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Damned: A Randomized Online Competitive/Cooperative Horror Game
9heads  [developer] May 3, 2013 @ 10:13am
Suggestions to developers!
Hey guys!

If you have a good idea or suggestion, please put it here so we can keep it easy to find and organized.
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Showing 1-15 of 238 comments
Dark Raven May 3, 2013 @ 11:09pm 
Be sure to throw in a map editor, and tonnes of objects, textures, entities, etc for use. That'd extend the game's replayability.
Fenrir007 May 4, 2013 @ 7:52am 
- Integrate community content to keep gameplay fresh and everchanging, maybe integrating some of it officially into the main game every now and then

- Make it so you can only communicate with gestures (official excuse could be that noise attracts monsters or whatever) OR make it possible to voice chat, but doing so makes noise and attracts the attention of unwanted things (so players migh wish to whisper instead of speaking loud). Also, someone else mentioned voice strenght decaying if you are too far from the source, which would fit nicely with this idea.

- Not sure if it would fit, but I always thought about a sleeping mechanic to a survival horror game. Your character would get more exhausted as time went by, to the point where sleep deprival would start having bad effects like wonky movement and at high degrees even hallucination (both visual and sounds). At some point, he would need to rest/sleep, which would involve laying down and closing your eyes. To effectivelly rest, you would need to keep your eyes closed, but as you hear things around you, you may feel inclined to open them and check your surroundings - but that would break your resting and accelerate your heartbeat, making it harder to rest again. Well, something like that. Admitedly I thought about this for a longer type of survival horror (and single player), but maybe you can think of something similar with this proto-idea.

- Take a look at the dungeon master mode in neverwinter nights. You might take some cues from it for the player controlling the monster.
Shitzuki Reno May 4, 2013 @ 10:39am 
Originally posted by Heavymachinegunman:
Be sure to throw in a map editor, and tonnes of objects, textures, entities, etc for use. That'd extend the game's replayability.

I agree and disagree. The thing about this is that it's randomized, meaning the map changes every time you play which gives no one an edge. However, if the community were able to make maps, I think that they should be submitted and 9heads should be able to pick what they want to use in the randomizer.


Originally posted by Fenrir007:
- Integrate community content to keep gameplay fresh and everchanging, maybe integrating some of it officially into the main game every now and then

- Make it so you can only communicate with gestures (official excuse could be that noise attracts monsters or whatever) OR make it possible to voice chat, but doing so makes noise and attracts the attention of unwanted things (so players migh wish to whisper instead of speaking loud). Also, someone else mentioned voice strenght decaying if you are too far from the source, which would fit nicely with this idea.

- Not sure if it would fit, but I always thought about a sleeping mechanic to a survival horror game. Your character would get more exhausted as time went by, to the point where sleep deprival would start having bad effects like wonky movement and at high degrees even hallucination (both visual and sounds). At some point, he would need to rest/sleep, which would involve laying down and closing your eyes. To effectivelly rest, you would need to keep your eyes closed, but as you hear things around you, you may feel inclined to open them and check your surroundings - but that would break your resting and accelerate your heartbeat, making it harder to rest again. Well, something like that. Admitedly I thought about this for a longer type of survival horror (and single player), but maybe you can think of something similar with this proto-idea.

- Take a look at the dungeon master mode in neverwinter nights. You might take some cues from it for the player controlling the monster.

1. See my arguement above.

2. I agree 100%.

3. I don't think it would really play out much. The arguement could be made that the character is well rested and such and therefore won't be affected. It'd also be hard to implement into an online game as everything goes on in real time and there really isn't much they can do.

tl;dr as a single player concept, yes, online, I believe no.
Shitzuki Reno May 4, 2013 @ 10:49am 
However, I believe the game would be served well from an insanity system.

The system would randomly generate sounds and sights for the players that aren't actually there. For example, you could make a shadow run through the kitchen, but there really wasn't ever anything there to generate the shadow, throwing the players off and spooking them. Another example would be hearing claws or scratching noises against surfaces that aren't actually there and just the character beginning to lose their mind. It would also cause the characters to become more careless with their items, causing them to drop them, take more time to use them, etc.

