Notgames Forum

Creation => Reference => Topic started by: Michaël Samyn on January 11, 2010, 12:30:39 pm



Title: A history of not games
Post by: Michaël Samyn on January 11, 2010, 12:30:39 pm
I want to collect some of the titles that made an impression on me as not games. Titles -often videogames- that were remarkable because of other reasons than their game design. This doesn't mean that they were poorly designed games. Just that they had something more, something other, that I found more memorable and inspiring. I'll try to explain what that something was.

This is an ongoing post. I'll add to this over time.
But feel free to comment and make suggestions.
Or add your own titles.


Ceremony of Innocence
Ceremony of Innocence is one of the best examples of the "games for grown-ups" that were made in the 1990s. These "games" were simply called CD Roms, after their medium. And sadly, their production was stopped when the World Wide Web took off and removed the need for CD Roms. Since then, it's been a struggle to get back to that level of maturity and artistic quality in games.
Ceremony of Innocence was created by Alex Mayhew in Peter Gabriel's Realword studio. It was based on an experimental novel by Nick Bantock. But the CD Rom is far more interesting than the book, in my opinion. It immerses you in the mysterious romantic correspondence between two people who don't know each other. It's one of very few interactive pieces that actually deals with falling in love.

Doom 2
Doom 2 was a revelation for me because I felt completely immersed in its environment. The gameplay was simple enough (or I was young enough to tolerate it) to allow me to explore the abandoned scientific complex infested with alien monsters. I'm still not entirely sure why Doom 2 was so much more successful than many of its far more realistic looking successors.
In part it may have been its tongue-in-check humour that washed away any issues of suspension of disbelief. The kitschy MIDI rock music was also very memorable.

Tomb Raider 1
I remember being amazed by how smart the camera was in Tomb Raider. To a large extent, Tomb Raider felt like a realization of the promise made by Doom 2. Instead of representing a three-dimensional environment through symbolic elements, Tomb Raider simply presented a view of a world that really existed.
As opposed to its many sequels, Tomb Raider 1 focussed largely on exploration and adventure. It was just you, all alone, in forgotten landscapes and abandoned ruins. Occasionally you met an animal. The encounters with humans (almost always gun fights) were the only blemishes on an otherwise spotless experience.

Ico
Ico must have been the first game, and still one of very few, where you could release the controller and still feel part of the world. The bond between you and the main character, Ico, mirrored by his bond with his companion Yorda, felt very strong. Playing Ico was a deeply emotional experience. I really cared for the little guy. And I was fascinated by Yorda's autonomy. The experience felt more like a collaboration, a conversation, an understanding between player and game than a manipulation of the game by a player.

Half Life 2 - first chapter
I was over military shooter games by the time Half Life 2 was published. But we had a friend at Valve who gave us a free copy and I felt I owed it to him to play it. I was immensely surprised and delighted playing through the first chapter of Half Life 2. Valve had succeeded in painting a living world that I could step into and feel a part of. The fascinating narrative elements of the alien invasion and the beauty of the environments were more than enough to satisfy me. To see such splendour degrade into a banal shooter and then later into a utter horror (when they forced me to hurl living bodies through space) must have been one of my greatest disappointments in gaming. I reviewed it (http://tale-of-tales.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=291) back then (and got seriously flamed for it).


Title: Re: A history of not games
Post by: axcho on January 12, 2010, 09:57:13 pm
I'm looking forward to reading your explanations of what you liked about each one.


Title: Re: A history of not games
Post by: Michaël Samyn on January 13, 2010, 10:52:00 am
Feel free to add your own! :)


Title: Re: A history of not games
Post by: chineseroom on January 13, 2010, 10:52:36 am
I can add some to these:

Pathalogic: because you nearly always fail to save a town; because the enemy is a disease, not monsters; because not only does your avatar talk to the world, but the game talks to you as a player... and for all it's flaws, it's one of the most bizarre and wonderful creations in first-person yet made...

A Mind Forever Voyaging: because to role-play as an artificial intelligence whose job is to run future predictions and stop society sliding into facism or chaos is a brilliant way of keeping conflict but making it a purely positive set of actions...

STALKER: it may be a standard shooter in many respects, but it presents a truly strange, sad and eerie world that reeks of loss and isolation, and you powerless and scared as much as you do powerful. For me, possibly the best example of how story in games should be about integrated world-conjuring, not plot..




