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1  Creation / Notgames design / Re: The self-playing game on: April 04, 2011, 03:38:54 PM
Very interesting, thank you.

I was just wondering if the player's acts in my current project would make the end of the story change, and i didn't like the idea to fall again in "this end is bad, you failed" or "this end is better" or "this end is the most beautiful end, here is a piece of sugar little doggy"... Now i will think about your idea: always the same overall end, whatever who are the characters who act.

I like the comparison that you make between most of games and normal school : in both we have to do what a "teacher" wants us to do, and as we don't do it then nothing happens, we just wait until we decide to follow the instruction. Your idea to both 1/ allow the player to not do anything and 2/ not to pause the game nor make the player lose, is very interesting. I will think about it for my current project.
2  Creation / Reference / Re: Gravitybone on: January 24, 2011, 04:45:14 PM
Okay so i have played it up to its end.

Thus it is full of non-sense in order to emphasize the non-sense of FPS or action games or even hollywood movies ^^ Like birds that explode when we take a picture of them, or the furnace room which seems to be at the center of the world, or the hero who never really dies, or some absurd cut scenes or flash backs. It's funny ^^

All of this make this game an elitist game, because the author only speaks to people who have a specific video game culture. Maybe the next step is to avoid the things showed by this game + try to create meaningful things + speak to a wide audience.

Thanks for the reflection, and this game is interesting anyway.
3  Creation / Reference / Re: Gravitybone on: January 24, 2011, 03:51:16 PM
Thanks Axcho,
Actually i didn't read the critique you linked to.
Here is a piece of it:

This game wants the “gravity bones” of first-person shooters—the widely accepted, omnipresent, and supposedly critical components of the genre such as guns, blood, gore, cutscenes and cinematic presentation—to disappear.

I didn't undertand that! Maybe i should restart the game and try to reach the end to have a better view of it.
4  Creation / Reference / Re: Gravitybone on: January 23, 2011, 03:15:17 PM
Thanks for sharing this.

My opinion is that the ambiance and some details are very interesting, but the gameplay seems to be all about finding cards or other objects to unlock doors, jumping on things, falling and restart again until we don't die. A FPS without murders but with quite the same meaningless mechanics. Like Michaël, i haven't enough patience anymore to die and retry until i reach the exit door.
5  Creation / Notgames design / Re: The essence of stories on: November 14, 2010, 07:53:32 PM
I just have read Thomas article and i like the example of the campfire story. Details change each time the story is told, but the heart of the story is always the same. Video games allow us to tell nearly "campfire stories", through randomness, non-linearity and the player's actions. They change each time we play it. Just as life is never the same.

And video games are fine to tell stories, i agree.
6  General / Introductions / Re: little hello by alphonse on: November 11, 2010, 06:31:34 PM
Just to say that i have changed my name, so now i am David, not Alphonse anymore.
Oh and i'm back on the forum, after a long absence.
Nothing to show yet however.
7  Creation / Reference / Re: Small Worlds - a true notgame? on: February 08, 2010, 08:26:45 PM
On one hand, there are puzzles.  You could see each world you visit as a puzzle to find the portal back home.  And the level being very maze-like is the challenge of the puzzle.  You solve the puzzle by finding the exit.

yes, it is what i mean. Personally, this lack of freedom frustrates me. It is not as watching a TV program or a film, but there is something of it... I don't manage to feel like i am in this world, because the author is always telling me "you have to go there", by the rules and the level design.

perhaps my problem is not about game elements but about freedom...
and perhaps this is a very personal need, that some other people don't have.
8  Creation / Reference / Re: Small Worlds - a true notgame? on: February 03, 2010, 04:12:54 PM
the goal is not explicit, but it is there yet i think. It is just not explicitly told to the player: he/she has to guess it.
the worlds look like "parcours" or courses and the goal is to reach the exit points.

thus i think it is a game.
however i like the ambiance and the message.

but it is limited by its game aspect.
for instance what is the meaning of the "jump" action?
this action seems to be only there for the game: the player has to jump to reach the end of the "obstacle course".
9  Creation / Reference / Re: Heavy Rain on: February 03, 2010, 02:35:47 PM
i agree, the most powerful puppet masters are the creators of the game.
the real power belong to them, and they show it: they dominate the characters and the player.
and sometimes they allow the player to play with their toys, so he/she can feel a bit powerful too.

the biggest victims in all of this are the characters i guess:
they seem to be at the bottom of the pyramid.
10  Creation / Reference / Re: Heavy Rain on: February 02, 2010, 06:09:35 PM

if i try to imagine that i am playing at this scene,
i think i would feel that i am powerful.

