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<  The Path - discussion  ~  How to enjoy The Path? Please share tips

Xanadu
Posted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 10:50 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 28 Mar 2009 Posts: 45
For what its worth, on, "The Paths" store page, there's a link on the right that says, "View The Manuel", which goes to the Manuel. I think you have already seen it, though.
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eccles1975
Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 10:24 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 17 Sep 2009 Posts: 1 Location: Australia
Absolute magic.

The above is a comment made not only by a long-time FPS and WoW player, but by one who has only played the prequel. As I write this post, I have bought the game and started it up, but I have not yet decided which girl to send out into the world. I came here hoping for a hint as to which would be the best to choose; instead, I had the final stretch of 'gaming brick wall' shattered in front of my very eyes as I realised the fundamental truth...

It doesn't matter.

Even without having started the game, what happened when I played the prequel gave me what is probably a good answer to the question, "how do you play this game?"

GO TO GRANDMOTHER'S HOUSE.
AND STAY ON THE PATH.

This is what the game tells you to do.

And for you to enjoy this game, all you have to do is start by saying:

WHY?

Why stay on the path when there is a perfectly good forest on either side, just itching to be explored? And since when did you ever do EXACTLY what your mother told you to do anyway? Isn't it almost a law that when a parent says "don't do ...", a child will automatically wonder what would happen if they were to disobey and do exactly what they were told not to?

My advice is simply to do what I did - instead of staying on the path (actual or metaphorical), pick a direction to either side and walk straight off it.
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Xanadu
Posted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 1:16 am Reply with quote
Joined: 28 Mar 2009 Posts: 45
Isn't the advice, "Don't stay on the Path" kind of like telling someone playing a first person shooter to, "Shoot the bad guys"?
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BSmrtt
Posted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 8:52 am Reply with quote
Joined: 05 Oct 2009 Posts: 1 Location: Vancouver BC
[quote="ToT"][quote]Playing The Path is a very moving and enjoyable experience to many. But others just get bored and cannot detect any point or find any joy in it. We tend to dismiss this issue by accepting that [i]The Path is not for everyone[/i]. But maybe that's too simple.[/quote]
This is the start of a blog post we want to make soon.

We want to collect a bunch of tips for people who don't "get" The Path. Because we've noticed that the difference between enjoying it and not is often simply a difference in attitude and expectations. And we think that some people, if informed of this beforehand, may actually enjoy the game more. Many players discover the right atitude on their own, but I'd like to collect some tips for people who don't have the patience or who are more resistant, less forgiving, etc.

Question [b]So please share your tips for these people in this thread![/b]

If you have enjoyed playing The Path, try and figure out what the conditions of this joy were. How did you play? What gave you pleasure? No vague philosophical pondering this time, but simple concrete observations and recommendations.

Thanks!

[i]We may quote you in our post. So watch your spelling![/i] Wink

Quotes from other forums, blogs, etc are welcome too! (just mention the author and the source properly)[/quote]

hey, I loved the game, and so much that I mention it as one of my faves in this article: http://bit.ly/yDTT6
For the purposes of the article I had to keep it short, but in general, it appealed to me so strongly because it's the first game I've ever experienced true emotional responses to the characters, and within myself. I found this also with The Graveyard, which I tried out after purchasing The Path - just so unique in games to be able to allow one's self to feel more than the challenge of completion, points, etc., and essentially the reason I found it (and still find it) enjoyable. And the soundtrack, wow, just sets the mood so perfectly! Amazing graphics, cheers to the designers:)
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ABx
Posted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:33 am Reply with quote
Joined: 16 Nov 2009 Posts: 3
I turned my mom (a writer that's blocked) onto this because I found it so engrossing and inspiring at the same time. To the devs: absolute genius work Smile

Here's the tips I gave to her, which I kind of wish I had known going in:

(I call the forest girl "the friend")

Everything is contextual, so you want to keep trying to interact with the friend when she's around, even when it seems like she never does. Same with items that you found with previous girls.

Let the friend take each girl back to the path at least once; it's not always the same, so it reveals something about each. (In other words each one has a different relationship with the friend that tells something about her personality, but some are closer than others. She doesn't even necessarily represent a physical person/friend in each instance.)

Sometimes a lack of interaction/response tells you something about the girl and/or her associations with the item/relationship with her sister.

I didn't realize this until I read it online afterwards: the white paint scribbles that show up on the edge of the screen will lead you to the items/memories. They're like compass points, so if it's on the right edge then turn right until it's top and center and then go forward.

