Facade – possible resolution to the narrative v/s interactive dialogue

Its an early blog for a change

Not a really hardcore gamer so I am not in the best position to answer some of the questions. I was playing Facade just to get a feel of things and be able to answer some of the more fundamental questions. Facade is very different from all the graphical game i have played so far. I am not a particular fan of the Sims so I really don’t know what game based on social engineering can be like. Most game generally have a relatively simple feedback loop between an interactive action/reaction and a numeric counter. There is an unsaid constrain on the nature of narrative practically presentable in this form of interaction. However to model the real world and the rich nature of story telling, numeric score-lines and the limited point and click interactivity seems unapt.

Facade is a refreshing departure from this. The kind of feedback loop here is more of a real life one. Although the underlining feedback is some sort of a numeric counter/assembly. But the end result to a player is the kind of reaction/comment that the protagonists (Grace and Trip) seems to deliver in response to the players comments. It is not just the comments, the taps and the kisses that determine the kind of response but i also feel that indirect elements such as the player’s physical proximity to the characters etc forms a factor in the response. Unlike conventional games where there is a direct connection between a player’s interaction and score state, the score state here transforms into a social score of plausible reactions and resolution or aggravation of the protagonists’ relationship woes. The use of natural language for conversation etc adds to the the environment’s usp. At the end of a successful game, I felt as though I was a reluctant participant in plausible real life domestic drama.

I will not explicitly say that games are not successful interactive narrative, since game have become the most widely executed application of interactivity. However, the kind of un-homogenous mixture that narrative and interactive exhibits in most games needs refinement, and Facade – although at times the conversation seems trite and repetitive – presents a possible resolution where the game elements is transformed into a more believable feedback which not only contributes to the narrative but also enhances it to make it more ‘immersive’ and believable.


One Response to Facade – possible resolution to the narrative v/s interactive dialogue

  1. alex says:

    I agree, Facade seems to be at least pointing in a direction that suggests its possible to combine interactivity and narrative, although its still not quite there. Its still possible to lose the sense of “suspension of disbelief” at times, when the characters misinterpret what you’re trying to say, or just plain act in unexpected ways. But in general, there’s definitely a feeling of both having some influence on what’s happening, and also being part of a carefully constructed dramatic experience.

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