The Underappreciated Impact of Indie Narrative Games

Indie narrative games such as Life is Strange, What Remains of Edith Finch, That Dragon Cancer and so on, have become an increasingly controversial and underappreciated form of video game in the past few years. They have however remained one of my favourite genres of games and thus have become my focus for this DA.

I plan on unpacking the structural aspects of these games as well as theorising how the almost sole reliance on narrative within these games affects the player.

Estimated Timeline for DA

From weeks 5-7 I will be posting a summary of each of the video essays to gain feedback on as well as engage with their prospective audiences. This gives you a chance to get involved in this project so be sure to follow this blog as well as my social media which I will link below.

Each of the three video essays will consistent of a deconstruction of one of the aforementioned topics, as well as how it applies to their assigned games (Video 1: Life is Strange etc.) which I will also be including my own gameplay of.

It is important to keep in mind however that this project is still in it’s very early stages of development and is expected to change throughout the development process.

Links Useful for Future Research

Follow for Updates

Twitter: @lu_suey
Insta: @lu.suey
Tumblr: @lusuey

References

Game Footage

YouTube. (2019). Gone Home – Launch Trailer. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5KJzLsyfBI [Accessed 16 Aug. 2019].

YouTube. (2019). Journey Launch Trailer I Coming July 21 I PS4 Exclusive. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mU3nNT4rcFg [Accessed 16 Aug. 2019].

YouTube. (2019). Life is Strange – Launch Trailer. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpRhaXfvG_0 [Accessed 16 Aug. 2019].

YouTube. (2019). Night In The Woods Trailer – NEW DATE: FEBRUARY 21st. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u17kM8oSz3k [Accessed 16 Aug. 2019].

YouTube. (2019). OXENFREE: LAUNCH TRAILER. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAhrOoNR4ng [Accessed 16 Aug. 2019].

YouTube. (2019). The Walking Dead: Episode 1 Launch Trailer. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N40uY51s5Z0 [Accessed 16 Aug. 2019].

YouTube. (2019). What Remains of Edith Finch Official Launch Trailer. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0kKF5f8nS0 [Accessed 16 Aug. 2019].

Stock Footage

YouTube. (2019). Sky Clouds Wind Heaven Weather Atmosphere High – Stock free footage. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wB_pv5WUlZU&list=PLx-qGAzjv13c00FYZMLAJm65WjsT3ZmDR&index=7 [Accessed 16 Aug. 2019].

Research

Buckler, M. (2018). A History of the Videogame Narrative. The Amherst Student. [online] Available at: https://amherststudent.amherst.edu/article/2012/10/31/history-videogame-narrative.html [Accessed 16 Aug. 2019].

Consalvo, Mia 2003. Zelda 64 and Video Game Fans A Walkthrough of Games, Intertextuality, and Narrative. 
Television & New Media. 4(3) 321–334.

YouTube. (2019). Fan Questions Answered By DONTNOD. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jPeq1NzxF0 [Accessed 16 Aug. 2019].

Images

Burning in Water. (2019). Burning in Water. [online] Available at: https://cathbarielle1976.wordpress.com/ [Accessed 16 Aug. 2019].

Flaticon. (2019). Twitter free vector icons designed by Freepik. [online] Available at: https://www.flaticon.com/free-icon/twitter_124021 [Accessed 16 Aug. 2019].

Full Bright Company. (2019). Gone Home. [online] Available at: https://fullbright.company/gonehome [Accessed 16 Aug. 2019].

Giant Bomb. (2019). Journey Review. [online] Available at: https://www.giantbomb.com/reviews/journey-review/1900-479/ [Accessed 16 Aug. 2019].

Imcclass.com. (2019). tumblr-logo. [online] Available at: https://imcclass.com/2012/10/04/tumblr-the-new-frontier-of-advertising/tumblr-logo/ [Accessed 16 Aug. 2019].

Instagram Brand. (2019). Instagram Brand Resources. [online] Available at: https://en.instagram-brand.com/assets/icons [Accessed 16 Aug. 2019].

WordPress Swag Store. (2019). WordPress 3″Round Sticker. [online] Available at: https://mercantile.wordpress.org/product/wordpress-3round-sticker/ [Accessed 16 Aug. 2019].

