Starling wrote:The only issue is that when the backgrounds switched I automatically started reading at the top again, so maybe you should have cleared the text off? Because it would throw me off and I'd get out of the character.
That did throw me a little bit at first, but then it actually worked for me,
considering how unbalanced and repetitive her mind was
- it was like a loop almost. But it was a bit distracting. But yes, a genuinely creepy little game here, especially for a first game.
Anyway - I thought the visuals were just excellent and added to the overall atmosphere. Likewise with the music. I liked the fact that the storytelling was pared back and kept to a bare minimum because it allowed the dark atmosphere and rather chilling scenario to be the central focus. (I feel the same way about games like Air Pressure
or The Life of a Pacifist
... I don't think these stories would gain anything by 'fleshing' out the characters, when the stories are clearly driven by scenario
and centre around dilemma/s rather than operating as in-depth character studies or complex plot arcs. Not every story (particularly a short one) has or even needs 'developed' characters. (As it stands, I think that you did a fine job of conveying the psychology of your protagonist and you leave all kinds of telling clues about her and what she's like without feeling the need to spell it out to the player in sky-high letter.)
It's like the difference between a short story and a novel. When you're dealing with a limited space you want the storytelling to be as streamlined and direct as possible, without excess baggage. Same thing applies to fairy tales which often deals with broad archetypes and where "less is more". When the witch captures Hansel and Gretel I don't feel as if I've *lost* anything by not knowing that she grew up in an orphanage where she was persecuted for her witchcraft by other children, which then turned her into the bitter, child-hating individual... In this case, I didn't need any additional information about the mother or Andy, or the kids she interacted with.
Sometimes, simple is best. I think that trying to cram in too much additional 'character' information or useless backstory would have detracted from the overall impact and that those would have required a longer story or a larger project for any of that. Too much 'light' in the form of details that no-one *needs* to know, would have utterly ruined it.
And on a more practical, it's told in first-person narrative. The story is constrained by the narrator who happens to be disturbed, possibly delusional, extremely self-absorbed and living inside her own head. She's also a child, so unless there was another narrative voice intruding or simultaneously operating in the story, there would be no way to get additional information or a "deeper" sense of her mother, Andy or anybody else...since it is all filtered through her.
I also find it interesting when readers/gamers assert a 'right' to identify with/relate to central characters as if that is the only reason you would read/play a game. I didn't need to 'relate' to the character in order to take an interest in what was going to happen. And sometimes it is nice to observe, rather than to put yourself at the centre of a text all of the time. Any, while not perfect I think that the game worked well. It was tagged as a horror, and it certainly delivered.