You have to be right in front of some items for the girl to interact with them, so sometimes you have to move around to get her positioned to interact with it.

Each "wolf" will give you some warning. When you first approach the place it will give you a cut-scene of something happening there and then return control. If you haven't found enough items to get a good picture of the girl's personality and life then you can turn around and go find them before going into the "wolf" area. Important areas that aren't the wolf won't show the cut-scene. (I include this because once I accidentally wandered into a "wolf" before I got to know the girl's story.)

Before you get to the girl's wolf, you'll want to check the basket and click each memory for each girl. Each memory has different associations for each girl, and they'll all say something different. Some items you'll find around, but some aren't things you can find (like the bread and wine for grandma that each girl starts off with) or find again later. These can also help you understand the relationships between the sisters, and thus their childhoods.

It doesn't matter who you start with, but I thought Ginger (with the red bob haircut) made the best start because of her personality.

The failure scenes can be revealing too, so I think it's worth it to fail a few times (go straight to grandma's house).
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winterflame
Posted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:24 am Reply with quote
Joined: 07 Dec 2009 Posts: 9
I haven't played this game yet, but before I do I'd like to know if you can get the same experience playing with more than one person. I gave my friend a link to the website and she's really interested but she can't play it on her computer, so I offered to download it on my computer and go to her house to play it with her. Neither of us are huge video game fans. We both love mystery and exploration games (we still play Nancy Drew sometimes), and we both love the beautiful graphics in understated games like Folklore.
I know I'll love this game after playing the demo, but I don't know if she'll distract from my experience or if I'll distract from hers. It seems like such a meditative game requiring individual thought. She might be expecting something like Nancy Drew, where you have to piece together the puzzle and collect clues, and I don't know if she understands that it seems to be more about exploring and that it's a pretty slow game.

We tend to like the same things. I know she'll enjoy the atmosphere as much as I do. Other than that this game is somewhat of a mystery. Will playing this game together be awkward?
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PecanRed
Posted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:16 am Reply with quote
Joined: 03 Dec 2009 Posts: 7 Location: Miami, FL
That honestly might just depend on your relationship with your friend.

I pretty much had to play it at my friend's house because it just wouldn't work properly on my computer, and while I won't share what we thought of the game, I think we pretty much still got that anxious feeling while playing it that I would have gotten alone. Of course, I got more anxious than my friend because I was the one playing it and she was watching from the bed, so she got more enjoyment out of watching me panic while being lost in the game. (we turned off the lights too)

Also us being together caused us to laugh more at the game, but I'm sure I would have laughed alone too, because we both find humor in strange things, and it's just a natural reaction of us to laugh at things that confuse us very much. (especially while we were playing Rose) It didn't detract us at all from analyzing and trying to understand the game properly.

So that's just me, personally. I just have a lot more fun playing games with friends, even if they're serious. I say go for it if you're confident that you and your friend can enjoy it together. It's not really a mystery or a puzzle game, just try to take it as an interactive movie you're both watching, and analyze it together.
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Emriss
Posted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:22 am Reply with quote
Joined: 23 Sep 2007 Posts: 612
Winterflame: If you think the two of you will view it in drastically different ways, then I think there's a higher chance of it taking away from the experience. I tried playing it with a friend who took it in a more literal way than I did. For example, she wondered aloud repeatedly, "Why does their mother keep sending them into the woods alone? I mean, when one of them vanishes, it's like she's just 'Oh well, off with the next one!'", while I see metaphors everywhere in this game. It got to the point where I accused her of 'not even trying to get it' and she accused me of being 'sappy and melodramatic' and 'making it too easy for the developers' (the implication being that, by seeing symbolism where possibly none was implied, I was doing the work of conveying stories and emotions for them).

Then again, above is a rather extreme example, and you know better than us how it'd work out. You say she might think it's more about collecting clues and stuff like that. One thing you can do to try and get yourselves on the same page is tell her that, in a way, that is what you do, but there is no right or wrong answer to the mystery. It's like looking at an abstract painting where one person sees a horse and another sees a forest: neither of them are right, and neither of them are wrong. You can put the pieces together and whatever you see as the end result is true to you. It doesn't have to be true to anyone else to be the 'right' answer.

Also, maybe you could try making an agreement not to talk during the game. If you're both chatting and trying to play at the same time, it'll probably kill the atmosphere if nothing else.
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winterflame
Posted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 2:55 am Reply with quote
Joined: 07 Dec 2009 Posts: 9
Alright, thanks so much. I'll consider all of that.

