Tell me if I've guessed correctly about the story (SPOILERS)

#1 Edited by AlKusanagi (851 posts) -

After watching the Quick Look, I've got the extremely strong suspicion that the game is just about the little sister being a lesbian and running away from home. If that's really all there is to it, I'm passing on it until it eventually hits a Steam sale.

#2 Edited by Mikular (156 posts) -

That is not all there is to it. Play this game.

#3 Posted by superpow (226 posts) -

PLAY. THE. GAME.

#4 Posted by Oni (2068 posts) -

Distilling the story down does it a great disservice, that's true of pretty much everything. It's extremely well-written and there is a lot more to it than that. If the premise of the game sounds appealing, you'll probably love it. It's one for the explorers, for the patient and the curious. It's a slice of life, really.

#5 Edited by AlKusanagi (851 posts) -

Goddammit... I decided to give it a shot since it was a few bucks off on Steam and it was EXACTLY what I guessed it was from the quick look. Not a single surprise or subversion in sight. Hell, even by the second letter I saw that dude's name pop up from the forestry service, I said to myself "Their mom's fucking him," and whaddaya know?

It was an interesting way to tell a story, but I was really hoping for something not so telegraphed.

#6 Edited by eskimo (459 posts) -

What you've said is obvious from the trailer alone. If you feel the need to be so reductionist about the story, then I would leave it alone all together. You will probably hate it.

edit - looks like you beat me to it.

#7 Posted by Vertrucio (145 posts) -

So, how's being so clever working for you? Enjoying life much?

There's more to a story than just what happens. If all you can see is what happens, and think yourself clever for it, you're missing out on the point of this game. It's not just what happens, because as you say, things are telegraphed, but why they happen, how it happens, when events built up over time to cause them to happen.

And the game is actually finding all that information, because despite what they may have shown in the quick look (haven't seen it yet, didn't want to be spoiled) there is actually a lot more story that's not directly told that you have to infer from other things not tied directly to Sam's story.

It's within these character details that the game shines, and if you aren't interested in that, it's fine. But don't act like it's a big deal that you predicted a telegraphed story element.

#8 Posted by JesterPC238 (331 posts) -

I'm really torn with my thoughts on this subject, and therefor, this game. I too was little disappointed that everything is so telegraphed, but at the same time, I do think this is an important game.

Here's the thing though: The story is wonderful, charming and touching as far as video games go, but it's also something that sitcoms and literature have been covering for years. I'm not trying to diss it or be reductionist, but it's really just a solid telling of a story that's existed for a long time.

If you ask me, nothing about the story is revolutionary, and I think it's being a little over-hyped. That said, this is an important game. It provides one of the most well realized "places" I've ever been to in a game, it creates connections with it's characters without a single one of them being modeled, and it boldly offers an entire narrative that is completely mundane and non-violent. That's impressive, and that's what it deserves praise for.

#9 Posted by geirr (2381 posts) -

To me the subject matter isn't the big shocker or whatever, it's more how the characters responded to it, taking into consideration the zeitgeist, and overall finding it charming and cute. It's a walk down memory lane and there's so much more to this game, but some people just won't see that, and for good reasons.

#10 Edited by AlKusanagi (851 posts) -

@vertrucio: It's miserable being so brilliant, let me tell you...

And while I didn't hate the game, I was just severely disappointed with it since my expectations had been raised too high by all the comments about how it was a game-changer. If I hadn't played so many indie games or watched so many "indie" movies, I think it would have had much more of an impact, but, again, I was expecting something more unexpected. I realize there's the whole "Nothing extraordinary happening IS the subversion!" argument, but I personally play games to escape reality, not as a simulation of it.

It also doesn't help that I watched "Beautiful Creatures" not to long ago...

#11 Edited by BD (249 posts) -

@alkusanagi: Just curious what did you think about the answering machine messages? That kind of threw me off.

#12 Posted by Kraznor (1573 posts) -

Goddammit... I decided to give it a shot since it was a few bucks off on Steam and it was EXACTLY what I guessed it was from the quick look. Not a single surprise or subversion in sight. Hell, even by the second letter I saw that dude's name pop up from the forestry service, I said to myself "Their mom's fucking him," and whaddaya know?

