The focus of the gameplay for my Silent Hill adaptation was more puzzle focused than other titles I have designed, with the history of the town and the player characters background being slowly revealed over time. It was designed to be a one-off game, but I have tweaked the design and story several times to fit client requests for private commissions.
Creating a Silent Hill game was a unique challenge, as the style of these horror titles is also unique. It is very easy to fall into traditional tropes when writing horror titles, but Silent Hill is a psychological horror series which focuses on atmosphere and building a sense of dread in the player. Too many conventional tropes, such as jump scares, can destroy the carefully constructed feel of these titles (I could speak for hours on how the later western Silent Hill titles fell into the power fantasy style of modern horrors rather than maintaining what made the series so unique, but this is neither the time nor place). Adding the multiplayer factor into this balance was another challenge, but ensuring each player had their own gameplay introduction ensure they were in the right frame of mind moving forward.
I designed a special map for the game, which was made up of small envelopes with a picture of the location on the front. Inside was a map of the area and a card for the storyteller. The map was given to the players (once they found the in game item) and they were encouraged to write their own comments and findings on it with red pens, which mimicked the early videogame titles map style. The storytellers card had two sides, one with normal information on the location and the other with descriptions of the ‘other world’ changes to the location. At certain points the game would shift to the other world, these were pre-determined although the players had the choice to explore various locations at any given point.