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Cancelled or Suspended Projects => WOD MMO General Discussion => Topic started by: Radical21 on March 29, 2013, 05:17:32 pm

Title: What is WoDish fear?
Post by: Radical21 on March 29, 2013, 05:17:32 pm
In the other thread started by Valamyr claudia touched on an interesting subject, none of the pieces really inspire fear and horror

and after a while of playing WoD I noticed that many Storytellers or Player gravitate to tie fear to something that is not frightening in itself or unrelated:
- Grotesque / Disgust.
- BSDM or Rape.
- Mutilated organs and blood.

So what defines fear in WoD? Would you laugh or find yourself running to the nearest exit when you see a Nosferatu pick his nose? or do you become deeply horrified when the Storyteller describes an NPC that ties down your character and seek to chop his/her gentiles with sharp scissors?

Are direct visual descriptions even required to inspire fear?
Title: Re: What is WoDish fear?
Post by: Claudia Vonigner on March 29, 2013, 05:54:11 pm
I go with the angst, the horror. Kindred are creatures of passion, confronted by death every single time, by the fear of killing each time they are thirsty, and they are ALWAYS thirsty. I go with tension, betrayal, hopelessness, narrow places, overbearing, and choices that are always bad choices anyway, some are just a little less sucky. I will show the horror of the past, show them that even the kindest most humane of the characters is racist, that some are just plain nazis, some are sexist assholes, and they are all credible and still likable despite most horrific flaws.

This is what I can use :

(http://fc02.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2012/283/c/a/unfinished_story_ii_by_mala_lesbia-d5hddab.jpg)
(http://fc06.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2012/244/0/4/he_is_darkness____by_mala_lesbia-d5d5cei.jpg)

As well as two Wraith Books : Atlanta By Night (Necropolis Atlanta) and the Shoah.

Title: Re: What is WoDish fear?
Post by: Rick Gentle on March 29, 2013, 06:18:01 pm
The byword of the World of Darkness is "horror", which to me means the "horrible" as well as outright terrifying. This means that things like rape and mutilation - while maybe not "scary" for we who are removed from the direct personal experience of it - are still valid ways to showcase the setting. As far as examples of actual fear/terror go, I think most of the community will agree with me that the scariest parts of VTM - Bloodlines are the Ocean House Hotel, the Abandoned Hospital, and some locations that have headrunners/the quick little fleshcrafted beasties.

In the Ocean House Hotel and Abandoned Hospital, I think the fear arises from two major sources: the things you can't see or act upon, and the glimpses of those things. With the first, it's the same gimmick you see in a lot of "survival horror" games - your sense of fear arises from your sense of helplessness because there is no enemy to fight, or worse, you don't have a weapon to fight an enemy with. There's nothing you can do against either ghost, and things act upon you (such as having vases thrown at you) that you cannot act against in turn.

(Before Wesp5 broke - I mean, tweaked - the werewolf, it's the same kind of fear new players have for it - it's unstoppable. Even an abstracted fear for losing progress on your min/maxed character to a powerful opponent is still fear. You may not care that there's a huge hairy monster about to eviscerate you and send you to your own personal hell, but you probably care that you'll have to roll a new character. This is also the cause of much of the tension and frustration of the "You Only Die Once a Night"/Hollywood zombie quest. It's almost impossible to stem the tide, and if you don't stem the tide, You Lose.)

Now, these throwing-of-the-vases and trick-doors-opening might turn into a circus-like funhouse if it wasn't for the fact that you see evidence of the things you can't hurt/act upon. The ghosts pop up suddenly and disappear just as suddenly, causing surprise and mystery, at least in the sense of "OMG, what the hell was THAT?!" When you first see the lady-ghost in the basement, it's probably a question of curiosity ("Where did she go? What was she running from?") or caution (when I first played the Ocean House Hotel, I froze right where I was when she ran by, then slooooooowly peeked around the corner from the direction she came. There was nothing there, but the Nothing That Was There is what made my hair stand on end.) Either way, you have to continue on to make any sense of what just happened.