The only way to rid oneself of the onset of these things is to stop moving and look around. It'll allow the character to "refocus", causing all these delusional effects to disappear. It can also be used as a preventative measure to keep players from rushing through levels (make the insanity levels increase for moving faster and such"

It also adds to the horror aspect as players will have almost no clue as to what is going on, as they probably wouldn't in real life. They could hear footsteps in the library but yet the monster is right behind them, getting ready to strike. In my opinion, I'd overanalyze everything if I were moving through a place that I knew was filled with things that are trying to kill me so I'd believe I was hearing and seeing things that weren't really there.

EDIT: I actually thought about Fenrir007's idea. Maybe instead of stopping to look around and such to refocus, they could close their eyes and just think about their surroundings for a few seconds? I guess our suggestions are similar, it's just that sleep deprivation just doesn't make much sense in a fast paced horror game. However, dellusions I feel would make the game a lot more scary than originally planned.
Last edited by Shitzuki Reno; May 4, 2013 @ 10:54am
Fenrir007 May 4, 2013 @ 1:03pm 
Originally posted by dark-hello2:
EDIT: I actually thought about Fenrir007's idea. Maybe instead of stopping to look around and such to refocus, they could close their eyes and just think about their surroundings for a few seconds? I guess our suggestions are similar, it's just that sleep deprivation just doesn't make much sense in a fast paced horror game. However, dellusions I feel would make the game a lot more scary than originally planned.

I agree - something more like resting than sleeping would surely work better in the setting. I just said that more of a way of sparking up similar mechanics than to use that one specifically.
9heads  [developer] May 4, 2013 @ 6:57pm 
Fenrir007's and dark-hello2's ideas together would certainly boost the game. Voice chat with physics based sound attenuation is an awesome idea - we know you guys said "based on the distance", but we believe we could probably pull off physics based attenuation ;) - and an insanity system (and "refocus" system) would increase even more anxiety, alertness and fear.

Regarding community content (suggested by Heavymachinegunman and Fenrir007). As dark-hello2 stated, since things are random, the community would have to either produce non-random stages (which aren't that fearsome, since you'd know the map once you played it) or the stage editor would probably be too complicated. But maybe we could think of a good way to make this happen...

Thanks Heavymachinegunman, Fenrir007 and dark-hello2 for your feedbacks, you're really helping us make a better game!
Actually, I've never liked sanity as a game mechanic. Nine times out of ten, it just makes the screen go blurry, which sort of implies that the first thing you do upon losing your mind is lose your glasses. You said something about ghostly events, so why not have the insanity alter how dramatic these are for that player? So a player who is as yet completely sane would see the event as not that big a deal, say for instance a potted plant tipping over, but the stark raving made player would see it as the potted plant lunging at him trying to kill him while screaming out that his mother sucks ♥♥♥♥♥ in hell.

I'm a little wary of the randomization as well. Procedural generation I can get behind, but random generation means that nothing significant can happen in any one area lest things not make sense in all of the other rooms.
delax May 6, 2013 @ 11:09am 
Community could design the props that populate the generated stage (lamps, wallpaper, tv's, etc) or perhaps the templates of rooms for the generator to use.
Having a randomly generated level sounds awesome, but you still have to design by hand the parts that are shuffled around to make the level.
The community could help with that.

Plus, the appearance of the players (monster or victims) could be customized, though if this happened I would beg on my hands and knees that they be stictly moderated for quality and taste.
The Armani-suited lawyer, the tacky clothed tourist, the police-officer, etc could fit and keep the atmosphere.
The peglegged pirate, the robot-hitler, big-head mode, MLP anything, etc not so much.

