Assignment

By Alex Toner

Task 1

Survival Horror

Survival horror is a subgenre of video games inspired by horror fiction that focuses on survival of the character as the game tries to scare the player. Although combat can be a part of the gameplay, the player is made to feel less powerful than in typical action games, because of limited ammunition, health, speed, vision, or other limitations.


The player is also challenged to find items that unlock the path to new areas, and solve puzzles at certain locations. For example Outlast makes use of strong the horror theme, and the player is often challenged to navigate dark maze-like environments, and react to unexpected attacks from enemies. Outlast also has a photo-realistic visual style thus making the play feel more involved in the world, giving them a more terrifying experience.

Racing

The racing game genre is either in the first-person or third-person, which the player can be usually be part of a racing competition with a variate of vehicles which can be any type of land, air, or sea vehicles depending on the game.


Racing games can have different visual styles, for example as racing game could have a real-world style or a fantasy style. A game that uses a real-world visual style is Need For Speed Rivals, this game uses great graphics to make a the visual style accurate however the game has an arcade gameplay to it. This is because you use unrealistic features such as long drifts and overpowered nitro boosts.

Representation

Representation in games has many different aspects such as Characterization, Characterization is the where the writer reveals the personality of a character. Characterization is revealed through direct characterization and indirect characterization. Direct Characterization tells the audience what the personality of the character is.


The way writers use Characterization in games is details, their backstory, traits, personality, looks, abilities. These are key to giving life to a character, its what makes characters great icons, its what gives us a reason to like them. It allows the player to connect with the game more, as they could possibly relate to the character or simply just enjoy how the character behaves.


Representation in Horrors vary because there is so many different types of horrors, for example on game could be in space with aliens trying to find you and another could be in a hospital and you're investigating the disappearance of missing people.


Racing games usually have similar Characterization, there are some games that are completely different like the game is set in the future and you race in spaceships. However most are set where you're a cop or a criminal or you're simply a racer.

Stereotypes is used in representations, stereotypes are not accurate representations of things such as a character. stereotyping is also a way of explaining and justifying differences between groups, its a great way to communicate a character quickly to a player.

Emotional Themes

Emotions are used often in the characters in stories for games. This is because you can portray how the character feels about something which effects how the player feels, and a good game should always get a strong reaction out of a player, in order for them to connect to the story line and characters, to keep them interested in the game.


Emotions being portrayed in a game that is photo-realistic works extremely well on a player as they feel as if they can understand what the character is feeling, and it is an excellent way to influence a players decisions in game.


This is used in Horrors for example in Outlast, players get immersed which helps because when there is a jump scare or just a scary part the player will be scared.


In Racing games Emotional themes are used to emphasize the goal of finishing first in a race or getting an objective or escaping away from another car. Music can be used to make people excited, this is the same for a variety of sound effects and camera angles.

Visual Style

Visual Style is important in any game because it sets the theme and determines the effect on the player. They're different visual styles that are used for different games such as a cartoon style suits a children's game.


Visual style in a horror is crucial if not the most important genre to get the visual style correct, this is because most horrors are photo-realistic and if they were not they wouldn't have the same effect. For example if a horror had a cartoon style it wouldn't necessarily be as scary.


Racing games use a range of different styles, this is because racing games can have a photo-realistic style where you play as a cop or criminal this achieves a sense of reality within the game. Also a racing game could have a cartoon style for example Mario Kart, this will effect the games mechanics because instead of being realistic the game could be exaggerated and use things that don't exist.

Storytelling Devices

Storytelling devices are used heavily in games, this is because many games use Plot devices to move the plot/ story forward and may player feel different emotions that will cause the suspension of reality.


Games use different types of narratives such as an embedded narrative which consists of pre-generated narrative content that exists prior to a player’s interaction with the game, cut scenes, back story and are often used to provide the fictional background for the game and development of story arc.


Also Emergent narrative is used in games this comes from the player’s interaction with the game-world. Emergent narrative includes designed levels, rule structure, Moment-by-moment play in the game creates this emergent narrative


Horrors can use a range of storytelling devices such as plot devices, Red herrings are often used in horrors, an example of a Red herring in a horror is when when facts are presented so that the audience is tricked into thinking that a given character is the murderer, when it is actually another character.

Task 2

Chosen Game: Outlast

Narrative Approach

There is a variety of Narrative approaches in games such as: Equilibrium, 31 Functions, Binary Oppositions and Monomyth. A popular narrative approach is the hero's journey, the Hero's Journey is a pattern of narrative identified by the American scholar Joseph Campbell that appears in drama, storytelling, myth, religious ritual, and psychological development.


They're some horror games that use Hero's Journey, this is because it suits the horror genre, the character being called to an adventure is usually the case. For example Outlast you're a investigative reporter goes to a Asylum and enters the facility.

Narrative Structure

Narrative structure consists of


  • Linear: This is where the character travels freely within an area, once completing an objective they may continue to the second area.
  • Linear with freedom: This is where the character travels freely within an area, once completing one of several objectives they can continue to the second area second area.
  • Non-linear: Most Non-Linear games use a Hub system, the character travels freely between several areas, once completing the specified task they may proceed to a new area while still being able to return to older areas using a Hub.
  • Closed: Closed is where the story in the game ends, an example of this is Tomb Raider.
  • Open: Open is where the story will never end, an example of this is mmo's
  • Single Strand: Is when there is one character, a main character you play as.
  • Multi-strand: Is when there are multiple characters, multiple main character you play as.

Story Points

There's many story points in games examples of these are cut scenes or cinematic, In game triggered events, dialogue, character customization and text.


Outlast use most of these, In game triggered events are used in a lot of the game these are mainly in certain rooms, for example player enters room, sound is activated, player leaves room enemy spawns. Cut scenes are used in Outlast these scenes are used to inform the player about the story or certain parts of the game. Dialogue is also used in the game this allows for communication, these can be to with the characterization of certain people of the game.