In the Abandoned Hospital, there's actually nothing that can even hurt your character, but the suspense built up by Simon Milligan puts our character on edge for the whole descent into the dark depths of the Hospital, which is full of blind corners and non-linear pathways. This suspense continues as we see glimpses of Pisha grabbing the TV crew and dragging them kicking and screaming into the darkness - only we don't actually SEE Pisha until she rips the heart out of the last unfortunate guy. Pscyhologically, darkness is still frightening to most people on the planet if for no other reason than we can't see. Blind corners mean anything could pop out from the other side and attack us - but nothing does. There are no straight hallways that give us clear lines of sight - also psychologically, straightness and order tend to be more comforting to more people than twistedness and randomness. (Fleshy, organic bits are a staple of many horror games, such as the Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth and Amnesia: The Dark Descent.) Organic fleshy bits and twistedness are alien and unnatural to the urbanite human. As with the Ocean House Hotel, the fact that nothing attacks us simply makes us think that something Really Bad must be coming around the next corner. Traditionally, "down" is also seen as bad. Notice that in most dungeons in most games, you go down. (For example, the Abandoned Hospital, the Crackhouse [Bishop Vick's place], the Hotel Hallowbrook, and a lot of the dungeons in VTM - Redemption.)

The headrunners are pure shock value. Don't underestimate the power of a cheap thrill of fear. Another instant of "OMG What was THAT?!" is one more instant than you had otherwise. Even if you're expecting it, a sudden loud noise and rapid movement tweaks our hindbrain like nothing else. The headrunners are quick, hard to hit, and god damn them, but they deal aggravated damage! They have a human face - but it's a twisted, grotesque, screaming thing - but they have no body. They do not conform to "a human". They are unnatural and alien - and perhaps the worst part is that they USED to be human, but Something Else changed them. Their loud, inhuman screeches and sneaky pitter-patter just makes us dread the moment when we have to face them visually. Sensory stimulation is a key part of terror - our senses are how we perceive the world, and if we perceive something "off" or Not As It's Supposed To Be, we get creeped out. One of my favorite "creepy" moments would be to have a late-night diner sign that reads "KIDS EAT FREE".

KIDS EAT FREE. KIDS EAT FREE. KIDS EAT FREE. EAT KIDS FREE. KIDS EAT FREE. KIDS EAT FREE.

The double-take is a great way to build up the suspense and sense of something not being right. It makes the character question their perceptions and increases the mystery. "Did I see that? Was there something there to be seen? If there was something there, where the hell did it go?"

I think that one of the good ways to inspire horror and terror in players (though I would advise strict moderation - you don't want to send your players away with shock, fear, and disgust. This is a game, after all) is to change up how these horrible and terrible things happen. If we traditionally fear the darkness, make something terrible happen in the "safe" and "happy" light places. Hit the characters at home, where they should feel secure and in control. Though it's often bad Storytelling practice, you could take control of the situation away from the characters and put it in the hands of some force that is inimical to them. One of the lines that really sticks with me from a Warhammer 40K novel goes something like "rapes committed in the light". Whereas normally rape is thought of something that happens "to other people" in "dark places" because the villain needs to hide the act, simply changing the light level of the scene drastically increases its impact as something horrible. Committing rape in the light means that the villain doesn't want/need to hide the crime; maybe they're so powerful that they don't fear the consequences, which can be a scary thought in its own right. (This is also a scene in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. The woman is being raped, and is crying out for help, but everyone around her just laughs and thinks it's part of the entertainment.) The villains I personally hate the most are the ones who Get Away With It.

Now, as a caveat to all of the above, none of this is going to be any help if you're playing with somebody who doesn't use their imagination. Willing suspension of disbelief and empathy with your player-character is key to enjoyment (or at least immersion) in the setting. A lot of horrible things are easier to inflict on mortals than they are vampires, werewolves, or other supernaturals. Blood isn't exactly a scary thing to vampires anymore - not only do they drink it to survive, they are not subject to massive blood loss like normal humans are. Throwing blood at a vampire PC and expecting them to be horrified is like throwing a prime-rib dinner at a human and expecting them to be horrified. I think horror and terror lose a lot of their impact when Storytelling is done through a chat medium like an instant-messaging service or a forum thread - but that makes it all the more important for players to get into it. Most of these concepts of terror and horror are a lot easier to get across if you're meeting in person, where the Storyteller can simply shout out "BANG!" if he needs to get across something sudden and loud. If the scene is going well, I bet at least a couple people will jump. As a final note, there is a very good reason why Dungeon Masters, Game Masters, Storytellers, etc, frequently say "You" instead of "Your player-character", and that reason is to create empathy and a sense of immediacy and connection with the scene.

