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Author Topic: Gone Home  (Read 1131 times)
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« on: May 13, 2012, 07:04:09 PM »

a new first person adventure from the new Fullbright Company, 'a small team of former BioShock 2, XCOM, and BioShock Infinite developers'.  they are planning the game to be more story driven, with some decent influences:

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“A couple of our main influences that we point to are System Shock and My So-Called Life,” said Gaynor. “System Shock via an immersive, interactive world filled with environmental storytelling… while hints of the other influence can be found in a few places in the video. Some other influences that come into play might be The Last Express, Amnesia, and room escape games.”
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« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2013, 03:02:48 AM »

My review goes live tomorrow at 11 am. I really hope you get what I was going for with my review -- it's a game that defies convention.
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« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2013, 03:57:13 AM »

Really quick: did you like it?
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« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2013, 04:09:37 PM »

Absolutely.
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« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2013, 07:15:50 PM »

Review here: http://gamingtrend.com/game_reviews/the-things-they-carried-gone-home-review/
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« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2013, 09:38:56 PM »

Oh my god, I have never, ever, ever felt sick due to playing a first person game before, but I can't play this for more than 5 minutes without getting a headache. I have fiddled with the graphics, turned off the motion blur, adjusted the FOV, but I still can't deal with it. It seems like a fun game otherwise, so I'll push through, but still...
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« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2013, 11:40:41 PM »

Quote from: davidrobots on August 15, 2013, 07:15:50 PM

You compare the game to both Kentucky Route Zero and Dear Esther.  I like Kentucky Route Zero but Dear Esther is my most hated game of the last few years.  Where on the spectrum does this belong?
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« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2013, 12:10:42 AM »

Quote from: Lordnine on August 15, 2013, 11:40:41 PM

Quote from: davidrobots on August 15, 2013, 07:15:50 PM

You compare the game to both Kentucky Route Zero and Dear Esther.  I like Kentucky Route Zero but Dear Esther is my most hated game of the last few years.  Where on the spectrum does this belong?

Such that the game is about the narrative and exploration, less about actually being a capital-g "Game." Gone Home is far less cryptic and much more satisfying as an experience than Dear Esther.
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« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2013, 05:30:07 AM »

How mature is the game? I'd love to get it for my 13 year old daughter because she loves point'n'click adventures, but I don't want to get her anything that's too creepy, scary or mature.
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« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2013, 07:49:34 AM »

You know, assuming that it is actually okay for younger audiences, this will actually be an interesting way to present history, or at least the feel of how an older generation grew up.

Edit: Bought, and beaten. A somewhat short game.

@Kronovan, it has mature themes, but you don't see anything that would be considered mature. No violence, no nudity, nothing that will give a kid nightmares.

Spoiler about one of the main character themes of the game, should help you decide:
Spoiler for Hiden:
homosexuality and some partly graphic talk in a single note.

Some have made an issue of the game's cost, but frankly, it's worth the price for the story it tells, not just through presented directly to you, but to environment and more. And the game will eventually get cheaper and go on sale, so those people can just wait until then if it bugs them so much to pay for a quality game. I definitely got my money's worth.

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« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2013, 04:30:47 PM »

Okay, after making a few adjustments, I was able to continue playing. Having just finished, I have to say that it was awesome. I can't really say much, since the story is the whole point, but suffice it say, it was really well done. Sam truly seemed like a teenage girl experiencing first love. This is one of those I wish I could forget and start over again.
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« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2013, 05:03:52 PM »

Forum effect forum effect..... damn  Im infected.  I will buy this game tonight.
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« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2013, 01:59:10 AM »

Here are a couple of good articles to read after beating the game:

http://clockworkworlds.com/post/58411117679/the-transgression-you-can-do-better

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/08/16/gone-home-a-tale-of-two-dads/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+rockpapershotgun%2Fsteam+%28Rock%2C+Paper%2C+Shotgun%3A+Steam+RSS%29

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« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2013, 03:02:37 AM »

Yeah, those are plots I didn't even pickup on the first time through.

Some commenters around the net have been saying that the base storyline, the one that's pushed via voice overs is just there, too obvious, a matter of fact and predictable. It also doesn't have much gameplay other than following the breadcrumb trail.

In many ways I think that's true. However, that's just one half the game, and most interesting story and gameplay is everything else revolving around it. As SIM points out in those articles, there's layer upon layer of story involving other characters and other generations at that.

