The bit about ‘the Aeginae’, the Leviathans that may appear in the backgrond.
Specifically that, once you get to a point nothing in Sunless Seas is actually scary. This isn’t unique to SS for sure, pretty much any horror game falls into the problem that ‘if it bleeds, I can kill it.’
Or less dramatically, ‘if it bleeds, players will find a way to cheesily kite it whilst firing torpedoes until it dies in a really anticlimatic fashion’.
When I look back on what terrified me most playing SSeas, it was either encountering The Dawn Machine whilst pootling about trying to explore the map, or encountering the Constant Companion for the first time. Neither of those things you can fight by using a silly combat exploit (until you get the Bandersnatch for the CC.) You can only run, be afraid, and hope to never meet them again.
The other problem is that basically all the enemies were pretty small compared to the ship. I mean sure when you think about how big the Tree of Ages or Mount Nomad actually is then it’s bl__dy terrifying, but on the screen you’re confronted with a sprite about 1.5/2 times as long as your ship.
It’s certainly not practical to have the player fight an enemy that takes up half the screen, but that doesn’t stop em feeling a bit ‘meh’ once you get over the shock value of the amazingly creepy artwork.
The Aeginae solve both these problems. You get to create the same sense of horror that SS is so good at creating in it’s textboxes in the actual game. Something ancient, malevolent, and bl__dy massive, something that could kill you as easily as batting an eye. But you don’t have to go through the effort of accounting for the player:
A) having their game ended by an impossible enemy
B) having their atmosphere ruined because they just killed a cosmic entity with a 19th century explosive
C) complaining that it looks stupid when the AI does some weird maneuvre in combat.
Anyway, I just wanted to get these toughts down somewhere because I’ve been in awe of the kickstarter ideas since it launched and this seems a more appropriate place to talk about them than to spring into an enthusiastic ramble about a cool video game