My final project was made in Twine. The interactive fiction piece is called Secrets. There are three different secrets you can explore and the user controls the decision the character needs to make at the end of each one. The goal is to choose the path that gives you the key to success. I was able to change colors for different things and add significance to the text. I was also able to add images this time. After searching the web, I also found a code that would replace the original html file in Twine and this allowed me to use the return button instead of having to write “go back to “here” etc. The Story statistics are 31,455 characters, 4,968 words, 95 passages, and 93 links. I posted the link below if anyone would like to check it out. Have a great summer and congradulations class of 2012!
RPGs were long considered by many to be best handled by Japanese developers like Square Enix, Level 5, and Game Freak. Square Enix’s Final Fantasy titles have all sold over one million copies, some of them having sold more than four million, like Final Fantasy VII which has pushed ten million copies to date. Game Freak is responsible for developing the highest-grossing RPG series Pokemon, which by 2011 had been purchased over two-hundred fifteen million times. The continued success of games released by these and other developers is a testament to the staying power of genre themes with which people are not willing to part. Character customization, the ability to level-up those characters with the allotment of experience points, side quests, and a grand storyline (often involving a female cat-humanoid) are all few a components that comprise the familiar JRPG.
Western RPGs are taking massive leaps forward, however. Whereas JRPGs have the tendency to be completely linear, meaning the player is told where to go the entire way through the game, WRPGs have become traditionally open-world, meaning the player has the option to explore the vast reaches of the games, making their own respective decision to follow the main quest-line, complete side-quests, or simply just eliminate the game’s population of wildlife. Bethesda Game Studios is one western developer that is largely responsible for the rise in popularity of these games. They have released massive titles like the Elder Scrolls I-V, as well as Fallout 3 and its expansion, Fallout New Vegas. These games, like many JRPGs, allow the player to allot skill points to various attributes and abilities that they wish their character to have, often allowing for a character which is very powerful in its field of expertise. I can hardly do these games justice in simply describing them as games where you “allot skill points,” though. There are simply so many routes the player can take their character both in terms of their abilities and where they want their character to go. The scope is simply huge in games like Fallout and the Elder Scrolls, as well as in Bioware’s Mass Effect series, which, similar to Fallout 3, allows the player to determine the general morality of their character.
In my opinion, character customization has been handled more efficiently by western developers, because they give the player such a wide range of abilities to choose from that by the game’s end, the player can feel accomplished in having created a truly unique avatar. Despite this opinion, it cannot be understated how well some JRPGs pull off telling a story which perhaps could only be told in a linear setting, where the game itself leads the player through the story. In some ways, the difference between JRPs and WRPGs is like the difference between movies and games as a whole. Movies, like JRPGs, progress exactly the way the director intends them. The story is displayed without an ounce of the audience’s input and movies are largely successful because of it. Story-telling is in our DNA, and we soak up other people’s ideas like sponges. Video games, like WRPGs, are the marked difference in that they allow the audience to actually immerse themselves in the story. Instead of simply showing the plot, video games give the player an exploratory view, and one that perhaps leaves them more invested with the characters.
In many ways, I appreciate these genres for their differences between each other. JRPGs and WRPGs are so unlike that they can barely be said to be in the same genre. It also has to be noted that these two categories contain numerous subcategories like tactical RPGs, action RPGs, and the gigantic massive-multiplayer online RPGs, each with their own good and bad attributes. There are moments in these games that, at least for me, define my experience with video games and these moments seem to be directly tied to the genre they were produced in. The ascension out of the vault into the desolate landscape of Fallout 3 was unbelievable. The initial glare of the sun in the player’s eyes, followed by endless hours of post-apocalyptic gameplay left me astonished. Similarly, I will never forget how moved I was when I learned the fate of Yuna in Final Fantasy X, and how the main character reacted to her ill-fated purpose. The xenophobic tendencies of the Japanese seem to impress upon game developers that they do not need to change certain JRPG archetypes, but that is only true to a certain extent. Much in the way that western developers have taken ques from Japanese developers and then improved upon them, so also do Japanese developers need to capitalize on the attributes which have made WRPGs so successful.
Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days is difficult to immediately explain.