Title: Re: A history of not games
Post by: axcho on January 17, 2010, 11:49:11 am
Sadly, I haven't really found any. Just game games. So I look forward to experiencing this excitement through your descriptions. ;)


Title: Re: A history of not games
Post by: God at play on January 21, 2010, 04:12:18 pm
Axcho, pretty much all of these so far are regular games.  It looks like the intention is just to talk about things you've played that had elements that inspire thoughts of notgame-like experiences.  Don't be afraid to just post notgame moments you've experienced.

Small Worlds
http://jayisgames.com/cgdc6/?gameID=9
Depending on your definition, this could be a notgame.  It's purely exploration-based, with only 4 "levels" and no explicit goal.  The zoom-out-as-you-uncover-the-fog-of-war mechanic enhances your feeling of discovery.  Despite the low-res pixel graphics, David Shute manages to create a lot of character and atmosphere in an otherwise small world.

Labuat
http://soytuaire.labuat.com
This is mostly an interactive toy, but because of its expressiveness, I think it borders on a notgame.  It's basically an interactive music video; I've had visions of something just like this, so it's pretty inspiring to see it already created here.

Today I Die
http://ludomancy.com/games/today.html
Daniel Benmergui created what is essentially a poem-as-game.  You rearrange words in a poem to create actions in the game world.  It's a puzzle game, but it's very tastefully done and has more adult themes.  Not a notgame per se, but definitely a mature game.

Judith
http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=3844.0
This is pretty much a game, but it has given me one of the most emotional experiences I've ever had playing a game.  It's a gothic horror game based on an opera.  After I played it, I felt the same feeling I imagined someone felt after seeing a Hitchcock movie back in the 40s/50s - adrenaline-filled horror.  Despite being a game, it has mature themes and aspires to operate on the same level as notgames.


Title: Re: A history of not games
Post by: axcho on January 24, 2010, 05:08:02 am
All right.

I Fell in Love with the Majesty of Colors
http://www.kongregate.com/games/GregoryWeir/the-majesty-of-colors
This is barely a game - the only goal is optional, to find all the different endings for this linear interactive story. The experience is compelling not because of gameplay (of which there is little) but because of roleplay - you get to be a giant undersea leviathan, in your first encounter with the surface world. One of my favorite Flash (not)games. Its favorable reception on popular game portals like Kongregate and Newgrounds was very encouraging to me.

I just looked at the comments for this game and here's a recent one that I liked:
Quote from: ZamorakDarkFire
Really opened up my mind, of what it may be like to creatures unlike us. I feel quite sorry for dem whales. XD

Storyteller
http://www.kongregate.com/games/danielben/storyteller
Here's another (not)game by the creator of Today I Die. This one is definitely not a game. It's just a minimal interactive toy where you get to create your own story, interacting with a simple simulation (if you can even call it that) of a formulaic fairy tale. Again, I can see a ton of potential here. People like playing with story systems like this. It's not a sandbox - the system and possibilities are definitely authored - but at the same time it is a system that allows the (not)player to create their own story.


Title: Re: A history of not games
Post by: God at play on January 24, 2010, 07:36:02 pm
I'm so glad you have Majesty of Colors here.  I loved playing that. :)

I Wish I Were The Moon
http://www.kongregate.com/games/danielben/i-wish-i-were-the-moon
Gregory Weir himself admitted that Majesty of Colors was heavily inspired by Daniel Benmergui's I Wish I Were The Moon.  Like Majesty of Colors, you simply explore the result of your interactions, and similar to a puzzle you can try to guess all the endings if you want.

