Lights! Camera!

Save the Date now has a trailer video! As anyone who has played it might guess, it was not an easy game to make a trailer for.  Since I couldn’t really show much of the story (because, spoilers) or gameplay (because, lot of text = boring), I instead went with the tried and true method of “saying nothing at all, very slowly, while distracting the viewer with impressive sounding testimonials.”

It’s not my solution!  It’s history’s solution!

Have a look!

A huge set of thanks go out to Justin Mullins and the Brothers Ambrogi. Basically, I showed Tim a trailer I had put together, and he said “not a bad first attempt.  Needs work.  Give me all your assets, and I will do AfterEffects to it.”  And then he and his brother did exactly that, with Justin making a surprise guest appearance to provide a much better gunshot noise.  It looks (and sounds!) so much better now!

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3 Comments

  1. Save the Date is an interesting game. However, Felicia’s theory of fiction is, in my opinion, flawed. She espouses what is known as reader-response criticism. Ostensibly, this theory empowers the audience by reminding them that fiction is a collaborative effort; they can take the storyteller’s story and reshape it how they wish. However, while useful in some respects, Felicia’s belief is actually quite nihilistic because it implies that fiction just might as well not have been written anyway. Not convinced? Read on.

    Felicia raises the issue of the roles of audience and storyteller: where, respectively, do their roles begin and end? According to Felicia, an audience can rewrite the story anyway they like. All right, so why don’t we, the audience, have a blank page in Save the Date, after a few endings, in which we are able to write our own ending? That would get the point across. Or perhaps we could be given just a few character names, a vague plot, and space to fill in the rest? Or perhaps even nothing altogether but blank space? Extreme? No. The logical conclusion of Felicia’s theory — and, in my opinion, of reader-response criticism in general — is that storytellers are ultimately irrelevant and unnecessary since the audience is actually the one doing all the work, filling in the blanks for themselves; since readers can keep rewriting each story in the same way — or, as Stanley Fish in his “Interpreting the Variorum” says, “be forever making the same text” — those stories might therefore just as well not have been written to begin with. Yet I think most people will agree that a blank page is not a short story and that a storyteller can convey new information and experiences to an audience that might have otherwise not had access to them.

    Besides all of that — Felicia’s belief that the audience has the real power is undermined by virtue of her existence serving to communicate this specific message to the audience on behalf of the storyteller.

  2. Montoli says:

    Cool! You raise some interesting points!

    (And also – thank you for playing my game, and taking the time and thought to be willing to discuss it! I seriously love the discussion the game creates!)

    So your comments! Here are some thoughts:

    Felicia raises the issue of the roles of audience and storyteller: where, respectively, do their roles begin and end? According to Felicia, an audience can rewrite the story anyway they like. All right, so why don’t we, the audience, have a blank page in Save the Date, after a few endings, in which we are able to write our own ending? That would get the point across.

    The short answer to this is – because I (in writing the game) wasn’t trying to just TELL you that you had the ability to believe any story you wanted. I was trying to force you to actually DO so. I actually considered that as a possible ending – giving the player a way to write their own ending into the game. But ultimately, I thought that would actually undermine my point, because it would still letting the player rely on the game as an authority. After I’d spent all this time trying to convince the player that they didn’t NEED the game’s permission, and trying to force them to take responsibility for the story going on in their own head, the last thing I wanted to do was let them cop out and only take responsibility if the game let them. Does that make sense?

    storytellers are ultimately irrelevant and unnecessary since the audience is actually the one doing all the work

    I would disagree with this, actually. I don’t think that the audience is doing all the work. A storyteller can definitely put a new idea in your head that wasn’t there before. But on the other hand, once the idea is in your head, it is yours to do what you want with, and he kind of can’t stop you. You can throw it out. Or add to it. Or change it to something different. It’s in your head now, and no one can stop you, least of all the storyteller.

    That was the point I was trying to make – the game can tell you whatever it wants. And it IS telling you something, putting something in your head that probably wouldn’t be there [at least not in this form] without it. But it really can’t stop you if half way through, you tune out and start thinking about some other way the story could end that is more to your liking.

    Besides all of that — Felicia’s belief that the audience has the real power is undermined by virtue of her existence serving to communicate this specific message to the audience on behalf of the storyteller.

    She’s part of a story that is informing you of its own frailty. Sort of the equivalent of a sign, reading “Don’t forget! Signs are fragile and can be easily removed!” And just because Felicia is serving to help remind the audience of their power, don’t think for a moment that that means she doesn’t have any power herself. She’s a part of a story, so she’s basically an idea herself. Which means that she has quite a bit of power. Exactly as much power as the audience is willing to afford her, in fact. All she’s doing is (hopefully!) using that power to remind the audience that, ultimately, she can’t do anything they don’t allow her to do.

    Those are my thoughts on it anyway. You may (and apparently do) disagree! But thank you either way, for taking the time to 1) play my game, 2) think about it critically, and 3) take the time to actually write up your thoughts about it. That really does mean a lot to me!

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