A lot of Marines treat being infected as just a minor annoyance, what is worse is some people utterly ignore being infected. While I am sure there are mechanical balance changes that could be made to make being infected more punishing, I feel that one way to further emphasize the doomed situation of being infected is to make the experience of being facehugged feel more thematic, dreadful and terrifying. Ergo I have some suggestions to offer.
- More text prompts that are large and easy to view. These would describe your characters deteriorating situation as they begin to feel the larva grow, start to move, and slowly start probing their characters chest from the inside. The messages would become increasingly more disconcerting and distressing the further along the larva growth is. I’d suggest the text would be large blocks in red text that can’t be easily ignored. The more distressing texts could be even larger.
“I can feel something wriggiling”
“My chest feels heavier”
“Its getting harder to breath”
“My chest hurts”
“Oh god no”
“I DON’T WANT TO DIE”
“PLEASE NO PLEASE NO PLEASE NO”
“THIS IS A DREAM! THIS CAN’T BE HAPPENING”
“I CAN’T DIE LIKE THIS”
“MUM! DAD! PLEASE!”
Add a creeping hud border to the user that closes in slowly on the centre as time passes. This would not be sufficient to block the person’s vision, but it’d be a constant reminder to the person that something is wrong and that they are running out of time.
Increase the rate infected become hungry, this would be somewhat of a nerf to infected marine players but it’d further exacerbate their situation as they realize something is eating them from the inside. Maybe add a text prompt to infer to the player that this thing inside of them is affecting their nutrition.
Make infected people physically groan or exclaim pain at random points towards the mid to end point of being infected. Another hard reminder you are running out of time.
A slow building music track could start to play shortly after the player is infected. The track would build towards a creeping and inevitable conclusion as time advances. Two examples as inspiration are below.