- a. The narrative experience of a game is the result of the collective stimuli which enable the imagination of the player to experience something beyond a series of numbers which get bigger or smaller base on the input of those involved. A game like rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption take the formula set forth in the company’s previous GTA game and instead infused the mechanics with a Wild West flare. Embedded content is told through scripted cutscenes which loosely guide the player while emergent play comes from the massive environment which makes the specific experience of the player different depending on what part of the game space they currently occupy.
- a. as stated above. The narrative descriptors of a game are the basic details which make the game more than a numerical simulation. Narrative descriptors engage the player’s imagination by suggesting a world beyond the data physically presented on the screen/board etc.b. A game with no narrative descriptors is really not a game as it is a series of interactions. All true games have at least the most basic suggestion of something more than their constitutive rules. Even physical games like basketball, which on the surface appear to have no specific story contain implied narrative. The court, the hoops, the struggle of agility and precision vs. the more brute force of other sports. All of these are interpreted by the mind as narrative descriptors. As such the closest example I can give for a description-less game would be an excel spreadsheet detailing one’s finances.
c. Thus a game can be seen as a series of constitutive rules onto which a series of narrative descriptors have been applied to create a (hopefully) fun and engaging experience. The existence of operational rules beyond that of the constitutive rules is paramount to being able to define the experience as a “game”.
- a. The book at one point describes a cutscene as playing the role of a “prequel” and “epilogue” to the action occurring during the game. AS a such the use of cutscenes can make a game much more exciting an cinematic while giving the player information about the world without requiring them to read stories in the instruction manual etc. The other side of cutscenes comes from the perspective of an experienced player who likely has already viewed the cutscene or does not considered the added details necessary to his/her enjoyment of the game. Thus the downsides of cutscenes come from their effect of interrupting a gameplay experience. If the player sought the immersion of the cinematic multi-media aspects that cutscenes provide, then they are a good thing. If the player is more focused specifically on the game play, they will only be seen asa distraction.b. Ultimately, I agree that cutscenes must be built to accommodate a number of player types. The ability to skip a cutscene is a must, and on a side note I much prefer it when games do not play the cutscene at he beginning of a level if it is not the player’s first attempt. Dying repeatedly due to a challenging level can be frustrating, having to sit through the same cutscene every time is simply gratuitous punishment of the player.
Professor: Eddo Stern, email@example.com
TA: Mark Essen, firstname.lastname@example.org
(Office Hours: Game Lab, Tuesdays 12-2)