As I look through the design documents I've typed along with the various ones I have in my head one thing remains constant, none of them are based on existing properties. I like the challenge of coming up with something unique and not seen before. However there is one IP out there that I would love to design games around and I bet that no one would guess it off the top of their head.
Could it be The Thing, Airplane!, Black Dynamite? I'll give you a minute to think it over...
That's enough time, the property is Evil Dead. I've been a fan of the franchise since high school and have watched all three movies several times. With that said I've also played the various licensed games made for it which is also one of the reasons why I stay away from licensed properties to begin with. To me, there are certain elements of the movies that I think would translate well to a video game and could also be used to give the horror genre a shot in the arm. Besides describing these elements I'm also going to talk about a few of the ideas I've had as well.
1. Dead before dawn: Being stuck in a cabin in the woods would make for a very interesting horror title. I could picture something similar to minecraft in a sense. When the game begins the cabin is randomized in its layout, items and deadites waiting to kill you. You have to holdup inside the cabin while the force outside attempts to kill you. You can use anything as a weapon and you'll have to be careful of random attacks. Windows are very dangerous as the force can go through it to reach you meaning you'll have to set up barricades.
You can leave the house at night to make short trips to other buildings on the property but the threat of the evil force is always there. You'll hear noises as an early warning that it's coming for you and if it catches you its game over.
Once it becomes dawn you are free to roam around outside looking for anything that could help you escape or fight the evil force. Each time you start a new game the world only spawns so many items and weapons for you to use. If you're not careful you'll run out of ammo for any guns you find or break anything that could be used as a weapon.
2. Reboot: The last Evil Dead game was an attempt at continuing the story as opposed to making an Evil Dead 4. That along with actually having an adequate combat system moved the game up to "passable" territory.
For my other idea I would like to reboot the series and add new elements to the game design. My idea takes place in a town instead of just the cabin and the same basic plot happens. The evil force gets released and starts causing havoc and it's up to the main character to stop it.
From there the game moves away from the movie. The concept of using anything as a weapon from my first idea is here along with a randomized environment. In this idea the game is more open ended and is similar to Dead Rising. While the player is trying to find a way to stop the evil force they also have to rescue the remaining humans. If the player can't find them in time they will become deadites that the player will have to fight.
What I'm thinking is that deadites are essentially boss characters while inanimate objects coming to life act as basic fodder for the player. The reason that the deadites should be incredibly powerful is to force the player to weigh the consequences of trying to rescue people and use up their remaining weapons or searching for better means to survive.
There will be a day/night cycle which will give the player breathing room. During the day the player can wander around the buildings without fear of being attacked, however if they explore buildings where there is no light (such as a cellar) there is the chance that they will be attacked.
The randomized environment also lends a sense of a rogue-like as the player will have to use whatever means to survive and hopefully find enough weapons to deal with the deadites. While most of the deadites are randomized and based on the player's rescue rate, some act as guardians for specific buildings in the town. Taking a cue from Dead Rising 2, the player can run away from a fight if they are not ready for it instead of being locked in a small room with them.
Like the first idea the evil force remains a constant danger and can attack the player at anytime while outside during the night. If the player is caught it's game over, however the player can use stealth to avoid it and hiding in a building will keep you relatively safe.
I would also take a page from Stalker: Call of Pripiyat with having randomized times that there is no where safe outside for the player and their only option is to take shelter somewhere. These times will be the most dangerous as the player could be trapped in a building with a deadite and cannot escape until it calms down outside.
Titles that feature constant dangers or limitations can provide their own sense of terror. Such as Demon's Souls which hangs the threat of death over the player at all times. It's that kind of pacing and design I think would be a good fit for the horror genre and along with Evil Dead inspired these ideas. Now that I think about it, Black Dynamite would be a great property to make a game about, however I fear that no game could capture the awesomeness that is Black Dynamite.
P.S: Groovy (Did you really think I wasn't going to write this?)
P.P.S: I would love to create a game with a similar theme to John Carpenter's remake of The Thing but with that concept I can take those themes and move them to another situation outside of the IP.
P.P.P.S: Don't call me Shirley