The real interesting detective work is finding those bits, and gleaning that info.
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« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2013, 03:10:59 AM »

Plus, even though the main storyline is laid out like breadcrumbs, and follows some traditional story beats, it doesn't lessen the impact of the story being told. Most movie plots are laid out pretty clearly and obviously, and they tend to go use stories that have been told before, in one fashion or another. It isn't so much what the story is about, but how it is about it. The people involved, the dialogue, the feelings being expressed. I'm a straight male, but I identified with certain aspects of Sam's story because I struggled with parts of my identity while in high school (who hasn't?). Even though, I never met any of them, and never even heard the parents' voices, I miss finding out more about their lives now that I am done with the game.
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« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2013, 02:19:08 PM »

I finished the "game" and I think it was awful as a game and a story.  For the game aspect, there wasn't a game.  You just walk around clicking things with no challenge aside from a few combinations or finding a key.  The "challenge" is in listening to or reading the story. in essence your comprehension of the story based on diaries, notes, and other nick knacks.  Really it is just a demo for a concept on how to tell a story.  Not interactively, mind you, just telling you more when you click things.  It would be like having a book on tape and having to click a green button to make it advance every few pages.  I don't know why, but the hype with this one is huge and unwarranted.  If I could get my $17 back I would.

Spoiler for Hiden:
It doesn't help that the story is an uneventful soap opera.  A teenager is going through homosexual love.  Oh!  Shocking!  A man is obsessed with his work and the marriage is suffering.  Another crazy story!  Oh, he was molested or abused in some way by his uncle so he gets a house and for some reason decides to live in his place of trauma.  Crazy!

At the end, who cares?  They threw in teases of supernatural stuff because the writer(s) knew the story was run of the mill boring and they needed that to try to keep people going.  I'm surprised I'm the only one who sees this as an over priced little boring story.

In my opinion this is an overhyped game and NOT worth the money.  To add, another way this thing fails is that the audio journals are given to you not found and read, breaking the concept of the game.  You don't find them, just objects that cue you to be given one, breaking the " realistic you are exploring to find out what's going on" concept.  In my opinion, by doing this, the "game" fails to stick to its own concept of story telling.  This thing may be the most overhyped "game" I have purchased and played.
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« Reply #16 on: August 21, 2013, 02:56:15 PM »

Please, just because it's not your type of game doesn't mean it's not a game. I completed this two days ago and enjoyed it a lot, and it was definitely a game to me, despite what you're claiming it should be. "Game" is not equivalent with "challenge". A game is meant to be fun or meaningful, and to the audience Gone Home is intended for, it's most certainly that. This is the same as with certain types of smaller indie movies that the majority of people wouldn't wish on their worst enemies, while a small section of the audience find them to be extremely satisfying. It's all about opinion.

By the way, you're missing the mark with the audio journals:

Spoiler for Hiden:
They appear the way you describe while you're playing. You're supposed to wonder where exactly this information is coming from and how you got access to it. Then in the final scene you find yourself opening your sister's journal to read it, and the pieces start falling into place. The journals you hear are parts of that book, though the main character doesn't read them until she gets to the attic.
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« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2013, 03:58:46 PM »

Plus, not every story has to include space aliens, or government conspiracies. This was a game that wore its mundanity on its sleeve. It's supposed to be familiar and somewhat rote. The beauty of it is that we all thought we were some special unique snowflake when we were teenagers, that everything that happens is momentous and life-and-death. There is beauty in the little details of the ordinary life, and this game allows one to discover them.
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« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2013, 04:06:25 PM »

I guess I fall into the traditional definition of game when I think of a game:

Noun

A form of play or sport, esp. a competitive one played according to rules and decided by skill, strength, or luck.

I suppose it could be argues that walking and clicking the mouse required skill, but I just didn't see it as any more than a way to tell a story.  Like I said, an audio book where I had to press a button to get more.  As for the intended audience, I feel ripped off still.  I love a great story but do expect challenge or what not when I purchase a "game".  I admit this is ALL opinion, but it's mine and I have a feeling it will be others once the newness factor wears off.  Of course I have only read one other that shared my opinion.  He said:

Spoiler for Hiden:
Thus, all of the suspense, intrigue, and creepiness is merely contrived manipulation by the developers who aren't confident for this story to stand alone.

I agree with that point completely.  

Spoiler for Hiden:
Good point on the journal.  I missed that.  I honestly think I was so disappointed on day two that I was rushing to see it turn into my definition of a game.  
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« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2013, 04:18:35 PM »

Quote from: Suitably Ironic Moniker on August 21, 2013, 03:58:46 PM

Plus, not every story has to include space aliens, or government conspiracies. This was a game that wore its mundanity on its sleeve. It's supposed to be familiar and somewhat rote. The beauty of it is that we all thought we were some special unique snowflake when we were teenagers, that everything that happens is momentous and life-and-death. There is beauty in the little details of the ordinary life, and this game allows one to discover them.

