Master Plan #53, on Horror Design


Finally put up another episode, this time with Monica Valentinelli from Flames Rising. We talk about some thoughts on horror design. I know there are a few aspiring horror game designs here, so maybe you want to take a listen. It's also a different perspective than the usual S-G party line, which I find refreshing to think about at times.
This month being the month of all things horror, Ryan gets together with Monica Valentielli of Flames Rising to talk about some basic things to consider when designing a horror game. The folks at Flames Rising really know their horror, so it's no surprise that Monica's full of great insight about mood, theme, player involvement, and pacing. Towards the end of the conversation, they discuss a little bit of the differences between more traditional horror game set-ups and some of the newer, indie/character-focused ones.

After the interview, Ryan reminds you he exists by continuing to talk, this time about the recent The Thing's The Game episode and Jess Hartley's new book, Conventions for the Aspiring Game Professional.

Running time: 32:18 / File size: 22.1M


  • What's the usual Story Games party line?
  • Whatever happens to be the flavor of the month here, but fairly heavily focused on high-procedure, taking that element out of the GM's direct influence (if there's even a GM).
  • Wait, now I'm all confused. So there's a Story Games party line, but it's also the Story Games flavor of the month. And they are the same thing somehow. Maybe the party line is very flexible.
  • To reconcile these things, perhaps we could say:
    Monica Valentinelli comes from a different community, and thus has a different background and set of experiences to share.
  • What Joe said.

    I look at a lot of the games I play & talk about, the new hotness, etc., and when someone points out something outside of those experiences, it makes me reevaluate the sort of things I'm unconsciously reinforcing. My comment was meant to say "hey, other viewpoints rock" not 'let's analyze the fuck out of Ryan's quickly-typed comment."
  • I despise other viewpoints.
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