In our current generation of advanced hardware technology on consoles such as the Playstation 3 or the XBOX 360, it’s no surprise gamers immediately and initially judge a game on whether the gameplay is intuitive, fluid, appropriately paced, and solid in design. If controls are found to be “broken” or unresponsive, one can get frustrated quickly, and thus the video game as a whole loses its appeal.
And then we have something like Kane & Lynch 2.
Conversations involving 3rd-person shooters always have Gears of War show up in some fashion. The series most certainly took a if-it’s-not-broken-don’t-fix-it approach with the trilogy. Epic Games never changed much of the cover-shoot formula or its controls, only making small changes to make the game more fast paced, accessible, and certainly more fluid. In short Gears of War, to a great extent, has the 3rd-person genre on lock-down.
Playing Kane & Lynch 2 provides a noticeably uncomfortable first impression. The visuals are not the most polished. Controls are sluggish and often feel unwieldy; the recoil of guns is completely “all over the place” trying to emulate the realism of actually firing a gun much to players’ dismay than enjoyment of realism. The oft-used cover-strafe-shoot formula could be taken from any generic 3rd-person shooter seen elsewhere. To the player’s unfair disadvantage enemies take an unbelievable amount of ammunition into their bodies before dying, far more than the punishment the player can take. The game occasionally feels unprofessional and unpolished–it could be like any other 3rd-person shooter on the market. All signs point toward a lack of fun, and a waste of money.
But for some reason, i find myself replaying the game and enjoying each subsequent playthrough.
For everything the game does wrong, there are artistic appeals that compensate–even if some of these thematic choices are sometimes obnoxious.
The story of these two human psychopaths and how they are presented in-game glorify this game of wanton nihilistic violence. Weaknesses can be artistic strengths but are generally done so in a manner that results in a negative and unfavorable perception. The game certainly passes as playable, but will only appeal to those more interested in the story and style rather than the actual gameplay.
The narrative could be derived from any gangster film.
Hired guns go in for a job, mistakes happen, trouble results as a consequence, and you have to somehow escape the criminal underworld factions and opposers gunning for you. The ride is a grizzly and violent affair that amounts to a corridor-shooter and little else. The number of victims who fall to Kane and Lynch are obscenely absurd and one has to wonder whether these two are channeling Solid Snake-like energy in being men of army proportions.
The Shanghai, China setting, though, makes for a perfect backdrop for this dramatic and bloody tragedy of an affair. The bright neon lights of the city, rainy-gray, dejected rooftops, construction sites, and more make for gritty firefights in believable environments and circumstances.
What Kane & Lynch 2 lacks in the triple-A polished graphics and high-resolution textures is balanced and redeemed by the environmental details and subtleties. Running through a sweatshop has this grimy sweat-smothered feel that comes off as credible. Mercilessly gunning down Chinese police officers in outdoor shopping centers under bright lights–a gang war could actually be happening. In this respect, Kane & Lynch 2‘s environments and visuals may not be the most spectacular but such special attention was paid to detail to great effect that it must be noted and praised, much like the scenery of the recent Silent Hill: Downpour.
Barring the simulated reality of the environments, we are given a truly innovative presentation style that is intrinsically nauseating: amateur camera filming. Rather than a clean-cut look, Kane & Lynch 2 opts for an amateur filming aesthetic to emphasize the game in reality and ground the atrocities in a true-to-life fashion. Cutscenes are shot from the perspective of someone filming the anti-heroes nearby or placed in a static position that an everyday object might be placed with loading screens that have a buffering effect going back to the game.
When actually playing, the camera swerves and jerks as if being followed by an actual person, with occasional stylistic pixelation. Icing on the cake is the graphical censorship artifacting when displaying nudity, in-game headshots, or violence gruesome enough to warrant artifacting–a much more poignant and potent eye-opener.
Imagine someone in a warzone filming this stuff on their camera phone, edited and plastered all over Youtube for the world to see.
Kane & Lynch 2 thrives on this presentation.