So, it's supposed to be boring?  At the end of the day, the story wasn't even any good or interesting to me.  Once again, that's opinion.  I am not a soap opera kind of guy (neither do I like Sci-Fi much) but lots of people do.  I got this game because of the fact it was made in Oregon (born and raised!) and all of the outstanding reviews.  Now, perhaps my fault, but I didn't *read* the reviews because I saw it was all about the story and wanted to make sure nothing was spoiled.  What I didn't expect was that it was ALL a story and no game play I am familiar with or would fit into my definition of a game.  I was really hoping for an outstanding adventure game.  Instead I got what I consider a boring story.

Sorry to be so negative, I guess I am just surprised at how alone I am in this opinion.
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« Reply #20 on: August 21, 2013, 04:57:10 PM »

You should go play Dear Esther and then be shocked by the amount of gameplay in Gone Home compared to that one.  icon_biggrin
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« Reply #21 on: August 21, 2013, 05:14:39 PM »

Quote from: Travis on August 21, 2013, 02:19:08 PM

You just walk around clicking things with no challenge aside from a few combinations or finding a key.  The "challenge" is in listening to or reading the story. in essence your comprehension of the story based on diaries, notes, and other nick knacks.  Really it is just a demo for a concept on how to tell a story.  

As long as the story is solid (which the majority of folks say it is), this sounds very cool to me.  I know you didn't intend to, but thanks for the recommendation...I'm going to give it a look.
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« Reply #22 on: August 21, 2013, 05:18:23 PM »

I guess the moral of the story is that you shouldn't purchase indie games blind, even if they are reviewed well. You know roughly what to expect with big budget games as they have to cater to the majority audience in almost every case, but indies have the luxury of trying things that will appeal only to a select audience. This requires the audience to be more selective so that they don't end up playing something that wasn't made for them.
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« Reply #23 on: August 21, 2013, 05:31:29 PM »

Most of the reviews that I read mentioned that if you didn't want things spoiled for you don't read any further, it was a game of experience.  So it was really hard to know if it was a game for me or not because of this.  I was disappointed, I guess I was expecting too much because of the amount of 10/10 reviews. I believe a lot of the high scores were due to the nature of the story and that some of the reviewers could relate to it.  I figured out the main plot of the story by reading a headline on Quarter to three after I played about half way through and almost stopped playing because of it. 

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« Reply #24 on: August 21, 2013, 05:41:11 PM »

Quote from: shon on August 21, 2013, 05:31:29 PM

Most of the reviews that I read mentioned that if you didn't want things spoiled for you don't read any further, it was a game of experience.  So it was really hard to know if it was a game for me or not because of this. 

Right.  And to be fair, they kind of had to do that in a way.  I don't hold them at fault.  I still stick to the opinion that this will be forgotten about or tarnished over time.
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« Reply #25 on: August 21, 2013, 05:44:20 PM »

Quote from: Gratch on August 21, 2013, 05:14:39 PM


As long as the story is solid (which the majority of folks say it is), this sounds very cool to me.  I know you didn't intend to, but thanks for the recommendation...I'm going to give it a look.
No, no, by all means do.  I am in the minority in my opinion and I am okay with that.  I will be interested to know what you think of the story though.  I still believe it is an average story at best with some smoke and mirrors and packaging to make you not see how pedestrian it is in terms of story content.

Spoiler for Hiden:
Oregon is very liberal when it comes to homosexuality, so the whole forbidden love aspect of the game was a nonpoint to me.  I realize that in other parts of the states it may be a *bit* ground breaking or whatnot.

In the end, non of the characters were developed in a way I cared about them at all.
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« Reply #26 on: August 21, 2013, 11:37:18 PM »

Spoiler discussion:
Spoiler for Hiden:
Oregon still doesn't have same sex marriage, although domestic partnerships are allowed. No different from the silly notions of separate but equal. And just because a state overall may seem okay with homosexuality, you would be surprised how much communities, especially among the young, can be cruel. I live in SoCal, generally considered to be a liberal state, but there's hatred abound here as well.

Sounds like you are just looking for completely the wrong things when you bought this game, and I do consider it a game. You were looking to shoot or run away from ghosts. Nor is this game just about pointing and clicking at story objects, it's about using your mind not to piece together what happened, but why.

I do see a common thread from angry people talking about this game, saying how they figured out the plot by doing X, and Y. I say this to them, "How's that cleverness working out for you? Happy?" Your challenge in this game is to find why, but instead you get angry and point out the obvious plot points.

I get the same anger whenever I play shooters now, despite loving them still, shooters are basically just point and click adventures, with terrible stories.

Anyone can figure out the plot of most media they watch today, it's a first world problem with being in such a media rich society. The same stories are told over and over. However, the nature of story is not the individual events, but the whole package alongside the characters. What happens often isn't as important as how, when, and why. What is the particular circumstances for this character to be in his situation, why is he making these choices.

If you focus just on the what, you actually miss out on the cooler aspects of the story, aspects that actually require some detective work, and that's where the gameplay is. Sure, the major plot events are fed to you, but the whole of it is not.