Also, there were different types of monsters, then the different types of gameplay would be astounding (note that I've only seen the pre-alpha trailer).
If there were multiple possible monsters, the victims team should not know which they're playing against.
  • You could have one with minions, or illusions of itself and only the real one is dangerous or invincible.
  • You could have a monster who's perception gets twisted or hallucinates (same effect on players as well?), keeping the monster player just as terrified as the victims it hunts (or at least as confused).
    A possible effect is warping temporal perception, so you might see an illusion of the player where he was 5 minutes ago.
  • You could have an ability to hide inside or possess a survivor (controlling them and muting any comunication), or maybe just imitate them (mimic appearance? could repeat any voice chat it's heard?).
  • You could have one that needs the players to do something for it, before being able to kill them.
    It would be forced to use small-scale trickery, illusions, herding, etc abilities before being unleashed.
    Then it would need cool enough powers to make up for the weakness in the beginning.
  • If you were feeling cliche, you could have a teleporting slenderman-like character, because there have only been a few hundred of those lately.
    It could be fun, but it need a lot of work to make it more than yet-another-slenderman game.
Of course, I would prefer a single lovingly-made masterpiece of a nightmare than a handful or two of slapdash ones.
But, the ability to add more later is something to think about now.
SoulMan May 6, 2013 @ 11:22am 
I love the concept of this game (The Hidden Source comes to mind), and hope you guys are successfull with getting it made. That said, here are some scattered ideas...

Team Fortress Classic (TFC) had a mechanic with the spy toxin grenades where the players affected would see effects that were not actually happening. I.e. random explosions, they would hear gun shots, etc... and non-effected players would see none of this.

The insanity mechanic could work well using concepts like this TFC example. As the players insanity lowers, it could start with subtle things, like hearing noises that none of the other players would hear, seeing things out of the corner of your eye/in the darkness (much like the random explosions mentioned above). And then as your insanity starts to dip further, it might do things like swap friendly player models with the monster/ghosts model (temporarily) which would very likely cause the insane player to run away from the quasi-safety of his teammates and be on his own (which makes the monster/ghost players job easier). Or to see their teammates places where they aren't (ghostly NPCs), i.e. going into a room, when instead it was an illusion and when they follow them into the room, the illusion fades, leaving them split up from their other teammates (this means no player outlining through walls, a la Left 4 Dead). Maybe have other effects like random lights (Will O' The Wisps) or whatnot that might make a player want to investigate, but when they get close the light goes out, again leaving the player in darkness. To further make it interesting, don't have any UI indicator to show the sanity/insanity level of the player, so they never really know how much of what they see and hear they can trust (or how insane they really are), except by asking the other players, "Did you hear/see that?" >=o)

To crib from Psycho Mantis (Metal Gear Solid - MGS), lower insanity could briefly invert the players controls or mess with the game UI, assuming it will have one to one degree or another. Though if the game doesn't have a UI and goes with the Cthulhu: Dark Corners style of giving the player clues via audible and visual markers, then insanity could mess with this, one example could be to make the player think they were more hurt then they really are (red fade that some games use to signify lower health when the player is full health... or vice versa, clear screen when they are near death making them far more brave then they should be).

Another layer could be that the monster/ghost could build their own energy (what they use to become solid or use abilities?) off of causing the 4 human players insanity to drop. Also they could build energy faster by causing the human players to split up (i.e. a bonus for causing insanity in a player that is a certain distance from any other player, and this bonus would drop to nothing as more human players came within that distance), and to counter this, if the human players are together it would slow or even decrease the natural energy gain, giving the ghost more incentive to split the humans up.

As the monster/ghost player, since he won't be able to see the human players directly in ghost form (which is probably where they will spend a majority of their time depending on the energy mechanics and skill level), he would need some clues as to where they are to better mess with them (lower their sanity). First idea that comes to mind would be some distinct audible tells, i.e. footfalls (give the humans a slow walk, normal walk, and a run, and have them each cause a different degree of sound, which makes it eaiser or harder to hear depending on speed), voice attenuation (as already mentioned), etc... Another mechanic could be that if the players stay in a room too long, they start to leave a ghostly after image (sort of like the Last Known Position mechanic from Splinter Cell: Conviction), which could further help the ghost player hunt them down (but since its not real-time, it isn't reliable). Another idea is to have the light of a players flashlight be visible to the ghost player if left on too long (this leads to the humans conserving their flashlight usage unless they want the ghost to find them easily). I.e. if a human player shines their light on a key for say 10 seconds, the ghost player would briefly see a dim version of the light cone coming from the flashlight (but not the actual flashlight or player obviously), or maybe just see the circle of light around what the light was directed at, it would also fade away after a short time. This could also be used by the players as a false lead for the ghost (shine your light into another room from across the hall or something, and then run the opposite way to trick the ghost into going where they players aren't).

