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Directed Project 2020 – Entry #7

In moments like these, it is tough to be part of both the game industry and academia.

It’s tiring. It’s harder to just brush things aside and keep going.

I’m trying to design a game about trust, while working in fields that are unsafe to so many people — including me.

There’s always a moment when we ask ourselves “is it really worth it?” in our professional lives. I’ve been grateful that there’s another voice in my head who hasn’t gone silent yet and has answered that it’s not about worth. It’s maybe more about meaning. Does it make sense to you to do it here and now? Most of times the answer has been positive, or after taking a break it went back to positive.

It’s still tiring.

A few hours later: I regained some motivation after watching a video that was randomly suggested on Youtube about Hard Worldbuilding VS Soft Worldbuilding. While I don’t agree with their wording, it made me think a lot about various things, including things related to academia and research creation.

Based on classes I had and various articles I read, there’s indeed a tension between research and creation in academia. To sum things very quickly:

  • Research = analytical, actionable data and knowledge
  • VS creation = outside academia, less reflective, with the intent of being sold or ‘enjoyed’ by an audience.

There’s still a lot of internal struggle as researchers devise ways to ‘legitimize’ creation as a way to produce (not create, maybe that’s the thing) knowledge in academia. 

It may be a far stretch from the worldbuilding video, but I thought of these things because the current format I’m using here, to post my notes about my research-creation project, is a ‘journal’ and vastly disorganized on purpose. I don’t think I’ve explained this before but as briefly mentioned by Miyazaki in the video, there’s an ‘unconscious’ way to create things. When you’re too conscious, even as a creator, you may feel like it’s limiting your creativity.

But I’m also challenging the ideas of conscious VS unconscious here. Especially the conscious = analytical = rational? = good = research/academia goals = controlled and actionable

VS unconscious = ‘more creative’ = feelings? = not so much desired for research/academia = less controlled but easier to sell though. (There’s mysticism about unconscious stuff)  

I’m just tired of binary ways to think about things in general even if I do understand the practicality and appeal of polarized thinking.

Anyway, I think in my case I want to blur everything  — are the notes I’m writing knowledge about creative writing and design? Creative writing about creative writing? Something else entirely? I’m just curious to see how it may shape things or not. I don’t want to control everything in the format of these entries, I’ve chosen a ‘free form’ type of texts on purpose though — I’m choosing consciously to write unconsciously about things. That’s why ‘écriture automatique’ (which partly comes from French surrealism I think) is also sort of paradoxical in its own way. To me it’s more like taking a step back from some codes, tropes, rules when doing something. There’s maybe more physicality to what we call ‘unconscious’ here: It’s more about a ‘gut feeling’, following some instincts that cannot be consciously predefined. But even so I’m like fully aware that I’m doing that, so am I doing it, really?

So yeah that’s why I hope to find more playfulness in both academia and the game industry. I was reading some quote from James Baldwin about how racism would end when white people would start to love themselves? Ah, found the exact quote:

White people in this country will have quite enough to do in learning how to accept and love themselves and each other, and when they have achieved this—which will not be tomorrow and may very well be never—the Negro problem will no longer exist, for it will no longer be needed.

From: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1962/11/17/letter-from-a-region-in-my-mind

Anyway, maybe academia wants so badly to be seen as ‘smart’ that it’s hurting others?

Maybe the game industry wants so badly to be seen as ‘fun’ that’s it’s hurting others? 

Posted by Galejade in Narrative Design

Shoes that don’t fit

Imagine that the only shoes available to you always hurt. No matter which pair you try on, they always make your feet bleed like hell. And everyone tells you it’s not because the shoes are wrong, it’s because your feet are weird. So you have to find a way to fit your feet in these shoes no matter what. There’s no other choice, you know? Because walking without shoes, you can’t really do that outside your home. Everyone wears shoes around you, and comfortable wearing them — what is wrong with you? There’s obviously something wrong with you. Or maybe everyone suffers and maybe you’re just too vocal about it. Toughen up! Keep it quiet. See? Now that you’re quiet, somehow it’s hurting less. The pain was in your head, you can control it. Even if you’re still bleeding.