The downside of this amateur camera style are the headaches and nausea inducing nature of playing. The true-to-life visual portrayal is so shaky and wildly thrashing about that becoming viscerally ill is almost guaranteed when playing (not for the narrative [sometimes] but because of the gameplay system itself). The option to turn off some shaking is available which makes gameplay easier, but, personally, taking away that uncomfortable shakiness detracts from the vomit-inducing camera shots; that stylistic and authorial choice is removed.
(But i’ll bet the developers had to tone down something after game testing with outside parties.)
Thinking in terms of this visual nature, portraying a contemporary Youtube style might be painful to play no matter how any game developer approaches the method. Becoming nauseous is pretty much a given with the “found-footage” genre (Cloverfield anyone?) so implementing this in a game is a risk no matter what angle the style is approached. But Kane & Lynch 2 gets it about as perfect as could be done. If ill-grit is what the creators intended, they nailed it with the style and the violent storyline.
Even through the twisted level of murder these two engage in do players find themselves exhibiting a certain level of pathos while playing.
Lynch (pictured on the left in the above photo) is clearly the more deranged of the pair, but watching his suffering in saving his Chinese girlfriend and watching the violence administered to her is a harsh shotgun to the face. Kane (right) tends to be more levelheaded–albeit engaging in just as much violence as Lynch–and has a daughter of whom he would fight to death to save under any circumstance. The relationship between player and avatar(s) is relatively solidified after watching Kane and Lynch being tortured and are forced to run around the city naked covered in their own blood from the several cuts inflicted on their bodies through torture as Lynch begins to sob–for a very specific story-related reason–with Kane trying to console and enlist him for the coming obstacles. The story and its cast of characters are quite engaging despite their demon-like tendencies.
Make no mistake, though, that this game is grounded in constant and consistent gunplay that can become a draining, numbing, and repetitive experience. There is not much pretty here save for specific environments. No event has any sort of positive emotion attached; every action and motive walks a degree of psychopathic vengeance and bloodlust. This game runs the gamut of hate, anger, and the unbridled ultra violence that follows. There is no justice, no gratifying resolve or definitive resolution, only a murderous adventurous experience of two criminals put in the ultimate situation of truly screwed.
So if you’re looking for something whose gameplay is not so stellar but offers a unique and contemporary artistic visual experience with a grossly macabre and compelling storyline of underworld crime thrillers, this one is for you.
As a note of finality i leave you with a video presented by deluxe345 on Youtube (poetic coincidence!), with a mix of gameplay and cutscenes, that showcases, highlights, and encapsulates the preceding analysis.
Warning: the video features acts of extreme and grizzly violence, intense amounts of obscene language, and sexual content.
For those of you who don’t already know, Pottermore is an all-new interactive look at JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series. It does something interesting (and really fun) by taking books that most of us have probably already read (maybe more than once) and making them interactive. Well, in a sense.
There are still plot lines that are very definite and can’t be changed around, but Pottermore does offer an entirely new perspective on the Potter books. Instead of only thinking and knowing what Harry knows, the user has a chance to view Hogwarts from their own point-of-view and form opinions and memories unique to them.
Aside from being totally geek-tastically fun (users are sorted into Houses and chosen by a wand), Pottermore is unlike most things I’ve discovered online. It brings users together they same way that the books brought readers together. I have friends on my Pottermore account that I have never met, but we mare members of the same House and work together to earn points. My House, Slytherin, is currently in the lead for the House Cup.
And even though I have always identified as a Hufflepuff, I feel a growing affection towards Slytherin House that I would not have gained outside of the Pottermore experience. For one thing, JK Rowling designed the Sorting Test herself, and I feel as though if anyone knows better than I do what House I belong in, it’s Rowling. And there’s no going back – no being re-Sorted or choosing another wand. But I kind of like it that way. It means that it’s more “real” in a sense because I didn’t just choose what answers I knew would get me into which House.
But it also means that Pottermore is far from being truly interactive. In each chapter, the user can only explore three layers of the newly-designed environment. (Think of it like a pop-up book in style). There are items to be collected, which gives the whole experience more of a “game” feel, but also brand-new content about the story and characters, written by JK Rowling. For example, Deputy Headmistress Minerva McGonagall is discovered to have a very detailed (and sort of tragic) back story that is never revealed in the printed series.
