Fear and Horror Games I

If you’re interested in horror, as in why are we so drawn to films, books, comics and games that make us scared – then this essay by Lovecraft is a good starting point:

THE OLDEST and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown. …

It’s well worth a read. Lovecraft was writing about literature, but there are still lessons for game developers within – the atmosphere being one of the big points:

Atmosphere is the all-important thing, for the final criterion of authenticity is not the dovetailing of a plot but the creation of a given sensation. We may say, as a general thing, that a weird story whose intent is to teach or produce a social effect, or one in which the horrors are finally explained away by natural means, is not a genuine tale of cosmic fear; but it remains a fact that such narratives often possess, in isolated sections, atmospheric touches which fulfill every condition of true supernatural horror-literature.

Here’s a good example of the atmosphere being built via the empty, yet tellingly damaged environment, the sounds and more. I love the way that it shows the chaos that has been, foreshadowing the fear yet to come…

About Tomas

Design & Production Director at Auroch Digital. Designer of Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land. Writing and blogging things that surprise, entertain and interest me...
This entry was posted in Call of Cthulhu, game design, horror games and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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