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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 12:38 pm 
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So netflix has aired a black mirror movie that's interactive. A bit like Dragon's Lair or a choose your own adventure book, except with live acting and through the usual cyberpunk lense of the tv series.

The theme is about a young, struggling bedroom game designer in the 80's, i'll leave the story at that. What i got even more hooked by was how expertly done the branching and recursion of the viewers' decision making has been made.

A bit of a spoiler alert (on the mechanics, which is an experience in itself you might want to discover firsthand before reading):

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There's checkpoints (something you very well can't have in a book without either breaking story continuity or cloning and modifying lots of text sections, but which you might have in an electronic counterpart with less effort) and you're sometimes offered to go back to them. They'll make sure you're offered something in the branch you didn't take before but might take now that will, in turn, inform your decisionmaking somewhere later on in the movie/game. Catching up back to the point where you "failed" to propel the story last time is done by shortening the path back there if a backwards-going checkpoint was used by the viewer. Not every choice is dead-important, but you will experience the result of your decisionmaking in rewarding ways even for the non-important ones. It also helps blur the lines and keep the viewer/player not stress to much over the decisionmaking. Oh and i think it has also been made selfconsciously with stylistic points about when and where you're given options to change the course of the story, and when not (this may tell you something about the character you're investing yourself in), and sometimes options are stylized too, like when you're given an a choice for effect but there's only one option or when you feel like you may want to choose but the movie doesn't give you an option at a scene that's still emphasized by the camera and the time dimension. It is also interesting that they recognize the plausible impulse of the player to want to go back (savescumming is a thing, isn't it?) by instead incorporating it as a rewarding and exploratory venue of the game itself. I'm not sure but it also seems to keep track of what decisions i've made as to alter the one that's left at a pretty big fork when i finally get to it. To make it less mechanical, i assume. If that was what happened, it worked.


I don't know if i can describe it better than that but it was pretty inspiring and seems like a good example to learn from for game story writing; be it RPG:s, adventure games or games that solely focus on interactive storytelling.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:22 am 
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It was great and I was hooked! It should be a template for any similar game since it's so well designed. I also enjoyed the aspect of the checkpointed retries which encouraged experimentation, not to mention it was integrated in the story itself. Another plus is that while it lets you "rewind" to a previous spot, the interaction tree is never made obvious and the game shortens scenes that you've already watched automatically to avoid needless repetition. And you can't actually explore EVERY possibility on a single playthrough, when I played it on my phone I reached many endings and the game stopped giving me rewind options. I was going to talk to my sister about it and turns out she got an ending I never saw, and vice-versa. The way the branching was handled is really cool and feels significantly less game-y for not allowing the player to do everything and map the choice tree in his head.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:52 am 
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I was a little underwhelmed TBH. It was interesting and all, but after a while I was just wanting to reach a real ending so I could be done with the thing. It dragged on for too long without much of a payoff. My favorite part was undoubtedly the "friend from the future" branch.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 11:42 am 
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On the off chance that you hadn't heard of this ... or figured it out yourself ... there was also the real-world tie-in video game: https://hackaday.com/2019/01/01/netflix ... -nohzdyve/


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 1:03 pm 
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lidnariq wrote:
On the off chance that you hadn't heard of this ... or figured it out yourself ... there was also the real-world tie-in video game: https://hackaday.com/2019/01/01/netflix ... -nohzdyve/


Oh yeah and this is the real bandersnatch btw:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnpMTCZOK4Y

This was such a wasted opportunity... this game had the potential to be an instant classic and a genius piece of gaming, but just look at how it ended up by being rushed out of the door by Psygnosis after Imagine got bankrupt.

Look at how long the player takes to actually ride the lift in the video, this is 100% representative of its mouse controls and how poor they are. :lol:

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