Spooky’s House of Jump Scares Episode 1: The Boring Episode

By Shamus
on Aug 12, 2015
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning

Warning: The following video contains images that may cause extreme terror in some viewers that are Campster.

Campster discretion is advised.


Link (YouTube)

We needed a a couple of silly one-off episodes before we start the next season of Spoiler Warning, which is still a secret that I can’t tell you and you will never figure out so you probably shouldn’t bother trying.

I want to stress that this is a free game, and I’m not even sure why or how it was made. It’s very likely that all of the seemingly dumb and goofy things here were done on purpose. The title screen makes it pretty clear this thing isn’t trying to be Amnesia. So while we’re laughing at the game in confusion, please don’t mistake this for some sort of mocking “CAN YOU BELIEVE HOW LAME THIS INDIE GAME IS?” shtick. These are just our honest gut reactions to unexpected content in an unknown game.

EDIT: Talking to my daughter Esther confirms my suspicions that this game was designed to exploit, mock, or comment on the fad of “Scream Streams” where people play through jump-scare games and over-react for the audience. Five Nights at Freddie’s is the most notable example of the genre. A game that’s made for streamers instead of the masses.

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A Hundred!20There are 120 comments here. I really hope you like reading.

From the Archives:

  1. Jokerman says:

    Oh shit… You got Kotor to work? Reginald Cuftbert with a god damn lightsaber, can’t wait.

    • DrMcCoy says:

      If Spoiler Warning is doing KotOR, I think that’s the perfect time to shameless plug my FLOSS project xoreos again. xoreos is a reimplementation project (like, say, ScummVM, GemRB or OpenMW) of the BioWare games and as such, KotOR is one of the games it hopes to fully support one day. :)

      We really need more people to join in the fun. For anybody interested, there’s a rambly TODO with various tasks that might inspire.

    • Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

      I don’t think this can live up to the hype. Unless and of course until, our host’s graphics card again malfunctions and insists that Rutskarn eat Josh’s soul…

    • swenson says:

      I may have just done a few high-pitched screams at this.

    • Benjamin Hilton says:

      I’m not proud to admit this, but when I clicked on the little “e” I legitimately Squee’d with excitement.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      And the best part:This is a show where they do sequels of games theyve played before,so that means they will do both 1 AND 2.Yay!

      • Supahewok says:

        Unless 2’s instability breaks the stream even worse than the first. I’m actually curious how they got KOTOR1 to work, given the problem with the cinematics on modern systems. I’m sure all will be explained when the season starts.

        Also I don’t think Shamus liked 2. So that may curb your enthusiasm. Or whet it, depending on what you’re enthusiastic for.

  2. Pearly says:

    I think you mean “most” notable.

  3. MrGuy says:

    Knowing how committed the cast
    Of Spoiler Warning is to not
    Talking about upcoming seasons, the
    Only things we really “know” are just
    Rumors and speculation.

  4. Chris says:

    For the record, we would have picked up more DOOM 3 but DOOM 3 started crashing suddenly and without warning whenever I would try to record & broadcast at the same time.

    Also I hate the fact that I can’t get OpenBroadcaster to send to the Twentymine server we use, but I can use XSplit, but XSplit has an overlay that interferes with FRAPS’ overlay and OH GOD why can’t anyone just build tools to make doing this sort of thing easy?

    • Chris says:

      I also apologize in advance for the next episode.

      • MrGuy says:

        Wait, wait. You haven’t apologized for this one yet.

        • Chris says:

          Shamus’ comments really need a “like” option.

          • Wide And Nerdy says:

            I’ve thought that for a long time.

            Though I’ve heard feedback that some people are shy about the effect of like systems on comments. But I want to be able to give positive feedback without leaving a “Me too” post.

            Also, Facebook needs a “Love” button.