After a while you realize you can only walk with shoes that hurt you. Because you have trained your whole body for so long to walk with that one single pair of shoes (and aren’t you lucky to be able to walk at all?) So you keep walking. Step after step, you devise countless strategies to maintain the pain at a tolerable level. And you become scared as hell to try any new pair — what if they are even worse than the ones you’re wearing? Still, sometimes you go a little crazy, you try some new shoes and — yeah, they hurt. But it’s normal, right? Shoes are supposed to hurt, right? Why would you complain about them now? They’re just shoes, no big deal. Everything is normal.

As you walk, you meet people who don’t have the slightest idea of what it feels like not to wear shoes that don’t fit them perfectly at all time. So it makes you wonder. Maybe you could halt and have a better look at their shoes? But when you ask these people for help, some will brush you off — shoes are just shoes — and keep walking. Others will notice the difference and praise how brave you are to keep wearing your shoes even if they hurt you, how resilient — and keep walking. There are also the ones who will tell you that you’re slowing everyone with your questions, and will ask you to keep walking. Finally there are those who will yell at you if you insist, who will tell you to get your bloody hands off their precious shoes and run away. Bloody hands, yes, literally — you know, because of the blood from your own feet?

Usually the ones who already experience some discomfort with their shoes will take more time to see if there might be something wrong with yours. In these moments, you feel exposed (‘No, forget it! They’re just like yours, see?’) and relieved (‘I’m not crazy, there’s something odd here.’) Also worth noting that you love walking barefoot, but even to this day you can only do so in places that feel like home. This is also another thing: The only modes you know are either varying degrees of pain while walking with shoes around people, or healing yourself walking barefoot in safe spaces without any hazard that could hurt you. Unless, you know, some people take advantage of you after being welcomed into your home, then trample your toes and blame your feet for being the problem.

Then you wonder what it feels like. To be able to walk in various places without even wondering if you had shoes on or not because you feel comfortable with or without them.

—-

To go out in the world, and endure constant pain because of marginalization.

Walking with shoes that don’t fit.

I am grateful for the little breaks some people have taken along the way to be angry. To ask themselves why the shoes were made that way and what we could do about them.

Despite having better tools to deal with the pain, or more pairs to wear, most of them still don’t fit.

Posted by Galejade in Détours Sans Issue (Écriture)

Directed Project 2020 – Entry #6

I finally took the time to start a little something with Inky!

Inky Screenshot

I haven’t got very far.

The game’s entry point is a ‘tutorial’. It’s a conversation between the ‘app moderators’ (eBuddy, referring themselves as ‘we’) and the ‘Confidant’ (who just got hired and will be paired with someone right after that first conversation).

It’s showing the choice structure for the whole game:

  • ‘SEND MESSAGE’: Reveals a couple of sub-choices.
  • ‘REMAIN SILENT’: It lets the other part of the conversation say more and react to such silence.

The intent is to try to mimic how we deal with text messages usually… First decision is to say something or wait. Then choose what to say. But when you choose to say something you’re already half-way. And again, I’m obsessed with timing so what you say is less relevant than when you say it.

Like there was an earlier version of the conversation I wrote that went as follows:

  • The app prompts the Confidant to say ‘Hi!’ to confirm that the app is working.
  • The Confidant can remain silent more than once. After several ‘remain silent’ the Moderators would say something like ‘You’re messing with us aren’t you?’
  • The Confidant can still send a message to say ‘Hello! I can’t wait to know more!’ after and the Moderators would answer right away ‘Aren’t you the chatty type?’

So the Aren’t you the chatty type? works in all contexts as a direct answer to the long Hello! but if the Confidant remained silent before and had the ‘Messing with us’ answer, then the Aren’t you the chatty type? becomes ironical.

In the end I removed the ‘You’re messing with us aren’t you?’ because I wondered if the Moderators should be a tad more neutral in tone… but as I’m writing this journal, yeah, in fact I’m bringing back that line. It gives more flavor to the Moderators. And why not after all?

