The Woods is an ambient psycho horror game with many realistic elements, such as realistic character reactions, real biological processes (bleeding and breaking bones) and much more.
The player starts, on one side, as a character who crashed his car into a tree and is trapped in the forest or he starts on the other side as one of the killers who heard the accident happen and just need his next victim. During the game, the tension increase and the killer will attack more often the player whether he sees him. The character on the other side gets more tired and uncarefully.
For different game styles, we combined the True First-Person View with the Third-Person View so the player can change between them with a hotkey during the game, whenever he wants to.
Now, the goal of the game is whether you are the character, to survive until dawn or to escape, or when you are the killer to kill the character before he escapes. In the most cases to reach the end of the game as the character is impossible since the killer will react on every try to escape and that on a bad way.
We placed the game into a forest to create an uncomfortable feeling and a natural creepy atmosphere since a forest at night is not the best place to be alone, especially if there is a killer around.
Nature alone creates an amazing feeling inside the game since you see a shadow in the fog and you can't tell if it is an animal, a tree or even the killer. Also, the wind moves the plants and trees so every sound and movement give some goosebumps because you don't know what it is.
Our game character is not a real story character like you know them of many other games. He hasn't a name neither a background story, and that is because we didn't want to force the player into a story he won't or can't fit in.
The character has like every one of us the most common abilities to survive, he knows how to climb and to hide, he even can go into a combat and may punch the killer. The only ability he has which is need to get a better gameplay feeling is that he know how to shot a gun or use another weapon, but who of won't know it in a moment of life and death.
Like mentioned the character can go into a combat. That is because we added a little combat system which allows the player to fight for his life. He may kick and punch the killer who gets stunned and is not able to attack and that moment, but the player doesn't know how to kill him just with melee attacks. The killer is not able to fight like this but he knows well how to block a hit or how to dodge if it's necessary.
We want to extend this combat system to some more attack styles and combos the player can use to fight but it will stay in a realistic way.
As one of the essential killer characters, the psychopath is one of the most common characters used in similar games. We decided to use him in our game because he would fit perfectly and gives the player the most uncomfortable feeling in the video game.
The twins are not killers. They are both such innocent creatures which got lost in the woods- inspired by Hansel and Gretel- but the boy, Adie is such a troublemaker. Since this a unique game character, we thought to do a different separation here between the other killers and this cute twins. So instead of a brutal attack, the Twins are just playing with the player until he drives crazy or he gets caught by a trap, which the kids surely can plant.
Likely you can see in our concept art the girl is such colorful and the boy just in black and gray colors, which has a significant meaning for the gameplay. Adie (Latin name for "the dark one"), the boy such makes troubles all time. He ran away from his sister and plants funny traps (which are still dangerous!). Unlikely his sister, Ailia (Irish name for bright), always takes care and is such a good girl. She will not hurt the player in any way, and she tries always to protect him from her evil brother. Moreover, here starts the different separation between the both, which we visualized more detailed down below.
First of all, we had to base our killers on a little system which would explain when and why they attack. This makes them human and gives a real gameplay feeling.
The newest idea for the aggression level was about a script which catches up the emotions via webcam and connects it with the attack level. So since the player gets scared, nervous or something similar to these, the killer is more likely to attack the player than during a quiet and calm moment. This would increase the possibility of a unique gameplay every new round and gives the game a higher tension and realistic factor.
In the game, the player and the killer can have several weapons to kill or to protect. The killer chooses his weapon of his preferred attack style, the character can find some in the forest in bags of other visitors.
Our game is based on many small features which bring its realism to the game. These features are not complete of what we want to add, but the most important ones for the necessary gameplay we wanted to create.