Design Blog 05 – Monsters!

Hello again from the design team,

We are now able to reveal another intended feature of Project Maize: different monster types! We aim to have three (for now at least) different types of enemy for the player to face. The problem with one monster is that once the player develops their own tactics for avoiding it they will just default to those every time they load up the game. We want to keep players on their toes, so by introducing multiple monsters with different behaviours, we make it so that the player will first need to find out what monster they’re dealing with before making too many tactical decisions. Each of the three monster types is designed to represent a different kind of fear. Some information on each of the currently intended monsters is below along with some pictures of similar monsters from other games to help give you an idea of what they will look like (because we can’t reveal ours yet!).

Brute

Bio: The Brute’s attributes are given away by the name. He is big, dumb and dangerous. He detects the player using only his immediate senses, and little if any intelligent thought. When he sees, hears or smells you he will give chase. He will wander towards any sound he hears and will check out well lit rooms, which the player can use to their advantage. For example they could leave a radio on in a nearby room so that the Brute will go there first if he wanders by, granting an opportunity to escape. As soon as he sees the player he will charge, and will smash anything that gets between him and his target. Due to his speed and implacability he is the hardest to get away from, but once sufficiently far away he is the easiest to hide from given his lack of intelligence. However, because he smashes doors and furniture, breaking line of sight will be harder, and hiding places will become more limited over time.

Fear: The Brute represents raw physical danger and is intended to elicit a very primitive ‘survival instinct’ feeling, like being chased by a boar or a tiger.

Intelligence: Low

Speed: High

Strength: High

Inspirations: Cave Troll (Lord of the Rings), Tank/Charger (Left 4 Dead)

Visual Example:

Killer Croc from the Arkham series. Huge yet athletic, the physical threat he poses is immediately apparent just from his appearance.

Stalker

Bio: The Stalker is a stealthy predator. She is the flip side of the coin to the Brute, as she will generally avoid face-to-face confrontations when possible, favouring more covert hunting methods. The Stalker can pick up the player’s scent, which is a kind of trail that the player leaves which disappears over time, and builds up the longer they stay in one location. Upon picking up this scent she will begin to track the player and when the player is within her sights she will begin stalking them quietly until either she catches them, or they notice her and try to flee, at which point she will give chase. The Stalker lacks the physical strength of the Brute so closed doors will slow her down, giving the player a chance to get enough distance to hide. Hiding from the Stalker is a little harder, as if the player has been in the room they are hiding in too long their scent will have built up too much for there to be any doubt as to where they are. However, if the player has only been in the hiding spot a short time the Stalker will read this as though the player was here, but has moved on, and will check other nearby areas allowing them to sneak out. If she has not encountered the player in a while she may lay traps in an attempt to catch them or try and box them in. Like the brute she can be tricked with simple distractions such as radio or TV noises.

Fear: The Stalker, as the name suggests, represents the uncomfortable feeling that there’s another presence nearby without being aware where it is, such as feeling like you’re being followed, or being unable to sleep because you saw a spider in your room earlier and now you don’t know where it is. The aim of the Stalker is to elicit feelings of paranoia and that creepy-crawly sensation.

Intelligence: Moderate

Speed: Moderate

Strength: Moderate

Inspirations: Xenomorph (Alien), Insects, Spiders

Visual example:

The Chrysalid from XCOM. Slender, agile and incredibly deadly. Something you could easily picture disappearing into the darkness.

 

Fiend

Bio: The Fiend is a different beast altogether. While the Brute and Stalker will hunt the player due to animalistic instincts (territorial and predatory respectively), it hunts for more sinister and unknowable reasons. Psychotic, sadistic and somewhat unpredictable, it has human level (at least) intelligence and while it is physically weaker than the others that makes it no less dangerous. It tracks the player similarly to the brute, using sight and sound, but it combines this with reasoning and intelligence. It is not as fast as the Brute or Stalker (most of the time anyway, it might take a run at you for kicks), so putting some distance between it and you is less difficult. That said, hiding from the Fiend is much harder due to its intelligence. For example, if it sees the player run into a room with only one entrance and exit, it knows that they’re in there, and it cannot be fooled with simple distractions, so it is better to try and lose line of sight well before you find somewhere to hide. Failing that however it can still be tricked (though I won’t say how just yet). It is not slowed by closed doors as he is more than capable of opening them.

Fear: The Fiend represents more complex fears, such as fear of the insane and/or unpredictable, and of being powerless/toyed with. He is intended to inspire panic in players.

Intelligence: High

Speed: Low-Moderate

Strength: Low

Inspirations: Freddy Krueger (Nightmare on Elm Street), Slenderman (Internet Folklore)

Visual Example:

The Controller from the S.T.A.L.K.E.R series. It has a deceptive appearance, looking like a small, slightly off human. This disarms the player a little but they very quickly learn how dangerous it is.

Some of these monsters will also have additional abilities/aversions based on their design, but we don’t want to spoil that just yet.

Currently we only have the Brute type included, as it was the first idea, it is the easiest to describe, and has the simplest behaviour. Again, at the moment these are still intended features as opposed to definite, but if that changes you can expect to find out here.

 

More info soon!

Grant  (Yes I know it says Simon at the top but I forgot my password so there.)