I’ve created 3 different ‘trustState’ at the moment — things I’ll use to create mini-variants in the text. I vaguely thought of assigning different adjectives to the different characters in the story, but in the end, these trustState are always contextual and conversational. They’re more tied to a situation than being a specific attribute to a character, so I think it’s fine to switch between them as things go. I’ll probably track other states for other things (based on characters’ memories of previous answers) but we’ll see. I’m not even sure I need that. That’s the fun part of writing to me — a same sentence can have so many different meanings depending on what was said before (like the Aren’t you the chatty type) and most of the time I don’t even need to emphasize that — the players will make these links themselves. The challenge is to write things that are elusive enough to be interpreted in different ways, while not writing something too obscure or vague that would lead to various misunderstandings.

It’s also what’s implied and intended with the list of ‘people’s types’: At some point the Confidant is prompt to list all the types of people they’re comfortable to talk to, especially in terms of sexual orientations. I don’t plant to track any of these types at all to alter who the Confidant will be talking to, because the Confidant should not be able to choose who they’re talking to (it’s not the point of the app). At this point, the prompt is more about a self-statement, self-reflection for the Confidant. From the Moderators’ perspective, it’s just a list of the people who trust the app enough to use it, and the Confidant should be made aware of that. But the Entruster (the person who the Confidant will be talking to) has their own identity and nothing from the Confidant’s input will change that.

Posted by Galejade in Narrative Design

Directed Project 2020 – Entry #5

‘I should have never told you that.’

Imagine a game where A says something like this to B. You may make various assumptions here:

  • Most likely A is not the playable character unless it’s a cutscene. It’s not something that will be a consequence of the player’s conscious choice. (I don’t think I’ve ever seen a game where you can consciously choose to say something then consciously choose to have remorse for it. Unless maybe you replay a game and make that call, knowing all the consequences beforehand.)
  • If A is a non-playable character, then oftentimes it means that the player has ‘unlocked’ some critical information (which is deemed as ‘positive’). They forced a character to reveal information about something.

But if I’m transposing this in a different context, when I’m talking to a friend and they end up saying that to me, I’ll most likely not feel like I ‘unlocked some information that could be useful to progress in my life’. I’ll just feel bad because I somehow forced them to do something they didn’t want to do for various reasons. I will most likely try to know what these reasons are. Same goes if I end up saying that to someone.

Which brings me to something that’s been bothering me – and the more I read about The Last of Us II or other games like GTA V for example… The kind of games that uses violence to supposedly bring depth to its storyline. The graphical violence, while disturbing, is not what’s bugging me. It’s more how non-playable characters are used as tools to make the player feel something.

And this is something I’ve felt a lot in real life with… privileged people (for a lack of a better term, I don’t like the word ‘privilege’). How some of them are using others as ‘springboards’ to feel something (anything, really). They believe it’s empathy, but in fact it’s always about them. They only see what they need to see in someone to feel something about themselves. They are not trying to empathize with the person who’s in front of them. The closest comparison I can make is… They act like vampires, sucking someone’s emotions to make them their own. Maybe we can call it emotional appropriation.

I don’t say I’ve never done the same in my life, on the contrary. ‘Projection’ is a first step toward empathy. But if you stop there, it will become toxic. Because when you’re projecting so much of yourself on someone, you are forced to silence all the other aspects that do not fit your needs.

I can name many movies and books which are at least trying to challenge these power dynamics, but I’m not sure I know any game doing it? Maybe because game design is so player-centric that you have no choice but to treat non-playable characters as tools. Not saying that making clear cuts between ‘protagonists and supporting characters’ (that kind of hierarchy) doesn’t bring the same thing in other narrative media. But at least you can see characters being remorseful in many stories. Somehow in games any sense of remorse often feels ‘fake’ unless there’s death involved…

In the case of my game, there’s no way any trust can emerge from such power dynamics. My real struggle is that most of the tools we’re used to use in games are numbers – quantifying things with ‘thresholds’ to be met or not. We can mitigate this by being overly sophisticated with the types of data we’re tracking and the combinations we can make, but somehow it feels… like trying to draw a circle with squares. I do see how Ink (narrative scripting language developed by Inkle) has a lot of potential because it really emphasizes the combinatory aspect of writing (the language makes it really easy to nest a text into a text and alter it to a point when you can ‘customize’ a lot what the player will read depending on their actions). But is it really enough?

