FLAPJACKS: Let’s make a survival horror video game!
MGK: I’ll bring the random assortment of dentist’s tools!
FLAPJACKS: I’ll bring the creepy doll’s heads!
MGK: Don’t forget to smash ninety percent of the light bulbs! But only ninety percent!
FLAPJACKS: Scary killers/monsters have to see too! It’s only polite!
MGK: Speaking of which, what type of scary killers or monsters do we want?
FLAPJACKS: Well, there are so many options. There are regular people who are grossly facially mutilated. There are body-dysmorphic horrors. And then there are body-dysmorphic horrors who are also grossly facially mutilated.
MGK: It is a smorgasbord of terror!
FLAPJACKS: The important thing is to make people go “ew” when they play our game!
MGK: Speaking of which, what type of protagonist should we have? I think we should have a protagonist whose family have died and who is still haunted by their deaths.
FLAPJACKS: Well I think we should have a protagonist whose family have disappeared and who is driven to find them, no matter how tragic an outcome may result!
MGK: Can we compromise and have a nameless non-entity who is defined only by his abilities which have been mapped onto the keyboard?
FLAPJACKS: My word, it’s like I’m surviving the game myself now! But we’re agreed it’s a dude, right?
MGK: Well of course.
FLAPJACKS: All those little convenient notes people leave behind will have so much more impact if I know my video-game self is a dude.
MGK: It’s only real survival horror if all the notes are in fact voice recordings. You know, as people do. Nobody writes things down any more! It’s the digital age! We talk into our talk-boxes! Voice diaries are a real important thing!
FLAPJACKS: Also with the voice diaries I think we need to give our hero supplies. That way he can fight the monsters. But only briefly, lest he be given some sense of agency! I think we should only give him single, individual bullets. People leave single, individual bullets around all the time! Think how scary it will be when he has only three bullets in his gun – and there are four monsters!
MGK: Bullets? Pffft, you’re not being ambitious enough. He should not have a gun. He should have a knife, which regularly gets dull when he stabs a monster with it, and he needs to find whetstones to sharpen the knife!
FLAPJACKS: He can carry up to four rocks at any time, and whenever he smashes a monster with a rock, it crumbles. He must constantly find additional rocks!
MGK: He doesn’t have a weapon at all, he just has a flashlight!
FLAPJACKS: And he needs to find batteries for the flashlight! Or else he won’t even be able to see!
MGK: What if we don’t give him anything at all?
FLAPJACKS: What if he needs to constantly find vitamins just to not die? Oh wait, I got it, our hero is diabetic and needs to take insulin every so often! He will have to search everywhere for insulin!
MGK: Which will be located in numerous desks, of course. It’s all coming together!
FLAPJACKS: But who will the big villain be? I think we should have it be a crazed scientist. He can make the awful murder monsters from people! All scientists know how to do that.
MGK: I would prefer a demon or maybe an evil ghost. That way the awful murder monsters don’t have to even conform to the slightest hint of scientific logic.
FLAPJACKS: I dunno. I think we want some degree of veracity to make players feel like this could really happen somehow. Otherwise we might as well be playing Mario Kart.
MGK: How about… it is the ghost of an evil scientist who was possessed by demons?
FLAPJACKS: Oooooh, that has some oomph to it.
MGK: Indeed! Who would not want to play this game?
FLAPJACKS: … actually I think I just want to play Mario Kart instead.
MGK: Yeah, me too. Let’s play that.