horrifying existences (which could be expressed through a random model change in mobs next to him?)

- Agitation

- Flashbacks (Why am I back at - add location - ?)

- Intrusive thoughts (might make sense with lore since specific things can resurface through it)

- Delusions

All in all it is quite heavy to stomach and might be a feasible expansion to hardcore survival.

If its just about making the player use more lighting in normal survival  making animals fear fire/torches, weaken drifter (I can imagine them beeing a lot stronger than now) in a specific light level or make them unable to walk into real bright environments.

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I guess to me this 'fear the dark' thing seems like a poor match for this game.  Like it's being shoehorned into a resource-gathering/exploration game. To differentiate it from minecraft I guess?  Don't starve does it successfully, but with an off-the-wall world of strange creatures and fantasy.   It works well there, and is used to gather some unusual resources.   In the context of VS, which from what I've seen so far is mostly 'realistic' with some steam punk mechanical stuff.   Which leads to flailing around for effects because the game has set itself the goal of avoiding 'fantasy'.   

Nothing described here is of any interest to me at all, and I hope its way, way, way down the line of things to be added to the game, because there's a million other things that would be far more interesting and fun to have.  And unless it adds more than annoyance to the game, I'll take advantage of the first mod I can get to disable it.

Edited by redram
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8 hours ago, redram said:

Nothing described here is of any interest to me at all, and I hope its way, way, way down the line of things to be added to the game, because there's a million other things that would be far more interesting and fun to have.  And unless it adds more than annoyance to the game, I'll take advantage of the first mod I can get to disable it.

1

I understand this is a feature to be added to the hardcore version of the game. So it would be a choice of the player to use.

But I have to agree with @redram  , in that I hope the developers do not waste time in this until we have the survival mode complete. There are just too many other things that are sorely need before anyone should even think about working on this.
Again, not against, especially because I never play hardcore, but think others should be free to do it.

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