80s Style Slasher Flick game


#1

A bunch of horny young people go out camping far from civilization and participate in all manner of sex, alcohol and pot consumption, skinny dipping, etc. Then a psychokiller comes around and kills all but one or two of them, apparently as a warning to the audience to behave like puritans. It’s the classic exploitation/thinly veiled cautionary tale that seemed to take off in the eighties. Obviously there are twists on this premise like “Psychokiller stalks small town and randomly kills people because he thinks he’s Santa Claus and has a really f-ed up idea of Santa Claus, as well as inexplicable super strength” but um… Right. Tangent.

Anyway, I was thinking it might make for an interesting survival type of game to base one on this premise. An extremely multilinear game where you tried to survive against an inexplicably unkillable murderer while keeping a cast of typical slasher victim NPCs alive (or not).

Some ideas I had were choosing your player character from the list of NPCs and taking on that role in the game. Being able to continue as another character if you die. Lots of options for doing stupid slasher victimish things that may or may not get you or others killed to coincide with the previously mentioned concept.

The thing is, I don’t really know anything about the ChoiceScript system beyond what little I’ve seen from other people’s games so I’m not sure if these things would even be possible with the system. Anyone got answers? Suggestions?


#2

Yeah that sounds like a good idea, I think it would make a change to the typical stuff.
But I don’t make the games myself, just play them due to my lack of tech knoweledge so I won’t be able to help with that stuff, sorry :smiley:


#3

I like the whole premise, it’s different from the norm for Multiple Choice games–and I like anything that little bit different, to be honest.

From a technical point of view, the only part I can see you maybe struggling with (for a first game, anyway) would be the switching-character thing when you end up dead. It’s a great idea, it’s different from the norm (and you know my feelings on that already!), but I can see it probably being a lot of extra writing (or at least, scripting) for the remaining scenes from that point onwards, to (e.g.) allow for the fact that Lucy can no longer say that particular line, because you’re now Lucy (or she’s actually already dead, because she was the one you were playing before your latest reincarnation . . .) etc. It’s doable, but I would honestly suggest a first version along usual lines–“you die, you start again”–and then, with scripting experience, look at a version 2 along the lines you suggest.


#4

This sounds brilliant! I’d like to see this with the different characters following a ‘live’ routine. However, to do it well you would need to have a set route for all characters to follow. I’d start by creating the scene. Where is this murder spree taking place? What different locations can the characters (and the murderer) go to? Perhaps have a few locations that only certain characters can reach. Then set the route for each different character. (Think of it like a chess board, where each square is a location from the game. After each move, assess where the characters are and have them act accordingly). The characters actions (and routine) would only change when they interact with the ‘active’ player character.

Okay, what I’m writing seems hard to understand… However, this would definitely be possible with choicescript. Also, have an unlockable ‘murderer’ mode where you can play as the killer after you complete the game! (would be easy to implement with a password).


#5

You could imagine that I’d be behind this 100%. I do love gory fiction.

As others say, I would recommend not jumping between characters but maybe allow the reader to pick from the characters before the game starts. Choosing the tough jock over the nerdy kid would give different options/stats. Also it would impose different difficulty levels. Maybe even make alternate random endings with different killers.

Andy’s idea of the murderer mode is also a great idea.


#6

I’ve gotta agree with everyone saying that jumping from character to character will probably make things difficult. Of course, you can always do a pure third person perspective, with the player not taking on the role of an NPC, but instead acting as a sorta ‘director’. Depending on how campy you’re willing to be, you can actually get pretty meta/comical with that. It would also let you play around with the whole concept of dramatic tension coming from a difference in viewer/character knowledge. (e.g. the viewer/reader knows that the killer is behind the character, but the character doesn’t)


#7

Wow, didn’t think it’d get so much support. And from people whose names I actually recognize at that. I had thought of writing a slasher perspective part, but I wasn’t sure how well that would go over and I’m not entirely sure I’m up to writing something like that. Maybe I could ask EndMaster to be a guest writer or something. He’s worryingly good at getting into the mind of an unbelievably psychotic serial murderer. :-S

@JimD You just reminded me of something. Need a paraplegic character in this game. They’ll probably be one of the hardest characters to play as but that’ll just them all the more badass for surviving and possibly even saving everyone in the process. Which reminds me… I wonder how I’m going to write a path for the especially dumb characters to save everyone…

@andymwhy Yeah, that was actually my idea for choosing characters. You get to choose between the different pre-created characters and each has different strengths and weaknesses as well as traits that determine what courses of action you can take. So maybe Hot Paraplegic Guy will have a female NPC or two actively pursuing a relationship with him from the start most likely, whereas the nerdy guy probably won’t. He’ll be better at tasks requiring upper body strength than the nerd, but it’ll be a lot more difficult to do things that most people with working legs take for granted, like climbing stairs. (Of course running upstairs when you’re being chased by the killer is a terrible idea anyway.)

@Reaperoa That’s an interesting idea for how I could do the multiple PCs, although considering my knowledge of choice script (or rather, lack thereof) I think I should probably stick to one character per play-through for now.


#8

@Shoelip If you do a camp, make sure it has lots of ramps, maybe an elevator or two (hydraulic may fit a camp). It can be a lot of fun to have a wheelchair-using character.

