The Vale- Psychological Horror Game

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What is “The Vale” ?

What is the extent of fear? This is the question that we love to ask, and one that we strive to answer. The Vale is designed to do exactly that ; to re define Horror.
To drive fear into the player at a Psychological Level is no easy task, however it is one that we are determined to attempt. The Vale uses Unreal Engine 4’s advanced tech to give birth to Horror like never before.
With a P.T like gameplay, we plan to use some exciting techniques to fulfill our goals - Dynamic Levels, Dark Moods, Vertical AI, Photorealism and more are some of the many tactics we intend to implement.
For those of you who built up an appetite for True Horror playing P.T , only to have it left unfulfilled due to the recent cancellation of Silent Hills , we hope we may be able to help

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The Team

The Vale started off as a small project, less than 5 people working to create a Horror Game that would be remembered for years to come. However, we quickly expanded, and have since had a massive boost in progress. Right now, we have filled nearly all our desired positions, although we do have some critical spots open!
From Concept Artists, to Level Designers, to Composers, The Vale’s team is littered with talent and a burning passion for the genre !

Our Progress

The Vale is a relatively young game - only 2 and a half months old. Most of our members have full time jobs, and up until recently we were quite small a team.
However, we have accomplished much in this little time. Our members are driven to deliver, and often work late into the night, despite having work (and at times, exams) to stick to deadlines.
We have already completed the entire Script, all concept images and Level for our Alpha Release. We have also begun setting up a website( Which we plan to take live when we can go public with more of our completed material) and have even made amazing progress with our characters, as displayed below. Keep in mind that these are very early images, and we have since improved on them, and plan to do so even more.


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In the coming months we will be updating this thread regularly to show off the content as we create it. Be sure to check back to satisfy your appetite for Horror! We will also be updating our Facebook Page (facebook.com/TheValeGame) with new content!

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Just to get you salivating, here is a short video, thrown together by our Level Designers , just for the fun of it. It is not Alpha footage, but merely something they created for you to get a feel of the mood!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYtydt-UjUc

Best,
Your friends at The Vale

I’m curious, how do you define “psychological horror”?

Looks great, good trailer too!

If you’ve played P.T, you’ll understand. That game gives you PTSD.

I have not played it but I’ve seen play through videos. I’d still like to know what makes it psychological horror as opposed to regular old jump scare horror.

I believe it means anti-jump scare horror. Aka building up the tension so much that player feels uneasy and start to feel scared even when they see a cockroach roaming around.

The feeling that something may pop up any moment and the mood suggest that, yet nothing is happening. This is mostly used at P.T. as there is only one jump scare (which is something hard to do, as in some playthroughs of PT it never happened) and that is the only way you can die, aka the woman catching you.

But then, I could be wrong. :stuck_out_tongue:

Let’s just nip this P.T. hype in the bud and agree that game is all about the jump scares. It’s littered with creepy silhouettes, flashing lights and crying babies not to mention banging, slamming, creaking and rustling doors. And the tension you speak of relies entirely on the premise of jump scares. If you didn’t think there was another one coming there would be nothing to build up that tension.

Surely this ain’t the place to discuss about what is A and what is B. Though those things you listed never made me feel scared. Promise of jump scare can be added by the things you have listed, and they prevent your mind from getting relaxed, keeping you prepared always for a jump scare by instinct, even if you think it will never happen.

Anyhow, I like the assests and the way they look. Seems promising!

Hey Guys!
Thanks for the kind words!
I’ll just speak a little more regarding the Style of the game.
We were really inspired by P.T. All members of the team have either played it themselves or have seen videos of Kojima’s Masterpiece. While our game does indeed share the same atmosphere as Silent Hills, the gameplay is not too similar. P.T didn’t involve any actual playing. There was no dying and retrying. Rather, they just had the player walk around and experience the terror. On the other hand, we plan on integrating AI and possibly a health system. All ideas are being debated .
A psychological horror game is indeed a little different. Most games these days rely on jumpscares for the element of Horror. However when it’s psychological, it’s a little more subtle. As developers and designers we need to find a way to mess with the player’s mind.
We have a lot of methods for doing this, although to keep the fun of the game, it would be better not to disclose them. At the same time, we should give at least one example to demonstrate what we mean.
I had earlier mentioned a Dynamic Level. This is something that will act as a tool of Psychological Horror. If a player takes a certain corridor to a room, we may actually change said passage once he enters the room. Thus on opening the door to leave, he finds that the corridor outside doesn’t look like the one he came from. It may even open to another room! Either way, this is used as a method to confuse the player, to make him question if it’s the game’s doing, or if he himself is forgetting. Of course, we will find clever way of doing this, as repetitiveness will cause it to lose it’s purpose.
Another example of messing around on a psychological level would be confusing the players by engaging the senses. Throwing shadows and footsteps right behind the player to make it look as if something is following him, whispers through one of the headphones(we can do that now!), to make him turn around and find nothing.
These are some of the many methods that we plan on using to mess around with the players’ mind. Granted, this won’t exactly terrify the player, but we have a lot of cards to play.
Also, keep in mind that while we won’t overuse the jumpscare, we will use it from time to time. A horror game without jumpscares would be redundant. Our only concern is not overusing anything, otherwise it loses it’s fear factor.

