I am often asked that question.
No, it’s not an adventure game, except of course it is. You can find a much longer explanation at today’s big fat post on our main website, called Seven Deadly Sins of Adventure Games.
In that post I mention that quite a few new design theories were formed since the golden days of classic adventures, and I want to mention one today. It’s something that started as a series of e-mails between me and Thomas Grip (from Frictional Games, creators of Penumbra, Amnesia and SOMA), and ended up being a GDC 2014 Presentation. More importantly, it’s something we both actually apply to our current designs.
A big round of applause to Thomas, who actually did all the hard work (the GDC presentation) and now put it on Frictional’s blog. I highly recommend the post (hell, the entire blog) to anyone interested in the narrative design. Ladies and gentlemen, here is the 4-Layers, A Narrative Design Approach. Worth for Thomas’ paintings alone!
We continue refining these ideas in e-mails, and we’re quite selfish about it. Thomas put it best when he said:
Writing your thoughts down as an explanatory text to others is, given you are critical enough, the best tool for refining your own ideas.— Thomas Grip (@ThomasGrip) April 29, 2014
But of course it’s a pleasure to share these findings with the world, as just as we have absorbed and used the knowledge of others, we’re hoping that more and more designers, journalists and gamers will join the conversation.