Designing Phantasmagoria III

Feeling like you're being haunted? Well, if you look in here, you may find (or at least post for some help!) the answers you're looking for - for the Phantasmagoria games!
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Tawmis
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Designing Phantasmagoria III

Post by Tawmis » Sat Jun 16, 2018 11:17 am

The idea came to me to post some threads about other Sierra games, when I was just digging through my email and found an ancient story I had written where the next King's Quest game would be Edgar (from King's Quest IV) seeking out Rosella to try and win her hand in marriage. It was, in my head, a cool idea because Edgar would technically be a king (with his mother - spoilers! - now dead).

So, I thought - given the chance, if you were brought in to help, or pitch ideas, or help direct (so let's avoid answers like, "I'd call in Jane Jensen/Al Lowe/Roberta Willians/Scott Murphy/Mark Crowe/Jim Walls/Christy Marx/etc" - and assume they're there too :lol: ) - to work on the next game.

So in this case - if you were a part of the creative team, what would you hope for in the next PHANTASMAGORIA III?

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Re: Designing Phantasmagoria III

Post by Collector » Sat Jun 16, 2018 1:07 pm

Just as I said in the Shivers III thread it would not be a sequel, per se, but a completely new game with different characters and stories than either of the first two, just a common theme of horror.
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Re: Designing Phantasmagoria III

Post by Mostly » Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:38 pm

We did the haunted mansion and we did the... whatever A Puzzle of Flesh was. Maybe the third entry could have taken place in the past - how about something like the American Old West in the late 1800s? There could be a small town that's experiencing bizarre disappearances, and you play a young sheriff trying to solve the mystery. The horror element could go in any number of directions - cannibals, ghosts of victims of a mining accident, Native American curses, or something else. I say cannibals!

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Re: Designing Phantasmagoria III

Post by Collector » Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:05 am

Of course you had the Native American curses in Shivers Two.
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Re: Designing Phantasmagoria III

Post by Mostly » Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:59 am

Exactly. I like the idea of cannibals because it's not supernatural - no ancient demons, alien dimensions, or other stuff. It's just really, really horrific.

The game could make you think there are ghosts or supernatural creatures related to the disappearances, maybe incorporating some other urban legends. The twist is that there's nothing supernatural at all.

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Re: Designing Phantasmagoria III

Post by Collector » Wed Jun 20, 2018 4:50 pm

Mostly wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:59 am
Exactly. I like the idea of cannibals because it's not supernatural - no ancient demons, alien dimensions, or other stuff. It's just really, really horrific.
I see where you are going.
Mostly wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:59 am
The game could make you think there are ghosts or supernatural creatures related to the disappearances, maybe incorporating some other urban legends. The twist is that there's nothing supernatural at all.
I actually find that more disturbing than it is to remove all doubt that there is something supernatural going on. It makes it more of a mental fear. To know for certain that there are, say, ghosts breaks immersion.
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Re: Designing Phantasmagoria III

Post by Tawmis » Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:03 pm

Mostly wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:59 am
Exactly. I like the idea of cannibals because it's not supernatural
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Re: Designing Phantasmagoria III

Post by Datadog » Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:06 pm

I did a little googling and found out that "cannibal restaurants" may or may not be a thing in Los Angeles and Berlin. Supposedly, people donate/sell(?) their organs to be eaten by rich people. On the Cannibal Club website, the FAQ has a creepy story about a deceased person bequeathing their body to be eaten by relatives at their establishment. There was also a restaurant in Nigeria that was shut down for selling human heads as food.

I don't know the legitimacy of these stories, but if we're looking at cannibalism as a topic for "Phantasmagoria 3", I can see it being centered around a fancy restaurant where rich people dine on humans. And you could maybe play as the chef... or someone on the menu.
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Re: Designing Phantasmagoria III

Post by Tawmis » Thu Jun 21, 2018 1:25 am

I was thinking Witchcraft.

You go camping out with your wife who you just barely married two years ago, deep into the woods. You see a few odd things like runes and such on the trees. Decide to camp because it gets unusually dark and cold. You have a vicious nightmare and wake up screaming...

Only... your wife is suddenly gone. You run back to your car, and it's been destroyed. The tires are slashed and the car is burning. So deep in the woods, you have no cell reception. You don't want to leave because you need to find (and rescue?) your wife.

So now you're going through the forest, looking at runes, which provide clues. Begin seeing signs of rituals - dead animals, pentagrams, the like.

Eventually you make your way and find a cave, where it appears some witches are about to sacrifice a woman - but it's not your wife - but you still act to save the innocent woman!

Only you're captured, and the head witch removes her mask, and it's your wife. She explains that in order to extend her life, the victim has to come willingly.

Then she kills you.

So it's a game where you die at the end. Betrayed by your wife, who set you up from the start.

If you've ever seen the movie Spellbinder, you will know where I draw my inspiration from.

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Re: Designing Phantasmagoria III

Post by JasefWisener » Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:04 pm

The third season of Channel Zero, subtitled Butcher's Block, on Syfy did the best supernatural cannibalism story I've ever seen in any medium. I think it's available to watch on the Syfy website in the US, and it's only about 6 episodes long.

Really, all three seasons of Channel Zero feel like heirs apparent to Phantasmagoria.
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