View Full Version : The maybe not-so-redundant details and a praise

22nd Oct 2015, 20:54
A lot are talking about how much they want everything (over?)explained and how they wished every choice matters in the end.
Or that there was too much "addware" that just piled up without actually mattering. (e.g. Lisa the plant, the birds nest or the bird in Chloe's house).
I see so many people complain/discuss that the writers probably lost interest during the end and just tried to come up with a hasty conclusion to be over and done with the game and just left out a lot of stuff they implemented.

Being honest with yourself, would you like to play, say a RPG or a story-driven game(like LiS is), that JUST evolves around one main plotline and pushes you forward to finish it without looking left and right? Just leaving everything else aside and not even bothering to try and fill the world it is set in with life by giving you a background and characters to make the world authentic.
And if so, would you still enjoy it the same way?
Could you get attached to a game like that? If all the characters and places are just designed to fullfill the purpose of putting the story to an end?
Well, some people do. Others dont. It is preference and I think LiS is a game that is quite ...polarizing. ;)

So how do you make the world of a game become interesting and catching?
By filling it with life. Fill it with characters that you can empathise with, may they matter to the stroy or not (e.g. the homeless woman, the trucker, etc.). Reward the player for looking left and right.
But how do you fill a world with life?
Well, simply by not focusing on one thing too hard but by giving backgrounds, hints, add new storylines that take you deeper into the world of the game, present you with small mysteries that must
neither be totally resolved nor matter to the main storyline but that make your world come alive with diversity.
They might be woven into the main plot to make the game feel larger and alive with more than one layer but in the end they are means to make oneself able to identify with the world.

Like the native American myths or the Tobanga-totem that were brought up in LiS, I bet there is barely a town or city out there that hasnt some of its own myths, urban legends or gimmicks.
Or the the graffity near the lighthouse. There are strange graffities everywhere, maybe drawn by people who just felt like doing something random to give other people
a thing to think about when they stumble upon them. And when you see a random graffity the next time, aks yourself what is your first thought on it?
Or watering the plant. Those are everyday things almost everyone can relate to and let us feel into the world of the game.

Or they miss out explanations on purpose to make us look further into the game and our perception of it to come up with answers. To have people think and talk about the game.
Take the storm for example. They hint at possible explanations during the game. An effect of Max's meddling in time? Or maybe something more spiritual related to the native inhabitants of the land?
These and many other things make the game come alive, together with a community full of different perspectives. Wouldnt it be hella boring if everyone could agree on one thing?

And I think that DontNod did so good at implementing those elements into their word that one could actually get lost between what was supposed to be the main plot and what was meant to matter or what was simply meant to make the game come alive.
This is one of the things that made Life is Strange a true masterwork in my book.
I hardly believe they lost interest in making their own game or rushed a sloppy ending, leaving out a lot of decisions. But they put way more effort in the details of creating an authentic world the player can relate with than a lot of people would have expected.
I, personally, like it that way. I dont want a well explained, greater reason behind everything. Because if everything means everything, nothing means anything.
All in all I think LiS would have been a lot worse game if not for all those details.

There are so many interesting points of view to have a look at. So far this is my personal game of the year.
So, this is my praise to DontNod for bringing the game to life and to the community for keeping it alive. :D