Time to play with Ink/Inky a bit more!

Posted by Galejade in Narrative Design

Directed Project 2020 – Entry #4

So many things to write, so much urgency, so many fires.

Things I did:

Watched the GDC Talk “Kill the Hero, Save the (Narrative) World” by Hannah Nicklin. Very interesting, I mostly agree.

Still, many TV shows still use the Hero’s Journey as a framework even with an ensemble cast. To me conflict-oriented plots and sequential thinking (which are both in part very Western-centric, with too much focus on efficiency) are narrowing our options as storytellers (of any media). I need time to develop what I really mean by that and find more references. (The Politics of Myth by Ellwood could be interesting?)

– Scoping: To scope my project I thought very intensely about the definition of a character (in a story, in a game). I’m a character-centric type of writer — I’ve learned how to build strong plots, but sometimes choices are made not because they would make the most sense to the characters but because they would be the most appealing to the audience (and I don’t really like these assumptions).

In any case, I’ve reached a point with everything in the game being a character, and not making clear separations between identities besides their… desires.

So I started with this: 3 characters

– A teenager who needs help

– A confidant who wants to help

– An app used by both to communicate.

But then the more I thought about this, the more I started to shift things a bit. Now I have 3 ‘desires’ embodied by… roles?

– Entruster: A desire to confide something

– Confidant: A desire to receive confidences

– Mediator: A desire to facilitate things between other characters

In the end the 3 characters want to build trust between each other.

To me the shift in terms of vocabulary means a lot: These 3 ‘roles’ or desires are what I want to explore the most, because they’re not tied to specific entities. I want to have mechanics of interactions supporting those three desires no matter who is using them. It’s not usually how I design things, and it’s exciting.

It also led me to think the following:

– The mediator (the character carrying most of that role being the ‘app’) is a facilitator, so it needs to be trusted by both the Entruster and the Confidant

– The Entruster is very active — not naming them ‘Confider’ because it doesn’t feel enough, somehow. A lot of the job is on them.

Which makes me think that most non-playable characters in games really trust the playable character too easily. (Trust always happens like a switch in these game stories, which is weird. I rarely trust someone just because suddenly they killed enough rats at a precise time in my life. Well it could happen but it would be really contextual, right?)

– The confidant cannot access to the conversations outside the ones they have with the entruster and mediator. What it means in our case is that no, the player cannot read conversations without them involved, because it would be a breach of trust and would contradict all the aforementioned desires (I like to drop aforementioned from times to times, it feels fancy).

Also I had to deal with giants ants in my kitchen (well, the Canadian ones that are way too big to my own taste), a broken glass, a clogged toilet, and a mild electrocution while trying to clean everything. These cascading effects, I wonder how this could inspire anything for this game. (Well at least I’m now too tired to write more today)

Back to scoping: Plan is to have:

  • First conversation where the Confidant will have to share who they want to be and who’s the kind of person they want to interact with, with the Mediator. Choices made won’t impact what the Entruster will say at all, but it’s more like the Confidant defining their boundaries and providing context to a dialogue that could be read in many different ways.
  • From there, several conversations (most likely 3 or 4?) between the Confidant and the Entruster. I want to see if I can have a ‘in media res’ type of structure — I’m trying to think of a better concept than randomization (because randomization in a philosophical context is problematic). But in the end it won’t be a “tree” but a rhizome of conversations. I like constellations.
  • Maybe a closing conversation between the Confidant and the Mediator.

Well 4-5 conversations in total, how they exactly connect and in which ‘order’ (if we need one) they will unfold is still TBD.

