If there’s one thing people love to do in video games, it’s having some sort of monster/masked killer/evil talking doll jumping out at them from the dark. So the equation for making the ultimate, millions-making survival horror is simple. Simply throw as many scares, loud noises and rusty implements of death as possible at folk and you’ll have them metaphorically staining their sofas with bodily fluids. And, more importantly, propping up your luxury yacht fund.
The cynical components you'll need
1. At least 76% of the game must be spent in pitch blackness
The player should never be able to see the action without use of a flashlight. This way, you can brag about your new advanced torch-RAGE-o-matic particle processing lighting system somewhere on the box. And nothing sells a game quite like baffling, committee-approved terminology.
2. Tedious item collection
Nothing screams unbearable garment-soiling tension more than having to strategically arrange a variety of herbs in a storage box, while ravenous beasties try to nibble your knees. Brag about this feature and you’ll have consumers fighting over counters up and down the land to bag the last copy of your game.
3. The big baddie should be a chick who morphs into a naked abomination of malformed lady parts
This nicely ticks off both the sex appeal and gross factors you’ll need to shift copies. Calling her the Sexinator will almost certainly boost sales by 12-14% among the lonely teen demographic.
4. Detachable limbs
No one’s going to buy your horror game if they can’t shoot the shins of your Nazi vampire zombies and see bits of undead sinew. Decapitations and amputations are always a sure-fire way to horrify, and a safe bet in making sure your survival horror product is the hottest on the shelves.
5. Either the main star or main monster must wear a mask
Because masks are badass and genuinely terrifying. Need further proof? Alright…
The totally trendy title
Emphasise loneliness, sexiness and the darkness of the human condition in your title and you’re good to go. We can’t stress the sex part strongly enough, though. People will only stand scares if they think there’s the prospect of a bit of trouser snake action further down the line.
The awesome end result
The RPG that'll make you blub like and baby and hand over your cash without question.