Already posted are two articles that break down the bigger questions of why, after others did the detective work.

Real spoiler, since you didn't mention finding it: Terrance, Sam and Katie's father, was molested in the very house you're exploring. Hidden in various rooms you can see the effects of him returning to the place where he was traumatized as a child, and it affects his marriage. From the bottle of whiskey on top of the shelf, the failing marriage, the inability to write, and when he does write, the strange return to introspective writing style, letters inside safes and hidden passages, and his reaction to Sam's coming out. It's there. It's one of the reasons why Sam coming out was such a big deal, and let to the current situation of Katie coming home to an empty house.

In the end, I really don't like when people talk about definitions of stuff, then try to talk about opinions as a defense. As if definitions weren't an opinion as well, and others will have other opinions of definitions. Dictionaries and encyclopedia aren't some holy tomb of divine meaning, and plenty of words change, or take on new meanings through time.
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« Reply #27 on: August 22, 2013, 12:21:45 AM »

Quote from: Turtle on August 21, 2013, 11:37:18 PM


Spoiler for Hiden:
Oregon still doesn't have same sex marriage, although domestic partnerships are allowed. No different from the silly notions of separate but equal. And just because a state overall may seem okay with homosexuality, you would be surprised how much communities, especially among the young, can be cruel. I live in SoCal, generally considered to be a liberal state, but there's hatred abound here as well.

Sounds like you are just looking for completely the wrong things when you bought this game, and I do consider it a game. You were looking to shoot or run away from ghosts. Nor is this game just about pointing and clicking at story objects, it's about using your mind not to piece together what happened, but why.

I do see a common thread from angry people talking about this game, saying how they figured out the plot by doing X, and Y. I say this to them, "How's that cleverness working out for you? Happy?" Your challenge in this game is to find why, but instead you get angry and point out the obvious plot points.

I get the same anger whenever I play shooters now, despite loving them still, shooters are basically just point and click adventures, with terrible stories.

Anyone can figure out the plot of most media they watch today, it's a first world problem with being in such a media rich society. The same stories are told over and over. However, the nature of story is not the individual events, but the whole package alongside the characters. What happens often isn't as important as how, when, and why. What is the particular circumstances for this character to be in his situation, why is he making these choices.

If you focus just on the what, you actually miss out on the cooler aspects of the story, aspects that actually require some detective work, and that's where the gameplay is. Sure, the major plot events are fed to you, but the whole of it is not.

Already posted are two articles that break down the bigger questions of why, after others did the detective work.

Real spoiler, since you didn't mention finding it: Terrance, Sam and Katie's father, was molested in the very house you're exploring. Hidden in various rooms you can see the effects of him returning to the place where he was traumatized as a child, and it affects his marriage. From the bottle of whiskey on top of the shelf, the failing marriage, the inability to write, and when he does write, the strange return to introspective writing style, letters inside safes and hidden passages, and his reaction to Sam's coming out. It's there. It's one of the reasons why Sam coming out was such a big deal, and let to the current situation of Katie coming home to an empty house.

Spoiler for Hiden:
We had same sex marriage.  It got taken away.  Regardless, we're a pretty liberal bunch so like I said, if that was to be shocking or a twist on a love tale it did nothing for me.  

I also did get the failed writer and molested part.  I thought I mentioned it, but regardless, it still doesn't make it any more than soap opera material for me.  I actually googled the plot afterwards HOPING I missed something.  I didn't.  It really is a straight forward tale, especially for someone looking for an adventure game out of the whole thing where I have been trained to look for everything.  Anyway, I still don't see it as a game.  I was looking for an adventure game, really, which may not have been fair as you said.  I didn't want shooting or running but expected SOMETHING that challenged me.  This game had no challenge as from REALLY obvious locks.  I considered all of the other aspects of the story also spelled out for anyone paying any attention.  After awhile I even rushed through the game to get past the intro.  The game was the intro.
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« Reply #28 on: February 03, 2014, 06:20:42 AM »

Well, I am completely shocked.  First, a little background information; I loathed Dear Esther.  That is not an exaggeration.  Dear Esther is my least favorite “gaming” experience of the last ten years, probably longer.

All that said, I finished Gone Home tonight in one sitting and enjoyed it completely.  I don’t have much to add beyond that, but given how skeptical I was of the game I had to share in case anyone else felt the same.
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« Reply #29 on: February 03, 2014, 10:48:10 AM »

This wasn't made by the same people who made Dear Esther, in DE, you wander around looking at things and listen to a narrator go on and on. In many ways, overly vague and arbitrarily mysterious. It's more of a multimedia painting than a game, which I think is fine.

In Gone Home, you have to actively search. There's some subplots that you can miss if you're not thorough, although it's hard to miss the start of them, and even details for those subplots that you can miss if you're not thorough enough.
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