So far, only Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is open on Pottermore, but it is an experience not to be missed by any fan of the series. While it is not completely interactive, it does add another level of interactivity to the beloved series. And it makes me feel like Harry Potter isn’t over after all.
This video fits perfectly into what we have been studying this semester. There are many familiar games that we have discussed in class or seen on the blog, as well as some games that I haven’t personally heard of. Interactive fiction games popularity has gone up and down several times. They first became popular in the early 1990′s, and by the end of the decade populalirty went down. Interactive fiction and storytelling in itself has become popular again. The script is just as, if not more important, than the visuals of the game itself.
Now games focusing on war and battles are very popular, but they have added in the interactive fiction aspect. Uncharted 2 as well as Fallout 3 have become very popular, not only because of the violence that some many players love, but because there is a story to follow along with.
Interactive fiction writers also face a great many challenges, it’s as if they are writing a screenplay. Their dialogue must be convincing and well as interesting while carrying the story. They describe the rule of the game as “don’t tell, play.” The story must be written in a certain way to allow players free agency, as well as have different story arcs for each of their decisions.
Mass Effect’s name has recently become synonymous with controversy due to the recently released third title in the series. The controversy surrounds the game’s various endings, all of which seem to have the greater portion of the game’s player-base outraged. It has become such an issue that even the Federal Trade Commission has been petitioned to force Mass Effect’s developer Bioware to rewrite the ending. The claim is that Bioware broke certain promises it made to fans in advertisements and in public relations conferences. These promises concerned the player’s ability to make choices in the game which would allow the player to fully decide the ultimate outcome. This goes along with Bioware’s history of making games where the player’s choice is vital to the gameplay.
Upon the very first day of the game’s release, however, there was an outcry from fans who were in disbelief over how little their decisions actually steered the story’s ending. For the purpose of this essay, I want to examine the developer-player relationship in terms of choices the developer gives the players and how much artistic freedom players actually give developers. As far as I am concerned, Bioware, and any other developer who spends years working on a massive title like Mass Effect, should have absolute freedom and enough of a creative license over the products they create.
Dave Thier, a contributing writer to Forbes online, details the responses of certain lawyers who felt that the case positioned against Bioware will likely not hold up in court because it is common consumer knowledge that an advertisement is purposed for the sale of a product, and not its inherent quality. With a product like a video game, this is even more true because it is an intellectual property which is wholly marketed and sold as an entertainment product. As Thier entails, Bioware should not have to worry about this particular fan’s case. However, a commenter on Thier’s blog makes a good point when he writes, “the threat of lawsuit does more damage than lawsuits themselves much of the time.” While I doubt that Bioware will be scathed by this event, their image is perhaps tarnished.
Bioware itself has addressed the situation in the most graceful way I believe a developer could. The co-founder and GM of BioWare said in a statement “I personally believe Mass Effect 3 is the best work we’ve yet created. So, it’s incredibly painful to receive feedback from our core fans that the game’s endings were not up to their expectations.” Developers must listen to the fans because they are the ones who purchase their games. Despite this, I feel the fact should also be addressed that a developer gains a certain level of notoriety based on the general public’s reception of the product which, in the case of the Mass Effect series, has always been a more than decent reception. Additionally, Mass Effect 3 is the conclusion of the trilogy which means that fans’ emotions are highly invested in the outcome and this is by virtue of Bioware’s adept ability to tell a story with impact. Bioware is known to be one the respectful developers, like Blizzard, who combs through forums to find suggestions and problems the fans have with their titles and this did not change in the case of Mass Effect 3.
Chris Periera, writer for 1Up.com, writes that “the haters want a new ending. The defenders want BioWare to stay true to their vision and not change a thing. BioWare is instead doing something in between the two, a move which may appease both sides — or it could end up frustrating the both of them.” As Periera later says, Bioware is not so much creating a new ending as they are adding optional DLC content or updates that will better fill the gaps in the story, which was the main issue fans had with the ending. They felt that the choices they had made up until that point were made arbitrary in light of what those choices led up to. However, as upset as some fans are over the endings, many fans are equally supportive of the fact that Bioware retains its artistic integrity and that, regardless of how the player feels about the outcome, it is after all Bioware’s property.
