Friday, July 3, 2015

If I Made It: Friday the 13th Game

Outline:  A while back I was watching the Angry Videogame Nerd review of Friday the 13th (and the following James and Mike Monday playthrough) and I believe they mentioned how hard it is to make a game out Friday the 13th.  So, I started thinking about how I would make it.  Like most interactive media it's important to encapsulate the feel of the thing you are mimicking.  Granted, the NES was a little limited in the experience it could create but with today's technology I think you could create large, open set-piece environments with AI mechanics that think and behave like characters in a horror movie.  This game would focus more on survival and AI than huge fights and throwing rocks at birds.

The Game:

- The game would be broken down into movie specific scenario's involving the characters and environments from each movie.  Each movie would be a chapter and feature one large environment all the action would take place.  For example the entirety of Crystal Lake would be represented from the archery field to the dock to the bunks to a small portion of surrounding woods.  The third movie would feature the hospital and after that the house with attached barn and lake.  The fourth would include the Tommy Jarvis house, the teenagers house, the woods and the hitchhikers tent.  Eight would include the boat and ultimately parts of Manhattan as the boat slowly travels towards New York and beyond.

- Beating each scenario unlocks Jason Mode where you can play as Jason hunting down the teenagers.

- Survivor mode is where you play as a 'teen'.  In each scenario you can pick one of the victims and play as them.  They may have special skills or start with special items.  For example Tommy Jarvis can use disguises confuse Jason or Tina Sheppard has telekinesis to be on a more even level with Jason.  Regular victims could start with a knife or keys they can use to access hiding spots, weapons or achieve game goals.  Each victim might also have different goals that you need to accomplish in addition to surviving (finding a friend, going skinny dipping, setting up a prank, checking the power or investigating a noise) or trying to save as many people as you can.  Certain characters can actually kill Jason, others must survive a certain length of time.  You may need to keep certain characters alive by hiding them, others are destined to die.

- Jason mode is where you, as Jason, are presented with a scenario of slashing 'teenagers'.  In each set piece it's up to you to stalk them, use the environment and pick them off one by one.  Think Batman predator mode but with a serial killer.  You can use "Victim Vision" to look through walls and determine the position of each victim.  You can create distractions, lure them out with acts of fear (throwing something through a window) or something more subtle (crying or noise that will cause them to investigate) or set up fallen victims to block exits or scare others towards where you want them.

-Advanced AI.  In Survivor Mode you can expect Jason to be spontaneous and seek new and unique ways to hunt and kill you along with dynamic jump scares and semi scripted events.  Survivor AI is based on personality.  A couple is likely to wander off together to be alone and become vulnerable.  Friends are likely to stay together.  They need to eat, shit, shower and provide maintenance if the environment is damaged and they can help.  This allows you to separate groups and take advantage of inescapable alone times.

-Both Jason and Survivors can use the environment and found weapons to create game moments.  Survivors can use or make weapons, depending on their abilities, or can make traps to slow or stop Jason.

- Each Survivor scenario is will go through each survivor or group of survivors.  Individuals can run a scenario and potentially 'win' the scene.  Groups of survivors are destined to die in turn as they accomplish in game goals, the surprise then comes from not knowing when or how you will die, if death comes before the goal is accomplished then the scene is failed.  Other characters will be tasked with surviving a certain length of time while accomplishing in-game goals and while avoiding Jason.

- In each Jason scenario you're goal is to end all the 'teenagers' as quietly and grusomely as possible.  A fright meter charges as each kill is performed and the only way to win the scenario is to have the meter full by the time all the victims have been taken care of.  You fill the meter by not being seen, by creating fear and leaving terrifying crime scenes for the other victims to find.  You have to milk each aspect to fill that meter.  By doing so you unlock additional scenes and abilities for both Jason and the Survivors.  Jason cannot run.

- The ultimate unlockable are scenes from Freddy vs Jason including the brutal final confrontation where you can play as either Freddy or Jason!

Conclusion:  The game wouldn't have an ending per se you would just run through each movie unlocking additional smaller non-movie scenes that you could dabble in.  Things like keeping Camp Crystal Lake operational for a night, fixing lights, barricading doors, saving campers, etc while being hunted by Jason.  Or Jason having to attack a miltia base hidden in the woods of Montanna and having to go against trained soldiers, people who can attack you and don't scare easily.  It would be a game that should either make you feel like you are surviving a Jason attack or being an unstoppable juggernaut of violence depending on which side your playing on.

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