I'm pretty sure my friend will get the metaphorical aspects of the game. She already pointed them out in the screenshots, so we're good there. Of course, now she's told a few more of her "artsy" friends, and they all want to watch me play the game. As long as I can get them to be quiet it should be fine.

Damn, now I'm thinking I should have kept this game a secret. This is going to be interesting...
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Emriss
Posted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 4:06 am Reply with quote
Joined: 23 Sep 2007 Posts: 612
Haha, The Path party! Let us know how it goes!
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Chaperon
Posted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 7:11 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 04 Apr 2010 Posts: 1 Location: France
Thanks for posting these suggestions.

My game is downloading as I write... I tried the demo a while back and images from The Path stuck to my mind, especially the "atmosphere"; I'm definitely excited to jump back to it in its full version now... in about 13 minutes!..
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kasiawar98
Posted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 8:39 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 23 Nov 2010 Posts: 243 Location: Mazowieckie
I could see this game at me. In poland. Cheap you are selling it 29.90 zloty (Polish zlotys) Embarassed
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Animarchy
Posted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:54 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 10 Aug 2011 Posts: 2
i bought this game almost a year ago. started it up couldn't figure out wtf i was supposed to do. i tried following the straight path and end up failing. tried leaving the path and never found anything and thought the wolf prints were a sign of immediate danger so i returned to the path (thus giving me the impression that leaving the path would get me killed and i'd be forced to suffer a game over screen). a couple of days ago i was bored and had to new games to play so i thought i'd give The Path another shot. same story. this time however i got pissed. "i paid for this game! i'm going to play the damn thing!" so i looked online at a walkthrough http://www.gamefaqs.com/pc/939962-the-path/faqs/56179 and finally learned how to play the game. i really wish i would have done that sooner because The Path is one of my favorite games now and i put Michael and Auriea right up there with great developers like Ragnar Trornquist. that being said.... why was i forced to go outside of a game to learn how to play it?

anyway to answer the question. for players to enjoy this game tale of tales should have put a better tutorial in there that explains HOW TO PLAY the game instead of just teaching you the basic controls. i had to search on the internet to figure out the squiggles on the screen actually meant something and wasn't there just to be pretty. if that was explained right at the beginning of the game then i think a lot more players would stick around. because this game is so different there is a learning curve and throwing people in blind is going to make a lot of people say "fuck it. if they can't explain it how i'm supposed to play it? why should i waste my time figuring it out and getting frustrated when i can just go kill shit?"

anyway that's my opinion on it.[url][/url]
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Michael
Posted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:22 am Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
Thank you. You're right. But only for some people. Other people like the mystery and the discovery. It's a difficult choice to make for a designer as to how much instructions you give. Especially for designers like us. We don't think The Path should be played in a goal-oriented fashion. We've seen players ruin their own experience by being obsessed with the gameplay elements in the game. By focusing on collecting, finding, solving, etc they forgot to pay attention to the characters -the heart of the experience- and to be immersed. Some players can do both simultaneously. Some know how to prioritize. But others lose themselves completely in game mechanics and structures.

I guess the solution is to have no activities in the game at all that could trigger immersion-breaking behaviour.

Glad to hear you ended up enjoying the game. And thank you for the advice. We will certainly keep it in mind, next time we publish a game.
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Amadeus
Posted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 7:43 am Reply with quote
Joined: 04 Oct 2009 Posts: 26
Well, just to balance that last one out a little - I went in knowing only three things:
That it was a short horror game, that it was based on Little Red, and that some of the screen shots looked interesting. I never read any reviews and never looked in the manual until after my first completion - "Hm, OK, a red room with six girls. Well, let's take it from here then! A basket...?"
This, for me, I think maxed out the experience. Initially, I hardly think that you could have found a more effective way of making me take a right angle turn than saying "And stay on the path!"; but that's just how I roll. Like you said, the mystery of trying to figure out what the heck is going on was, to me, the first thing that just grabbed me and pulled me in. The first two characters I played was Ruby and Scarlet, and both times I first met the Wolf went something like "Finally! Someone who might explain a little... let's see, are you more talkative than that little white forest sprite... hmm? Oh. Ehm. Sorry. Never mind me, I'll just be, yea... bye!" And then finally the rush and rather humorless smile at getting it - or at least beginning to - after seeing Ruby go.

The prime advice I've given to the people I've recommended it to is about time. Make sure that you have a lot of it when you first sit down. Don't do it just to kill an hour, handle it like you would a fairly long and somewhat complicated book you want to read.
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