1. i have the power to watch someone who doesn't see me. I am not this character ; the "movie" editing highlights it. Moreover she looks sexy (clothes, body (too much "perfect" to feel real, by the way), movements, editing, camera positions, focus effects) thus it is hard for me to identify to her. So i am me and i am watching her.

2. i have the power to control her: i can make her undress, have a shower, go to the toilets, fight...

so yes, she is my puppet. I dominate her.
i feel powerful... and frustrated: perhaps because domination is a drug?

as a player/watcher, am i very different from the "bad guys" who attack her? i wonder...
11  Creation / Reference / Re: Heavy Rain on: January 31, 2010, 01:15:41 AM
Quote from: Michaël Samyn
But this is not for reasons of narrative. It's because he has to wait for the player to do something. So because of the interaction that is required, this person ends up looking like an idiot.

it made me laugh. Smiley
and it's so true.
the author probably didn't want this meaning, but it is there yet...

thank you for your thoughts.
i didn't analyse all of this.
12  Creation / Notgames design / Re: Death on: January 25, 2010, 04:02:49 AM
i always felt sad for all the mushrooms beings that Mario killed.
they only seemed to want to walk straight ahead...
13  General / Check this out! / Re: Frictional: “How gameplay and narrative kill meaning” on: January 24, 2010, 12:28:50 AM
Because a sandbox is not necessarily authored.

i agree ; we need the trace of the author(s) in order to make sure there is some meaning.

maybe we could say that
games often limit meaning because they lack stories possibilities (not enough freedom),
and "sandboxes" limit meaning because they lack authors' trace (too much freedom).

The archetype of a "narrative environment" for me is a traditional catholic cathedral. (...)

this example makes it clearer to me, thank you.

maybe we could say that a cathedral contains a sort of "preplanned story" (space arrangement, content of the window paintings...) but it is ambiguous enough to allow the user to make his/her own story.

in my opinion, freedom is once again an important point here.
the user is quite free to imagine a story.
he/she is quite free to "take" the elements that inspire him/her what he/she needs to think about for his/her life.
the environment is deep or ambiguous enough to inspire a different story to each user in order to fit with him/her.

moreover this is not linear... and it doesn't end, ok.
14  General / Check this out! / Re: Frictional: “How gameplay and narrative kill meaning” on: January 22, 2010, 02:52:50 AM
Thomas, so you say that the story in an interactive experience could be everything we want, but unfortunately the gameplay (obstacles to overcome) leads creators to:

1. tell only stories that fit with it (obstacles to overcome). For example, aliens are attacking and you have to kill them all... Or widely said by Michaël "conflict resolution through elimination of opposition".

2. tell stories that don't fit with the gameplay, thus they are put in cut scenes that are completely separated from the gameplay.

in 1. the story is limited,
and in 2. there is a "schizophrenia" between what you see in cut scenes and what you do in game.
i think i understand. Thanks, this is interesting.
to sum up we could say that gameplay reduces stories possibilities, i guess?

We can go a step further and create "narrative environments" in which any story comes out of the collaboration between player and software.
Now, I don't think that "freedom" is exactly the right model, or the elusive "sandbox". Because this always seems to imply that whichever (linear!) path the player takes through the environment ends up being "the story". And of course, nine times out of ten, this story will be rubbish.
Which is why clever authors like "David Cage" carefully construct roller-coaster rides through their content. But I think we can go further. I think we can abandon linearity.

very interesting.

have "sandboxes" preplanned pathes like in David Gage's creations? i thought that they hadn't...
about the "narrative environments" you have in mind, why couldn't we call them "sandboxes"?
15  General / Check this out! / Re: Frictional: “How gameplay and narrative kill meaning” on: January 21, 2010, 10:36:55 PM
thank you for this article.

the only point i have not understood is the opposition between gameplay and narrative.
if "gameplay" = "obstacles to overcome" (...i am right?)
and if "narrative" = "preplanned sequence of events" (...i am right?),
so maybe "gameplay+narrative" = "preplanned sequence of obstacles to overcome".
where is the opposition ?

i think that why the combination of gameplay and narrative often leads to a so poor meaning, is mainly because gameplay reduces the freedom of the "user"... and narrative does the same. Thus when we add the two, the user have twice less freedom. Maybe in a notgame, every user could more freely chose what to do, according who he/she is and what he/she needs to evolve in his/her real life.

in virtual experiences as in real life, i think we need some gameplay (~goals, directions) and some narrative (~rythm).
but we don't need imposed goals or imposed rythm.
the user or the human should be able to freely find or "create" the goals and rythm that he/she needs.

all of this is about the freedom to act according of who you are, i think.

in my opinion, the perfect notgame would be a notgame that would speak to everybody. Not only to the formatted masses, but to really everybody. Each human could, inside it, find some elements that are enriching for him/her. Maybe this is only a dream...
i hope it isn't!
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