And if a Nossie was picking his nose... Whether I'd laugh or run away would depend on what he pulls out.
Title: Re: What is WoDish fear?
Post by: Voraxith on March 30, 2013, 10:10:23 am
I had to make an account just to reply to this with my own thoughts on the subject.

I agree that anymore, no one really gets what was so horrifying about the World of Darkness, specifically Vampire: the Masquerade.    It's not monsters and blood and all that - it's becoming a monster.  The fact that, no matter how good you are or how badass you become, you are one of the damned, and there is no hope.  I've met so many people who refuse to play VtM simply because they do understand the horror of the game, yet most of those who claim to love the game don't even get it.  Because no matter what you accomplish in the game, no matter how good a story you tell, no matter how many points you spend, no matter how well you roll, there is always the hunger and the Beast.
Title: Re: What is WoDish fear?
Post by: Radical21 on March 30, 2013, 03:01:26 pm
there is always the hunger and the Beast.

I read this comment and the one in the feeding thread and I hope you do realize that a vampire is more than a zombie with fangs, if it was that you would be better served playing Zombie: The Hunger.

One can't think up Machiavellian plots on an empty stomach and they can't contemplate eating an ancient vampire in the future if all they can think of is eating something now now now.

The beast is more than about hunger otherwise it wouldn't be called a Beast: it is by great deal about control of one's self and the surroundings .

The Hunger for blood is there to ensure that no matter where the vampire is they are always the wolf living among a herd of sheep and no matter how much they will try there will always be a flux between them and other wolves or the sheep police because like caine they were cursed to be hated and outcast.
Title: Re: What is WoDish fear?
Post by: Stephen_Webb on March 30, 2013, 11:11:54 pm
Horror from a standpoint of emotional jolting is how it is best driven home - the unthinkable, the twisted, the unexpected - I think horror is best described not as agony, prolonged suffering, or grotesqueness, but rather from the anticipation of the unknown after one has experienced something truly shocking. I often relate to a story of being a child and for the very first time, having seen this present all nicely wrapped, and upon opening it...I saw a box, a rather colorful one with a clown on it...the excitement was palpable, I quickly open the box to see it had a crank to wind, and I wound it up...and wound it till it would wind no more...then a delightful song played...the common jack-in-the-box tune. Nice. Then BOOM! This monstrosity of a clown on a spring shot out and hit me in the face...nice huh? Well, to this day there is something eerie about that tune, the jack in the box one, and clowns, and ice cream trucks with clowns and the jack in the box tune...to me, the experience of shock and the unexpected totally shaking your world is what people remember for years...Good story tellers know how to jolt their players by always alluding to what might be around that next corner, what lies just beneath the surface - what is there? or what could be there? Being a vampire, means being afraid. Deathly afraid. The hunger as dutifully noted by Radical, has little to nothing to do with personal fear -our vampires are what they are because of a power far greater than they has made it so -- they can not explain it, it is unknown to them and as such, it is an eternity of living in fear, like impending doom hovering above them - they know that while they exist they are only wracking up points against themselves in the eyes of their tormentor - it is hard to exist like this, but they fear even more meeting that tormentor - final death in Sanguine Nights is not non-existence as it is in WoD, ashes to ashes went the way of the dodo bird, instead another eternity awaits...
Title: Re: What is WoDish fear?
Post by: Valamyr on March 31, 2013, 08:34:27 am
Quote
- Grotesque / Disgust.
- BSDM or Rape.
- Mutilated organs and blood.

If none of these inspire you any fear, nervousness or adrenaline, I think you may be a bit too jaded to be find any video game scary. As Claudia pointed out, a ST has many tools in his arsenal, but only so many carry well to a sandbox WOD online game.

If we look at Bloodlines, which I thought was plenty scary and WODish, the most disturbing bits were based on things like that (disgusting Tzimisce creations, gory Pisha haven, etc) there was little sexual violence but bits implied it to good effect.