          • MichaelGC says:

            I really like the fact that there isn’t one, so I vote against. Actually, is there a voting button I can click somewhere? :D

            Any kind of ‘Like’ button system will introduce, however residually, an element of competition or perhaps gamification. Maybe just be the merest hint of such! – but I think even that merest hint would be a needless hint too far. I think the commenting dynamic on this site is unique, and I guess I’m a bit paranoid about elements which might affect that dynamic.

            (Not saying I don’t understand the desire for one, I should stress! – I’ve been there myself, when someone’s said something which is really striking or amusing, but I haven’t actually got anything to say in response. And actually, in that situation, “this site needs a ‘Like’ button,” works really well! So, I am in full support of calls for a Like button as long as these are not taken to be, er, calls for a Like button.)

      • Warrax the Chaos Warrior says:

        I’m now shivering in antici… . . . CARDBOARDGHOST!

  5. Wide And Nerdy says:

    I wonder how YouTube bait will evolve. I like to believe people will quickly become savvy to the idea that YouTube bait is more fun to watch than to play but this series appeals to a very young demographic as do the shows these games are played on. It could be that this phenomena perpetually targets that age range because if you strike gold with them you can make a ton of money in a short time.

    Its telling that all 4 installments of Five Nights At Freddies were released within less than a year of each other. Cawthorn must have known full well the nature of what he’d tapped into and made sure to milk maximum cash from it before this typically passionate but transitory demographic got bored with him.

    • Trix2000 says:

      It probably also helps that the premise and gameplay are fairly simple and also probably don’t require a lot of QA. So I get the impression it’s not as long and involved to develop (not to say it’d be EASY to make the games, though, at least in a way that people would want to play them).

      I actually doubt the guy even thought about what he’d gotten into, at least with the first game.

      • Wide And Nerdy says:

        I would certainly agree based on what I’ve seen that, having made the first game, he could relatively easily crank out the next three installments quickly. This seems like the kind of game where most of the hard work would be up front.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      I think people already are mostly watching those and not playing them.

      • Supahewok says:

        I don’t know the numbers, but the man has made serious money off of the 5 Nights at Freddy franchise. He gets that money from copies sold, unless he gets a cut of the streams. Which I don’t think is a thing outside of E-sports? Anyways, lots of folks play those games in addition to watching them

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Buying a copy is not the same as playing the game.And Im sure theres a significant amount of people that bought it simply as support and never played a minute of it.Or people who played only a little bit just to get familiar enough with gameplay in order to better understand the streams.

          I mean if you compare the amount of time Ive spent playing starcraft 2 and watching professionals play it,youd get something like 1:5 ratio.And if I didnt love the first game so much,that ration wouldve been even more skewed.

          • Wide And Nerdy says:

            I was under the impression that FNAF primarily appeals to the tween demographic. I wouldn’t think kids would buy a game simply as a show of support. I think they buy to play.

            Also Steamspy says that combined sales are 1.4 million units, and its definitely being played.

            • Supahewok says:

              In lieu of our like button, I heretofore add my perfunctory “Me Too!” here, as discussed upthread.

              Tweens generally have neither the money nor the moral motivation to buy the games they consume vicariously.

    • Bropocalypse says:

      Personally I don’t consider it the youtube equivalent of clickbait. At least, not universally.
      There are a few of these horror game letsplayers I enjoy, and I like them not because of their screams, but because of their other funny observations about the game. It just so happens that A) horror games are as enjoyable to watch as to play by nature of their theming and B) a lot of them are not well-made. That is to say, a lot of them do rely on jump scares.
      It’s like showing your friends a horror movie you like but they’ve never seen before. Either you get that bit of epicaricacy from their fear or you laugh together at how dumb the whole thing is. No, it’s not high entertainment, but really, few shows out there are. And that’s what it is: A show. Not everything related to video games has to be smart commentary(That’s why I watch Spoiler Warning. I go back to the dumb stuff later). People are always going to want access to ‘no-think’ entertainment.

