Monday, March 31, 2014

Trying hard and failing decently

Well, I've been trying to get the mindset to actually bother with PISS beyond the first 20 minutes of gameplay, but it seems impossible. Perhaps it's the wall of texts that keep appearing in my face that prevent me from fullfilling aforementioned task. And since I've promised a weekly post, I'll have to deliver one.

So the topic of this post, if you haven't giving up already, is story hooks. A hook is a plot device that interests a person in the continuation of the story or the grand reveal if such exists, by simply grasping the attention/curiosity of the reader. The same applies to videogames, some use gameplay mechanics to attract the player and keep him interested, others use more story driven mechanisms. Adventure games as a genre, usually create a hook via an introductory scene to either attach the player sentimentally with the protagonist or create an element of curiosity or some other thing I'm oblivious about.

Perhaps the setting works as well. I believe my favorite hook in a medium can be attributed to Kurosawa's Rashomon. Though the delivery completely failed to satisfy my expectations, I was "chained" till the reveal/explanation. Admittedly paranormal elements rub me off horribly. I find the explanation to paranormal reasons to be the cheapest way to explain situations. It's really dangerous to create a sense of mystery and then use the oldest trick in the book, trying to fool a mature audience, only ending up fooling A-graders, if that.

Blade Runner: A hook based mostly on the setting.
Other entertaining examples would be Blade Runner, practically missing a hook, eventually getting to it. Several sequences, even though proven to be cult classics later, initially are viewed with prejudice. I mean showcasing technological gadjets, doesn't get the story going much anywhere. But it's fancy.
I think Blade Runner works the same way that Beneath A Steel Sky does, the setting and the world are terribly interesting in their own diverse ways, spawning that explorer child into the viewer/player.

In conclusion, PISS is missing a hook, and I really want to review it. I've lost my line of thought.


  1. Fun fact: The movie most ironically missing a hook for most of its running time, and then suddenly tossing hooks and never making good use of any, and then declining into a series of conclusions where even a sequel hook wouldn't stand a chance, is "Hook". You know, that thing with Peter Pan growing up.

  2. Interestingly enough, I consider it my game with the strongest hook, right in the introductory scene. It's just that I hid it in a wall of text.


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