Research: Games and Styles

Week 03

One of our main tasks is to make the mundane and everyday seem more extraordinary.

Some of the games which came up in our meeting with Gareth and Jonny were Life is Strange, Wolf Among Us, The Walking Dead, Dear Esther (narrative experience) and Gone Home. These were discussed for their focus on narrative, character empathy or unique style.

Edward shared the links to the two games Facade (2005) and Visage(on kickstarter), neither of which I had heard about before.

This game, Facade, is built on a system which tries to make the interactive story play feel natural. Instead of choosing from narrative options, the AI responds to the player’s typed input and plays the most appropriate scenario.

Is there a more engaging and narrative-appropriate way in which we could design the user interaction with dialogue choices in 13 Songs? Or are lists of dialogue choices the best way to go because of their simplicity?

Visage (psychological horror game)


Sorcha shared this trailer for P.T.

Although 13 Songs is a reality based game and will avoid fantasy cliches to keep player interest, it could still be interesting to explore the emotions of the characters in a surreal way. Of course, the horror world of P.T. is far out from that of 13 Songs but it’s still useful to see how lighting, pacing and camera movement can create a mood.

While we were on the subject of horror games, Sorcha also shared this game with us:

Allison Road

Allison Road  is another hyper real horror game, but what we like about this one is the player’s ability to pick up and rotate objects in the environment.  Iglu Media have emphasised the importance of being able to explore and examine the environment.

Although these games have a believable layout (or purposefully surreal layout) and have visually beautiful light and textures, I noticed that these games loose a lot of their effectiveness/emotional connection if watched without the volume.This thought reminded me of a short film which Michael Bass shared on Animation Belfast, Cuerdas (2014) Mike pointed out that even in a foreign language and without subtitles that you could still understand and feel touched by the characters and their predicaments. Unfortunately I can only find a trailer:

These are a few other game trailers that Sorcha shared with us.



Secret Ponchos

The Witness

Jonny also shared this video of the thought process behind creating characters and composing a scene in the game Until Dawn.

Until Dawn “Making a Scene”



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