      • Sleeping Dragon says:

        Indeed, the term “youtube bait” just sounds so pejorative (and admittedly a lot of these games are just… bad) but there is nothing wrong with the concept of a game that is fun to stream more than to play. It’s my experience with a lot of multiplayer match oriented games, I enjoy watching a match of a MoBa or a multioriented RTS or shooter (say, L4D) more than I do playing them.

        As for horror streaming personally I’m a fan of Loading Ready Run’s Alex Steacy “Let’s Nope” series. They have enough jumpscares to make me chuckle and enough thoughtful commentary (he does repeat a lot of his thoughts on the horror sub-genre over the episodes, largely because he runs into the same tropes). Though I will admit most of the time I listen to the youtube recording in the background and when I hear a jumpscare or a comment that interests me I will tab over, rewind and watch that particular bit.

        Also, for me it’s almost the only way to experience this type of games. I don’t know why, I watched a lot of horror movies and had little to no problems with them but put me in a horror game… I’ll illustrate with an example: I got Gone Home and really wanted to play it, I read up on it, checked this was not a horror game, had people do all the “cross my heart and hope to die” swear to me that there were no jumpscares, even ultimately spoiled myself the ending… the first time I tried it I didn’t manage to get past the entry hall, the second time I played in the middle of the day, in a well lit room and I managed to push to the end but I had literal stomach pains from the tension (I still loved the game but I got ridiculously stressed when playing it). So if I want to check on a horror game that is for some reason relevant in a discussion I go find a stream of it.

        • Sleepyfoo says:

          I really liked Gone Home, but it totally freaked me out twice.

          The jump-scare freakout was in the secret passage from the master bedroom closet. I think the light is set to burn out after a specific amount of time, which for me happened just after I picked up the cross in that space. I jumped expecting a ghost and got out of there as fast a possible.

          The other one was the basement. For some reason I find large junk storage basements extra super creepy. I turned on every light in that room, and barely left the light, and ran to the next light when I did move forward.

          Still, excellent game, but the atmosphere did an amazing job at being creepy and tense.

  6. WILL says:

    I wonder how much discussion about the brilliant-but-unfinished sequel there will be

    • Squirly says:

      This much:

      | |

      Honestly though, I can’t wait. Kotor is a great Bioware RPG, even if the bullet points are kinda obvious in retrospect and have been repeated what feels like a dozen times over various other Bioware RPGs. This is one of the first ones and it’s also a lot better mechanically than, say, Jade Empire.

      • Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

        Is that a lot or a little? HTML usually cuts out a lot of spaces when I try to do that trick. KOTOR is quite good -I find it much superior to Neverwinter Nights -but a lot of the excitement is in the sidequests, and I wonder how many of those we’ll see. The main plot is kinda rote (I don’t mind, but think what the game would be like if, for example, you never went with Canderous to meet his old subordinate, or never helped Jolee’s friend?).

        For interesting Main Plots, KOTOR 2 is where you have to go.

    • Gruhunchously says:

      Plenty, I’m sure. This site in general has a muddled love/hate relationship with Obsidian that never fails to generate loads of discussion.

    • Cinebeast says:

      I first read this and thought, “Spooky’s House of Jumpscares has a brilliant-yet-unfinished sequel? Why didn’t I know of this?”

  7. TheMartini says:

    Regardless of intentional parody/satire, I think that this procedurally-generated indie game is does a much better job with actual jump-scares, dread, and horror than most others.

    As you said, the jump-scares have no jump or scare if you know they are coming, so Campster’s 3-second delay ruins it for you guys. The game doesn’t use them often enough or predictably enough that you ever expect them.

    Horror is the Bad Thing happening: after finding that the jump-scares are harmless, the player finds out that there is a monster, it can hurt you, and it’s chasing. It doesn’t continue to be horrifying if it kills you, so you can outrun it, but it’s there.

    Dread is not the Bad Thing happening, but the knowledge that it exists, and is coming. After the player finds out that yes, there is something that can actually hurt. Campster didn’t wait to find out what Subject 5 was, but the notes told that it existed and the audio cues hinted that it was close. “There’s something bad and I don’t want to wait for it to show up.”

