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Full Version: Things that would have made Amnesia scarier
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I registered an account here just to post in this thread, haha. Great game so far. I am not done with the game yet so I apologize if I mention something that will occur later on in the game, by chance.

In no particular order, this is what I would have liked to see:

1. Greater/different impacts to insanity. The wall-warping and sound effects are cool, but eventually I tuned them out because I know they meant nothing. I feel like insanity has to have a larger factor of unpredictability to it. The game is already full of occasional wall shakes, dust bursts, noises, etc, but what would have made me piss myself even harder would be hearing footsteps belonging to nobody or having shadows of monsters appear on walls in front of me (only to have nothing behind me). Seeing people spying on me and then slithering away into the shadows.

2. Also extending the insanity idea, an intense scene might be an area devoid of light and torches where you inevitably go insane and start tripping/falling -- only to hear something lumbering towards you off in the distance with increasingly rapid footsteps.

3. I also second the idea of having a long hallway with a visible monster at one ending chasing after you while you have to get your shit together in order to solve a puzzle to ensure you get out alive in time.

4. Scenes where we have to hide... but with fewer options than we intuit. Like the scene where we have to hide in the closet, I imagined a scene where we might have a closet to hide in, a desk to use as cover, a shelf we could hide behind, etc. But perhaps the monster will *actually check* one or two of these otherwise reasonable hiding spots. Perhaps I could be hiding behind a shelf, spying on the monster to see when it's safe -- only to have something unexpected appear from behind/the side, completely killing my sense of security -- forcing me to rethink my hiding place.

5. A scene of total darkness where you have to make your way around the room by the sound of objects and occasional tinges of light. Hearing shuffles or growls would work well here, too -- especially if this scene were otherwise completely silent (perhaps with the sound of light rain on the roof). For an added scare, when the lights come on, you might find yourself in a truly disturbing room (either blood all over the walls or monsters everywhere, etc).

6. Mirrors can also provide for some pretty nasty scares. Either seeing things that aren't behind you (or seeing things that are... actually in front of you coming out of the mirror). Imagine seeing a monster behind you only to turn around, see nothing, and get completely torn apart by the monster you thought was a reflection.

7. I second the idea of having a chained monster next to an item you need to snag.

8. I can't count the number of times I expected something to jump out from inside a closet or from within a drawer or underneath a pile or otherwise innocuous rubble/furniture.

9. Doors opening/closing by themselves (either silently or not) or leaving a fairly clean room only to come back and notice evidence that someone has just been there.

10. I would have liked to actually experience some of the torture scenes (even in in brief flashes). While the sound of the tortures were sketchy, they didn't necessarily scare or disturb me in ways that they could have -- mainly because I knew they were audio memories that would end soon. The first scene to Penumbra: Black Plague was really disturbing because you could hear someone *getting stabbed right next door to you in realtime* -- and you could later visit that room and see the aftermath. Having more elements like this would be great.

11. Truly unexpected things out of nowhere when you interact with something in the environment that is expected to react a certain way. There was one scene in Doom 3 that made me lose my lunch:

12. I think there are too many "collect item/do something, monster appears" sequences. For once I'd like to run around an otherwise quiet corner to find myself staring down something chasing after me relentlessly (or to have it standing right smack in front of me).

13. Deja vu moments where we enter the same room/hallway twice. This was also done in an early scene in Black Plague, and I thought it was decently confusing/disturbing. "Didn't I just see this? Did I backtrack without noticing? Wasn't I going forward?"

14. Scare focusing. It's one thing to see a creature far off in the distance while we're behind the safety of an iron gate, but it's another thing to find that something else much closer to home is happening while we're busy focusing on something scary in the distance. "Eesh, that's scary... good thing I'm OHH MY GODDD"

15. One part that scared me a lot that I would have liked to see more of was something that happened in the opening to the Storage level. A monster appeared and proceeded to walk directly through a dark entrance into the next room... but this was an entrance I needed to enter, myself.
Remember the Choir entrance???? Using the effect where you walk through and nothing's there but you turn around and "things" have appeared just behind you. Pretty scary stuff.

(I don't know how to use spoilers yet so... sorry for being vague.)
Doors mysteriously swinging open or blowing open in the wind starts to get a bit dull eventually. How about, about halfway through the game, you enter a room and see a door mysteriously blow open as usual. Then a second or two later, after you've convinced yourself that it's nothing, have a servant grunt/brute walk out of the doorway and look at Daniel. It'd make you think twice before dismissing a mysteriously opened door in the future.

This encounter should only be done once in-game.
(01-04-2011, 08:35 PM)MrRubix Wrote: [ -> ]8. I can't count the number of times I expected something to jump out from inside a closet or from within a drawer or underneath a pile or otherwise innocuous rubble/furniture.

