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Horror on the 2600

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#1 Yosikuma OFFLINE  


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Posted Tue Dec 25, 2018 12:41 AM

As an aspiring programmer on the 2600, one of the things I have always wondered: can you make a genuinely scary game/experience on the 2600? I have contemplated possible designs involving escape and survival, but I am curious -- is this something you guys have ever tinkered with or contemplated on our beloved 40 year old game system?


I would love to hear from you.

#2 DarkCart OFFLINE  


    Space Invader

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Posted Tue Dec 25, 2018 10:34 AM

First of all, Merry Christmas.


I've often wondered the same myself. I think anything can be scary under the right circumstances, but with a console that doesn't even have any text-rendering built in, you're pretty screwed if you wanted to chill anyone with a psychological horror game. Combined with the fact that sprites are (by default) 8x8 and the playfield isn't too much of an improvement, you couldn't even really make scary looking graphics on the 2600. Even the audio chip holds you back, as the scariest sound you can make with it sounds like a robot having a heart attack.


That said, there are definitely some freaky moments in Atari games, just because of how strange or unexpected they are. I know the bat in Adventure used to always freak me out, and it's just a blob of pixels that looks vaugley like a bat. So maybe instead of trying to make a traditional horror game on a 2600, you'd have to get creative and find a way to scare people without resorting to horror cliches like loud sounds and scary images. But if that's what you're planning on doing, why would you make it on the 2600 in the first place?

#3 AkashicRecord OFFLINE  


    Chopper Commander

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Posted Tue Dec 25, 2018 11:09 AM

I used to shit my pants when things came after me in Venture after collecting the treasures. :D

#4 ultima OFFLINE  


    Chopper Commander

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Posted Tue Dec 25, 2018 11:24 AM

I have been working on some ideas for Genetic Laboratory Failure 2 (resident evil 2). To give it some extra scare factor I started working out a flashlight using flicker that lights enemies up as they come close to the character. Plus like the original game ammo is scarce and the boss keeps getting bigger and more powerful. It would be cool to make a decent horror game wish you luck.

#5 moycon OFFLINE  



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Posted Tue Dec 25, 2018 1:07 PM

I've had jump scares from Haunted House more than once over the years.

#6 Spriggy OFFLINE  



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Posted Tue Dec 25, 2018 4:48 PM

I used to shit my pants when things came after me in Venture after collecting the treasures. :D


I've had jump scares from Haunted House more than once over the years.


Likewise, but did you shit your pants?  ;-)

#7 KevKelley OFFLINE  


    Chopper Commander

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Posted Tue Dec 25, 2018 7:48 PM

I have found more of a suspense and anxious feeling then one of being scared when playing Atari. The first thing that came to mind was when the spaceships get close to the bottom in Atlantis and their eventual destruction. That used to always get my heartrate up when i was little.

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