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Offline Radical21

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Re: What is WoDish fear?
« Reply #15 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.

Offline VampireBill

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Re: What is WoDish fear?
« Reply #16 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.

Offline Ventrueloquist

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Re: What is WoDish fear?
« Reply #17 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. 

Offline Radical21

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Re: What is WoDish fear?
« Reply #18 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.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2013, 06:13:50 PM by Radical21 »

Offline Rick Gentle

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Re: What is WoDish fear?
« Reply #19 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.
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Offline Radical21

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Re: What is WoDish fear?
« Reply #20 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'.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2013, 06:56:04 PM by Radical21 »

Offline Stephen_Webb

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Re: What is WoDish fear?
« Reply #21 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.

Offline Rick Gentle

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Re: What is WoDish fear?
« Reply #22 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.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2013, 08:47:52 AM by Rick Gentle »
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Offline Radical21

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Re: What is WoDish fear?
« Reply #23 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.

Offline Rick Gentle

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Re: What is WoDish fear?
« Reply #24 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!
Remember: It's not the size of your fangs that matters; it's what you stick them in.

Offline VampireBill

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Re: What is WoDish fear?
« Reply #25 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...

Offline Radical21

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Re: What is WoDish fear?
« Reply #26 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
« Last Edit: April 04, 2013, 02:01:09 PM by Radical21 »

Offline VampireBill

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Re: What is WoDish fear?
« Reply #27 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.

Offline Nanaloma

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Re: What is WoDish fear?
« Reply #28 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. 

Offline Rick Gentle

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Re: What is WoDish fear?
« Reply #29 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".
Remember: It's not the size of your fangs that matters; it's what you stick them in.

 

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