In the WOD, I expect this kind of theme and plot elements to be used again. There'll of course be one new aspect to consider; other players. If they follow through with their initial plans, they'll give us incentives to be wary of other players, and for a certain kind of player, this may be more effective than gore and screams.
Title: Re: What is WoDish fear?
Post by: Radical21 on March 31, 2013, 04:30:10 pm
Quote
- Grotesque / Disgust.
- BSDM or Rape.
- Mutilated organs and blood.

If none of these inspire you any fear, nervousness or adrenaline, I think you may be a bit too jaded to be find any video game scary.

Maybe I think of the above as more shocking than scary.
 but like Rick mentioned the Ocean house hotel was scary to me on the other hand.
Or going to the dentist where I don't know what will happen, maybe nothing, maybe a whole dreadful operation, maybe end up with metal in my teeth and followed by mercury poisoning and screwed up teeth etc, you never know.(though yeah when I list all possiblities and demystify it it is less scary)

Hopefully some designer is looking at this discussion and is getting more understanding and inspiration as well as the different Points of view players have.
Title: Re: What is WoDish fear?
Post by: Rick Gentle on April 01, 2013, 02:07:16 am
Don't even f*cking TALK about going to the dentist, man.
We're talking about a storytelling game of personal horror, here, not REAL LIFE personal horror!

 :justabite:
Title: Re: What is WoDish fear?
Post by: Radical21 on April 01, 2013, 02:19:18 am
ya World of living darkness.
Having some hair on your shoulder is totally worth the healing factor when you think about this stuff.
Title: Re: What is WoDish fear?
Post by: Valamyr on April 01, 2013, 09:17:42 am
I briefly dated a dentist. Dental floss nazi. "The gums will stop bleeding if you do it twice a day everyday" she kept saying, as she drove her little stringy improvised torture device deeper into the skin.
Title: Re: What is WoDish fear?
Post by: Claudia Vonigner on April 02, 2013, 10:30:13 am
That's only american dentists tho, in France it's not common or even positively recommended to floss >_<

But yeah scary shit that is.
Title: Re: What is WoDish fear?
Post by: Radical21 on April 02, 2013, 11:40:17 am
I briefly dated a dentist. Dental floss nazi. "The gums will stop bleeding if you do it twice a day everyday" she kept saying, as she drove her little stringy improvised torture device deeper into the skin.

She used to floss you? that is even more scary.(well not really but I can imagine being traumatized after a few times  :justabite:)
Title: Re: What is WoDish fear?
Post by: _username on April 02, 2013, 06:58:29 pm
She used to floss you? that is even more scary.(well not really but I can imagine being traumatized after a few times  :justabite:)

When I was a kid, I'm pretty sure I read a Goosebumps (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goosebumps) novel along those lines.  :chinscratch:
Title: Re: What is WoDish fear?
Post by: Rick Gentle on April 02, 2013, 09:14:04 pm
That would've been the scariest one R. L. Stine ever wrote.
Title: Re: What is WoDish fear?
Post by: Radical21 on April 02, 2013, 10:53:56 pm
I used to see Goosebumps novels in the school's library as a kid but I always picked other books cause the blurb made them sound kind of corny and there was no real chronological connection between books, if only I knew they had essential foreboding words about dating female dentists and flossing.
Title: Re: What is WoDish fear?
Post by: VampireBill on April 03, 2013, 07:43:02 am
I really liked your explanation, Rick, and the descriptions brought up a lot of nostalgia, ha.
In the same vein, I'm reminded of when I first played Quake (1) back when I was like... 14? The zombies creeped me out like nothing else, (and probably started my love affair with zombies, the Resident Evil games coming out later down the line) and how they did boiled down to 2 things. The sounds, and the manner in which you had to kill them. They moaned. And it was ghastly. When I heard it the dread would begin. When they saw you, the tenor of the moaning went up. Egads! And unlike most other zombies... these were actually ranged-attack monsters. They hurled slabs of their own rotting flesh at you, that made a sickening, wet, smacking noise. Now you had to locate them, they didn't have to be attached to you to attack. And worse yet, the only way to kill them was with explosives, rockets or grenades. If you shot them with anything else, they just got back up and started moaning again. And of course... if you used explosives at too close a range, you would hurt or even kill yourself.