For me, Majesty of Colors and I Wish I Were The Moon were experiences that were so influential that it's hard not to make something like that sometimes.  In fact, I even had a dream which was basically a game with those mechanics that I'd want to make some time.  Having strong influences like that often makes me wonder whether or not I should have experienced them. :P


Title: Re: A history of not games
Post by: fallen.leaves on February 10, 2010, 12:46:42 am
Dark Cloud (the 1st one)
Although it is your traditional RPG, I felt something very something charming about it (sadly, I can't quite put my finger on it). Down to its interesting aspects:
- The world was destroyed, you have to rebuild it - a refreshing mixture of two different genres.
- Every single character was designed and assigned to a purpose - villagers aren't clones (which is something that happens often in rpgs). This, in my opinion, shows true dedication on behalf of its creators.
- The sounds were pleasantly detailed, giving every single town a tone of uniqueness.
- You don't level up, your weapons do, but you don't need to do this.
- There is no XP and no focus on earning large amounts of gold; you also don't learn new skills (there is one exception tough, you learn a new attack as a present from one of the gods if you rebuild a certain town according to the wants of the villagers).
Major flaw: repetition. The dungeons become very repetitive after a while.
I'm not sure how this title contributes to the nongame purpose, but I believe it to be a good example of the mainstream industry done right. Sorry if I'm babbling irrelevant nonsense óo

Rule of Rose
It's curious - people who play the game hate the gameplay. One reviewer once mentioned he saw it as an obstacle to its real charm, which is the story. He mentioned the latter was as engaging as a film. I have not yet played it myself, so sadly there isn't much I can mention. But I was stricken at how well the themes of child nastiness were played, and by the fact that it seems to be full of hidden details that require some special attention.


Title: Re: A history of not games
Post by: Alejandro on February 18, 2010, 01:36:41 am
Knytt: It's the game that brought indie games to my attention. I loved it for being such an uncompromising aesthetic experience. You are very literally dropped on a world full of unknown and wonderful scenes, and left to explore with a goal that all it means is the end of your journey. If you approach it as a game, it sucks--the people who I've shown it to just don't like it, they either think it's 'too difficult' or 'too easy' (depending on who the person is). At that point I realized that video games were not considered to be expressive by most people, they were enabling, and when players were denied their expectations, they would be upset.


Title: Re: A history of not games
Post by: Kaworu Nagisa on February 18, 2010, 01:49:54 am
I'm exploring "Ceremony of Innocence" that I have never heard before of, and that -- in a way -- looks similar to what I'm doing now. There is not much on the web about it but I've found an interesting video: http://vimeo.com/6743011

@ Michael
Is there more of stuff like that from the 90s?


Title: Re: A history of not games
Post by: Alejandro on February 18, 2010, 05:38:44 am
^ It looks indeed fantastic.


Title: Re: A history of not games
Post by: Michaël Samyn on February 18, 2010, 08:51:12 am
Is there more of stuff like that from the 90s?

Wel, first of all, Ceremony of Innocence designer Alex Mayhew is still alive and kicking (http://alexmayhew.com). In fact, we're working on a collaborative project for iPhone with him. Ceremony of Innocence was published by Real World, Peter Gabriel's publishing House. Peter Gabriel himself also made some interesting CD Roms. One was called Explora, the other Eve, if I remember correctly.

Laurie Anderson also made a CD Rom and so did The Residents, called Bad Day On the Midway.

I also liked Gerald Van Der Kaap's BlindRom. I believe there's even a picture I made somewhere on it.


Title: Re: A history of not games
Post by: Kaworu Nagisa on February 18, 2010, 11:16:15 am
Thanks :)
And what is the project you work on on iphone now?


Title: Re: A history of not games
Post by: Michaël Samyn on February 19, 2010, 09:20:03 pm
And what is the project you work on on iphone now?

Something with butterflies and dreams. And probably wasps too. :)


Title: Re: A history of not games
Post by: ghostwheel on February 19, 2010, 10:15:51 pm
"After having felt how I myself got filled with anger and aggression after playing this game, I have no doubt at all that this type of entertainment stimulates violent behaviour in people. This sort of stimulation is criminal."

I can see why you got flamed because that statement is utter horse shit. The connect between aggressive behaviour and violence in video games is tenuous at best. Like the supposed connection between porn and rape or marijuana as a "gateway drug." It's crap.

Anyway, my notgame history contribution, I'm surprised no one has mentioned it:

The Dark Eye
http://www.adventuregamers.com/article/id,317

As a game, it's pretty awful. The control is clunky and you need a walkthrough to get through parts of it. But as an experience, it's amazing. The reading of The Masque Of The Red Death by William S. Burroughs is worth it if for nothing else. It's not hard to find a download of it and it plays fine on Windows XP.


Title: Re: A history of not games
Post by: axcho on March 08, 2010, 08:19:14 am
I've been waiting for this (not)game to be released...

