Well, this is an interesting idea: a horror game, where the player sees the world with the eyes of a two year old.
In the borderland between dream and reality, surreal creatures and diverse environments will present you with both physical and mental obstacles that challenge your creativity.
Keith Stuart on The Guardian misses real, scary horror in games – even though this medium should be ideally suited for it.
Horror should be a key facet in the video game armoury – the unique element of interaction is seemingly purpose-built to drag us into nightmarish experiences. But, mostly, horror games are merely blood-soaked adventures or shooters, which borrow the clothes of successful horror movies without ever occupying the body of terror within.
The problem, according to him? Convincing horror is done by auteurs – a vision of a single person, perfectly honed to tap into people's fears.
In video game development, it is very rare for this sort of singular creative input to make it through the rigorously structured and often painstakingly democratic production process. Within the average 150-person dev team there will be various strata of producers, creative directors, designers and marketers each jostling to impose their own conceptual foibles, while ironing out idiosyncratic design quirks. [...]
Within these production constraints it's hardly surprising that horror games are mostly about cheap shocks and even cheaper gore: these are the systematic elements of horror most easily producible in a largely egalitarian, highly technical team environment. The ingredients required to make a gamer jump are fairly easily reproducible – you just need sudden unexpected movement and a loud noise.
Of course, that is selling the horror genre terribly short.
A big part of Lovecraftian-style horror involves the fact that humans perceive the world in a certain way, with certain assumptions based on what we can empirically observe and judge. However, this brand of fear postulates there are immortal beings in existence that contradict these assumptions on such a fundamental level that they cause our perceived reality to break down, and drive humans crazy upon seeing how insignificant we are in the universe. Glitches in games can be seen like this, where something goes wrong with how our universe is supposed to function, and we can temporarily glimpse the unfathomable void beyond the programming.
This is not only relevant since I have an interest in creating deeply disturbing horror games and because I just love self-referentiality in practically every medium; it also provides some more food for thought about an experiment I might be producing for Fantoche: A game that purposefully undermines the implicit trust we give the game as a system.
Apparently, this has been done before:
Remember Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem? Some of the best scares from that title came from breaking the fourth wall. The controller would mysteriously disconnect as your defenseless in-game avatar was slaughtered by a group of enemies, your head would blow up when trying to cast a spell, and sometimes the Blue Screen of Death would appear (despite the fact that you were playing on a GameCube).