What is so interesting is that the game has actually received favorable reviews from critics. The Xbox 360 version has a 93 out of 100 on metacritic.com and considering just how many reviews are compiled to achieve that score, it’s a true feat on Bioware’s part. This seems to be even more proof to the fact that Bioware retains a sense of artistic integrity which they are merited through their excellent work in producing the game. Colin Moriarty, a Playstation reviewer for IGN.com wrote “Mass Effect 3 isn’t the best game ever made. But it’ll certainly be in the conversation for a very long time to come.” He’s right too, because Mass Effect 3 has become one of the most talked about games and people are awaiting Bioware’s adjustments to the game.
The reason people have such a problem with the ending is not only because they are deeply attached to the characters but also they feel as though the ending makes the choices they made, throughout the first and second games, essentially moot. It is unclear why they feel this way in light of how Bioware has repeatedly said (before the whole debacle) that Mass Effect 3 would not be the end of the series. In any case, Bioware has substantiated itself as a creative entity whose recent choices have put them in a negative light which they did not deserve. The developer’s ability to create a story with interweaving choices is still mind-blowing and it is actually a huge let down to see how far some people are willing to go to ignore that ability.
Moriarty, Colin. IGN.com. http://www.ign.com/articles/2012/03/06/mass-effect-3-review
Pereira, Chris. 1UP.com. http://www.1up.com/news/bioware-address-mass-effect-3-ending
Reilly, Jim. GameInformer.com. http://www.gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/2012/03/21/bioware-addressing-mass-effect-3-criticisms.aspx
The interaction between games and the players has changed drastically since the Atari and the beginning of the gaming revolution. Can you remember the joy stick? Developers in the industry are racing to bridge the connection from the gamer to the virtual world. There have been plenty of missteps along the way (how many hands do you need to play a 64 game?) but the progress towards intuitive fluid game play never ceases to amaze me.
The average age of gamers has increased over time. One of the main reasons for this is simply games are no longer excluded to button mashing gurus. Families are now dancing arround the tv and now anyone can swing a golf club like they are tiger woods. Game playing now comes so naturally it has not only changed the demographic of gamers, but also created whole new genres and depths to preexisting games.
One of the crowning achievements of this competition is the touch screen. Although it was invented way in back in 1965, the touch screen has been the medium through which many gamers now play their games. After Angry Birds had set monumental records, gaming apps for the phones have been pouring out of the flood gates. These games are some what nostalgic to traditional gamers because of their simplicity, and for the same reason are loved by many who are new to virtual world. I feel touch screen games do have some draw backs though: the game depth is often shallow and the death defying jump or the finishing blow to an opponent is not nearly as satisfying with out the physical “click”.
The next natural progression for games is to move to pc tablets. The tablets have started taking over the TV and now they have their eyes on video game consoles. They have processing power and they have the graphics cards, it wont be soon before Apple is unleashing their newest iGame. I believe if not completely taking over the gaming console, they will integrate the ipad with the tv. Making a tablet as a gaming control has huge potential and would open the door for many game developers and gamers who can have their remote control actually configured to their own unique preference.
In a previous Checkpoint, I discussed the recent fad in the video game industry where games from previous console generations are being rereleased in HD. My main focus was whether or not this fad was proof that consumers are purchasing games either for graphics or for gameplay, and not necessarily for both. I wanted to narrow my focus on a specific developer and discuss how well their more recent releases hold up against their older entries. Square Enix, who before 2003 was simply Square Co., are touted as the creators of the hugely popular JRPG series Final Fantasy, which has no final game in sight due to the success of nearly every game. The games that gained this developer so much respect, however, contrast sharply from their most recent releases, and in several ways.
