The Great Fire [Free, Noir]

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moralityplay
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The Great Fire [Free, Noir]

#1 Post by moralityplay » Wed Jan 08, 2020 8:09 pm

01 Title.png
Title screen
Free online, Windows and OS X builds at moralityplay.itch.io.

The Great Fire is a free noir-themed visual novel. You are Frankie, an usher at the Orpheum cinema in Mayhem, a country town in 1950s Australia. Today starts like any other day at work, but soon you'll find it is a day you will never forget.

This game has been created as part of a research project on Designing for Moral Engagement in Videogames undertaken by Malcolm Ryan, Paul Formosa, Jane Messer and Stephanie Howarth at Macquarie University.

Lead Game Design: Dr Malcolm Ryan
Narrative Design: Associate Professor Jane Messer
Ethics Design: Associate Professor Paul Formosa
Ethics, Data and Analysis: Dr Stephanie Howarth
Art, Sound and Development: Chaos Theory Games

For more details about this research visit MoralityPlay.org.

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Re: The Great Fire [Free, Noir]

#2 Post by FerventWriter » Fri Jan 10, 2020 4:54 pm

This was a really interesting game! Making all the difficult choices and having very direct consequences made it very cool to play and see where each choice led. I think in terms of a game about morality, this definitely hit the mark it was trying to. However, I do wish that the choices did not say which was the "good" and which was the "evil". I think players would have a more authentic experience without knowing which choice they *should* be making, if that makes sense.

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Re: The Great Fire [Free, Noir]

#3 Post by moralityplay » Sun Jan 12, 2020 8:51 pm

Thanks for the feedback, FerventWriter. That's actually one of the research topics we're exploring -- how the presence of the meter affects players' choices and experience. I'd be interested to hear more about your thoughts. Did you follow what the meter told you?

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Re: The Great Fire [Free, Noir]

#4 Post by ozmartin » Sun Jan 12, 2020 9:43 pm

Hi, thanks for sharing the game.
One question I had was is this a game made in RenPy or Unity? Or can you use both?
Sorry but I'm new to game design software.

A bit of feedback I'll offer is that the first 5 minutes of gameplay is very slow and didn't hook me into the world from the outset.
I would have liked to have seen more visuals at least for the first few minutes just to get me engaged, perhaps something to help me relate to the player character.
Just my opinion of course.

I'll aim to play further through the game when I have more free time.

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Re: The Great Fire [Free, Noir]

#5 Post by moralityplay » Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:08 am

Thanks for your feedback! I'll pass it along to the writer.

Yes, the game is made in Unity using Twine as a back-end (via the Cradle plugin). It was a difficult choice, but in the end we chose this over RenPy because it gives us more flexibility to implement different interventions (e.g. meters, timers, data collection, etc). Using Twine allowed us to rapidly prototype and playtest the narrative before committing to any graphics.

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Re: The Great Fire [Free, Noir]

#6 Post by FerventWriter » Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:44 pm

Hello again,

I did follow what the meter told me to do, and I did not have any hesitation in doing so. I wonder if my choices would have been different without the meter? At the time, it seemed like the rational thing to pick all of the good options regardless, but I may have been more influenced than I realized!

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