It was an interesting way to tell a story, but I was really hoping for something not so telegraphed.

Uh...since we're talking all spoilery, you actually jumped to a conclusion about that plot thread that the game hoped you would but that actually is not the case. If you found more notes, more clues, the sub-story with Rick and the Mom comes together quite differently. Yes, its about contemplating an affair, but to oversimplify it and say "pffftt, affair, seen that before, NEXT" is kind of a disservice. There are story beats that I've seen in other mediums, yes, but finding them and putting it together yourself is kind of the whole point. Discovering the story.

Yes, the general plot threads could be summarized in a sentence each, but the details of it, the natural way the story is written in the place those people live is the important part. What would people think about you based on your house, your diaries, your music collection, etc? That is the thing about Gone Home that is unique.

#13 Edited by Humanity (7961 posts) -

As I wrote on Patricks review, for everyone saying this is a really important game that has a really well crafted world full of detail then go ahead and play Myst IV: Revelation - great world with a ton of lore, with books to read, notes to pick up, beautiful graphics at the time of release, and really clever puzzles that Jonathan Blow hopefully took inspiration from when basically remaking Myst all over again.

The idea of walking around a place in isolation, picking up clues, reading notes and solving puzzles is nothing new in gaming. Maybe it is an idea that has not been visited in a while, but honestly this is not an "important" game to the genre. It's just a game that dates back to older times and ironically strips away even more "gameplay" mechanics that Myst had - and people back then used to make fun of Myst titles for not being REAL games.

#14 Edited by XCEagle (91 posts) -

Goddammit... I decided to give it a shot since it was a few bucks off on Steam and it was EXACTLY what I guessed it was from the quick look. Not a single surprise or subversion in sight. Hell, even by the second letter I saw that dude's name pop up from the forestry service, I said to myself "Their mom's fucking him," and whaddaya know?

It was an interesting way to tell a story, but I was really hoping for something not so telegraphed.

I know that you're wrong.

#15 Posted by Chaser324 (5967 posts) -

@xceagle said:

@alkusanagi said:

Goddammit... I decided to give it a shot since it was a few bucks off on Steam and it was EXACTLY what I guessed it was from the quick look. Not a single surprise or subversion in sight. Hell, even by the second letter I saw that dude's name pop up from the forestry service, I said to myself "Their mom's fucking him," and whaddaya know?

It was an interesting way to tell a story, but I was really hoping for something not so telegraphed.

I know that you're wrong.

Yup. I thought they were hooking up at first, but if you're paying attention you find out that she misread the entire situation.

Moderator
#16 Edited by Vertrucio (145 posts) -

Actually, there's a hard to find piece of info that clearly hints at something actually happening. It's small, and easy to miss, but it's there. Finding it, and inferring the information from it is part of the gameplay you might miss out if you go into it with too many preconceived notions.

The location, and content of that bit of info:

There is a discarded matchbook inside the parent's closet, hidden on the floor behind two boxes. The matchbook is for a fancy bar or restaurant. On the inside of the matchbook cover Rick has written down a date and time in the evening. Something went down at that point because you don't meet alone for dinner or drinks like that if you don't expect something.

I think I've consumed so much gaming media that I do see a lot of gaming moments come up, and movies too. Especially now that I'm working on my own game. But I don't go around complaining and sideways boasting about it. Stories that try too hard to subvert such expectations can be just as telegraphed and predictable as ones that just let the story unfold.

Even if you liked, or just didn't hate the game, going into it with the expectation of easily picking apart its plot quickly clouds your judgement and impressions, just like anything in life. You take more into the things you do than you take out.

There's an entire subplot in the story I missed out on about Oscar and the father that I didn't catch until people on these boards pointed out the connections. There's a lot of nuance and undertones you miss if you just go through the game thinking, "Ha! I see what you did there."

#17 Posted by squiDc00kiE (340 posts) -

Buy it. NOW. Go buy it!

