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Making Minecraft Scary (A Community Guide to Making Scary Maps)

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NeoMcCreations avatar NeoMcCreations
Level 33 : Artisan Architect
Some people have spent months building huge adventure maps designed to be "scary" or "frightening" to some extent. But from my new experience of making a horror map, I have a few ideas and suggestions to recommend. If you have ideas to add to this, please comment them below.

1. Scary Plot
For a map to be really scary, you have to take the time to pre-write a script for the general map storyline and dialogue as well as take the time to make the entire experience "scary" for the player. Here are two examples I made up, while you read through these quick storylines ask yourself which one would be spookier to live through in a map.

Example 1: It's dark. I am scared. The walls are closing in! I can feel the darkness coming! I must stay quiet. I must not make too much noise or he will hear...
Example 2: There is a crazy man. A murderer who is nothing more than a demon longing to surface again. I know he roams the halls of this abandoned mansion, and I know by entering I have just put myself in grave danger… Wait, I hear something… (Plays loud noise) CRAP! He is just around the corner! (Plays laughing sound) I have to run! Now! NOW!

I hope you would pick #2, mainly because it expresses more emotion and human connection and it opens the door for some “horror fun” in a Minecraft map.
When you write a story plot, keep in mind these things to make sure the map flows.

          What kind of backstory am I going to provide to bring the map players up to date with the scenario? How can I write it in a way to make it suspenseful? How can I make it seem like the actual book writings spew horror and suspense?

          What kind of “enemy” or force will be present in the map? How can I make sure the map player is frightened by any kind of dialogue?

          How can I set the mood of the map using special building tricks, tactics, or even custom texture packs and sounds?

          What kind of “scary” things can I do to people to make them crap their pants?

          How can I make sure the map is “fluid” or smooth (No game lag, smooth redstone, well-done plot, etc)?

I would recommend writing out a rough story outline of some kind so you can plot all of the map’s actions and events out and see how they should progress. If one event has to do with a fight scene, make sure the one before it brings the player up-to-date with what is going on.

The last thing that I would say to do along with the plot is build ambience and suspense. If a map seems very laid-back and boring, it is most likely expected that people will throw down the attempt immediately. But if you take the time to write a plot that makes players extremely nervous and spooked, then you have succeeded. Let’s look at say character development as well. If you develop an antagonist or side character, be sure to write dialogue for them that fits them. Don’t just say a character is crazy, make him talk crazy, act crazy, etc.

2. Jump Scares
I know it seems very simple, but a map is nothing without jump scares! Say you are wandering around in an abandoned mansion looking for clues to solve a mystery when all of the sudden you turn a corner and you catch a nanosecond of a ghost creature less than a foot away from you that emits a loud ghast scream, then vanishes into thin air. By including a jump scare or two in a map you can do the following to a person.
  • Develop an extremely suspenseful “respect” from the player to expect more scares and a more intense map.
  • Potentially have the player pee their pants!
  • Scare them! (duh)
  • Raise the map’s scare-factor. Or in simpler terms, make the person frightened about continuing the map.
  • Develop a suspense for the rest of the map.
Sometimes a map needs a random noise, sudden movement, or even horrifying attack to make people flip out! It only seems fair that a “horror map” would include some horrible things, and with the creativity the Minecraft community has shown me so far I’m sure they can come up with some terrifying stuff. Here is some of my tactics for my next map.
  • Armor Stand Flings (Using a slime-block piston device on ice to launch an armor stand at a player with custom armor and a loud noise to startle them)
  • Loud Noises (Nothing makes a player wet themselves when they enter a basement and hear a loud girly scream followed by a dull thud)
  • Suspenseful Text/Conversation (If an antagonist says something like “I’m coming for you” followed by a zombie named that name actually suddenly appearing near you, you’ve done your job)
  • Flashing Lights (Sometimes a flickering light can make people uneasy)
  • Doors Randomly Opening (Sometimes this may imply the player is not alone)
  • Random Mob Attacks (Sometimes having a /summon command handy may work! Sometimes players aren’t ready for a zombie to jump them…)
  • Subtle Clues and Noises (Sometimes if you enter a room, find a book, a and it claims something like the author was being chased by a murderer, you feel a bit uncertain)
  • Follow Scares (Nothing makes you jump more than a terrifying zombie two blocks behind you appearing out of nothing!)
  • Custom Animations (I’ve seen some maps with fully animated things that may seem normal at first, but suddenly you turn around and find more terrifying things moving…)
  • Darkness (Yes, even dark rooms like a basement just radiate fear)
  • Creepy Bloodstains and Dismembered Heads (Sometimes just splashing down some redstone and a few Steve heads can imply what happened…)
  • Potion Effects (Using Blindness, Nausea, and even Slowness can imply the player is fearing something… Or has been attacked)
  • Pre-Recorded Effect Sounds (Nothing is creepier than hearing a monotone or psycho voice telling you he is after you, using a resource pack of course)
As I am working on my own horror map, I would love to hear other ideas you guys can come up with! I want to make the creepiest map yet!

Peace peeps! I hope this map I am working on scares you!

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08/07/2016 6:56 pm
Level 1 : New Miner
CircularCreeper avatar
This was really helpful!! Thanks, now I got more ideas to use!! ;)
11/03/2015 7:57 pm
Level 4 : Apprentice Miner
amber_the_DRAGON avatar
Great giude i'll put mine up soon once its out try darkness awaits if you not scared
02/02/2015 11:54 pm
Level 33 : Artisan Architect
NeoMcCreations avatar
It is still in the works. I am still working on the script.
11/21/2014 11:33 am
Level 5 : Apprentice Explorer
1CrazedGunner1 avatar
You can't make Lego look scary.
11/21/2014 12:34 pm
Level 21 : Expert Geek
loppe1 avatar
well if you put a billion lego figures in a room with blood on them and turn off the lights it might be scary :)
12/11/2015 7:01 pm
Level 16 : Journeyman Engineer
AppleAiden avatar
A minefield of legos with bare feet is horrifying
11/19/2014 6:08 pm
Level 19 : Journeyman Network
irritatedCat avatar
I wanna play a horror map but I'm too scared. xD

One thing to note is that dismembered heads can be overused.
05/10/2015 4:43 pm
Level 1 : New Miner
kellytwina avatar
lol I know  right!
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