Critical Play: Mysteries

    • Name of game: Gone Home
    • Creator: The Fullbright Company
    • Platform: Windows, OS X, Linux, PlayStation, Xbox, Switch, iOS
    • Target audience: anyone interested in adventure, exploration, and puzzle solving
    • Important formal elements
      • Players: single player vs. game
      • Objective: exploration (played from a first-person perspective to explore an environment and discover a narrative about the game)
      • Outcome: everybody wins, as they will eventually reach the end of the narration
      • Resources: mobile phone interface, graphical display explorable environment
      • Rules & procedures:¬†
        • Explore the environment by panning (left half of screen) and moving (right half of screen)
        • Interact with objects by tapping and examining them, collect objects in a backpack (inventory)
      • Boundaries: the phone screen, and the virtual environment
      • Types of fun
        • Narrative: players play the game piece together the events of the story
        • Sensation: players play this game for the outstanding visuals and the music that engage their senses directly and give spooky vibes
    • How a narrative is woven into the mystery
      • The narrative is set in 1995, and the player plays Katie (in first-person perspective), a young girl who returned from a trip overseas to her home in Oregon, only to find her house empty and family members disappeared.
      • To convey this narrative, the mystery heavily relies on text (e.g., messages when you pick up an object in the house)
    • How the mechanics support the mystery
      • The objects around the house can be clicked to be examined, and unlock the next part of the narration

 

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