Final Fantasy I through VI solidified Square Co. as a developer who knows how to make games with epic journeys, amazing musical scores, and, most importantly, really good gameplay. Turn-based RPGs were generally unheard of before Final Fantasy, and really only became popular in the U.S. following the release of Final Fantasy I. This battle system consists of the player wielding a party of usually three to four characters, each with differing abilities and equipment. Each character is given one turn per round to attack, defend, or use an item. Final Fantasy made these battles interesting in that the battles always surrounded a greater plot, whether the characters were simply fending of fiends in a dungeon or defeating an epic boss in a dilapidated castle. Additionally, the characters would grow stronger by “leveling up” and this would give them access to greater abilities and equipment, all of which would be more aesthetically pleasing to the player as they leveled up further. FF I through VI were 2-D, although they did receive more graphic detail as the series progressed. It was Final Fantasy VII that changed everything.
Final Fantasy VII was the first fully-3D entry in the series but what really set it apart was the delivery of a deeply heartfelt and engaging story that perhaps connected the players to the characters more than ever before. A skill system called the materia system was also introduced in which special orbs could be placed on characters’ weapons and armor and would allow for greater skills, magic, and even summons of creatures. Despite the game being fifteen years old, I don’t want to reveal any spoilers. The game is nonetheless worth playing to those who have already enjoyed it as well as those who never got a chance. To date, this is likely the most popular title in the series and is still regarded as the height of Square’s creativity. This game did not rely on graphics simply because home consoles didn’t have the capacity to run anything better. This in no way created a void of enjoyability, however. In fact, since it is relatively difficult to find a decent copy of the PS1 original, Sony chose to make it available digitally on Playstation Network on the PS3. FF VIII and IX were both worthy entries and are considered by some to even be superior to VII, but in terms of popularity, the two were greatly overshadowed by VII.
Final Fantasy X was another leap or, a staple, in the series. This game proved yet again that fans of the series appreciate a good story more than anything. The graphical leap from PS1 to PS2 was a plus and added to the fans’ general adoration of the game. FF X did not use graphics as a crutch and focused on a love story surrounded by the greater story arch of the possible end of the world. Perhaps even more than the story, it was the characters who really engaged players and gave them the desire to see them through the game’s end. A boy transported far into the future, a girl tasked with sacrificing her life for the sake of her world, and several guardians with their own individual story lines created an even larger fan-base for the series and it even led to a direct sequel. The sequel was quickly maligned as a cheap way to capitalize on a greater story, coming off as vapid and generally worthless. The gameplay was actually somewhat interesting because it involved a new battle system, but that was the extent of any possible enjoyability. More recent entries seem to be so graphic-oriented that something has certainly been lost in the process.
Final Fantasy XI gained some attention before its release in 2003, but because the game was a poorly-created MMO, it only ever gained a specific group of players – namely those who simply enjoyed punishment in the form of endless grinding, nearly impossible bosses, and genuinely impossible drops of useful gear. Most of the servers running this game have since been shut down but certain masochists continue to enjoy its supremely difficult gameplay. Yet here again it is proven that gameplay (which in this case only ever supports the storyline) and not really graphics, is what the players respect. Final Fantasy XII received generally mixed reviews and is truly hit-or-miss with most people. The graphics and gameplay seemed to be limited because it is a product of a fading console generation. I can’t help but feel it would have been better received on the PS3. It is rumored that this game, like FF X, will eventually receive an HD remake which, in my opinion, is actually warranted in this case. XII was, after all, marketed as a single-player game set in an MMO-sized world. I just don’t think the PS2 handled it as well as the game deserved.
Final Fantasy XIII is somewhat of a consumer-minded abomination of the series. When you ask a fan of this game what is so markedly impressive of the title, the ubiquitous answer is the graphics.
Other than the main character, the characters in this game lack any reason for the player to care about them. The main character does not carry the game, though, nor should she. Instead, like every Final Fantasy, the game jumps from the personal story of one character to another. Were the characters actually interesting, this would be acceptable, but they simply aren’t. Most of them have stories that either aren’t interesting or actually don’t even matter for the purpose of the main storyline. What’s worse is the gameplay. I feel like Square Enix thought the graphics were so good that the gameplay needed to be cut back in order for the player to gaze at the beautiful polygons even more. This was a huge mistake on their part, in reference to the respect of their fan base. Since consumerism determines “the shinier, the better,” XIII has done well and has even spawned an even worse direct sequel. It’s disgusting that a developer which is so obviously capable of amazing games has taken this direction and it’s really inexcusable.