ImmorTall
http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/529320
This is a perfect example of a notgame that uses interactivity to tell a more or less linear story. But the story does not confine the player's actions - it emerges naturally. Even better, it doesn't have pixelated graphics! ;)

Probably the best example I have that demonstrates the "story is not plot" revelation I've tried to convey in the What is Story? (http://notgames.org/forum/index.php?topic=68.0) thread. Highly recommended.

Air Pressure
http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/529708
This is a "visual novel" where player choice is narrowed down to some simple conversation trees. This is notable in that the motivation does not come from gameplay, but from exploring narrative. I think that motivation-from-narrative is probably the most fruitful alternative that notgames can offer, as distinct from the gameplay-focused approach of typical games.


Title: Re: A history of not games
Post by: Thomas on March 08, 2010, 02:07:32 pm
Quote
ImmorTall
I liked it, but think it could be made a lot better with a few additions. For example, be able to interact more with the children and so on. I thought the level of interaction was a bit limited, without needing to be.


Title: Re: A history of not games
Post by: Derrick on March 10, 2010, 10:22:46 pm
Rule of Rose
It's curious - people who play the game hate the gameplay. One reviewer once mentioned he saw it as an obstacle to its real charm, which is the story. He mentioned the latter was as engaging as a film. I have not yet played it myself, so sadly there isn't much I can mention. But I was stricken at how well the themes of child nastiness were played, and by the fact that it seems to be full of hidden details that require some special attention.
[/quote]

I loved Rule of Rose!  Sadly, I do not know anyone else who has played it so I never get to discuss it.  A very engrossing game.  I didn't mind the gameplay at all.  Also, a lot of parallels could be drawn between the house in RoR and Grandma's house in The Path.

Shadow of the Colossus - Michael mentioned he loved Ico, which was gorgeous game.  The second game by the same studio was SotC... a jaw-dropping experience.  Yes, there is a huge "game" component to this... it is essentially a game of boss battles.... but the world they created goes beyond description.  Simply traveling through the fields on what I consider to be the most realistic horse depicted in games was a wonderful experience.  Also, a great bond is established between the unnamed main character and his horse, Agro.  You grow to depend on each other and love each other.  And you know that even though you have an impossible task ahead of you (battling a giant behemoth) you know Agro will be there when you need him!  I believe that Team ICO (the developers) are probably great examples of what success looks like for a AAA notgame.

Xenogears - A vastly underrated Japanese RPG from the late nineties.  It got rushed into the market since Final Fantasy was the priority at the time, so much of the game went unfinished, but the story and mythology crafted here was enormous.  The developers took some of the hardest themes to convey... personality, love, creation, philosophy... and created a lovable cast of characters and an absolutely bizarre plot line.  I loved the fact that after completing it, I had to think long and hard about what exactly just happened!  A lot of the game is traveling from place to place, watching excellent cutscenes, and a nifty battle system to boot.


Title: Re: A history of not games
Post by: Måns on March 26, 2010, 04:58:43 pm
ImmorTall
http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/529320
This is a perfect example of a notgame that uses interactivity to tell a more or less linear story. But the story does not confine the player's actions - it emerges naturally. Even better, it doesn't have pixelated graphics! ;)

It's interesting that you mention Immortall. I played it a week ago and overall I enjoyed. At the same time it showed me what it is that I find so interesting with the "notgame idea": ImmorTall was great when it started. When I walked around like a giant and people came up to me. I just walked and people followed. Then gameplay was introduced. I had to protect the people. Unfortunately it was here that the game became less interesting to me. The gameplay took over, so to speak.
Still, I really liked the game but I whised it had been like the first minute all the time. No gameplay, just walking.


Title: Re: A history of not games
Post by: Michaël Samyn on March 26, 2010, 05:40:50 pm
ImmorTall was great when it started. When I walked around like a giant and people came up to me. I just walked and people followed. Then gameplay was introduced. I had to protect the people. Unfortunately it was here that the game became less interesting to me. The gameplay took over, so to speak.

I completely understand your reaction. I have experienced this with so many games! What we want is not very complicated. Why can't they let us play?  :'(


Title: Re: A history of not games
Post by: Måns on March 26, 2010, 10:25:34 pm


ImmorTall was great when it started. When I walked around like a giant and people came up to me. I just walked and people followed. Then gameplay was introduced. I had to protect the people. Unfortunately it was here that the game became less interesting to me. The gameplay took over, so to speak.