Though not a slasher movie, “Silver Bullet” had a wheelchair-using main character, played by Corey Haim, based on a book written by Stephen King (Cycle of the Werewolf). It may be a good flick to check out if you include the option.


#9

Ah yes… elevators. Also make great murder weapons.

Any other interesting or amusing character ideas? I’m think about 9, maybe 10 playable characters would be ideal, but maybe that’s a bit too many to write for, at least at the start.


#10

What location are you going for?

I’d have the usual cheerleader / American Footballer combo. A nerd. The wheelchair guy, A geeky girl. A quiet, library-loving girl. A janitor/worker at the campsite (or wherever it’s set) A fat guy. A mysterious stranger. All the usual stereotypes for this sort of genre, really! Corny dialogue seems a must!

Alternative idea: Have the murderer be someone different from this group, each time you play! For every character you play as, the murderer is a different person from the group. That would add to replayability!


#11

I’m open to suggestions but for now I’ll probably go with a camp with cabins.

Also, andy… I said interesting or amusing.

Now the idea of having the killer be one of the characters who randomly changes is an interesting one. I don’t know that I’m up for it myself, although honestly if someone who is actually proficient in Choice Script already wants to make a game like this I would not object in the slightest.


#12

I’m assuming you’re going for satire which is why I suggested the stereotypes. It would be hard to have actual interesting characters and keep the same nostalgic 80’s comic horror.


#13

If you’re going for a more serious game, where we care about the people being chased, how about:

-An orphaned boy who’s parents disappeared near the camp.
-A girl who has recently started making horrible predictions that come true.
-A drug addict who tries to hide his habit from his friends.
-A girl who killed a homeless woman in a hit and run two years ago. Haunted by it ever since.
-What about a blind character?
-An overly prepared boyscout who secretly relishes a real emergency.

Have all the characters around 18 years old.


#14

I’m mostly just trying to see if anyone has ideas I like. Not entirely sure on the tone yet. I guess it would be easier to write it campy, but I do want the player to feel at least some motivation to save the other characters. I guess the challenge of it would be one thing, at least the first time around.

I was thinking it’d be cool if you could save characters during an attack, but I’m not quite sure how you could do that with a normal invincible slasher like Jason Voorhes. I guess I could make it like, you can take him down, but then you look away and when you look back he’s gone… There we go. Then the big challenge would be in finding out how to kill him for good.


#15

Maybe you could do these:

Hot and superficial girl (a must)
Wheelchair guy
The weirdo (maybe a weapons enthusiast or druggie?)
Cute religious girl
The mysterious rocker-dude
Token black person
Super-smart Asian

First things to come to mind


#16

Hm, I’m reminded of Lady in the Water for some reason. Dysfunctional characters, a bit of bumbling. very little actual violence (IIRC). It seems like a good ‘mood’ for an IF horror game.

As for how to have the player able to defeat a invincible villain, there’s two ‘standard’ ways. The first is to make the villain dumb. Then it’s the ‘smart’ protagonists vs the dumb (usually in both senses of the word) antagonist. It doesn’t matter how invincible someone is if you pin them to the ground with a giant tree, or freeze them solid with liquid nitrogen. Sure they come back, but it at least lets you get away. It also encourages the protagonists to work together, which allows for exploration of social dynamics (the obvious example being the guy that tries to betray someone, leaving them for the monster, only to turn around and end up facing eye to eye with it).

The other way to normally allow the protagonists win, without letting them defeat the monster, is to make the monster obey certain rules. If a vampire can’t enter your home without your permission, then so long as you don’t go full retard, you’re invincible so long as you’re in your home. And everyone knows you never go full retard. :-p This leads to a closed circle, where the characters do little actual battle with the ‘monster’, instead trying to outmaneuver it, while also allowing higher interaction between the villain and protagonists.

As for thoughts on characters/ideas, it’s really hard to help until there’s some ground work. A decision on how serious/comical the game is, where it’s going to take place, how the villain is going to work, and so on, gives some starting point to come up with ideas. Without that, it’s really just going to be the ‘standard’ characters repeated over and over again.


#17

Personally I think it would be good to avoid steriotypes such a smart Asian kid cause its kinda annoying and predictable and then there is less depth to the characters…


#18

Some of these characters seem a bit cliched, but that’s probably because they work well… An interesting twist could be (at least one path) that at the end, you discover that the killer is a split personality. But whatever. I’m not the one making this game, but I’m interested to see how this (and about…10 OTHER GAMES) are going to turn out.


#19

Well my initial idea was to go for a sort of slasher flick vibe, but a bit tongue in cheek. That is, the characters will, when left to their own devices, act rather stupid and oblivious. It’s mostly up to the player to keep them alive, or at least screw their heads on straight so that they stop doing such stupid things. After all, if all the NPCs just stick together all the time then no one will die. I think the dumb villain is probably what I want to go for. I want to have it so that the players can’t succeed in finishing off the villain with direct confrontation. The closest they can come to it is fending it off some how when trying to save an NPC who’s about to bite it, but even then It should be more about extracting the NPC from that situation than ending the situation.


#20

So we’re going to be saving the lives of morons. Feels like real life. :smiley: