[Community member Tubatic compares games big and small to find out how much of a game's story should be left up to our imagination. Which camp do you fall into? Let us know in the comments! Want to see your own writing on the front page? Write something awesome and put it in the C Blogs -- Kauza]
At the encouragement of a few outlets over the past few weeks, I finally came around to trying out The Wager by Surprised Man. This game was created as part of this excellent 48hour game dev jam event called Ludlum Dare and, like most games that come out of the event, there's some brilliant design rattling around in this hastily put together frame. In short, I'm lovin' it. As I'm working clumsily on realizing my own game designing aspirations, the game got me thinking about story, choice and leaving things up to the imagination.
And to be direct, games leave less and less up to the imagination than they ever have. Take Final Fantasy XIII. When I watch those characters emote and narrate, I'm seeing the full realization of several professional people working to make the world of that game look as real and uncanny as possible. I see the pain on Sazh's face and a feel the fear in and tremble in Vanille's voice. Its exactly the picture that the team wanted to express, for better or worse. I'm seeing their vision.
Conversely, I'm imprinting less of myself onto that work. Its a similar argument some have made about books compared to their movie adaptations. Aside from cuts made for time or feasibility, the world we see on screen, especially if we've read the book prior, may be markedly different from that realm we crafted in our heads, and by default, less personal.
As I watch Polom and Porom resolve to rescue their teammates in the original Final Fantasy II for North American release on the Super Nintendo, I'm seeing sprites bouncy and glimmer, expressing something for me to understand. I can't see the kid's faces, but the gravity of the moment isn't lost on me. The excitement and emotion I'm meant to feel comes from my own experiences and understanding.
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