I completely understand your reaction. I have experienced this with so many games! What we want is not very complicated. Why can't they let us play?  :'(

Precisely! Sometimes it feels like the developers are just messing with me. "You liked this part of the game, didn't you? Well, too bad, because now you have to shoot a legion of bad guys and collect a million stars and avoid the incoming missiles". Why can't I just walk around looking at the flowers or the rusty sky-line at the horizon?

I think that it, at least partially, has to do with fear. Or perhaps rather a feeling of confusion. We are not used to videogames without the game aspect. We (as game developers) don't know how to act. And so we include gameplay instead of trying, instead of just following our vision, instead of lying out upon 70,000 fathoms of water =)

I did just this in one of my first games. I wanted to make a sad game about the death of the moon and how a small creature tries to save it.
But, I had no gameplay. So I included action-elements in the game. Enemies to be destroyed. When I look at the game today, I wonder why. The gameplay, the killing, does not add to the game. It just ruins the atmosphere.

The game can be found on my homepage if someone wants to try it out (and be frustrated about my gameplay) - The Night The Moon Decided To Die is the title.


Title: Re: A history of not games
Post by: Michaël Samyn on March 27, 2010, 12:20:08 am
And this is exactly why we wanted to start this initiative! :)
To support each other in our efforts to enrich the medium of videogames. And to keep ourselves from implementing what we know works just because we know it works or because we think it will amuse the audience, while in reality destroying the core of our idea, and in the process the ability of the player to appreciate our story.

I'm not saying the fear you talk about is unjustified. There is a large audience out there with a seemingly insatiable appetite for games. But we owe it to the medium, to the arts, to humanity, to at least explore the artistic potential of this medium. The audience will come in the end. There is no need for all humans to become gamers. God forbid!


Title: Re: A history of not games
Post by: Pierrec on March 27, 2010, 12:54:36 pm
If you like just walking around, you should try DarkFate http://kevinsoulas.fr/darkfate_page/telecharger.php (http://kevinsoulas.fr/darkfate_page/telecharger.php)
It is like a "Small Worlds" but with a great scenario.
The game was done by a 20 years old french game designer, and it's very impressive. There is an english version.

Of course, i'm pretty sure you won't admitt it into Notgames : There is an entertainement, there is a story. But, there is a very poor gameplay, so you might like it.

For french readers, there is a article about it on my blog.



Title: Re: A history of not games
Post by: Michaël Samyn on March 28, 2010, 11:55:40 pm
If you like just walking around, you should try DarkFate http://kevinsoulas.fr/darkfate_page/telecharger.php (http://kevinsoulas.fr/darkfate_page/telecharger.php)

I fell into a hole and then I had to start again. After 4 times I closed the game. This happens to me a lot with games.  :'(


Title: Re: A history of not games
Post by: LunaTuna on July 01, 2010, 02:26:26 am
Hi, this is my first post on this forum, but i have been reading some threads for a while now.
My name is Michael, I live in Germany and I'm no game developer. Sadly, I lack the skills and the motivation to learn the skills to program a game, but sometimes I think of how I would make my game look, if i had the skills to program one. Also I like talking about games and notgames a lot. So far, I've mainly dealt with mainstream games or "art-games" (e.g. "The Marriage", which was definately a very rich impression but I'm not sure if you would call it a notgame, since its all about exploring the rules of interaction with the games elements).

A very important "notgameish" impression on me, had the games of Daniel Benmergui, but they were already mentioned.

Another important game for me is Zeno Clash.
It's basically a action game, with "Street Fighter"-like fights (though rater simplistic), but the overall setting is just overwhelming. From the first minute on I thought "what a SICK world", but after ending up in the desert, beneath the woods, I agreed with the main character who wanted to go back to "some place normal", because the world only got weirder and more hostile. The game could partly draw me in that much, because it features passages entirely without a HUD which you enter directly after watching short ingame-graphic movies. I caught myself several times looking in awe at the scenery, waiting for something to happen, until I realized that I had to take action and move the character. In this non-HUD passages I was free to look around as long as I wished and wonder about all the weird creatures that inhabit the Zeno Clash world. I disliked the fight passages (though they made me feel the stress the character probably feels) and instead I just wished to keep exploring the world quietly.


