Okay, let’s imagine an alternative universe where you are indifferent towards or enjoy Yandere stuff (you don’t hate it). Imagine if in that universe for some bizarre reason you were hired to handle the mechanics and gameplay design of yandere simulator. What mechanics would you implement? Why?
Come on, if you’ve been following me at all you should know that I have a militant indifference to the theme of a game. What matters is how it shapes into mechanics, and as a theme, yandere has some potential in my opinion.
My first thought is have a low profile mode and a high profile mode. Part of being yandere is hiding that you’re crazy. The main thing I’m thinking of is movement though. I’m really tired of the “You have to move at the absolute slowest crawling pace to avoid generating sound” tradeoff we usually get in stealth games. Give the girl a decent speed, then give her a high profile creepy run that is really fast, and lets say if you use 2/3rds or half of your stamina or more you run out of breath (move really slow) when the run is over, and stamina generally comes back really slowly so you can’t spam run to bypass everything, you have to pick your moment to dash, and suffer running longer distances. Meanwhile, no ultra slow ultra stealthy mode, just make the regular walking mode stealthy, or hell, add a stealth mode that makes no sound but will immediately alert anyone looking at you (since it’s stealth based on suspicious actions like hitman/asscreed) and consumes stamina at a slower rate, no movement penalty.
The main thing about the game is what qualifies as suspicious/not suspicious and in what contexts. So there needs to be an established parameter for what areas it’s okay for you to be in, at what times, when making noise triggers alerts versus just being innocuous, and so on. Like after school, footsteps are probably suspicious, I imagine a girl alone in the classroom going through her desk hearing/seeing you, turning around, screaming, and pushing you away (high priority over your actions) to make their getaway easier. Maybe have some contextual actions to fit in during afterschool hours, like digging through locker for HW as an alibi.
Should probably be a system of lures and other events to draw romantic rivals out, like leaving notes, stealing their belongings, passing around rumors, etc. divide and conquer, etc. Stabbing people should leave blood on clothes/floor/etc to leave signs for people and add more counterplay between stuff.
Dunno if wooing senpai should be a goal or not. I imagine it would be funnier to have him not realize you exist, but you treat him like he’s your true love. Would also keep gameplay systems cleaner, avoiding having to deal with him. Having him pop up at inconvenient times to almost witness your yandere tendencies would be a good way to reinforce central stealth systems.
Other people should probably only chase you in numbers or if they’re adults, so high profile actions make individuals flee or cower. Should probably be some way to attract people to a given point, though I can’t think of it. Maybe leaving school supplies/candy on the floor? Maybe you drive people away into corners by leaving creepy things around?
Out of characters, hope this is interesting enough