Perhaps, in an interactive piece, like a game, the story should be treated as if it is already there. And not as something that needs to be developed in a linear fashion. Interaction does not need to tell the story, it should merely support its existence, not contradict it. Perhaps the narrative purpose of a game is to create the effect of having read a book, the feeling that you get after finishing the book, not the one you experience while you are reading.
And he hates it because it isn’t a game. I feel sorry for his refrigerator, his cat or his copy of The Collected Work of Franz Kafka. None of those are games either.
Nothing new, of course. But it’s nice for a middle-aged couple to feel that their work is somewhat controversial. 😉
The Graveyard infuriates me because it isn’t a game. The creators think it’s a game, of course. They think that by making a game which includes no choices, rules, or goal they are expanding the medium and redefining our understanding of what a game can be, but they’re really just spinning wheels. Games, by definition, include rules and goals. To make a game with neither is not expanding the definition of what a game is, but simply making quasi-interactive cinema.
So going down on our knees and saying “It’s more like an explorable painting than an actual game” on The Graveyard’s home page isn’t enough? Perhaps next time we should apologize too? Apologize to gamers for enjoying this medium in a different way than they do and acting upon that as creators?
For those of you who can read Dutch, there’s a (sort of) preview of The Path on the Eurogamer Benelux site. The game was not exactly finished when we showed it to Philip Cremers, but it’s interesting to read his impressions.
The Path is anders dan je doordeweekse spel. Toch speelt sterven een belangrijke rol, al zal het niet gebeuren doordat je personage doorzeefd wordt door kogels. Eens je het huis van grootmoeder hebt doorlopen, sterft Roodkapje namelijk. Hoe en waarom dit zo is laat men bij Tale of Tales liever in het duister, en als we eerlijk zijn willen we het ook niet echt weten. The Path maakt zich voor het grootste deel sterk door het mysterieuze aspect en het gevoel dat je zelf krijgt bij het doorlopen van het spel.
Read it here.
I had the idea of the Endless Forest beginning with one acorn, and came up with this.
Fascinating idea posted by Quad, on The Endless Forest community site.
Not far from the truth, actually…:)
Phew! It took longer to write the post mortem of The Graveyard than it did to make the game! 😉
A lot has happened since the release. One of the major things being that the lady who was a great inspiration for the design of the game, my grandmother, passed away last August. Which is why I wanted to finalize this article today, on All Souls Day.
Margriet was my godmother. She talked about dying all the time. And asked if we wanted any of her stuff. Her table is now in our living room. And we’re taking care of one of her plants. I know she was happy to go. Her husband had died a few years back. Her body was shrinking and practically falling apart (she was almost 100 years old). Yet she remained extremely lucid. Hence her desire for death, I guess.
I wish the final chapter of our awkwardly titled “post mortem” would have been a bit more solemn and quiet, but we had scheduled to talk about the public response to the game and evaluate the downloads and sales. So we’re sticking to the plan.
Please enjoy the final chapter of the epic saga that is The Graveyard post mortem: