Online Narrative Gaming – The new way of Storytelling?

Telling stories in video games is not a new concept, but new games coming into the market take this idea to a whole other level. Many video games in the past focus on loose storylines as a base for the game, but new games are beginning to fully take advantage of this “new” medium in digital storytelling. When people think of games played on the computer, many immediately jump to puzzle-like games like Candy Crush Saga or Tetris. Developers are beginning to capitalize on the possible storytelling aspect and the easy accessibility of online gaming. When developing a game that has a complex storyline, it is quite difficult to design a format that is inclusive of all of the detail involved. There are many ways of overcoming this, and both Thirty Flights of Loving and Gone Home use different strategies to overcome this.

Thirty Flights of Loving, to some may not seem like a real “game” by definition. The pacing is very fast and at times hard to keep up with. Random jump cuts are quite jarring at times and do not seem to make much sense. Many find it hard to categorize it as a true game because there is not a lot of true gameplay that the player has to do themselves. There are no real choices that the player has to make themselves, and overall the player has very little control over anything. The few interactions that you do have a chance to play around with do not actually have anything to do with the storyline; they just give minor details to help the player along. The entire game feels more like a slightly interactive film rather than a game in the traditional sense.

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Thirty Flights of Loving – which uses a unique style of gameplay to tell a story.

While Thirty Flights of Loving gives the player very little choice in the gameplay, the opposite can be said for Gone Home. The entire game is based on you having free reign on the entire house. It is extremely easy to overlook the minor details that make up the overriding stories in the game. This open exploration puts the entire story into your hands, allowing you to look as much or as little into the story as you would like. The story is there, it is just up to the player to put the pieces together and figure it out.

gone-home-banner-gamecloud
Gone Home – a first person narrative exploration game.

While both games have major overriding stories, they both take different strategies on how to tell them. The success of such storytelling is dependent solely on how the player works their way through the gameplay, as some formats make it more difficult to understand the entire storyline.

References:
Gone Home Banner. http://cdn.gamecloud.net.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/gone-home-banner-gamecloud.jpg Gamecloud Australia, Web. Accessed 24 March 2017
Thirty Flights of Loving. Blendo Games LLC, http://blendogames.com/thirtyflightsofloving/. Published Aug. 2012. Web. Accessed 24 Mar. 2017.
“Gone Home: A Story Exploration Video Game.” Gone Home: A Story Exploration Video Game. The Fullbright Company, https://gonehome.game/. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.
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