Friday, February 17, 2012

Journal #2

Brief thought from last class:

We discussed the concept of emerging narrative at some length during our discussion of story structure last class, and how certain games and narratives rely on the audience to know a certain amount about the context of the story before interacting with whatever media we’re talking about. The question I had was if for example audiences are expected to have a grounding in the narrative context of a game (from outside media or previous games), would it be possible to create a franchise of games that deliver a strong narrative in the first game, while delivering less and less narrative in each successive game, thereby putting more responsibility on the player to in some ways fill in parts of the narrative in their imaginations. Just a thought.

Protege: Early Cut Scene Idea

Setting: The camera looks up at skyscrapers and high rises from street level - pans down and zooms in on the front revolving doors of the Millennium Building as Chris walks in.

Chris yanks the side door open and strides inside, not stopping to bother with the revolving doors and hordes of pedestrian traffic struggling to make headway. The main elevator bank is up ahead but that is not his destination. He is looking for the guarded elevator, the special elevator; the deadly elevator if you’re not careful. He proceeds over to the right side of the lobby, weaving through the morning crush of foot traffic. He sees his destination now, the elevator sitting comfortably between two burly security men in dark suits, their side arms almost visibly straining the fabric of their coats. Chris sizes them up and approaches what appears to be the senior guard.

“I’m here to see The Bishop.” Chris says, holding eye contact.

“I’m not familiar with anyone by that name sir. Is there something that I can help you with?” the senior guard smoothly replies. He didn’t even blink when Chris dropped The Bishops name; these guys are pros.

“You can help me by getting on the radio you’ve so cunningly got stashed in your pocket and tell The Bishop that Rook would like a word. I’m here at his invitation, so please don’t draw this out any further, for your sake.”

The man eyes Chris up and down, lingering on his Converse All-Stars and slightly worn jeans then nods to his counterpart who disappears mumbling into his hand and touching his earpiece. Chris stands quiet and still, noticing that he is a good half foot shorter than the remaining guard. Not the greatest odds should this go sideways.

The second guard returns and quietly pushes the elevator call button; going down. The senior guard stands in Chris’s way for the briefest of seconds, then moves aside.

“Gentlemen, it’s been a real pleasure.” Chris says as he settles into the elevator.

“Enjoy your stay.” the senior guard replies; the quiet in his voice unsettling.

A sane person would expect the sub-basement floor to be damp, dark and a bit musty; but sane people don’t belong in this brightly lit underworld. Anyone with their sanity still intact is long gone, miles away or a few feet under.

The elevator doors open revealing a surprising scene laid out in front of Chris’s eyes. Classy light fixtures dangle expensive looking halogen lamps from the ceiling shedding soft light on the rows of classy desks lined up symmetrically with each other. Everything in the office is dark wood and stainless steel; a perfect picture of post modern chic.

A man Chris only knows by the briefest of conversations as Kent is waiting patiently by the elevator doors, ready to guide Chris through the maze of busy workers murmuring quietly into their phones.

“The Bishop would like to apologize for the inconvenience upstairs. If he had known you would be showing up so promptly everything would have been in order.”

“Nothing to be sorry about. I thought it prudent to get here as soon as possible; the Old Man thought so too.” Chris replies.

“In that case, please follow me. The Bishop is waiting.” Kent turns and walks towards the back of the room towards a dark, unadorned wall. As they move closer Chris can see the barest hairline fracture outlining a door, which moves aside as if it was never there when Kent pushes in some unseen place. The room behind is anything but similar to the work room outside.

This is all I have so far, but I want the player to get a feel for a large conflict early on, even if the main players in the conflict aren’t quite apparent yet. After this cut scene, I was thinking of incorporating a section of dialogue where the player would have some control over what direction the conversation takes; a sort of interactive fiction portion maybe. I might work on this more in coming journals.

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