The Philosophy, Art, and Social Influence of games
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Re: The evolution of designs rather than narratives...

by JayJaySut Mon May 20, 2013 8:50 pm

that my some favorite video games pretty much eliminate this issue entirely (shmups, Catherine, 3D hack and slash), because it immediately pulls me out of any attempt to address morality in the narrative.

Hotline Miami is a good example of a game that totally agrees with that there is a story in the game but it's completely meaningless the whole point is to criticize games that try to justify violence when the only real justification you need is gameplay for gameplay's sake. the story is confusing and you want to figure out what's going on but at the end of the day does it matter? Were you playing it for the game or to find out what happened?
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Re: The evolution of designs rather than narratives...

by J T Tue May 21, 2013 2:47 pm

On the other side of the spectrum, take a game like To The Moon, which is all narrative and no gameplay... yet it works. The old-school RPG visuals give the game an air of nostalgia and youthful innocence that contribute to the story and flavor the environment, so it really would not have been better told in a literary medium; it needed to be a game. But the gameplay is nothing but walking around and solving the occassional highly simplistic puzzle.

I still think it is a great "game" worth your time.

What's most interesting to me is the kind of stuff that General_Norris was describing where design and narrative intersect, where what you are doing makes sense in context of the story. Games can model private experiences of characters, like the tinitus squeel you hear after a bomb goes off in Half Life 2 or the twitchy fuzzy vision of your character's fear in Amnesia. Even something as simple as slowing a character down when injured or sad can add emphasis to a narrative. A game like Thief or Metal Gear is better because the gameplay and story are married- they are both about sneaking around, about espionage, and those kinds of stories really come to life with stealth-based gameplay mechanics. The thing really holding games back is that they usually just repeat the same mechanic through the entire game, without variation. As the medium evolves though, I think we will be able to make assumptions that the viewership already knows how to play certain types of video games, so the designers will be able to alter gameplay mechanics over the course of a game and have those mechanics interplay with the flow of the narrative in ways that enhance your experience of the characters' thoughts, perceptions, and feelings.
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Re: The evolution of designs rather than narratives...

by Erik_Twice Fri May 24, 2013 10:36 am

I think there's a distinction to be made between narratives as in "a story" and an experience.

For example, it would be strange to talk about the narrative of Myst when it's practically plotless but it's a very immersive game and a great experience. I'm a bit lost in that regard.
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Re: The evolution of designs rather than narratives...

by ZenErik Fri May 24, 2013 10:46 am

Nemoide wrote:I think brushing off the creative design of games because of being in an established genre can be doing a pretty big disservice. I mean, you can look at Child of Eden and say "eh, it's a rail shooter with rhythm elements" or "it's pretty much Rez with better graphics" but that's really not conveying how creative that game really is.

(Maybe I'm a little confused about your claim; it seems to me that you're saying that because there aren't new genres of games, that game design is stagnant.)

Still my favorite game of the Wii/PS3/360 generation. Followed closely by Project DIVA f. I bought a Kinect and a PS Move/Eye just for Child of Eden.
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