The atmosphere really made Quake  for me, as it does in most other games (VTMB one of the best ever in this regard) and movies. The sky you got glimpses of was distinctly otherworldly. Most of the architecture (aside from the slipgate complex levels at the beginning of each episode) was gothic medieval, but labyrinthine and so... perverse, and the monsters fit that entirely. Definitely not of earth or the works of man. And the soundtrack.... well, the soundtrack (and all the sounds, I think) were done by... Trent Reznor. I don't think I need explain how awesomely foreboding an atmosphere his music can create.

Perhaps ironically, the higher difficulty levels in many ways actually made the game less scary, because they mostly just added *more* monsters, and made it more fast-paced: you can't take the time to soak in the atmosphere and get spooked out when you're running around guns blazing non-stop, heh. This happens in a lot of games, actually, and VTMB was no exception, though in its case more often the player actually made that decision.

Grout's mansion was incredibly atmospheric and creepy if you played a stealth-based character and tip-toed throughout the entire place, but if you played a brawler it could pretty much become another fast-paced action game. The second or third time I went to the Oceanside Hotel I decided to switch off my brain to the atmosphere and just try to bulldoze through it. This worked somewhat, but the layout still forces you to halt your progress and soak in what's happening around you from time to time. The zombies and the headrunners are a bit of a paradox because they are incredibly creepy because of what they are, how they sound, and how they pop out at you, but (at least as far as I was able to determine) they are unaffected by your stealth or even obfuscate, and thus force you to deal with them in an action game manner. The process of learning that was decidedly unnerving, however.
Title: Re: What is WoDish fear?
Post by: Ventrueloquist on April 03, 2013, 05:54:22 pm
That's only american dentists tho, in France it's not common or even positively recommended to floss >_<

But yeah scary shit that is.
In Sweden they tell you that interdental brushes are a good alternative and I think they're much easier to use and give just as good, if not better results. I don't know if people are misinterpreting anything here (did she really floss your teeth?), but I would never let anyone (except my dentist of course) stick their fingers/dental hygiene equipment in my mouth. 
Title: Re: What is WoDish fear?
Post by: Radical21 on April 03, 2013, 06:10:17 pm
I don't know if people are misinterpreting anything here (did she really floss your teeth?)

Probably misinterpreted ,I was just exaggerating for fun.
its interesting to know these views of French and Swedish views of flossing, here they sell both interdental brushes and floss but for some reason floss is more popular.

Sometimes I think Dentists might be recommending stuff because they get paid to do so by Colgate or Oral B etc as a marketing strategy.
Title: Re: What is WoDish fear?
Post by: Rick Gentle on April 03, 2013, 06:15:47 pm
Can we get off the topic of dentistry?   >.>

Obfuscate and stealth should work against headrunners in later levels - obviously Obfuscate is a lot more effective, though, if you can avoid getting run-into by the headrunners. Stealth is difficult, especially in the lower levels of the Nosferatu Sewers in Hollywood, because the headrunners patrol back and forth and seem to have much better senses than the average human NPC (which I guess makes sense, since the headrunners are so hyper and all). I can usually sneak by the bigger triform warghouls (the women-shaped ones), but I have to fight through the small packs of headrunners.

I think having to go slow and stealthy has a much bigger impact on appreciating the atmosphere, as VampireBill says. Not only do you have to slow down and look for threats, but you're already in a state of mind of "Please don't see me, please don't see me, please don't see me", which means you're on the defensive. There's a right balance to strike between sudden violence and suspense, and only a few games do it properly.

I also think it makes a difference if you fight in 1st- or 3rd-person. When I was young, I was really creeped out playing the original Doom because it was the first 1st-person shooter I had ever played. Those bullets and gobs of demon fire were coming at ME! In Unreal Tournament, whenever I got buzzed just above my character's head by a Ripper blade, my scalp would start to itch like crazy in empathy at the near-beheading. But once they introduced 3rd-person perspective, that particular anxiety went away, because I could clearly see the character I was playing on-screen, and didn't have the same level of personal investment in the character. 3rd-person perspective also gives you a better view of the environment - usually something like 135-180o, instead of the much-narrower 90-100o you get in 1st-person. That counts for a lot if you're fighting the right (or wrong!) kind of enemies or are forced to navigate through the right kind of environment.
Title: Re: What is WoDish fear?
Post by: Radical21 on April 03, 2013, 06:52:18 pm
Can we get off the topic of dentistry?   >.>

Obfuscate and stealth should work against headrunners in later levels - obviously Obfuscate is a lot more effective, though, if you can avoid getting run-into by the headrunners. Stealth is difficult, especially in the lower levels of the Nosferatu Sewers in Hollywood, because the headrunners patrol back and forth and seem to have much better senses than the average human NPC (which I guess makes sense, since the headrunners are so hyper and all). I can usually sneak by the bigger triform warghouls (the women-shaped ones), but I have to fight through the small packs of headrunners.

