I have chosen a game named Gris, with a strong artistic appeal related to what I want to do in my final project.
Game Name: Gris
Control a character over searching the lost voice in a surreal world, solving puzzles, and running, flying, or swing throw the scenario.
2D platform-adventure with intense usage of puzzles.
The player is living the fear and grief of a girl in a surrealist world.
Platform and Controls
Multiplatform where the player moves using directions and simple action buttons to jump and interact with the scenario. This interaction goes by the usage of humming in a beautiful way
A classical two-dimensional abstraction where the player moves on the primary axis (horizontal and vertical).
The avatar is hand made drawn and painted girl, with a simple and very illustrative dress floating as she moves.
The camera follows the player as a classical 2D platform. It changes positions as the gameplay and scenes evolve to express a better composition.
Goals and Scores
At the start of each level, it has presented a collection of empty points representing a constellation that needs to be collected to enable the character to move further. They build a bridge to the next levels, and as the player solves the puzzles, he collects the missing stars.
Progression and Variety
At each level is presented a new puzzle structure and new abilities that enable the player to solve the new presented puzzles. Most of them are related to the correct movement order, and they are not tricky or, their difficulty raises as the player advances.
Tension and Rest
Most of the tension relies upon each level’s end. New elements of the history mark the transition between the levels. Although it does not seem so, the complexity of the new scenarios increases, and new elements of stress are introduced, as by enemy examples. However, even when the player dies, the return to life is made to be “soft” and fast.
Obstacles and Penalties
The puzzles are the main obstacles, and they block the progression, although the player is free to choose the order execution of most of them. The game does not allow the player to progress without solving most of them, which does not offer higher levels of challenge, which is not the central concept.
The only resources of the game are the solution to the puzzles. Firefly that follows the player represents the solved challenges and enables the player to unlock new paths and challenges.
This game offers the player many levels of interpretation through and artistic representation. Each level works like a jigsaw piece. In the end, the quest to recover the avatar voice is a linear path through a set of puzzles with few path choices.
Simulation and Chance
The game offers to the player a scenario to explore and a set of puzzles to follow. The player can go forward and backward, but he cannot go back when he finishes each level. Also, there are no chances; all the elements follow simple repetition systems and demand just the player’s careful attention when executing the necessary actions to solve them.
Storytelling is where Gris starts to shines and experiment with a new form of link games and art. It shows and does not tell. It offers a living place as a girl in the quest to recover her lost voice. Moreover, leave a door open to new layers of interpretation. Following the maximum playwriting, the game’s story does not have any clear explanation. Without any text box explaining anything, the game leaves the player to understand his own story over the simple facts.
Art Direction and Style
Mature artistic drawing and watercolor paintings are the foundational layers of the artistic direction. The color pallet is simple and interacts with the environment contrasting with the player’s journey. For example, if the player is in a scene where the danger is supposed to be the main feeling, the predominant colors are dark, and the shapes are triangular and pointed.
Each level represents an environment with abandoned buildings and primary geometric forms to create a surrealistic world.
Animation and Visual Effects
The animations are smooth and handmade. The gameplay also makes heavy usage of significant compositions for the camera levels to focus on all the scene when it is meaningful or part of the puzzle. Everything is fluid, the player avatar moves smoothly and also the threes.
The environment sounds are realistic, well defined, and minimalist. The usage of silence when player actions are needed is fundamental to the experience. The music is impressive; the usage of piano and voice make the almost feel the levels played.
Hall, C. (2018) Gris is about the fear we live with, and finding voice to defeat it, Polygon. Available at: https://www.polygon.com/reviews/2018/11/8/18069254/gris-review-switch-pc-devolver-digital (Accessed: 7 February 2021).
Hatcher, J. (2000) The art & craft of playwriting. Cincinnati, Ohio : Story Press. Available at: http://archive.org/details/artcraftofplaywr00hatc (Accessed: 7 February 2021).
Home – Nomada Studio (no date). Available at: https://nomada.studio/ (Accessed: 7 February 2021).
‘The Bliss of Playing Gris | The Artifice’ (no date). Available at: https://the-artifice.com/gris/ (Accessed: 7 February 2021).
Warren, J. (2011) Show don’t tell : a guide to purpose driven speech. [Place of publication not identified] : Jerianne Warren. Available at: http://archive.org/details/showdonttellguid0000warr (Accessed: 7 February 2021).