CRAM in more powerful tension and horror

  • Cliches
    Cliches from film and books, can be over-used. However, while they can telegraph a potential outcome they will create an atmosphere and tell your players something about what to expect and how to behave. They create a form of anticipation. Use them to set the tone, switch them up to avoid over-use or removing any surprise from the plot.
  • Relationships
    Relationship is the connection that the player has to other characters, to the story and to the environment. Creating space for players to create and form relationships can be challenging in a fast paced or action story.
    Look for opportunities for shared experiences that create emotional connections. Some of the strongest bonds that people have are established throug highly emotional circumstances that release chemicals in to the player’s mind.
  • Anticipation and Pacing
    Anticipation is everything and is key to building any kind of tension in your game. Build and release, repeat. Consider foreshadowing as a means to create anticipation – Checkov’s gun
  • Moral decision
    Moral = ‘of or concerned with the judgment of right or wrong of human action and character’
    It is likely to be a point in time, at which the players have to consider their situation, the story, their relationships and character. Explicit choice is good for a game. And a situation with consequences leads to a meaningful choice that player’s will remember.

Ultimately it all need wrapping together in a good story

  • Story is king
    The power of story in your level comes down to two things. The story of the environment; and character’s story in that environment. As well as the relationship between each other.
    Story is what we remember. We love to tell stories. We love to listen to stories. There is no better way to communicate and to connect with someone. We don’t care about facts.
    Look for ways to tie the environment and story together, select the environment carefully to add to the mood and atmosphere.

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