    If the dread fades, you get far enough ahead that you forget that something is chasing, you can have jump-scares and/or horror again. You guys joked, but I have the feeling Campster would have jumped a few inches if the ghost was right in his face when he left the arcade game.

    “Oh hey, look, cute deer!” if anyone’s made it that far. Or maybe my nickname should be Peepants too :D

    • lucky7 says:

      You could actually see a bit of it after GLA’s death note. Wasn’t it some sort of spider?

      EDIT: Nope. Checked the wiki.

    • MichaelGC says:

      Aye, I’ve not played the game, but I’ll admit to jumping when Campster did towards the end, there! Well, I assume he jumped – perhaps he just feels really really strongly about how cool the ghosts are… :D

    • tmtvl says:

      There’s one part where he turns around and waits for a bit to see if slime dude is following.

      If anything had appeared behind him during that period, he’d have jumped through the roof, so I’m starting to get inspired to do a horror game that reads and learns from player input.

      “Oh, he’s just rapidly sprinting through these rooms that seem empty, perfect chance for a pop-up.”

      • TheMartini says:

        Not to mention the “I know he’s right behind me but he can’t hurt me unless I turn around and look” factor that you could do.

        • Ivan says:

          I also found it hilarious that whenever Chris had to turn around, especially at the end there, he would slide his face across the wall to avoid looking behind him as much as possible.

    • Jakale says:

      I think another issue with this particular playthrough is that Campster has played this before. He’s always moving quickly, not really taking his time to look around at the rooms, knows the paths that don’t lead to dead ends, knows the monsters are gonna show up, and, due to the format, not really giving the notes time to build up their brand of atmosphere. So it feels like the others aren’t getting that atmosphere build up because Campster already had it and he knows what is and isn’t safe, so he’s not dwelling, kinda like how they talked about Doom 3 playthroughs more typically involve taking your time.
      Having seen the LoadingReadyRun guys do a blind run a couple months back, you can see the difference. They check stuff out, laugh at the cute pop outs, meander until they realize there’s nothing new worth looking at. Then it starts turning up the horror and urgency comes in and eventually, beyond the point we’re out now, the cute jump scares turn into actual jump scares, kinda like with Campster a couple times here, because you are also actively being chased and are in a mindset to be spooked by that and it’s blocking your path to safety.

      Here’s the LRR vid if anyone wants to watch.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0Nw-T5MrXE&

      • Tsi says:

        These youtubers …Always playing a game as if showing it up to a friend (even if they’re alone with their camcorder) instead of trying to experience the game for themselves.
        … The fact nothing happens in this one makes them look even more like idiots for overreacting. Bonus if they scream like a strangled animal.

  8. mhoff12358 says:

    Alright, its seems like Shamus has set up some sort of complex multi-layered ARG for figuring out what the next season’s game will be. We should probably start discussing ideas to solve it in time.

  9. TheMartini says:

    Speaking of streamers: does anyone watch Sean Plott/Day9’s (sorta-similar-in-concept) show Mostly Walking? They play (and comment on) adventure games. The most effective, genuine jump-scare in games I’ve witnessed since playing LAN games of Alien v Predator in my college dorm happened while they were playing, of all things, a 5-year-old Nancy Drew mystery game.

    Seriously. I mean, the game is a spoooooky Japanese ghost-story about a vengeful spirit that is just a few levels above Scooby Doo in seriousness. It has Sudoku and similar as game mechanics. Near the end of the game, they’ve finally found enough of the clues that they can unlock a safe in the abandoned bath where the mother whose ghost is supposedly haunting died. Of course, it’s a nonogram (Picross) puzzle, a big one.

    It takes them a good 1/2 hour to solve. Conversation drifts off-topic. My wife and I are watching while folding laundry, finish up and lay down with the tablet. The host and his two guests are refilling their wine/beer/coffee cups.

    They solve the puzzle finally, and we start paying attention again. They read the heartfelt note that the mother left to her two daughters.