Posted by Galejade in Narrative Design

Directed Project 2020 – Entry #3

The following are mostly random notes that are somewhat part of my creative process. 

Being creative under stressful times is hard.

Stress is a spectrum, there’s never a real zero (as all other feelings I may be experiencing) but it doesn’t cancel other feelings. Various parameters (gender, racial issues, social status, global context etc.) influence stress.

It’s tough to find meaning in the ‘mundane’ when there’s a distorted sense of scale. Things happen in the world at large, yet my current agency is on the ‘small’ thing — a small project, a small job, a small world. It’s the dissonance between the two that’s causing some stress, I suppose.

That dissonance is partly ‘fabricated’ — deeming something big or small, it’s largely influenced by social constructs and norms. Binary thinking. Success/failure, meritocracy. Mundane/Important. The necessity to see contrast to be able to see anything at all. Relying a lot (too much?) on visual thinking, which has become more and more static — trapped in power dynamics beyond our control. We’ve been filtering, layering, transmitting, conditioning our visual space(s). Our auditory space is slightly less controlled at the moment (I think — selfies are photos. We have more and more video and sound but things are still ‘collages’.)

We’ve been both flattened and expanded by the many virtual tools surrounding us. I guess our sense of space, sound, and time is evolving unconsciously. I’m trying not to judge — to avoid a good-vs-bad thinking. It’s so hard though.

Maybe there’s something about collages — how to replicate the complexities of our bodies in a physical environment, we’ve turned toward collages. Pieces on top of pieces (filters on top of filters) like a French mille-feuilles, hoping that the whole bulk will produce a semblance of realness. At least mimic some of its depth. But it’s all about perception, right?

I don’t think this text is very readable, but moving on. 😀

Going back to the Directed Project. I’ll be reading/thinking/browsing the book referred in this article on First Person Scholar: A Multimodal Approach to Video Games and the Player by Weimin Toh.

I’m intrigued by the ‘semiotics’ approach and the breakdown between the various ‘ludonarrative dissonances’ (or resonances, or contrasts) that we could read and detail a bit more in games.

I’m personally interested in the themes around intimacy and playable characters in games. There’s a sense of intimacy in games that’s different from other media (I think?) Current suspicion is that many games systems and mechanics are creating virtual worlds where intimacy is almost always jeopardized. As a marginalized person (of some sort) I’m thinking a lot about boundaries and how intimacy is always under attack VS privileged people do not need so many differences between intimate/public or social spaces. (Hence our social media, where everything is blurred because it’s tailored toward people who are not overtly threatened in their intimacy on a day-to-day basis.) I have seen how the more privileges I’ve gained the more comfortable I have become in social/public environments and also at ease with my sense of self (and notice how I would become more white in some contexts not only as a way to survive, but because nothing else was encouraged in these environments).

Intimate moments in games are often done by accident. I guess games that rely less on overt violence (but even Animal Crossing can be a violent game — see all the people trying to get rid of their ugly neighbors, among many other things) give a better room for intimate moments… but even so. I can name so many books where I felt truly intimate moments with the character, with my sense of self. It’s so different in games because of the systemic thinking that’s almost its core. Not that there is no systemic thinking in writing or literature, but possibly because it had more time to evolve, is more accessible than most media, its ability to question itself constantly and turn something on its head is a bit more obvious. In the end, can we really design systems that are not oppressive? That’s one of my questions.

Going back (or further?) on my project: Building a sense of intimacy between characters (playable or not) is one of my goals. When you build a fictional world there’s always a lot of back-and-forth between ‘the world the characters are living in’ and ‘the characters’ needs’ and how they could echo, interact with each other. I’ve written a lot of stories about outsiders — a world VS character type of conflict is always easy to write, to sell, feels familiar to me, has a lot of potential for things evolving from both the world and the character. When intimacy was involved, there was still that sort of dynamic — 2 characters trying to build some intimacy despite the world around them threatening that intimacy. I wonder if I can do things differently or not this time.