Title: Re: A history of not games
Post by: Michaël Samyn on July 01, 2010, 08:39:16 am
I disliked the fight passages (...) and instead I just wished to keep exploring the world quietly.

So many people have this experience.
If we can figure out a way to make non-game exploration as engaging as a game, we'll all be millionaires! :)
Let's get to work!  8)


Title: Re: A history of not games
Post by: ghostwheel on July 01, 2010, 10:07:24 am
I disliked the fight passages (...) and instead I just wished to keep exploring the world quietly.

So many people have this experience.
If we can figure out a way to make non-game exploration as engaging as a game, we'll all be millionaires! :)
Let's get to work!  8)

I tried the demo. The fighting was clumsy, the dialog was dumb and the character design ugly. I didn't get a chance to explore because it was a demo and I had no desire to anyway, it turned me off in so many ways.


Title: Re: A history of not games
Post by: Kjell on July 01, 2010, 11:44:16 am
wordimagesoundplay
http://www.tomato-ps2.com
One of the few true notgames on a gaming platform. Not all that interesting per se, but it did widen the spectrum.


Title: Re: A history of not games
Post by: Kaworu Nagisa on July 01, 2010, 05:52:07 pm
I disliked the fight passages (...) and instead I just wished to keep exploring the world quietly.

So many people have this experience.
If we can figure out a way to make non-game exploration as engaging as a game, we'll all be millionaires! :)
Let's get to work!  8)

About this: http://armorgames.com/play/4850/small-worlds Small Worlds.
I remember that when I tried it I was often finding exit before exploring whole stage and actually prefered to explore the whole stage before moving to next one. It also has beautiful music that, as always music does when written well for a work, helps to believe that the world is believable, or at least intriguing.

What I also like about that is that many people (incl. me, I must confess) seem to think that only 3D reality gives possibility of exploration. And this guy did it with 2D, not even RPG style. That's what I find impressive.


Title: Re: A history of not games
Post by: Sandman on August 30, 2011, 05:05:24 pm

The Dark Eye
http://www.adventuregamers.com/article/id,317

As a game, it's pretty awful. The control is clunky and you need a walkthrough to get through parts of it. But as an experience, it's amazing. The reading of The Masque Of The Red Death by William S. Burroughs is worth it if for nothing else. It's not hard to find a download of it and it plays fine on Windows XP.

 I'm quite surprised that nobody mentioned <Bad day on the midway>!
It's made by 'the residents', the same group which made <The Dark Eye>.

The game controls are quite lame and it's quite confusing to know exactly where you are in the game. However, the whole gaming experience is very unique and very memorable.
I just love how they hired renowned illustration artists who never had any experience with game production genre to create images accompanying stories of each characters.

 The game was directed by Jim Ludke whom I hear worked hard to widen the potential of game until his death. Before making <Bad day on the midway> Jim Ludke made <Freak show> which shows a lot of concepts later used/furnished better in the <Bad day on the midway>. Both represents Jim Ludke's idea of potential of games very well.


Title: Re: A history of not games
Post by: Sandman on August 30, 2011, 05:11:52 pm
Anyone who played Laurie Anderson's <puppet motel>?
From the trailers and reviews I think the <puppet motel> can be added though I never got to play it.

This is about 'a virtual motel', each room with 'virtual installation works'.


Here's the trailer for the game:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPYOSLqN5Ns

(I think it is one of the hardest games to get.
It stopped being produced long ago after
the game production company 'Voyager' was gone. )


Title: Re: A history of not games
Post by: Sandman on August 30, 2011, 05:14:08 pm

 [I'm quite surprised that nobody mentioned <Bad day on the midway>!
It's made by 'the residents', the same group which made <The Dark Eye>. ]

Oops! Sorry. Michael mentioned the Bad day on the midway. I missed his comment.



Title: Re: A history of not games
Post by: Sandman on August 30, 2011, 06:13:06 pm
Has anyone played Yumenikki by kikiyama?

It is about a girl who can only explore the world of her dreaming
while she is locked inside her room in the waking world. 

Her mind is closed shut because of some trauma and she is refusing to go out of her room. Her broken mind is shown clearly in the distorted dream worlds.