    “Aww, looks like we’ll have a happy en-AAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGHGHAHHGHG!”

    Effing jump-scare RIGHT as the note is closed. Cheesy game or not, the three streamers, me and my wife, and probably half the audience nearly has a heart-attack.

    “Nancy Drew is basically Amnesia.” Click on the gif, if you dare. Zero over-acting on the response, and pretty much exactly what I did while watching :D

    Anyone have particularly memorable and/or effective jump-scares or the like from games where you didn’t expect it?

  10. Phrozenflame500 says:

    I will say I do appreciate that there is a certain level of self-awareness with the cutesy ghosts and the cardboard cutouts. I think the big issue with the game so far is that it hasn’t really nailed the “horror” part. You move faster then the monsters, and they always spawn fairly far away from you. It seems that as long as you keep sprinting you’re never actually in danger, so there isn’t really a feeling of threat even though there’s some cool sound design going on. Add that with long repetitive rooms with only a couple of spaced out interesting bits and I’m not sure it works as a genuine horror game.

    That being said, there’s a 1000 rooms so maybe it improves?

    • DrMcCoy says:

      I dunno, me, I never really got jumpscares to begin with. That’s not horror: they’re not scary, they’re only startling at most.

      For me, that’s just completely the wrong thing. I mean, I get startled a lot in my day-to-day life, for example when I’m in thoughts and suddenly my flatmate is standing in front of me. That doesn’t mean I’m scared, or that I’m living in horror. No, horror is psychological, something that buries into your mind and festers there. Something that challenges your fundamental assumptions about the world, yourself, or humanity as a whole.

  11. ulrichomega says:

    So it’s the first episode of Twenty Minutes With?

    Don’t get me wrong, I love the shorter sessions like this, but I can’t help but feel that it’s sort of drifting from the title a bit.

    • Chris says:

      Well, normally for these one-offs I try to find some related bit of art/music and make it work, but this game has almost no art out there as far as press-kit-y, fair-to-use type stuff goes. No clean logo images or anything. It’s mostly fanart and I don’t want to use some kid’s fanart in our logo, you know? So I pulled the 20 Minutes With… image and used that here – it felt like it made a little bit of sense given that it was a random indie game we just sort of messed with until we were bored.

  12. Grimwear says:

    I have a friend who got me to play this game when it’s last level was around 700. I got through them but was rather bored the whole time. It’s actually not bad and I enjoy the every hundred level specific demon story that they have but the major problem is that aside from 1 demon the way to escape is to just run. Run and don’t look back. Which is exactly like all the non demon floors which are also run and don’t look back. What I’m trying to get at is that the entire game boils down to a lot of running for a loooooong time. Still, seeing the demon levels is fun.

  13. Dev Null says:

    EDIT: Talking to my daughter Esther confirms my suspicions that this game was designed to exploit, mock, or comment on the fad of “Scream Streams”

    Hah! And they said your plan to infiltrate a sleeper agent into the younger generation would never pay off…

  14. Twisted_Ellipses says:

    Can someone suggest to Chris a good alternative key-binding to talk with? He keeps hitting the same problem of shift being run by default and it seems to surprise him every time…

    • Supahewok says:

      I think most people find a thumb button on a mouse suffices, although that is predecated on having a mouse with said buttons.

      In all likelihood it’s a habit he knows is bad but can’t bring himself to break, like most of us with our idiosyncrasies.

    • MichaelGC says:

      It’s like a signature move at this point! And it meant we got some genius trolling from Josh (invisible walls aside). It’s not always Shift, though – he also played that poor police officer who could only talk whilst Ctrl-crouching. Such terrible, terrible luck…

  15. Tjtheman5 says:

    Rutskarn, I have to say, I’m disappointed by your puns. The quality was alright, but the delivery was too wooden.

  16. Bubble181 says:

    Dammit. The first time you’ll be covering a game I actually care about. I may actually have to watch the videos now. Ehh…please don’t be too hard on the game? Pretty please? :p

    Anyway, looking forward to it. Serendipity: I just restarted a playthrough.