9 thoughts on “The Underappreciated Impact of Indie Narrative Games

  1. serenasbasicblog August 20, 2019 / 2:27 am

    Pitch Video

    Overall I don’t have anything to say which you could improve on for your pitch video. It is clear you know exactly where you want your digital artefact to go and I appreciate you explaining the timeline of how you will conduct it. Even though you may not post the video essays until October you are still going to be engaging with an audience to obtain feedback which is exactly what the subject outline states. For your video itself, I love the combined use of text as well as your voice as it is important to explain what you want to do but also clearly show it through text if someone is struggling to follow along. The added use of visuals from the games that you want to potentially look at for your digital artefact is also very relevant. Even though we are not being marked on the visuals of the pitch video I think it was a good decision to add it in as it broke up the video of you just talking to your screen keeping me interested to continue watching. As I am not a game player myself I appreciate you writing down what each game is that you showed as I would have no clue otherwise and be quite confused.

    Blog Post

    Your blog post is rather brief there was no maximum word length so I was hoping to see some added explanation to expand from your pitch video. In your pitch video, you did mention that you have conducted some secondary research which is great however due to time constraints you were unable to expand on that. I would have liked to see you go into further detail about some of the research you did and what you have already found on your topic. Even if you find better articles and scholarly research during the process of your digital artefact it would have still been good to just touch on what you have already found and why you think this topic has relevance to be analysed now. My favourite part of your blog post is the clear table which shows your timeline for this subject/digital artefact, you are the first person I have seen do this and it is such a good idea as you can hopefully keep motivated by it to complete everything in the time frame given.

    Further Research

    From your reference list at the end of the blog post, I can see you have done some academic research on this topic. As I am not a game player myself and don’t know much about your topic I am not sure if the academic source I found is all that helpful to you so forgive me. However, I did find this journal article about indie games and how they are produced http://journals.sfu.ca/loading/index.php/loading/article/view/120 as you are not specifically zoning in on one game this is a good source for just general knowledge on your topic and how the narrative of a game is produced.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lusuey August 20, 2019 / 2:52 am

      Thank you so much for this feedback! I really appreciate the advice to add more explanation and research to the blog post as that is something I am definitely lacking. I am also glad I got some confirmation that the video wasn’t confusing, especially as you say you don’t play games.
      And thank you for that article. I read through it a bit and it seems it will have a lot of background information on the indie game genre which will be very helpful in later research!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Antlife 🐜 August 21, 2019 / 4:03 am

    Hi! Although your topic area is not something I know too much about, your pitch video excellently explained your topic in a way that anyone viewing (even myself) had a clear idea of what your DA is going to be about. I really thought your video structure was well-thought-out and distinctly identified how you will undergo your game analysis. There is nothing I can fault or even suggest an improvement on I thought it was really great!

    As for your blog post, I really liked how you went to the effort of making a timeline table, this is such a good way to plan out and stay on top of your series and something I might even take on board for my own DA. The one suggestion I’d make is to really utilise the already existing audiences you have on your other media platforms, you mentioned in your video making polls and other engagement activities throughout the course of the DA and I really think this will help in the final product, as you’ll have created a series that your followers will want to engage in and want to sit and watch all the hard work you have put in.

    I’ve found an article- How indies made an impact on a generation of game consoles” which may be of interest to you and will be linked below.

    https://indiegamesplus.com/2013/11/how_indies_made_an_impact_on_a

    Liked by 1 person

  3. pnos988 August 22, 2019 / 4:18 am

    Video Pitch

    I loved your video pitch!
    I think it was very well paced and spoken, you clearly established your topic and timeline in the short amount of time given.
    The use of visuals to demonstrate what you were talking about was well done, as well as using the clips of the games you were talking
    about was helpful considering some people might not know the specific games you decided to focus on.
    Even with you not posting the video essays until october you have a plan to establish audience interaction in the meanwhile.

    Blog Post

    I thought the breakdown you made was perfect to include! It really gives the readers a nice visual to show what your plan for this is.
    The embedded links are done really well, and help provide interactivity that keeps the reader engaged. All the references you included
    are extensive as well, showing how much time and effort you put into researching your topic!

    Over all I think your pitch is great! All I can think to improve it would be relating back to the course topics a little bit, but everything else is great!
    Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. isaacpercy August 26, 2019 / 2:15 am

    Lu! I’m very impressed by your video pitch! It’s very clear you have taken the time to perfect how you were going to approach showcasing your interest and research in this topic, and I compliment your conversational, yet informative style of presenting. I look forward to seeing this in your video essays.

    Your blog post is really helpful in showing us your extensive research and your timeline which is very interesting to see! I would love to see how useful that was for you. I also like how you included links for extensive research, which just shows that the research will be on going as you are creating your content.

    As someone who isn’t a very big gamer, this topic is really interesting to me and I look forward to learning more about it in your video essays! Thank you so much for sharing, I’ll definitely be tuned in!

    Liked by 1 person

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