#18 Posted by XCEagle (91 posts) -

@vertrucio: Found that, the bookmark in the book Rick lent to her, the concert invite and ticket, and the hair appointment she made the day before the concert, but looking at the letter from her friend and the timeline of her promotion, it seems like she had a crush. Throw in the romance novel with the shirtless fireman and you can conclude that the mother she was living a fantasy. But it's a stretch to take any of that and say that he was interested in her as anything more than a friend and coworker. At best we know they met twice, once at a concert where her friend thinks Jan is drawing inferences that weren't there, and the time they went to the restaurant.

It's still a big stretch to call it anything more than a crush.

#19 Edited by BeasMeeply (6 posts) -

The story this game tells may not be groundbreaking, but it is solid and human which are adjectives that don't apply to many games. More interesting to me is the fact that the story is only as effective as it is because it is told in a game. In almost every case, games with memorable stories communicate those stories with techniques borrowed from film. Namely, you stop playing the game while a cutscene plays out, or maybe you get some background information from an audio log that plays while you perform unrelated gameplay.

In Gone Home, the gameplay is the story -- this couldn't be done in another medium. There are "audio logs" that play while you rummage around, and I can't decide if that's unfortunate or not. The acting and writing is great and affecting, and I think the game did enough to ultimately contextualize them, but I did feel like the artifice was a little too close to the surface if I let myself think about it for a few seconds. I almost wish Sam's story came across through the same mechanisms the parents' stories did, but that's probably just because I want there to be an example of a well-told story that didn't have to lean on that particular trope.

#20 Posted by Mikular (156 posts) -

@beasmeeply I see what you mean about the audio logs, but at least they make sense in the world, sort of. The other thing is, and I'm not sure if you got the same thing, but I found the journal entries really kind of comforting as I was exploring the big, spooky house at the beginning of the game. And man, if the one towards the end didn't heighten the tension to a ridiculous degree as I raced through the house to the attic from the basement with maybe the most powerful sense of dread I've experienced in a game (to say nothing of the relief from the following journal).

#21 Posted by development (1591 posts) -

Goddammit... I decided to give it a shot since it was a few bucks off on Steam and it was EXACTLY what I guessed it was from the quick look. Not a single surprise or subversion in sight. Hell, even by the second letter I saw that dude's name pop up from the forestry service, I said to myself "Their mom's fucking him," and whaddaya know?

It was an interesting way to tell a story, but I was really hoping for something not so telegraphed.

The problem is the creators can't know for certain if players will find every single "clue," so they have to repeat things or drill them into our heads more than we might like, to make sure enough people understand what's going on even if they happen to miss one or two relevant items. Also, I don't think "Jan" and "Rick" ever had sex. He took her to dinner and to the Earth Wind and Fire concert (maybe other places), but I don't think she "officially" cheated on the dad. She's super religious and uptight; remember that.

#22 Posted by Hunter5024 (5174 posts) -

Spoiler Warning: Luke defeats the empire. Now you don't need to watch Star Wars, because you know what happens.

#23 Posted by MrJorOwe (267 posts) -

I didn't watch the whole QL. What rooms do they go in that you can tell immediately that Sam is a lesbian and runnung away from home? Didn't think it was made clear THAT early. Guess this guy is just a genius.

#24 Posted by Sor_Eddie (80 posts) -

@mrjorowe: The one that really gives it away in the QL is when they go into the TV room and trigger the diary entry that talks about how Sam "sees a gold star around someone she really has to talk to" and how she's trying to find a way to talk to Lonnie. The gushing, flowery ways she describes it aren't really the way someone would talk about a person they just want to be 100% platonic friends with.

#25 Edited by RobotSquad (212 posts) -

Some of the story was easy to put together, others less so. Terry's sexual abuse didn't click with me for a while, and even then I read a lot on the internet that connected more dots than I had.

In any case, this game is special not because of the story it tells, but the way it tells it. This couldn't be done in any other medium.

#26 Posted by Gregalor (55 posts) -

I don't even think that knowing Sam's story has that big of an impact as to whether or not you're going to enjoy the game. Sam's story is handed to you. The fun is figuring out the other characters on your own. You can be "spoiled" on Gone Home and still have things to investigate.

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