Blogging about the Wasted Land and Horror Games

Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land info pageI’ve been (until recently) able to post a little something to the blog on a daily basis. However as we’re getting into our stride with the development cycle I recognise that this will get harder and harder to do on a daily basis. So I am now looking to pre-empt this time pressure by writing less frequent but more expansive blog posts here. In many ways this goes to the heart of why we’re making the game and why I bother to blog about it – and the answer is you dear reader, you….

Call of Cthulhu has a rich heritage and we’re keen to share our thoughts and ideas for the mobile version with fellow fans. We want this to be a two-way process; so we want to know what you think about where the development is going in areas such as our ideas for the game’s design, the characters we are creating and much more.

I’ve also been getting some instructive comments on the issue of 1st/3rd person views in horror games. I posted an article talking about how this was going to be a 3rd person game. Now many of the reasons behind this decision are to do with the type of game we are doing (RPG/Strategy) but there is another reason too, I wrote: the sense of danger you get from seeing your character mangled by monsters! In response John disagreed with me and raised a good point:

For my two cents, I find first person horror to be more effective then 3rd person. With the 3rd person I see my avatar being attacked, running away from dangers and what have you. I become aware of the danger my character is in, but I am also distant from it.

A theme that juv3nal also picked up on:

With the caveat that I don’t really like being scared when playing a game, I find first person to be much scarier. The reason is the restricted view. In 3rd person, even if the camera follow distance is relatively close and something nasty could be lurking just out of view, there is the sense that you are aware of what is directly next to your avator or behind it, whereas with 1st person, your field of view is locked in front of at an angle that is maybe even more restricted than in real life (if you take into account peripheral vision).

If you want to add your 2 cents, then the article is here.

Another area that comments are welcome on is the apporch we are planning to take on dealing with Sanity. Sanity works great in the paper RPG because the player who has gone insane and act so under the guidance of the Keeper. However it not possible to act in many random ways in a game, as the game system has to have a database of all possible animations are the like in advance. In addition changes in sanity that remove control from the player – especially in a single player game – are frustrating as a player. So we needed to keep Sanity in the game but also keep the player in the loop of the action. So here is what we planed as a solution:

The solution was originally proposed by Mike (our coder) after we’d considered a number of possible options – which is to focus on mania (a state of abnormally elevated or irritable mood, arousal, and/or energy levels). To explain; In Call of Cthulhu, when your character goes into a state of ‘Short Temporal Insanity’ there are a number of possible outcomes you can roll, such as panic, hysterics, phobia, stupor and mania. Now mania is an interesting emotion from a game perspective. A manic character can be stronger, faster and less susceptible to pain; all helpful characteristics in a fight! Yet, and yet, that extra power comes at a cost… (full article)

Again, comments and feedback on this welcome!

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, paper to video game issues, your comments and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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