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Video Game / Kraven Manor

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Kraven Manor is a first-person horror adventure, developed by Demon Wagon Studios and released on PC in 2013. The central concept of the game lies in a scale model of the titular manor. As the player explores, new parts are located and can be added, causing rooms to appear in the ‘real’ manor.

This horror gaming experience invites players to turn out the lights and enter an immersive, atmospheric world. Kraven Manor challenges the player to explore an expansive manor where the player has the power to dynamically alter the game’s layout by interacting with a miniature scale model of the manor. The player explores the manor to find miniature models of rooms and carry them back to an increasingly elaborate puzzle. Wherever the player adds a model onto the scale model, the associated room moves and appears in real space. With each new room comes a new revelation of the troubling past of William Kraven and the growing threat of an evil presence that relentlessly follows you to the end of your journey.

During its six month development, Kraven Manor was originally designed with more focus on randomized, dynamic gameplay. The team’s greatest struggle and success came when redesigning the game’s focus after a weak Vertical Slice milestone, making the game more linear and developing the mantra, “Keep it Scary.” When the redesigned Kraven Manor was publicly beta tested online, the game received a response from the indie gaming community that exceeded the team’s wildest expectations.


Tropes featured:

  • Downer Ending: You manage to defeat William Kraven by destroying the orbs binding his soul and the souls of his victims to the mannequins and seemingly condemn Kraven to hell, but just before you can flee the burning manor you're struck by a piece of debris and knocked out. When you awaken, you find yourself in Kraven's secret lab and discover that you yourself have become a mannequin, and when you look back up you see Kraven and two of his mannequin minions staring at you. Cue cut to black as your character screams in pure terror.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: The bronze man moves about whenever you're not looking at it, and will try to strangle you if it gets close enough. He eventually foregos any and all subtlety, and demonstrates the ability to move whether you look at him or not.
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  • Reality Changing Miniature: The main mechanic. A model of the manor sits on a table in the entryway, and more models of rooms are uncovered as you explore. Putting down the rooms with the entryway model unlocks the room at that location, leading to some odd arrangements as a second-floor doorway leading downstairs into an underground cellar.


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