I think having to go slow and stealthy has a much bigger impact on appreciating the atmosphere, as VampireBill says. Not only do you have to slow down and look for threats, but you're already in a state of mind of "Please don't see me, please don't see me, please don't see me", which means you're on the defensive. There's a right balance to strike between sudden violence and suspense, and only a few games do it properly.

I also think it makes a difference if you fight in 1st- or 3rd-person. When I was young, I was really creeped out playing the original Doom because it was the first 1st-person shooter I had ever played. Those bullets and gobs of demon fire were coming at ME! In Unreal Tournament, whenever I got buzzed just above my character's head by a Ripper blade, my scalp would start to itch like crazy in empathy at the near-beheading. But once they introduced 3rd-person perspective, that particular anxiety went away, because I could clearly see the character I was playing on-screen, and didn't have the same level of personal investment in the character. 3rd-person perspective also gives you a better view of the environment - usually something like 135-180o, instead of the much-narrower 90-100o you get in 1st-person. That counts for a lot if you're fighting the right (or wrong!) kind of enemies or are forced to navigate through the right kind of environment.

I kind of disagree because of Diablo 1, being 3rd person isometeric and yet the first levels were definitely scary, also Resident Evil.
I think the fear factor has to do with the enemy being of unknown or not fully realized position/origin/capability , for example the first time my X-com team(classic X-com) encountered a sectoid that eerily stood there before my team started getting panic attacks and going crazy.(also 3rd person).

That said, sometimes its strange, my first impression of Darth Vader was not 'that guy is scary' it was more like 'that guy is awesome'.
Title: Re: What is WoDish fear?
Post by: Stephen_Webb on April 03, 2013, 08:04:46 pm
Yeah, I agree with Radical21 and I also think that Rick makes a good point. Stealth, is a mechanism that when done right puts the player into the frame of mind whereby

they must take into account their surroundings to greater detail - using the environment to ones advantage means that you have to consider all the little details about

lighting, the ground beneath your feet, small little nooks to stow away in as the patrol moves past, not to mention, it invokes the idea of moving close enough to the patrol to

see if they have any info you might overhear as they maybe stop to chat with another patrolling unit. This isn't necessarily always the case of course, because monsters in

many games seem to just walk waypoint to waypoint looking for something to kill and eat...but I've always enjoyed it when a little tidbit of otherwise unattainable data is let

slip by the bad guys as they about their routine - it adds replay-ability and believably to a game. It entices players to risk the shootout as they get close enough to listen in

- it adds to suspense and its hella' fun when you get that little tidbit of info - makes the game more enjoyable for me. That said, the risk and challenge of getting around is

suspenseful, which borders on fear in some regards, 'will I get caught?' The central nervous system has a similar kind of response when you push the limits to getting

caught doing something you shouldn't be doing that could very well have dire consequences. I have found that adding in a kind of hive-mind AI and overstimulating 'you

got caught' mechanic in a stealth system is actually detrimental to a gamers experience though -- too much can really make a game nauseating, and can dictate how

people play the game which is never any fun.
Title: Re: What is WoDish fear?
Post by: Rick Gentle on April 03, 2013, 10:40:49 pm
That's because Darth Vader IS awesome.
EDIT - Anakin Skywalker is something of a different matter... /EDIT
I don't think larger-than-life, visibly powerful, and intentionally color-coded villains are supposed to cause the same kind of horror and terror that we're examining for the Worlds of Darkness. If they dropped a figure like Darth Vader into the World of Darkness, the elders would be sniggering and the neonates would have the same reaction you and I do: "Dude! That's aaaaaaawesome!" We would soon see a rash of be-masked and be-caped neonates with baritone, robotic voices, as opposed to the black-leather-trenchcoat and gothic-fashion style we have now.

