On Temporality

3ActStructureNotesjul2012

If this game is to feature or imply some sort of narrative structure, there has to be a measure of Temporality. Most importantly, there has to be an Ending. An ending retroactively affirms that there has been a middle, and therefore a beginning. If the game does not ‘end’, no part of it can be considered a concerted stab at a story. The three-act structure, while sometimes (unfairly) maligned, has been around for thousands of years for a good reason: It works well. But even if it wouldn’t, it is a structure which audiences have been blasted with for centuries and is practically hardwired into our brains as the quintessential ‘story’, so not employing this structure would be idiotic.

This would confer some structural integrity to the experience, but could conceivably construed as three separate instances or levels. Therefore I surmise it would be best if the three levels (or acts) build off each other in a recognizable way, possibly being three variations of the same level, therefore denoting the passage of time.

Second thoughts about the third.
Second thoughts about the third.

Lastly, this reminds me of the earlier character sketches I did where white dirt or blood kept cropping up on their bodies, because I liked the way it looked. It broke up the monochromous monotony of their schemes. But, if this dirt (or damage or wear) would build up during play, it could also denote passage of time, as well as convince an audience of the fragility and temporality of the characters themselves, in short, sporting a banal sense of growth.

Tenets:

  • The game will feature three levels structured together like a three-act setup: A beginning, a middle and an end.
  • The levels will be strung together thematically and design-wise to present a recognizable whole.
  • The characters will subtly become dirtier throughout the game, denoting mortality and the passage of time.
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