I think since these guys quite specifically explained they are looking to create a psychological horror game and the trailer is a classic example of a jump scare, it’s exactly the place to discuss what is and what isn’t “psychological horror”.

I understand your hesitation thought I hope you’ll reconsider at some point. It may be better to view people on these forums as fellow developers and designers than as (potential) players. I think it’s an incredibly difficult task you’ve set for yourselves and it’d be interesting to understand how you plan on achieving your goals. Games that truly play on the emotions of the player are for sure the most interesting kind (perhaps excluding anger since it’s rarely a designed occurance and more of a side effect, I’m looking at you rage quit). Either way it’ll be interesting to see how your ideas manifest themselves in the game.

Hi again!
Just wanted to reiterate that the video is not exactly a trailer, just something to sort of test out the feel o the game. The trailer will be coming soon, and we shall update the thread as soon as it’s complete.
As much as we’d love to go into the details of the gameplay, at this point I’m afraid I cannot give out much more. I did give examples to simply show he elements of Psychological Horror game, and while they are extremely uncommon, they aren’t unheard of. However, perhaps in the near future, as the development cycle moves forth, we may be able to share some non-generic details of what we plan to implement.
I must specify that this isn’t because we are afraid someone is going “steal our idea” or anything of the sort. When the time comes, we will gladly discuss the mechanics in great detail. At this point however, the game is fairly young and a lot of our plans aren’t finalized. We are looking for additional programmers and animators so that we can confirm what will be happening and rule out what won’t. We are simply trying to avoid saying that we are going to do an amazing gameplay technique and then end up not doing it at all, something all developers should take great care of.
Also, we will have the occasional jumpscare. However , our game will not rely solely on that to bring out the element of Horror
Again, we are very grateful for the feedback, suggestions and complains. Keep them coming, we are always looking for constructive criticism!

Looking really good, that test environment and the sparse, misty logo really set the mood. Seeing those gruesome critters in the full light of day somewhat diminishes their impact, but I don’t doubt they’ll be creepy as hell in situ.

Just IMHO, re psychological horror, I don’t think this classification precludes jump scares, only that what is doing the scaring is more rooted in the protagonist’s repressed memories, mental instability, etc. rather than coming from an explicitly external source (ghosts, vampires, aliens, etc). The old am-I-going-crazy-or-is-this-really-happening gambit (skip ahead to the bit about monsters at 2:27):

As often as not the horror is a manifestation of something horrific the protagonist did in the past, e.g. in PT, the protagonist most likely murdered his wife and child (from the playthrough I saw). But PT and the Silent Hill series as a whole cross well over into supernatural/Lovecraftian/“cosmic” horror as well, making it harder to draw clearly defined labels… all while never letting go of the possibilty of whether any of the supernatural elements were real or simply in the mind of the tormented protagonist. The movie Jacob’s Ladder (supposedly a major influence to Silent Hill) asked this question very well by the end. What makes it psych horror is that the ghosts, vampires, aliens, whatever are always presented through the unreliable viewpoint of this tormented soul (making it an ideal genre for games), versus the implicit assumption in non-psych horror that the monsters really exist.

Just another perspective :wink: In any case, looking forward to seeing more of The Vale!

Sounds cool! Can’t wait to see some gameplay. Good luck with your project! :slight_smile:

This game looks awesome! I’m really looking forward to this game. Nice work!

This sounds awesome. I like games that mess with your head instead of just relying on someone walking down a poorly lit hall and some random model/image pops up and a loud noise follows. I have never played or heard of P.T or if I have not by that name so I am going to check it out. Kind of makes me think of Japanese and Korean horror/psycholigical movies were just the atmosphere and mood make it uneasy and it’s not some annoying “OHGABOOGA SCARY FACE AHHHHH!” and your eardrums are bleeding if you have a good quality headset on. I love the look so far.

Looks very moody, best use of fog in the first screenshot:)

Who needs sleep anyway?

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Looking good! Can’t wait to see more. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the kind words!
We’ll update the thread as frequently as possible!
Give us any and all feedback! Keep 'em coming!

This game looks soo scary and freaky but I wouldn’t mind trying it out :smiley:

New content coming soon!

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