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it's poundcake time

DYOM: The Survival Horror Guide & Advice

Recommended Posts

it's poundcake time







Welcome DYOM'ers! Venom here, today I'll give you basics and an advice how to create an horror/survival-horror mission in Design Your Own Mission.





First off, let's start with the basics of creating a horror mission.


  • If you don't know the basics of DYOM, I suggest you to click the highlighted link and check out the tutorial.
  • First things first, you should know the definition of horror. If you don't, you should check out some articles about the genre first.
  • When you are starting your mission, make sure everything is okay and you're ready to design a horror mission.
  • Pick an exterior or interior at your wish. It could be the Palomino Creek shore, or any kind of forest with limited amount of structures.
  • Both exteriors and interiors are important in the horror genre. I'll explain this later. 
  • When you picked the exterior/interior of your wish, start it with a cutscene (recommended!)
  • Make sure to place the player at a location that he cannot be seen in a cutscene, or make him in the cutscene with selected ID model (of your wish) and select the Objectives Menu, then Add Objective, then Player objectives - select Player Animation objective. 
  • He could start off wounded/injured at first, as to add a good start (or you can do that he/she's running away from something; a monster, zombie; etc.) but if you start with an way the player drives to a location, he gets ambushed by something standing in the way and falls into the pit could result in a cliche movement. You'd better avoid cliches in case if you want to be original.
  • If you want to start off with the player injured, it would be better to select an convenient animation. (ID 78; 79; 80). Pick one of those three for the start.
  • If you want to start off the player running away, you need to use the (Run) animation twice; it's for the attacker and the one who's running away from the attacker. Make sure you set the routepoints in a good way so the actor/player won't run into random directions. Select the Run animation by either setting up a Actor or Player objective. (For the actor, select the actor ID and then select the "Run" animation and set the routepoints. Make sure to start with the runner first. Do the same process with the attacker, but let him be the actor and NOT THE PLAYER. 
  • You need to select the routepoints in an convenient way. Failing this would let the player and actor run into random directions and not the one you want.
  • Second, soundtrack  is very recommended for your horror mission/mission-pack as to expand the atmosphere and fear. Make sure you use the .noa files when you want your music to stop. This only works for the ambient music (am). Make sure it's mp3 or the sound won't play. To do this, go to the menu by pressing Y then Mission Menu and click Show Missionaudio Code. It will send you a code in your left, with an code (exp. FSSAD) and you gotta create the folder in the SD folder in your GTA SA User Files. It won't appear automatically.
  • Exteriors/interiors are also very important - they appear in every mission/mission-pack so far. Setting it up ain't hard, but it will waste you objects if you want to decorate it. For more objects to add, check the DYOM Add-on and click on the first "spoiler" and you will see a highlighted link which explains that you can add new objects.
  • To add an object, simply open the menu and select the option "Objects & Effects" and then click Add Object. Select an object that you wish to add for your horror mission. Remember, creativity matters so get some spicy object ideas and construction. Check my mission-pack Silence Scream 3 to see how the objects work and what you can do with them.
  • To select the new objects press the Tab button on your keyboard and type the Object ID that you are about to place. Make sure you place some "gore" objects and make an use out of them.
  • Guidelines for the player can be split into two - either instructed by objects/actors or instructed by the player (writing where to go). It's recommended to use the "instructed by objects/actors" option, as the one who's playing your mission should understand it and check where's he going. It's easier for the writer to explain, but it's more harder when objects/actors instruct you where to go.
  • Make sure your writing is decent and understandable. Spelling mistakes count as well - avoid doing them and do not rush. Work slow, unless you're a fast typer and can read and write at the same time then you won't worry about it. (that's me)
  • Puzzles should be also involved in your horror MP. If you don't know how to construct puzzles or make them in DYOM i'd suggest you to check out the DYOM Puzzle made by xghostx. 
  • It's struggling to do original puzzles - that happens to me as well, as I just stare at the screen for minutes thinking what kind of puzzle I can make. Remember, puzzles matter if you wish to construct one.
  • The last part - Inspiration can be very necessary for some people. Take inspiration from horror video games/movies, since they can help you. Monsters should be also made by actors, I prefer the ID 162 actor because it looks like a monster. They will be the attackers towards the player, and the player should defend against them whether using fists or firearms.




  • Avoid using jumpscares or at least use an limited amount of them. (2 is enough). However, to add true fear you could add sounds like growling, little bit of screaming or heavy breathing.
  • Make sure you involve great use of symbolism - it could be monster symbolism, character symbolism; etc. 
  • Soundtracks would be a great improvement for the atmosphere. Make sure you use them in at least every your horror mission/mission-pack.
  • Boss Fights would also come handy as to add an challenge to the player. Make sure it's fair, or unless he would be unbeatable except using cheats. 
  • Puzzle Solutions are a bit of a challenge for the player and they could be done in different ways. Make sure they're at least understandable and explainable by the writer.
  • Avoid cliches. Implement original ideas - take some inspiration but don't make it an exact rip-off. Build an story that could add interest to the player (explaining that someone is lost, but little so the player would want to know "Who's the lost guy? I want to find him" and you'll see what I mean)
  • Stories are easy to write for horror missions. Make sure they're not cliche enough - it could be that your story could be referring to someone is lost, you need to find him; or it could be an wide infection spread by something spiritual (not someone human made it, like mistakenly failed his/her project and a infection appears - it's a cliche way).


Hope this helped to give you a little bit of help or a good amount. Contact me if you don't understand something, or respond in the comments section. (make sure you quote me)


Edited by it's poundcake time
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