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Author Topic: Heavy Rain  (Read 26713 times)
Thomas

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« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2010, 12:57:20 AM »

Michaël:
Good stuff! Gave me something to think about! I hope Mr Cage peeks at the forum Wink
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axcho

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« Reply #16 on: January 29, 2010, 07:20:35 AM »

Thank you, Michael. Reading your thoughts on the Heavy Rain trailer helped me get a better idea of what you have in mind for notgames, too. That's the kind of writing we could probably put up on a blog.

So yes, this is why we are here. I'm excited now. Cheesy

And I like the "man gets out of bed in the morning" theme too. Wink
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God at play

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« Reply #17 on: January 29, 2010, 07:49:57 AM »

I guess it would be interesting to do a contest with "Man gets out of bed in the morning" as its theme. Smiley

Yeah, that should be the next one.  It'd be interesting to see what people do with that!
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Michaël Samyn

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« Reply #18 on: January 29, 2010, 09:47:36 AM »

That's the kind of writing we could probably put up on a blog.

I like that idea: criticizing other games for where they are lacking in the "notgames" department. That could indeed be very inspiring (both for the writer as for the reader). And it's also interesting to take such a small fragment to criticize. Keeps one from make too general statements.
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Thomas

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« Reply #19 on: January 29, 2010, 11:12:14 AM »

I also like the idea of criticizing games from this kind of stand point! Pointing out both good and bad stuff can be very helpful! While there is a certainly a need to approach things from a completely different angle, many advancements might be made by simply analyzing what there is.

Wasn't literature critique like this 100 years ago or so? From what I understand, many of the great authours where famous critics too! Not sure how this is/was in the movie industry. Perhaps someone with more knowledge can give more information on this?
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David

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« Reply #20 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.
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Jeroen D. Stout

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« Reply #21 on: February 02, 2010, 12:10:12 PM »

Some more: http://www.jeuxvideo.com/extraits-videos-jeux/0000/00004460/heavy-rain-une-douche-et-au-lit-hd.htm

You are right, Michaël, the characters when not 'puppeteered' by us as a player just... stand there. They have nothing to do on their own accord. It is the style Mr Cage has chosen in terms of interaction, but it is far more inclined towards a film being paused every now and then for the player to 'do' something that will make it go on. The drama princess system is wilfully lacking!

The nudity you mention certainly is an important subject, since I have yet to shower myself without seeing myself nude - and again in this ludic play-ized cutscene we never actually see her naked in the perceptual sense. We technically see her naked in a few stolen glimpses with camera angles carefully chosen so we never see her crotch. To be almost too dramatic, this is perhaps typical of the way we are meant to feel close to the character, whilst at the same time there is this incredibly artificial boundary that prevents us from perceiving 'her flesh is our flesh'. But this illusion does not have to do with showering or nudity - even when she takes the pill there is a sense of disconnection. The character has no warmth, no flesh. A soulless puppet. The game even allows you to make toilet (indeed!), yet that somehow lacks the human element as well. Not to mention a level of personal hygiene unoptional.

On the subject of nudity, I have always felt that if the director makes the choice to have nudity in anything it better be done in a way that shows he himself is comfortable with whatever he wished to express about it. There are always those plays in which a man is nude for no reason other than it being 'modern', and all these films in which the same approach is taken to nudity as in this scene... Hence, I was impressed with something like Dr. Manhattan in Watchmen, that embodied the carelessness Manhattan has for clothes after years of godlike power. A scene like this just wavers between the comfort she has (because she walks without shame) and the impossibility for the author in showing the same level of comfort. I was happily surprised with Salome's dance, actually, in terms of (not)games, because that took this subject a lot more serious - it dared to be sexy and tempted the viewer to feel the situation was sexy, for how morally corrupt it truly was.
I suppose it is hard enough for directors to really do something with their nude scenes, let alone for directors in games to make play around it...

Perhaps there is the issue of trust. Looking at this scene I do not trust the director to show me things in a good manner since he is coy and seemingly undirected. Hence, every time something lacks I think: "what prompted the director to do this?" rather than to accept it as part of the 'real' scene.

We should certainly critique more - but without squashing the good-but-failed examples... Mr. Cage is going in a certain direction that may get a following, even if scenes like this are completely uninteresting to me.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2010, 12:13:18 PM by Jeroen D. Stout » Logged
Michaël Samyn

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« Reply #22 on: February 02, 2010, 12:26:19 PM »

It seems to me that the camera angles in this Heavy Rain extract are mostly chosen to imitate cinema without really giving it much thought, and without realizing that a camera in an interactive environment speaks a different language than a camera in cinema.
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Michaël Samyn

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« Reply #23 on: February 02, 2010, 12:49:12 PM »


Of course I wasn't actually interacting with this. But imagining that I was, as long as the character was alone, I felt I was playing her role (even despite of the "coy" camera). As soon as she started fighting, however, she became a game prop I had to use to achieve a goal. Emotionally, I was more annoyed than scared. And the pain inflicted on the character made me just wonder about the purpose of the director and think that he better have a damn good reason for hurting the character like that. Which is a typical response I have to cinema. In other words: I did not feel her pain. I was just a spectator wondering about the talent of the artist.

Maybe it feels different when interacting with this. But without the power to actually physically hurt me, and perhaps humiliate me, I doubt if the designer can do more than annoy me and frustrate me. Which is very different, emotionally, the latter taking place mostly on the game-as-system level, the former on the game-as-story.

Makes me wonder if a game that could actually hurt you would be enjoyable. I'm not talking about "bar games" like the Painstation. The pain you feel would have to correspond with the pain the character feels (same places on the body, same intensity). I doubt that would be much fun. So maybe our simulation capacity is limited to "nice things"?
(of course it's a bit silly to consider this since it would be infeasible technically -for all intents and purposes, our medium is about fiction and imagination, not about reproduction or even simulation)
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David

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« Reply #24 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...
« Last Edit: February 02, 2010, 06:12:17 PM by alphonse » Logged
Erik Svedäng

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« Reply #25 on: February 02, 2010, 06:32:32 PM »

That's an interesting observation, Alphonse. I think I'd feel roughly the same way if I played the game... it's a very strange relationship. It draws very much attention to the creators of the game also. Every second they are in there: fiddling with the camera, telling me what to do or not, etc. Not a single moment on my own with the character it seems :/
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David

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« Reply #26 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.
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Erik Svedäng

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« Reply #27 on: February 10, 2010, 08:23:42 PM »

Here's a pretty basic, standard review of the game: http://kotaku.com/5468585/heavy-rain-review-no-wrong-conclusion

What I find interesting is that the author touches upon a few of the things we've been discussing here, for example:

"Video game developers often have to decide whether to leave their playable protagonists as blank entities, the better for players to see themselves in the shoes of, or to make the lead characters distinct, a love it or hate it kind of persona. Three of Heavy Rain's leads are more of the blank type, which can make them bores compared to private eye Scott Shelby, who seems like an interesting and complex guy from the get-go. We all will have our favorites, and I finished Heavy Rain having enjoyed the times I felt I was more of a specific character and less of the time I felt I was controlling an avatar."

If anything I think this game will force more people to think about this things harder, which must be good!
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