Many games of the horror variety create the atmosphere with music. Now, horror games are all about atmosphere. However, music can definitely ruin the atmosphere when not managed well. That’s why I have this single tip: build silence into your horror games.
The Power Of Silence
Not many horror games use silence as effectively as they could. Often times, the silence is used until an enemy approaches the player (Resident Evil 4 used this often). But, as a result, the player knows when something is approaching and we already know to be ready for it. Now, the better option would be to cut music from the game entirely. Cutting music from the game means your “scares” will stand out; players won’t know when it’s coming. That effect creates the real surprise and the scare factor that intensifies the atmosphere. Now, the next part of the tip: sound effects.
Sound Effects Create Atmosphere
Have you ever been paranoid of sounds in your house during the night? The same applies to games. Smart use of sound effects is core in creating the atmosphere in your horror game. Leaking faucets, rats crawling along the floor, creaking and rustling all tease the player until the actual scare occurs. When putting sound effects in your horror game, spread them out to create the effect you want. One important thing to understand is that horror games are very event driven, so it’s important to space out your events to be as unpredictable as possible the first time through.
Hopefully, this post helps you; there is a lot to understand about horror. If you have other thoughts on the horror genre, please share below.