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Author Topic: Heavy Rain demo  (Read 7011 times)
Michaël Samyn

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« on: February 22, 2010, 09:56:46 PM »

Has anyone played it?

We have. With mixed responses.
It seems like a very fancy adventure game. Like what adventure games would have become if they hadn't stopped evolving because of the demands of the hardcore fans. I'm not attracted to the crime story and I think it's a cheap solution to add some rules and goals to the experience and make it seem game-like. I have also not felt any emotional response to the characters or the narrative. But we're going to get the full thing and then we'll see.
(I'd definitely feel a lot more comfortable in the games industry if there were more title like this one! Titles that dare to aim for an adult audience and focus on storytelling rather than funfunfun.)
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Thomas

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« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2010, 08:09:10 AM »

Quote
I think it's a cheap solution to add some rules and goals to the experience and make it seem game-like
What features of the game are you referring to here?


I would also like to try it, but have no ps3. Hopefully our next game sells good enough for me to afford one Tongue
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Michaël Samyn

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« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2010, 09:07:57 AM »

Quote
I think it's a cheap solution to add some rules and goals to the experience and make it seem game-like

What features of the game are you referring to here?

Just the story. A crime story is almost inherently game-like because you're trying to find the criminal. Which is a sort of puzzle.
It's not a heavy criticism. I think it's rather smart, even. But it does make me wonder how applicable their design style would be to stories that don't have this inherent puzzle quality.

I would also like to try it, but have no ps3. Hopefully our next game sells good enough for me to afford one Tongue

It's a business expense!

You're always welcome to come and play in our play room in the attic in Gent, Belgium! Smiley
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Thomas

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« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2010, 02:36:35 PM »

Quote
Just the story. A crime story is almost inherently game-like because you're trying to find the criminal. Which is a sort of puzzle.
Ah, I thought you meant the goals of specific scenes. I assume these are pretty goal based though, like: "I am hungry, must eat", "Need to take shower" or "Find clue killer left behind"? Or are you allowed to more freely move about and determining what to do? If it is like I suggested, then is it said explicitly to the player or only hinted at? And finally (if what I said was true), what are your feelings about these kinds of goals?
The reason I am so interested is because I see it as nice mechanism to containing the player at a certain scene (by making character-will a sort of obstacle).

Quote
You're always welcome to come and play in our play room in the attic in Gent, Belgium!
Thanks! Perhaps if I ride a bike to you it might actually be cheaper than buying a ps3! (+ I get exercise!) Smiley
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Michaël Samyn

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« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2010, 04:06:15 PM »

Or are you allowed to more freely move about and determining what to do? If it is like I suggested, then is it said explicitly to the player or only hinted at?

It's actually quite similar to my experience in BioShock2 so far. I guess I haven't played a contemporary game in a while. But I feel there's an extreme amount of hands-holding going on. Maybe it's just my inability to pay attention to the story, but to me playing the Heavy Rain demo (as BioShock2) feels like you're basically doing everything that the designer wants you to do, without thinking about it. It's not even goal oriented. In the sense that I don't care what the goal is. Because I don't feel I care about the story. I see something blinking and I pick it up. I see a word with a button symbol next to it and I press that button. I have no idea why I'm doing it. I'm just doing what I'm told. And in the end I get to see a moderately interesting aesthetically pleasing movie.


And finally (if what I said was true), what are your feelings about these kinds of goals?

I find it interesting because the interaction is so incredibly shallow that it feels like you could tell any story through it. But I find it kind of sad that the interaction ends up making the experience more superficial while I know that, if well designed, the interaction can increase the emotional depth of the experience. In terms of emotional involvement, Heavy Rain (as well as BioShock2) seems to rely entirely on cinema language, not interaction/immersion/generation/etc.

The reason I am so interested is because I see it as nice mechanism to containing the player at a certain scene (by making character-will a sort of obstacle).

The character feels a lot more empty than that to me. In the demo of Heavy Rain that may be because a) the characters are clichés and b) I have only played the demo so far. In the case of BioShock2 it's kind of interesting how you really feel like you're inhabiting an alien body (the Big Daddy). I don't feel like I am the avatar-character at all. But that feels appropriate, somehow.

Anyway, you don't need to worry about all this. From what I've seen from Amnesia, your work is far beyond these two in terms of emotional involvement through interaction. They can learn a thing or two from you! Smiley
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rinkuhero

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« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2010, 06:13:12 AM »

It's actually quite similar to my experience in BioShock2 so far. I guess I haven't played a contemporary game in a while. But I feel there's an extreme amount of hands-holding going on. Maybe it's just my inability to pay attention to the story, but to me playing the Heavy Rain demo (as BioShock2) feels like you're basically doing everything that the designer wants you to do, without thinking about it. It's not even goal oriented. In the sense that I don't care what the goal is. Because I don't feel I care about the story. I see something blinking and I pick it up. I see a word with a button symbol next to it and I press that button. I have no idea why I'm doing it. I'm just doing what I'm told. And in the end I get to see a moderately interesting aesthetically pleasing movie.

i find this particular passage interesting, because this is exactly the type of criticism (mostly unjustly) leveled at art games: that they have limited/no interactivity, and that you're just pressing buttons in order to progress through a movie.
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Michaël Samyn

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« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2010, 09:44:39 AM »

i find this particular passage interesting, because this is exactly the type of criticism (mostly unjustly) leveled at art games: that they have limited/no interactivity, and that you're just pressing buttons in order to progress through a movie.

Yes, that does seem interesting on the surface. And maybe it gives me a sense of how art-haters feel.

But ultimately it's not interesting at all. Because they are wrong.

They are wrong because they have no imagination, no heart and no soul.
People like that shouldn't even take up a pen.
But, oh well, the internet...  Roll Eyes
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