Light could play a big role in other ways as well (Alan Wake comes to mind), with light effecting the monsters energy gain in ghost form and when in solid form, shining a light at the creature might speed its energy decay (forcing it back to ghost form). However, being in darkness could allow it to slowly regenerate some energy (in solid form), or at least stop the decay, while in ghost form, being in darkness would cause it to have its natural energy regain or somesuch. This would force the creature into a stealthier role (which is ideal for a horror game anyhow), making it more desirable to split up the humans and pick them off one by one. Depending on how the map generation is done, it would be cool to have fuses (repairable by humans with tools, and destroyable by the monster in both forms, though ghost form would have to be more difficult... maybe use up some of its energy or some such) and light switches tied to each room, so that both humans and the monster could affect the light level in any given room. With this use of light in mind, this would also be a mechanic for the player to regain sanity (Don't Starve comes to mind here).

It would also be interesting to give the ghost player multiple paths to victory, i.e. a way to win in both ghost and monster form. Monster form would generally be the easier route (kill the players), where as ghost form would be the more challenging way (completely deplete the players sanity to the point where they commit suicide or are simply driven stark raving mad... again Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners comes to mind here, though this would have to be the most difficult method of victory).

Depending on how random the maps are and how big the model of the monster is, having monster vents (think Natural Selection 2) that only allow the monster (in solid form, since ghost form can phase through most things anyhow) access would further give it different, unexpected forms of attack. I.e. humans are barricaded in a room with the lights on and the only entrance locked and barred (in Left 4 Dead this was almost impossible for the player zombies to break), but having a ceiling vent (with a fuse box in it to plunge the room into darkness) entrance could turn the player advantage into disadvantage. Their safe room suddenly becomes a kill pit.

Cthulhu: Dark Corners, MGS, Amnesia, Alan Wake, Thief (Shalebrook Cradle in 3... mmm), and TFC had some real good mechanics and settings (a few mentioned above) that would do wonders in a game of this nature. The idea here is to get in the human players head and screw with them as they loose sanity so that they slowly loose trust in anything they see in-game, but never fully take away control of their character.

Apologies for the long post... I was initially going to write up the example of the TFC mechanic and kept finding examples of mechanics in other games that could be made to fit in a game of this nature. Anywho, best of luck to getting this game Greenlit and funded. Cheers.
9heads  [developer] May 6, 2013 @ 12:05pm 
Patrician Fudge, thanks for your feedback on the insanity system and the randomizer mechanic. We don't plan on attaching events to places, instead we plan on attaching interesting events to single objects, like an organ, an old painting, etc, so we can randomize the stage and still allow cool events to happen in there.

Thanks to delax too, your feedback on character customization and multiple monsters really gave us some cool ideas for possible new monsters.

And [TED] SoulMan, a big thanks for taking some of your precious time to write this post full of very interesting ideas. We certainly will be able to absorb a lot from your feedback. Your idea of multiple paths for the monster to win is a win and your contribution to the insanity system is really well thought.

We'll create a spreadsheet with possible ideas to add to the game, and post it soon. Your name is sure to appear there, multiple times.

The feedbacks you people are giving us is exactly what we had in mind. You guys sure are helping us a lot with all those amazing ideas and suggestions.
bergysb May 7, 2013 @ 2:30am 
I just thought I'd move the following from comments to here as I posted before I noticed you had a dedicated thread:

Love the concept of a player controlled monster.

More than one monster type would add to the survivor experience, with the human players not knowing which monster they're up against each time you start a new play-through.

