So, after some practice on making video-games, you've decided you want to make a horror-survival, eh? Well, these simple steps will help you along to soiling the pants of the nation!
1.Choose an effectual creature. Zombies are great and all, but they've just became un-scary since everyone started using them. Take a look at the popular Survival horror game Silent Hill, and look at its original creature design. Now, take the concept of something no one's ever seen before, and implement it to your game. The enemy doesn't always have to be a creature, the enemy could be a human. Making that human scary by make them innocent and twisted, a little girl covered in blood with a deranged laugh is effective.
2.Avoid as many cliches as possible. Lots of great game ideas have been ruined by poor choice, and overuse of cliches. Cliches include: Zombies, abandoned areas, cardboard protagonists, etc.
3.Remove the soundtrack. One thing great video game series do when they want to add fear, is to remove the soundtrack. Hard to believe but it's a lot scarier without Beethoven's symphony when you're fighting a deranged... thing.
4.Use shock fear lightly. There's nothing more scarier, than your monster of choice leaping from something seemingly innocent, such as a locker, right? Then what's the point in making it too frequent? The shock will eventually go away when it happens so many times.
5.The rumble-feature. If you're making your game for a console, you will have a tool PC users don't have, the vibrating pad. Simple clues, such as a heartbeat, or even random and sporadic rumbles will shock the player to death when they don't expect it.
6.Limited visibility. The old saying was true; Sometimes, more is less. Games like silent hill could terrify it's viewer by limiting the visibility to about five foot in front of the protagonist.
7.Atmosphere is affective. One second the creature is in front of you and the next second it's behind you. Eerie sounds and noises in the background (whispers, laughs, footsteps).