In the case of "visible" evil/horror/terror, I think the Worlds of Darkness are all about the veils, deliriums, and masquerades that go on between the "normal" world and the supernatural. I think every single franchise out there has some sort of veil/delirium/masquerade that gives an excuse as to why the world at large refuses to acknowledge the existence of the supernatural franchise; even the Mages get subjective reality, which means that what most people believe is True.
So for the horror and terror that the Worlds of Darkness encapsulate, there's always got to be something hidden, half-seen, or suspected but not confirmed to really make it hit home. Darth Vader, unfortunately, is none of those things.
Title: Re: What is WoDish fear?
Post by: Radical21 on April 03, 2013, 11:21:27 pm
That's because Darth Vader IS awesome.
I don't think larger-than-life, visibly powerful, and intentionally color-coded villains are supposed to cause the same kind of horror and terror that we're examining for the Worlds of Darkness. If they dropped a figure like Darth Vader into the World of Darkness, the elders would be sniggering and the neonates would have the same reaction you and I do: "Dude! That's aaaaaaawesome!" We would soon see a rash of be-masked and be-caped neonates with baritone, robotic voices, as opposed to the black-leather-trenchcoat and gothic-fashion style we have now.

True, and I didn't bring Darth Vader in respect of WoD because design-wise in the WoD settings that character would look very different(since you have to convert him from a Dark Jedi to a mask wearing sabbat Vampire that replaced most of his body with some armor/shadow/fleshcraft or something else that would represent total detachment from humanity).
When I think about Characters in VTMB/VTMR none of them are that scary either even when they are designed to be.
Anthediluvians are scary because no one knows what they are and if they are really controlling and manipulating the actions of all vampires.
Title: Re: What is WoDish fear?
Post by: Rick Gentle on April 04, 2013, 05:09:19 am
(since you have to convert him from a Dark Jedi to a mask wearing sabbat Vampire that replaced most of his body with some armor/shadow/fleshcraft or something else that would represent total detachment from humanity)
...
That would totally be workable as a Metamorphosist. You just gave me my new character concept!
Title: Re: What is WoDish fear?
Post by: VampireBill on April 04, 2013, 05:50:17 am
3rd person can definitely still work if you still connect with the character, but you're right, the out-of-body experience *can* reduce some of the fear in the case of being able to see more than you normally would, and that goes hand in hand with what you've said about the "unseen" being the scariest. There was a book I read way back about level design for Quake, and one of the key points the author touched on was making sure NOT to put a monster around every corner, because it's more unpredictable and suspenseful that way. Another concept was creating areas of a level that were visible, but not reachable, because it makes the world seem bigger, and more immersive, if there's always more just beyond your reach. Many MMO's have a problem with this, because they want you to be able to explore everything you can see, but then they hem you in with artificial-feeling boundaries that clue you in very quickly that that's the edge of the zone. SWTOR was... very bad with this.

The world needs to feel like a place that you could actually exist in. I know I'm drawn into an environment when I feel like just sitting down, as my avatar, and taking it all in. Back in middle school I actually wrote short stories and even poems in my literature classes about individual Quake levels (that... probably would get me a visit to the counselor or put on a watch list today, ha). Again, SWTOR sucked ass at this. I guess it sort of went with the "amusement park" model that CCP was initially talking about being at least a segment in the WoD mmo. It can work for dungeons (haunted houses at an amusement park, -EverQuest had some really great creepy atmosphere ones, EQ2 had some pretty good ones too), but not so much for an open world, where you can see everything, and it quickly becomes apparent that all the NPCs/monsters (amusement park employees) are just standing there (or occasionally walking about) just waiting for someone to come kill them, and you definitely won't feel like bothering with sitting around watching them. In fact it gets even worse when you see them respawn...
Title: Re: What is WoDish fear?
Post by: Radical21 on April 04, 2013, 01:57:14 pm
Haha, SWTOR can you really call it a good MMORPG? Don't get me wrong, some of its design is appealing enough to lure someone in but for the rest it feels alot like one of these gambling machines