The scares could certainly make the monster 'charge' its manifestation faster, like it's feeding off the fear of the survivors.

The idea of freezing in fear or panicking are good ones too, but maybe not by allowing the monster to directly 'freeze' a player. Maybe 'panicking' could make you drop your torch and let out a little yelp rather than affecting your control mechanism or messing with the UI.

Being scared could make you breathe heavily or your heart rate go up and become perceivable by the monster, so it can 'see' you in its apparition form. Perhaps freezing and staying motionless could enable the survivors to calm down quicker so they have to decide whether to 'freeze' and stop making any noise, or flee and make a hell of a racket! :)
Last edited by bergysb; May 9, 2013 @ 12:23am
MrRoadShow May 9, 2013 @ 1:18am 
Might I suggest that you employ the type of conditioning used in the Silent Hill series with the static? When the monster attains its physical form, an eerie audio track could play when he spots a player, and it could grow louder as he closes the gap. This could make the whole "run like hell" scenario even more frightening if you hear the music getting louder right behind you.
9heads  [developer] May 9, 2013 @ 4:36am 
Thank you bergysb, your suggestions on how the "being scared" system should be are very interesting, the idea of giving the option to 'freeze' (stay motionless) to calm down quicker is really good, it'd be a plus to the insanity system.

And thank you mistahj93 too, certainly adding some sound effects here and there would increase even more the tension. Triggering sound effects based on the monster distance from the survivors would certainly make those moments more terrifying!
TastyWheat May 10, 2013 @ 8:32am 
Balance is going to be a key issue with this game. Obviously the monster is powerful because it can kill the defenseless survivors, but you still need to have a level of challenge for the monster (not just use a player as A.I. replacement).

What gives the monster "power" to change into physical form? If it's simply an ability that charges up over time why make creepy noises and warn the survivors you're nearby? If power is gained by activating scary events (in the presence of a survivor) can the monster just "spam" these events over and over?

Can the monster (in physical form) open doors and such? It would be silly if you can't attack a survivor because he shut himself in a closet.

If the flashlights cue the monster into where you are, can you do everything (i.e. open drawers, pick up objects) with the flashlight off? That could make it significantly harder for the monster to detect anyone. It might be a fair advantage though.

Do footsteps (of survivors) make noise that the monster can hear? That might give the monster too much of an advantage, but it might be balanced if it could only hear running footsteps (assuming they're nearby of course).

Do survivors have a side chat that the monster can't detect? I think that could potentially swing favor towards the survivors, especially if there's an in-game map. An in-game map would probably be a bad idea overall though.
9heads  [developer] May 10, 2013 @ 9:14am 
TastyWheat, a lot of those questions doesn't have an answer yet, we are still designing the gameplay features, and this is where you guys can jump in and help us.

What we can say for now is that the ability to become physical will be charged over time, and maybe it'll receive a boost every time the monster successfully scares a survivor. Another thing we're still designing is that the monster will have some supernatural powers when physical, and each time the monster scares a survivor it could receive one of those powers to use the next time it becomes physical.

While in the physical form, the monster will be able to manipulate the objects just like a survivor. But the survivor will be able to hold a door shut, while holding a door closed, the monster won't be able to open it, so it'll have to enter the ethereal state to pass through the door, or find another way inside. Once the survivor let go of the door, the monster will be able to open it freely. It'll be like two "equal" forces trying to manipulate the same object, the object will essentially stay frozen until one of the forces disappear.

The game will be really dark, the idea is to not allow the survivors to play without the flashlight. We wanna cause this conflict: "I can only explore with the flashlight on, but if it's on, the monster will have less trouble finding me, what do I do?"

Footsteps makes noise! The survivors have three different speeds (slowly/carefully walking - almost no sound effect; walking - a "medium volume" sound effect (can be heard if you're close enough); running - loud sound effect (can be easily heard)).

And, regarding the chat, we loved the idea of implementing a voice chat, where the sounds would be attenuated considering distance and physics (barriers, like walls). But for now, the only ingame chat available is the one you asked, only survivors can see.
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