  17. Steve C says:

    I got nauseous watching this video. I think it must have been due to motion sickness.

  18. shiroax says:

    Shamus, did you check out the soundtrack? You might like it. Youtube recommended it after the episode, it’s pretty nice https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XimywWmJwk

    Btw, why don’t you put any other Youngs on the show when they know more about the games than you do, like now, and on the podcast when you were talking about life is strange. Are they not interested? (edit: second you is plural, first is because passive would be weird in the sentence)

  19. SlothfulCobra says:

    I keep on thinking of the radio in PT. “Look behind you…I SAID, look…behind you.”

    PT was so great. Even if you don’t fall for its scary bits, it was just so full of personality.

  20. Ilseroth says:

    I am glad you guys decided to cover this; it’s quite the fun little game and for a game you only put in an hour or so with it is a great between the seasons game.

    Interesting Concept, good execution and just a bit absurd. And the fact that the majority are not informed regarding the later stages of the game makes it all the greater for what will eventually occur.

    • Ivan says:

      Wow, I watched that whole thing and it was kinda a let down… I thought the point of the game was going to be to try to get inside someone else’s try to understand their phobia, but from what I can tell all it had to say was “magic potions are all you need to be able to shoot your fear”. Then again, the reviewer mentioned several times that the game wasn’t finished so… is there more to it then?

  21. squiddlefits says:

    Chris, just … Just bind push-to-talk to the tilde (~) key.

  22. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Man,I wonder how many times Chris would pee in his pants if he played legend of grimrock games.Those things can get pretty intense in later levels.

  23. Hector says:

    Can ya’ll explain how you got Kotor to work on a modern os? I can’t seem to get it functioning at all.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      You need one dose of magic,three doses of voodoo and an ample supply of prayers.

    • John says:

      Fools! You all mocked me for sticking with Windows XP, but who’s laughing now, eh?

      Actually, I kept my XP partition for just such an emergency. I’ve tried to install KOTOR on my Linux partition using Wine and it fails on the third disk every single time. The sequel does the exact same thing, too, which is weird. If I had infinite money, I’d buy the game from GOG and try that, but I can’t bring myself to pay for the same game a second time when I’ve got an install that works perfectly well.

    • Supahewok says:

      I can’t get my old disks to work, but I picked up cheap on Steam which mostly works on modern systems. The cinematics don’t, but since I know them by heart I just press the skip button and get on with the game.

      I haven’t tried the GoG version. Maybe that works straight off of install?

      It was the corrupted cinematics they’ve mentioned in the past as holding back a season on it, so I imagine they’ve found a reliable work around. I’m sure Shamus will elucidate us when the season begins.

    • Viktor says:

      There’s a version of KOTOR for iOS. It’s like 5 bucks and works perfectly. Highly recommended if you’ve got an iPad.

    • guy says:

      I haven’t tried the original for a while, but I managed to get the second one to work under Win7 by turning off the frame buffer. Also, the cinematics in the original didn’t work back when I played that, so I turned them off.

    • Bubble181 says:

      My original discs took voodoo and the sacrifice of my first born to work, but the GOG version works perfectly smoothly on 8.1 and 10.

  24. Christopher says:

    Is this Frog Fractions 2? You guys picked a pretty funny game.

  25. guy says:

    Someone make Chris stream SCP Containment Breach for a Spoiler Warning hangout.

    It would be hilarious.

  26. Hermocrates says:

    Campster playing (and reacting to!) silly horror games is my favourite thing to come out of Spoiler Warning, no joke.

  27. Da Mage says:

    Oh yeah, I saw LoadingReadyRun stream this game a while back and it was fantastic to watch. It both mocks and is a great horror game.

  28. Zaxares says:

    Wait, the next series of Spoiler Warning? What about the Doom 3 series? Is that done already? O.o

  29. Christopher says:

    Rutskarn nailed this on the head.

    I think this game is brilliant. It’s subtle and fun.

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