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‘Resident Evil’ And ‘The Evil Within’ Creator Explains The Art Of Making Horror Games

Shinji Mikami, the man credited for creating the "Resident Evil" franchise, talked about how to create a truly effective survival-horror video game during an interview with The Guardian.

According to Mikami, his creative process involves developing situations that capitalize on gamers' uncertainty regarding their characters' survival. This creates a feeling of vulnerability that significantly heightens the fear factor of games.

"I'm interested in vulnerable characters, in normal human beings," Mikami explained. "The horror experience is most scary when the player really isn't sure whether their character is going to live or die - death and survival need to be on a constant see-saw."

"If there's a situation where you're not 100% sure that you can avoid or defeat the enemies, if you feel maybe there's a chance you'll make it - that's where horror lies," he added. "Creating that situation is vital."

In most horror video games, players rely on their weapons and ammunition to blaze through monsters, zombies or aliens blocking their path. Having a fully-loaded firearm in their character's hand increases the confidence of gamers about overcoming their enemies, according to Game Spot.

For Mikami, however, he's more interested in taking away that kind of power or superiority from the gamers.

"I don't want to just stand there shooting dozens of enemies," he said. "Die! Die! Die! I don't have the energy for that."

Mikami noted that for his work on the first "Resident Evil" game, he took his research seriously and studied psychology concepts to understand what truly scares people.

"Back in the early days, when I was making the first 'Resident Evil,' I spent three months studying the psychology of horror," he said. "But what I've learned is, horror is instinctive - the things that scare me take precedence over any theory of horror."

"With 'Resident Evil,' we went with human and human-shaped enemies because people are generally more interested in and scared by other people, rather than some obscure creature that don't recognize," he added.

Mikami's last "Resident Evil" work is "Resident Evil: Revelations" from 2012. His latest project, "The Evil Within," is also a survival-horror game which will be released on Oct. 14 for the PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, Ecumenical News reported. 

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