Ways to shatter the fourth wall

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Benja, Dec 1, 2016.

  1. Benja

    Benja Lead Developer Veteran

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    Hiya there!


    So I am creating a horror game in rpg maker (VX ace) that directly interacts with the player and the player's computer to deliver sp00ks.


    Buuuuut I'm running out of ways to do this, and I was hoping you guys could help!


    Here's what I've done so far:

    • The game creates text files and opens them
    • The game produces fake error messages
    • The game regularly changes the title screen and title music
    • The game will automatically resize the game window(The game is windowed mode only)
    • The game can also move the game window wherever it pleases



    So, does anyone have any ideas?
     
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  2. HexMozart88

    HexMozart88 The Master of Random Garbage Veteran

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    First of all, would this happen to be Party 3? 


    Second of all, I like it when it seems like they're talking to someone else but then they say something that unmistakably refers to you. Like, a character is telling a backstory, and then they look at the screen and say, "stop staring at me" and it all goes black. It needs to be subtle, and it needs to transition well. No dramatic pauses. Just suddenly smash that fourth wall before the player even realizes it. 
     
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  3. Benja

    Benja Lead Developer Veteran

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    You got me! It's Party 3!


    I don't know, that suggestion might be a bit too subtle for Party, you would know. A significant part of Party is a lack of dialogue, and that might be pushing it a bit, but I'll think on it.
     
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  4. Crabs

    Crabs Veteran Veteran

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    Maybe sth like this?

    thursday.png



    It's possible to do it in RPGMaker MV by using this script. 


    var d = new Date();
    var weekday = new Array(7);
    weekday[0]= "Sunday"; weekday[1] = "Monday";
    weekday[2] = "Tuesday"; weekday[3] = "Wednesday";
    weekday[4] = "Thursday"; weekday[5] = "Friday";
    weekday[6] = "Saturday";
    var n = weekday[d.getDay()];
    $gameMessage.setFaceImage('People2',2);
    $gameMessage.setBackground(1);
    $gameMessage.setPositionType(1);
    $gameMessage.add("I love " + n);


    I think it's possible to do it in Ruby too. I don't remember how though, since I don't use VXAce for a long time. But you can get the basic idea from this algorithm.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 2, 2016
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  5. Kes

    Kes Global Moderators Global Mod

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    @Benja General Discussion is specifically not for individual projects.  Therefore discussion cannot be limited to what is and what is not applicable to one game.  In consequence, please do not cut short suggestions with "that's not my game style", as the suggestion might be useful for someone else if it were developed a bit in conversation.


    Thanks.
     
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  6. Benja

    Benja Lead Developer Veteran

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    Sorry about that!
     
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  7. 8era

    8era Villager Member

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    I know this is kind of an old post but, would you be kind and share some knowledge with me? :D


    how do you make it so the windows moves?


    thank you in advance :(
     
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  8. bustedradio

    bustedradio sports anime trash Veteran

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    I really like Hex's idea of "stop staring at me". To expand, perhaps not an npc, but maybe your reflection in the mirror talks to you or an object in the world. You can talk to it multiple times and it can say something really mundane like "It's your reflection", "It's a teddy bear". Then maybe after the fourth time examining it, the text can say "stop staring at me". If your game uses portraits, then you can change the portrait so that it looks right at the player.


    I think another variation of the idea above is, "you're not suppose to be here". There's a door with a sign that says "do not enter" and if the player goes inside, they come face to face with something. Maybe it gives the player a warning first not to come in again. If they do, the creature gets mad and then closes the game.


    Another cool idea, from the SCP games, is if the player is taking too long on the menu or pause screen, the game will unpause itself and tell the player to "stop hiding".


    I'm not familiar with your game series, so I don't know if these suggestions will help or not.
     
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  9. Kes

    Kes Global Moderators Global Mod

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    @8era Please note that you are using MV, and @Benja is using Ace.  Ace uses Ruby and MV uses Javascript.  Those are not interchangeable, so his/her scripting solution will not work for you.
     
