Archive for the ‘Post-game’ Category

Gravity Bone Walkthrough

Posted: September 2, 2013 in Links, Post-game

An example of gameplay.

Gravity Bone Analysis

Posted: September 2, 2013 in Post-game

As it only took me one hour to finish this game, I did not stop to do any first impressions. I will wrap it all up here in my analysis.

Narrative Transmission in Gravity Bone

Gravity Bone is a short, easy to play video game. There was no introduction to the story. Gameplay began as my character exited an elevator and walked into a party. There is no narrator either within or out of the game space. Focalization is internal, and I really had no idea who my character was as I played. I was, however, able to understand my role through diegetic cues in the form of business cards with instructions written upon them and recordings which told me how to complete the mission. From these I could assume that my character is some kind of spy and the plot revolves around that of a spy adventure.

After completing my second mission, my character was shot but not fatally injured. I lead chase after my assailant only to be killed by her shortly after. I had no weapons or means of defending myself. Death at the end was inevitable, and I do not believe there can be any alternative ending.

Story is present in this game, but only in skeletal form. From exploring the game space, I was able to deduce nothing except clues on how to control character movement. Unlike in Bioshock, this game offered no contextual information on character or background when exploring the world of the game. Only when falling to the ground after being shot the last time did the game shift from play to a cut-scene. There I saw the life of the protagonist flash before his eyes in the form of past memories. That is when the game ended. There could have been much more story involved, but, as a short game, it was probably not deemed necessary. Through focalization and diegetic cues, enough story was present to understand and play the game.

Bioshock – Possible Endings

Posted: September 2, 2013 in Links, Post-game

As multiple endings are available, narrative experience of the game will be different for players based on decisions made during gameplay.

An introductory cut-scene helps to immerse the players into the story of Bioshock.

Bioshock Analysis

Posted: September 2, 2013 in Post-game

I have killed Andrew Ryan and, because of my decision to rescue all Little Sisters, have been helped to escape from Fontaine. Now my task is to find some doctor and de-program Jack from his conditioning. I will stop playing now, or I will never be able to get any work done! I believe, however, that my experience with the game thus far has given me enough material to proceed from and playing until the end will not be necessary.

Narrative Transmission in Bioshock

Bioshock in many ways effectively brings together play and story. There are numerous diegetic elements and cues, such as radio transmissions, recorded diaries, and writings on walls or signs, which all foster immersion into the world and advance story as well as help to achieve goals in gameplay.

The really interesting issue to be discussed here is the level of player interaction involved in gameplay to determine story. As a player I have no control over the radio transmissions. They are activated at some point and are unable to be shut off. As these are key diegetic elements to understanding the story and obtaining objectives, this was a smart development decision. I was always careful to listen to broadcasts and pay close attention. Knowing my mission and what to achieve therefore was quite simple.

The other diegetic elements, such as listening to diaries and reading the writings on signs and walls, are completely optional and dependent on my level of interactivity. I purposefully did not listen to the diaries in some levels and only played to advance my mission. I was able to advance in the game successfully, but my understanding of the story was none for the better. Also, by failing to read the signs on the walls in one level, I missed key information that would have led to achieving my objective much quicker. (It was the Hints menu that finally informed me of my oversight.) Listening to the diaries and reading signs in other levels, my understanding of the background of Rapture was more complete and fullfilling, but it did little to help complete my mission.

Internal focalization as a way of perceiving the world of Rapture was also very effective as a means of understanding and furthering story. Seeing only from the perspective of Jack, in-depth exploration of the game space for me was necessary. And it was this intense exploration which led to the most enlightening story. Had I been able to play from an external focalization, I believe the experience would have been very different. In this case exploration would not have been as necessary, and  I would have rather tried to obtain my mission goals more quickly.

Don’t Starve Ending

Posted: August 28, 2013 in Links, Post-game

Apparently, there is an end to the story. Wilson must find his way to Maxwell, the man/demon who transported Wilson to this world in the first place. When Wilson eventually gets to Maxwell and takes pity on him at the end, Maxwell is then freed, but Wilson must unfortunately take his place.

Example of Don’t Starve

Posted: August 28, 2013 in Links, Post-game

Here is an example of gameplay for you to see. This is a slightly older version of the game, but nothing has changed in terms of narrative.

Trailer for Don’t Starve

Posted: August 28, 2013 in Links, Post-game

This might have been helpful to know. From this trailer I can guess that Wilson was transported by the man we see at the beginning of gameplay. It is still unclear to me, however, if there is any other objective to the game than mere survival.

Don’t Starve Analysis

Posted: August 28, 2013 in Post-game

I have advanced to 15 days of survival.

Narrative Transmission in Don’t Starve

If there is a narrator (which is questionable), it is the main character Wilson. According to Genette, Wilson would be an autodiegetic narrator as he is both in the story as well as the protagonist of the story (Lethbridge and Mildorf). Wilson, however, only speaks voluntarily when prompted by necessity or on demand when prompted by clicking on and examining an object. If I were never to prompt Wilson or be in need, there would be no narration at all. The result of this alternative game play would lead then to no narrator. Therefore the freedom of interaction and determination of the player decides whether or not narration is present.

In terms of perception, focalization is external. I watch from above the world as I use Wilson to navigate and explore the game space. But narrator and foculization are made useless in understanding the story or plot of the game because it seems there is no storytelling involved.

According to Egentfiel-Nielson et al., story and plot both “concentrate on describing a succession of events,” but I cannot find that there is any (172). In terms of story, I am still thoroughly clueless. If anything, the only plot is to survive. My theory was that I would come to understand as I explored the game’s world, but, as well as no narration, there not even diegetic elements or cues to help me along as I explore. Non-diegetic music plays and speeds up as a warning signal as danger increases, but this, being external to the game world, only contributes to the atmosphere and not the narrative in any way.

I must say that for me immersion into the world of the game is very weak. I still have no idea why I am here, what happened before, what my goal is (if any), or what will happen as I continue. Actual playing of the game and exploring of the game space has so far yielded no results in furthering my understanding of the story.

After playing many hours and dying several times while experimenting, which starts the game over at day one, I have lost interest. Without story I find the game somewhat monotonous and have lost my desire to continue. I believe that some story beyond the mere premise of survival must exist. I will look for some external material to see if background information exists or if there is some kind of ending to the game.