 The game leaves players with 5 notes on how the game works and just lets the players to explore the world. Nothing or No one urges you to end the game and the game basically has no 'end' until you choose to end it.

It was a very memorable game.


Title: Re: A history of not games
Post by: Michaël Samyn on August 31, 2011, 08:42:26 am
Anyone who played Laurie Anderson's <puppet motel>?

Yes. We have the CD-Rom right here! :)


Title: Re: A history of not games
Post by: AADA7A on March 14, 2012, 08:49:19 am
Photopia by Adam Cadre, little spoilery ahead:

"Through one simple trick, Cadre shows us that interactivity fundamentally changes the act of reading, and he manages to associate non-interactive reading with the non-potential of death. Thus, Photopia is certainly a declaration of love to interactive fiction. But it is also critical of the present state of the medium. This criticism would have already been felt if Cadre had just, in a total break with the tradition, refused to put any puzzles in the piece. It would have been strengthened by the anti-technological bias of the game, where machinery--the favoured material of puzzle builders--is totally inert and devoid of meaning to the human individual. But in what has to be described as a stroke of genius, Cadre did put in a single puzzle, to wit, a puzzle that utterly undermines the idea of puzzles and that points to a freedom beyond puzzles.

I am, of course, referring to the famous maze-puzzle, where the player must take off her spacesuit and type "fly". The symbolism cannot be missed. We are faced with the most archetypal of IF puzzles, and to solve it, we must refuse to solve it. We must, in a literal as well as a figurative sense, rise above it. This gives us an instantaneous freedom that interactive fiction until now has explicitly denied us."


Title: Re: A history of not games
Post by: Orihaus on July 08, 2012, 11:16:38 am
I'd definitely consider Myst as one of the pivotal games of this movement. Despite Myst having 'gameplay', it did class environmental storytelling and atmosphere over it, and indirectly created a swarm of likeminded clones. Most have been thankfully forgotten, but there are a few that really embody the whole idea of notgames. They were so weird, even William Gibson ended up using them in his 1996 novel Idoru:

Quote
"He didn't answer, watching as his view reversed. To be maneuvered down a central hallway, where a tall oval mirror showed no reflection as he passed. He thought of CD-ROMs he'd explored in the orphanage: haunted castles, monstrously infested spacecraft abandoned in orbit. . , . Click here. Click there. And somehow he'd always felt that he never found the central marvel, the thing that would have made the hunt worthwhile. Because it wasn't there, he'd finally decided; it never quite was, and so he'd lost interest in those games."

Peter Gabriel's EVE: Seems like Peter Gabriel used his pop culture status to band together a ton of disparate artists, to create a 'Interactive Multimedia' game. Sounds like a nineties term for a notgame! http://easternmind.tumblr.com/post/5419255453/cometalktome (http://easternmind.tumblr.com/post/5419255453/cometalktome)

Welcome to the Future: This one is so obscure that there isn't even a gameplay video on youtube, just the intro. I tried to at least make a recording so it wouldn't be totally forgotten, but video recording tools seem to fail to see through the layers of emulation I needed to run it. A few screenshots and info here: http://www.mrbillsadventureland.com/reviews/u-v-w/wttfutureR/wttfutureR.htm (http://www.mrbillsadventureland.com/reviews/u-v-w/wttfutureR/wttfutureR.htm). Mostly noted for having an option to make all the gameplay optional.

Eastern Mind: Probebly the weirdest of the lot, and rumoured to be in development pre Myst. By the same guy as LSD: Dream Emulator. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ks2PwtTGyig&feature=related (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ks2PwtTGyig&feature=related)


Title: Re: A history of not games
Post by: Michaël Samyn on July 08, 2012, 01:09:45 pm
(...) William Gibson ended up using them in his 1996 novel Idoru:

Quote
"He didn't answer, watching as his view reversed. To be maneuvered down a central hallway, where a tall oval mirror showed no reflection as he passed. He thought of CD-ROMs he'd explored in the orphanage: haunted castles, monstrously infested spacecraft abandoned in orbit. . , . Click here. Click there. And somehow he'd always felt that he never found the central marvel, the thing that would have made the hunt worthwhile. Because it wasn't there, he'd finally decided; it never quite was, and so he'd lost interest in those games."