Posted by Galejade in Narrative Design

Directed Project 2020 – Entry #2

I’ve been reading Michel Foucault’s Surveiller et Punir (Discipline and Punish in English — it’s interesting how ‘surveiller’ has been translated by ‘discipline’), mostly out of curiosity after seeing it mentioned so many times in various conversations. I’m reading it in French because I’m a French speaker. It’s quite enjoyable to read — and I’ve been enjoying reading more philosophical texts over the past months thanks to my PhD.

Questions that arose while I was reading (I’ve only read 1/4 of the book, I haven’t reached the Panopticon’s description yet):

  • Are video games elaborate systems of punishment? => Can you design a reward system without also designing a punishment system? (Like, the absence of reward is a punishment)

I usually hate that, games punishing me for not doing the ‘right thing’ according to the game’s system. Or the game judging me I’m not good enough yet to ‘enjoy the game’ yet (I don’t like competitive games). I don’t believe in meritocracy anymore anyway. It is quite a challenge when writing a story, and even more so when writing stories for games. I hate these stories where only the ‘most deserving’ get to learn something. The whole narrative about ‘you have to go through pain to make it worth it’ is boring me to death.

It’s not to say that there shouldn’t be any depiction of pain or endeavors or struggles in games. I’m just not a fan at all of the narratives highlighting things that need to be overcome. Anything with ‘over’ in it (overpower, overachiever) kind of makes me grind my teeth.

  • Is the playable character necessary a ‘monster’ in game stories? => Monster in a sense that they do not obey the same laws as any other character in a game. Could that inherent duality of playable characters — of being able to coexist in two realities (the player’s world, and the character’s world) be seen as somewhat ‘monstrous’ by other characters?

When ‘non-playable’ characters are aware of that duality, usually it’s through tutorial texts and it’s not seen as an issue at all (with a NPC telling you ‘press A to kill that guy’ with the subtext of ‘and yeah as a character I’m perfectly comfortable with interacting with an entity that has agency in my reality and outside my reality’). Sometimes non-playable characters have a vague hunch, and in this case the playable character is seen as godlike (the chosen one, the one who has a power no one else has, the one that has to make all the decisions).

I mean, if I realized that I was a non-playable character in a game, I would totally freak out if I suddenly had to interact with the playable character.

—-

Not exactly related but somewhat a bit: Dramatic Irony in game narrative

I’ve rewatched recently Six Feet Under and have been amazed once more by the level of depth all characters have in that show. At some point all characters lie to each other (not only about major plot points but also for more mundane things, they obfuscate or remain elusive on many aspects of their inner lives). Also there’s a lot of dramatic irony.

Dramatic irony is a super powerful tool. It’s usually when the audience is aware of something that some of the characters in place do not know (yet). In great stories, it’s often layered — one character in a scene knows something that the audience also knows but another character doesn’t know at all, and everything has a double meaning.

I don’t have many examples in games where you have such intricacies between characters in a game (regardless if they’re playable or not). Or the playable character knows almost everything, has access to as much information as they need to progress (transparency being a criteria for fairness) and almost at any time.

To have dramatic irony you need characters who are capable of memorizing something — so many times most NPCs don’t have memories of their own, they don’t have any tools to collect information and be able to use it for their own good. At best they have intricate backstories with other game characters (besides the playable one) — which makes for cool side quests in the best case scenario. Unless the game’s narrative is fully focused on that — on making a NPC remember things the playable character does and react to them (but again, it’s not about agency — it’s more reaction than taking actions, it’s about making things more interesting for the playable character).

Posted by Galejade in Narrative Design

Directed Project 2020 – Entry #1

I’ve had this crazy idea of working as a game writer on a multiplayer AAA game while starting a Humanities PhD at the same time. It’s been going rather well — I’ve attended classes for the past year, flexing my academic skills that were mostly… dormant for the past ten years or so.

The following entries will be mostly about my student life. My PhD is ‘Research-Creation’ meaning that I get to write and make creative things to support my research (in my case, game prototypes! yay) at the same time. I’m only at the very beginning of all things, since I’m doing things part-time.

