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[–] MrMongoose 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

Atmosphere is the biggest component. Immersion is also critical in order to take advantage of a creepy atmosphere.

Also - it should be anti-combat, IMO. That's not too say there should be no combat, but your first thought on encountering an enemy shouldn't be 'I can't wait to kill it!'. You should either prefer to run or feel dread at the thought of being forced to fight it. Having a meek protagonist (not exmilitary bionic assassin) helps with this, IMO.

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[–] AffinityChris [S] 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

That's what I tend to lead towards too. I think good scenarios will reinforce the horror feeling, but the atmosphere sells it first and foremost. I'd like to see a horror game built on that idea - where nothing actually happens, but it feels like a horror game simply due to the environment.

Going along with what you said about combat - I've been enjoying Stasis for the same reason. As soon as a player can fight back, you lose a lot of the edge that make the game so compelling from the horror perspective (Resident Evil has had some good examples of that).

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[–] SlothropAnAbreaction 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

So long as the player feels uneasy/ they are more or less defenseless against whatever is around the next corner is pretty important for horror games, I think.

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[–] AffinityChris [S] 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

I definitely agree with that. Do you think jump scares are a good example of that since the player can't do anything other than anticipate them, or do you feel they cheapen the experience?

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[–] SlothropAnAbreaction 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

I actually think jump scares are little more than cheap tricks that are used as a crutch in games that lack a strong story/atmosphere/lore/etc. That said, they can be used effectively and in ways that add to games, but only when they're used selectively, and in a meaningful manner, eg to introduce a new mechanic, a new area, or whatever. iirc Dead Space used them in a way that felt fluid and in keeping with the game's logic, while managing to keep every new scare unpredictable. In contrast, something like Outlast had a handful of jump scares that just felt forced to me, like they were just reusing elements of their gameplay.

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[–] Metal_Bison 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

I believe that the theme and overall atmosphere is what makes a horror game fantastic; make the player feel uneasy far before they encounter any sort of hostiles. I am mostly against combat in horror games unless it can be done correctly such as in the classic Resident Evil titles. However, combat just ruins the helpless feel of the player, and generally ruins such experiences. I also have a thing against jump-scares but this is merely because many individuals do not know how to utilize these correctly and instead spam them as if the game is meant to force the player to get out of the chair and perform aerobic jumping exercises themselves.

I still believe that some sort of tripping mechanic should be implemented in a game which debris is plenty, and would love for a title to come out with such a thing. The only problem would the enemy pathfinding, but this should not be too much of a hassle if someone were able to figure out how to implement it.