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  10. Blackyu

    Blackyu Professional Procrastinator and proud to be ! Veteran

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    If you still need ideas, I can give you the link of a great VX Ace script !


    http://www.rpgmakercentral.com/topic/6462-global-save-file-by-skul/


    Global Save File is very effective in a horror game. It's a script that can "remember" activated switches in-game independently from save files, Undertale-like fashion.


    Here's an example of an application.


    Let's say you meet a monster, dialogue appears, then monster kills you.


    Normally, since you haven't saved between those steps, the game has no way to know if you've already triggered the dialogue with the monster or not.


    Using Global Save File, you can set a "Global Switch" that will activate when the dialogue is triggered, and stay activated even when you die.


    That way, when you restart the game, you can create a different dialogue with the monster that reinforces the 4th wall-breaking feeling.


    Point is, it allows you to change things between saves, and it can become a great stress-factor in horror games when used well.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 23, 2016
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  11. RetroBoy

    RetroBoy Veteran Veteran

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    You should create a "Fake" Save File that appears sometimes (like 20% chance or something) when people boot up their game. So that people are like... "Why the frick are there two saves?!" and have the second save be some kind of enigmatic cut scene or something that ends in a glitch that closes down the game. Not a lot of folks will find it but if you get a big following someone will.
     
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  12. HexMozart88

    HexMozart88 The Master of Random Garbage Veteran

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    If you want another idea of something to do, what I'm planning on doing is having the save screen completely change at one point, so that there are only two files: "Christianity" and "Atheism". The former will result in the text on the save file changing to "You still think that's the path you follow?" but if you keep pressing it, it resets the game (not like it deletes your progress, but it closes the game and opens it again with a different title screen). Then when you go to the save file, it will say, "let's try this again, shall we?" Choosing the latter will make it say "You don't realize it yet, do you?" Then it'll go back to the save screen, and there will only be one option. "..." You click it, it opens your last saved game. All or most of this will be evented of course, but if you plan on scripting something like it, you may want to simplify it slightly.  
     
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  13. Basileus

    Basileus Veteran Veteran

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    Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem did all kinds of stuff like this. 


    One of the game's main mechanics was a "Sanity Meter" and as it got depleted things got weird. At first it's not too bad as it represents your character freaking out from the H.P. Lovecraft horrors they encounter - stuff like odd noises, bleeding walls, mysterious laughter, statues that turn to follow you, suddenly hearing panicked knocking from the other side of doors, 


    But when it gets low enough it starts to affect the player - stuff like lowering the volume of the game (while also bringing up a TV volume control to make it look like someone is touching the remote!), messages that say your save files got deleted, a black image that makes it look like a bug is crawling on your screen, making it look like the console shut itself down, randomly muting the TV, and messages that your controller got disconnected. It even does some freaky things like occasionally just having your character's limbs fall off or causing their torso to explode when they try to heal (both are illusions and things reset a few seconds prior) and at one point pauses for a while at a major cliffhanger with a message saying you completed the demo version.


    But from a meta perspective, one of the ways it seriously messes up the player is by giving them weapons early...and not giving them anything to use them on. The game is chapter based with a segment as the main character finding the next chapter of the Book of Eternal Darkness then playing as some character from the past until the end of that character's story, then cutting back to the protagonist. At the end of every chapter, the protagonist always finds stuff that was in the chapter they just finished reading (usually items the player just used when they played that chapter). This is often the main weapon of the character from that chapter. So you find weapons early on...while trapped in a freaky mansion that your grandfather was just mysteriously murdered in...with hellish and terrifying sounds...and absolutely nothing to actually shoot or stab for most of the game (as the protagonist, the chapter characters have plenty of baddies to terrify them). So you finish a chapter, find the character's revolver or shotgun, then walk through the creepy mansion to find the next chapter...just waiting with an itchy trigger finger at every creaking noise or flickering light or horrified shriek from behind a door...and there is never anything there.


    Betraying the player's expectations like that is seriously creepy. More than most of the gimmicky tricks the game pulls even.
     
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