Now that Disney shut down Lucas arts and is licensing SW to various GD studios I wouldn't be surprised if there is another SW MMORPG or 10
Title: Re: What is WoDish fear?
Post by: VampireBill on April 04, 2013, 09:31:56 pm
Don't think I said anything but *negative* things about SWTOR in there...
The stories and characters were pretty good, and it was nice to actually have *some* actual choice in dialogue options in an mmo, but the overall world design was ho-hum, and it soon became apparent that everything was designed to drag out the amount of time you spent playing as much as possible (quest objectives always about as far away as possible, bonus objectives didn't pop up until *after* you completed the primary one, forcing you to back-track for no logical reason), and after you finished all the quests in a zone, there was no reason to stay a minute longer or ever come back.
It could have been great if it was designed as an SP or even co-op game, but as an mmo it lost a lot in the way of gameplay and immersion.
Title: Re: What is WoDish fear?
Post by: Nanaloma on April 05, 2013, 02:15:10 am
3. Many MMO's have a problem with this, because they want you to be able to explore everything you can see, but then they hem you in with artificial-feeling boundaries that clue you in very quickly that that's the edge of the zone. SWTOR was... very bad with this.



Single player games but, the Gothic series was like that too.  Get to the edge and the nameless one starts sidestepping and generally, while one can go mostly anywhere, often nothing is there so its a huge waste of time. 
Title: Re: What is WoDish fear?
Post by: Rick Gentle on April 05, 2013, 08:50:37 am
Now that Disney shut down Lucas arts and is licensing SW to various GD studios I wouldn't be surprised if there is another SW MMORPG or 10
Give us back Star Wars Galaxies, pre-"Combat Enhancements".
Title: Re: What is WoDish fear?
Post by: Nosferatu Numbers Station on April 06, 2013, 05:17:12 am
Now that Disney shut down Lucas arts and is licensing SW to various GD studios I wouldn't be surprised if there is another SW MMORPG or 10
Give us back Star Wars Galaxies, pre-"Combat Enhancements".

This...though as much as I hate to admit it, they'd probably make a new one with the 'Combat Enhancements' already in place.  If only because a player shaking their ass in a bar as a class is not logical of disney to make a feature into their game.
Title: Re: What is WoDish fear?
Post by: Ventrueloquist on April 06, 2013, 12:19:27 pm
Now that Disney shut down Lucas arts and is licensing SW to various GD studios I wouldn't be surprised if there is another SW MMORPG or 10
Give us back Star Wars Galaxies, pre-"Combat Enhancements".

This...though as much as I hate to admit it, they'd probably make a new one with the 'Combat Enhancements' already in place.  If only because a player shaking their ass in a bar as a class is not logical of disney to make a feature into their game.
To make it more Disney-approvable they'd instead have to dance awkwardly and embarassingly bad, like all cartoon characters do whenever they decide to dance. That kind of dancing won't offend anyone, or at least not anyone Disney cares about :P. That they shut down Lucasarts is one thing (I haven't seen anything interesting coming from them in ages) but I do hope they'll let companies that match Bioware and Raven Software to develop other Star Wars games, because there is a disturbing lack of good ones out there. At the same time I hope CCP will let other companies develop interesting WoD computer games.
Title: Re: What is WoDish fear?
Post by: _username on April 06, 2013, 07:19:07 pm
For what it's worth, the last time I enjoyed a Star Wars game was Episode One: Racer.  Most people remember the N64 version, but the Dreamcast version looked better and had smoother controls *pushes up Hipster glasses*
Title: Re: What is WoDish fear?
Post by: Frothy on April 08, 2013, 06:26:19 am
Pod Racer was awful.

Admittedly, I only played the N64 version.

I almost bought a dreamcast because of Resident Evil: Code Veronica, though.
It was a direct sequel to RE:2, which I loved to death.
Title: Re: What is WoDish fear?
Post by: _username on April 16, 2013, 11:23:28 pm
RE:CV definitely looked pretty good, and the continuation of the RE2 arc was neat.  Unfortunately (and maybe it was just me), the controls were simply awful.  Like...you'd have an easier time using a Kinect as a Guitar Hero controller.

But back on topic, I think a major point of WoDish fear is the fear of losing power.  In the context of a game, this would be the fear of seeing your hard work burned to ash by a slightly more clever, slightly better prepared or slightly more lucky foe.  The paranoia that accompanies power is a formidable aspect in politics (both real life and in something like Eve's 0.0 space), and it lends very well to both pvp gamers and the WoD.
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