Things that I’m planning to explore the next [insert vast number] years: Games, Narrative and Ethics. Sub-themes: Challenge how we think about players, agency, non-playable characters, protagonists, narrative from a Western POV (based around conflict), power dynamics, responsibility, empathy

I’m trying this new format of ‘journals’. I’m expecting these notes to have lots of typos, not very well-structured, but still a good way to keep track of things for me. At least it’ll be fun for me to read these notes again once the whole experiment will be over. Maybe it’ll be fun to read for someone else? Who knows.

For the next months — from May 2020 to the end of August 2020 — I’m going to work solo (I think, even if I expect to poke friends and colleagues around for playtesting and occasional technical help) on a narrative game that I’m currently calling ‘eBuddy‘. It’s planned to be a mobile game using push notifications à la Lifeline, Bury Me My Love etc. It’s also gonna be text-based.

My main ideas at the moment for that project:

  • A lighthearted game with 3 characters: A virtual counselor (eBuddy), a teenager (who’s getting advices about their life) and an advisor (who acts as a mentor to the virtual counselor)
  • What playable / non-playable truly means: As far as I know we usually say ‘this character is playable’ VS ‘this character is non-playable’ = playability as a set of principles, attributes, and parameters that we tie to a character (agent?) or not. It’s almost a moral pact? If you break such pact then people are not happy (and it often happens because of narrative like the infamous Aeris’s death). I plan to challenge that… mindset on a narrative design level, questioning if playability (at least the way we usually think of it) can be seen more like… a way of accessing information that’s not tied to a specific character but maybe something on a different level (currently investigating about Foucault’s subjectivity and see if I can get some inspiration from him, we never know) OR if playability as a parameter can be better balanced with other parameters for the characters who do not have such parameter.
  • Protagonists in games have too much agency: In narrative games choices are always ‘points of tension’ between players and the game’s system. My current argument is that instead of giving more agency to the players, maybe it’s more that non-playable character not having enough agency makes things dull (limited memory of the events, limited ways they can actually change the story)

TL;DR the way characters in a story access information is so critical in other media (movies, books). I’d like to find more ways in games for all characters (playable or not, or whatever you see them) to access information and challenge some of the preconceptions we have.

TL;DR playability especially in Western games is often too OP, hence boring stories with OP protagonists who are too emotionally static. Let’s try to do something different.

Posted by Galejade in Narrative Design

Bah

Finement sans acompte on se prélasse feintement, l’angoisse au bord des lèvres on étreint l’absence

Et l’on songe avec trouble aux accents d’avant et puis le temps, le temps

S’étire

Tandis que l’espace

s’amoindrit

tout petit tout

fébrile si volatile

qu’on balaye d’arrache-pied

Il perd une dimension

Il semble si plat

Truffé d’aiguilles pourtant

De ces pointes de peur de manque d’os sans chair

On surenchérit alors

On devient aveugle et sourd

Tandis que la cacophonie augmente

Tandis que les chiffres dégringolent

Ou grimpent à une vitesse folle

On ne sait plus à quel curseur se vouer

Mais je pense tendrement j’écris beaucoup vainement

Je rejoins sans atteindre, j’étouffe sans me plaindre

J’essaie

La vie pointille tandis que d’autres se meurent

Comme toujours comme avant

Posted by Galejade in Détours Sans Issue (Écriture)

Cise

Il y a six ans que j’aurais pu commencer, tel Meursault : “Aujourd’hui”. C’était un haut jour dû, oui. Trop tôt, trop tard, trop vite. Une balafre béante venue scinder ma chair pleine d’abîmes. De ronces, d’errances. De rendez-vous à jamais ratés. Depuis elle me brûle tous les jours dûs, oui. Pas toujours si fort. Mais elle creuse et porte à faux, cette charogne de manque.

J’essaie d’échapper à tant de gravité. Comme une muette je tombe beaucoup.

Aujourd’hui le temps latent s’attend à ce que j’atteigne les joies d’antan. Qu’on s’entende. Je ne peux tant.

Posted by Galejade in Détours Sans Issue (Écriture)