I really liked the fact that you were constantly expecting something to lash out at you and it just about never happened. It constantly kept you on your toes, and by the time you've gone numb to these things something actually happened. It was a great balance imo.

(01-04-2011, 08:35 PM)MrRubix Wrote: [ -> ]13. Deja vu moments where we enter the same room/hallway twice. This was also done in an early scene in Black Plague, and I thought it was decently confusing/disturbing. "Didn't I just see this? Did I backtrack without noticing? Wasn't I going forward?"

Things that make you doubt your own perceptions are indeed the scariest things that I know of. There is nothing more frightening then not being able to trust your own eyes / ears / mind, and that's why impossible paradoxes, things that defy the laws of gravity or just things that can not possibly happen are utterly terrifying if implanted correctly. The best way is if it's implanted in a not so obvious way so that there's not just a "The protagonist is going crazy", but more a question of or "Did I just imagine that happening?" or "Didn't there use to be five people in this picture?". You should not only doubt the protagonists perceptions, but your own as well.
I think they should have exploited the woman more. You know, the woman who's screaming in the trailer but not much in the actual game. It really tugs at a guy's heart-strings to listen to a woman suffer... could ratchet up the tension even more.
I was expecting a little more enemy variety. I was crossing my fingers for a few more primary monsters. I think having a mirrored female gatherer would of been pretty frighting. Oh, and more numerous and elaborate chase sequences would of amped the tension!
I'd like to build on a few ideas I read in this thread.

Having a monster peek through the door to try to see you would be unnerving, but it could be even better. You're in the prisons, and a monster starts chasing you. If you go into a room with a wooden door, it bashes it down and kills you. However, there's a metal door that you can close and lock behind you. The monster bangs and claws at the door to no effect, and then tries pushing his claws through the grate. No luck.

So the player watches as the monster walks into the dark cell across the hall, and stops moving. It is now invisible, except for two tiny spots of light that mark its eyes as it watches your cell door, waiting for you to open it. Occasionally the dots move, blink in and out of sight, then disappear altogether. After a few seconds for the player to feel safe, the dots appear again, peeking around the corner as if playing hide and seek. If the player rustles the door in any way, the monster leaps out and slams into the door, trying to gut the player again. After failing this time, it walks away for real.

Would have to be a scripted event, but goddamn if it wouldn't wet a few pants.

Second one: The chained monster with the loot item near him, then you have to escape before he frees himself. Wonderful stuff, it'd be even better for a "time attack" kind of event. The monster's chains are loosened by the collapse, and with a loud "ping" he frees one arm. Player starts throwing rocks around trying to clear the exit, while monster rips at restraints. Each time he gets one loose, there's another ping and the music gets more intense. The debris should be thick enough so that the player can't remove it all before all but one restraint is removed, and more often than not the monster gets free just as the last rock is moved.

So scary it's delicious.
I really like the restraint idea I keep hearing about. But in the context of the game Amnesia, I don't see it happening ever. It's the Shadow, after all. There is no force that can capture it. So here's how I see the scene going down;

Daniel approaches a door with a window in it. He sees a few things; 1) a loot item OR an item to an earlier puzzle. 2) A door to an unknown part of the area. 3) The Grunt (the one that can see) Shadow.

The atmosphere is tense as usual, the door is unlocked, and the Shadow is hungry for flesh. The cling is held by rotting supports, and Daniel has a tiny bit of black powder. Daniel has a chance to be bold here. The puzzle works as follows;

1) Daniel sets powder, and ignites it. The blast is small enough to have adverse effects on the support system in the area, and cases an all-out-cave in in the local area. When the dust settles, Daniel gains entrance into the next room where-

2) The Shadow lays pinned under rubble, growling and shrieking VERY unnerving things. It seems pinned, though upset.

3) Daniel collects the item/flips the switch, and

4) The monster vanishes!

This next part can happen one of two ways-
5a) Daniel backtracks through the door he came in from, with the explosive collapse, since he knows this way is the way to the puzzle now that he has the puzzle piece. He takes a corner and BANG!! It's the Shadow! Daniel has to now spin around and blitz his way back though the collapsed room through the unknown door (which may be as little as a winding hall way ending in a door that was barred on this side leading to the area he needs to be for this puzzle)!


5b) Daniel takes the unknown door, and OMGWTFHOLYCRAP It's the Shadow! Like 5a, only Daniel has to blitz the way he caved in, dodging all the rubble he helped make, which serves to block his path now! He can use some of it to hinder the shadows chase, until he finds a place to hide.

6) Solve puzzle, advance.
Grunts and Brutes aren't the Shadow, you know. They're Alexander's servants. And the Shadow can kill them (hinting at the room with "Shadowmeat" and a dead servant).
Whatever. The point remains, WHO is going to strap one of those beasts in? No one.
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