[Literary Games Group] 30/3/21 – Interaction, Hints, and More Dreams

Hello again everyone for another week,

In yesterday’s meeting we discussed the seventh chapter of Ensslin’s book, and there was a lot of good discussion regarding interactive fiction, the nature of “hints” or other purely mechanical visual or written aids to help a player through a game, and whether they help or hinder a player’s experience (in short: it varies). We also talked about the way we interact with games, dialogue, and the written element in any game. Dave noticed that we were generally zipping through dialogue while playing The Dream Machine, and we discussed why we thought that might be as well. We either let a written dialogue moment linger, or, if we parse it and identify that it has no future use or relevance to the game’s puzzles, we are generally quick to discard it. A contributing factor could also be the fact that the game has no (so far, anyway) consequential choices. It is a linear story, but with a varying level of interactivity to the world. Your level of engagement in dialogue trees depend on your investment in the story.

An extract from the game Blue Lacuna, which we had a little look at after Ensslin discussed it in Chapter 7

Next week is midsem break, so we will be meeting again in two weeks time. The reading for then is Ensslin’s Chapter 8.

We are now on Chapter 5 of 6 of The Dream Machine – we have almost finished. Soon we will be moving onto another game, but not before breaking down The Dream Machine a bit when we have finished it, and attempting to pick apart basically everything interesting the game had to offer.

Thanks, see you in a couple weeks time!

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