When first playing the game Gravitation, it did not occur to me that there could have been any resemblances to real life. After the second time playing it however, I began getting curious about different aspects of the game. Many parts of the game do not make complete sense unless there were to be an explanation or a reason for them. Following my third attempt at playing Gravitation, I stopped and pondered about the different facets of the game and came to realize that there were three different life lessons tucked away in the game that stood out to me.
The first life lesson that I came to realize was in the game was what happened when you knocked the blue stars off of the ledges. When this happened, they became ice blocks at the bottom of the screen. If you then spend too much time getting the stars, and not moving the blocks away from your child at the bottom, you can eventually block yourself off from being able to interact with your child. This is a lesson in itself because if you spend too much time doing things that only help yourself, you will eventually loose touch with the people surrounding you who mean a lot to you. This shows that balancing your time is very important.
Another life lesson that I stumbled upon while playing Gravitation is the more available you make yourself to people you want to be around, the more they will want to be around you. I came across this idea because once you got close enough to your child, she would throw you the ball. Even though she was always looking at you, she would never go out of her way to interact with you unless you make yourself available. This concept goes to prove that if you don’t make yourself available to your family and friends, it becomes hard for them to maintain a relationship with you.
The final life lesson that I encountered when playing Gravitation is that even though it is good to make plans, you must follow through with them if you want anything to be accomplished. I saw this displayed in the game when I was playing and decided that it would be a good idea to knock down all of the stars possible, and then go cash them in for points at the end. However, when I went to do this, all of the ice boxes had lost the points they were worth earlier in the game. This went to prove that even though I planned ahead, I didn’t act on my plan quick enough; so I failed.
This is the interactive storyline I created for my project.
Max’s Avenger, as I titled it, is set in a future where humanity has moved to a new galaxy. Humans are spread across various planets that they share with other sentient races. The story focuses on a nameless character who comes to find that his friend has been murdered. In their world, the galaxy is basically run by a single government called the Galactic Coalition and the enforcers of the G.C. are the frost necromancers. These people have the ability to wield frost magic, channeled through the unholy powers of death and the underworld. The main character finds a pile of ashes which he believes to be the remains of his friend, Max, as Max’s belongings are scattered with the ashes. He believes the murderer to have been a frost necromancer due to the blue, icy nature of the ashes. Without giving away much more of the story, I want to talk about my inspirations as well as why I used Twine.
My intention for the story was that the galaxy the main character inhabits would be expandable through the use of Twine’s linking. Instead of using the links to offer the player optional choices and changes of direction for the story, I wanted the links to actually explain and expand the story itself. This was largely inspired by Mass Effect. Although the game is acclaimed for the options it gives players to control their character’s destiny through choices, I really admire the game’s ability to extrapolate on it’s universe as a whole. Everything from the game’s races to its locations are given greater detail because the player can often directly interact with these items. The menu then prompts the player to read about it in their codex. The universe that Bioware created is so large in scope that it makes sense for them to have employed the use of a codex.
I decided to include the frost necromancers because I often choose magic-based characters in RPGs. In World of Warcraft, for instance, my character was an undead warlock. In most science fiction, warlocks and necromancers are painted as evildoers, so I thought it made sense to make frost necromancers the ultimate evil force working for the Galactic Coalition.
Growing up, I watched a lot of anime and I still appreciate several anime series to this day. One of my favorites that I admit I enjoy out of nostalgia and not out of its credibility is Outlaw Star. I’ve always wanted this show to be re-imagined by another, more capable studio because the basic storyline is really interesting. It just ends up suffering for its lack of character development and nonsensical approach to story-telling. In the universe of Outlaw Star, there is a group know as the outlaws. The term outlaw is used to describe those who don’t really work for anyone other than themselves. They often do odd jobs, selling random equipment or services in their local. The outlaw which the story focuses on, however, is one has a slight upper hand as he wields what is called a caster gun. These guns require special shells which are infused with tao magic. This comes in handy when the main character faces tao masters who use their magic for darkness and generally invulnerable to normal attacks. In Max’s Avenger, I delegated the use of caster guns to high-ranking officials within the frost necromancers, and somewhat of a birthright to Max, who also wields the magical gun.