Great quote! I have read this a long time ago. Must have subconsciously influenced me! :)


Title: Re: A history of not games
Post by: Jonathan Hise Kaldma on July 13, 2012, 02:20:53 pm
I'd definitely consider Myst as one of the pivotal games of this movement. Despite Myst having 'gameplay', it did class environmental storytelling and atmosphere over it, and indirectly created a swarm of likeminded clones.

Actually, before Cyan made Myst, they created two children's games that were pure notgames: The Manhole and Cosmic Osmo and the Worlds Beyond the Mackerel. Both used the same interaction design as Myst (click to move between static screens, or to interact with things) but they didn't have any goals or puzzles. I loved them when I was a kid.

The Manhole is available in an updated color version in the App Store (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/manhole-masterpiece-edition/id378038679?mt=8). It's not as evocative as the black and white original, but at least it's easier than finding an emulator to play the original.


Title: Re: A history of not games
Post by: mikewesthad on September 27, 2012, 05:31:02 am
Quote
Ceremony of Innocence is one of the best examples of the "games for grown-ups" that were made in the 1990s
This looks fascinatingly creepy.  I wish I didn't have to wait for a CD to arrive to play it.

Ico and Shadow of the Colossus were both mentioned.  I have the PS3 collection, but I'm ashamed that I haven't cracked it open yet.  In that vein, I'll throw Journey (http://thatgamecompany.com/games/journey/ (http://thatgamecompany.com/games/journey/)) into the discussion.  It's not the deepest, but the mechanics tell the story of learning to fly.  There's also something to be said about playing it while sitting back on a couch in the living room rather than at the desk.  I end up more comfortable and more open to be moved by an experience.

But in the PC realm,

The End of Us -
http://the-end-of-us.com/ (http://the-end-of-us.com/)
A story of companionship told through scripted interactions.  I'm a big fan of not needing to separate the active experience of playing from the emotional connection.

Fract -
http://fractgame.com/ (http://fractgame.com/)
I played one of the levels of the demo and loved how I was thrown into this alien world of colors, shapes and patterns.  You just wonder around, interact and let the structure of the world reveal itself to you.

Thirty Flights of Loving/Handle with Care/Souvenir -
http://blendogames.com/thirtyflightsofloving/ (http://blendogames.com/thirtyflightsofloving/)
http://www.radiator.debacle.us/01/ (http://www.radiator.debacle.us/01/)
http://souvenirgame.com/ (http://souvenirgame.com/)
I'll loosely group these together because they all have some sense of environmental storytelling to them where it's up to you as a participant to figure out how much you want to know about the world.  Handle with Care added another layer for me in that you shape the story (it's about repression and relationships). There's no 'winning' ending to the game - there's just a rocky relationship.


Title: Re: A history of not games
Post by: Mick P. on August 19, 2015, 01:52:34 am
Shadow of the Colossus - Michael mentioned he loved Ico, which was gorgeous game.  The second game by the same studio was SotC... a jaw-dropping experience.  Yes, there is a huge "game" component to this... it is essentially a game of boss battles.... but the world they created goes beyond description.  Simply traveling through the fields on what I consider to be the most realistic horse depicted in games was a wonderful experience.  Also, a great bond is established between the unnamed main character and his horse, Agro.  You grow to depend on each other and love each other.  And you know that even though you have an impossible task ahead of you (battling a giant behemoth) you know Agro will be there when you need him!  I believe that Team ICO (the developers) are probably great examples of what success looks like for a AAA notgame.

The original (Japanese) name for this game is "Wander and the Giants." So his name is in the title :) (edited: just like Ico's right?)

I don't have a history of games. But I agree that the first Tomb Raider was magical on some level. The game I recommend, but it's hard to find is King's Field II, the second in the trilogy on the PlayStation. The English translation for the NA region is not handled well at all, and doesn't treat it with the level of maturity it represents. No one has ever properly translated it into English. It's hard to find to play except in Japanese, where you can play it on the PlayStation Network with a Japan account, which is not hard to arrange. But I am working on a memorial edition, which is like faithfully restoring the Parthenon, and it might be the killer app for VR. So maybe just wait until then.

A small piece of history; the first game in the trilogy seems like it must be the first modern 3D game. Especially if you limit the field to games where you play as a person.