Game

How the end of the journey and the inside inspired a mechanic belatedly before your eyes

Before your eyes is a game about blinking when life flashes, well, before your eyes. You are witness to a collection of moments in the life of a talented artist, with a few twists and turns along the way, but one of its most effective mechanics comes from outside the mechanic. that core flickering gas.

Spoilers follow suit.

Now playing: In the immediate future | Official trailer of the game | Netflix

Here’s a trailer for a particular mechanic in Before Your Eyes, which is very lighthearted, but one of the most effective late-game moments in the game’s extended ending are some sequences where you have to close your eyes and just listen. The change in gameplay is extremely effective and forces you to fully focus on the story in a new way. We recently spoke with game director Oliver Lewin and creative director Graham Parkes about brighten before your eyes for mobile devicesinterested in Netflix, and in that conversation we dig deeper into that particular mechanic, how it came to be, and why it’s so laudable to be told something upsets you. .

The mechanic where you close your eyes for long periods of time and just listen – how did that happen?

Lewin: We’ve been developing the game for quite some time, and I miss Graham very early on [Parkes] had the idea to just close your eyes to get a glimpse of another reality or hear someone’s voice or something. But it’s one of those features where we really struggled to find the right place in the game.

So it was pretty late in the development cycle that we thought, “Oh, in that third kind of action, there’s a good place for it.” We wanted to really change the tempo of the game so that there’s no more time to rush at you like a waterfall in a way you can’t control. But it’s really about trying to look deeper into a repressed memory and embracing its stillness in a very focused way and having a series of games where you’re mostly in the bedroom and you’re restricted to follow. that way.

Inside |  In the immediate future |  Journeys
Inside | In the immediate future | Journeys

Through closing your eyes, you can look into other places, other people, and other memories. It’s the liberating thing that really upsets the tempo of the game. We found the exact moment in the game to introduce this feature, and it was one of the last new features added to the game.

Parkes: It’s always been something we just knew we wanted to do because it was so cool. I think as a storyteller, the idea that closing your eyes puts you in a very vulnerable state and a kind of… We close our eyes to pray. We close our eyes when we listen to music. We close our eyes in these nobler moments.

I thought the idea that I could actually get a player to do that? It’s a great way to push them deeper and force them into that introspection. It always feels like we have to find a place for that, it’s so cool and magical. As Oliver said, it took a while to find the right version of it.

I think we are also inspired by games like Journeys and internal. In Journey you always struggle with how much you can fly and then you always fly a little bit and then your cape runs out and you fall. Then you have that part right before the last chapter where you can’t fly at all and then suddenly in that last chapter they just give you the ability to fly infinitely and it totally puts the whole mechanic up head and let you be free.

Inside does a similar thing. The whole game you have to run away from the bad guys and you are completely vulnerable. Then finally, you suddenly – through crazy transformation – you suddenly have crazy powers and instead of being afraid of everyone else, people are afraid of you.

And you are also afraid of you.

You are always in danger playing Inside.
You are always in danger playing Inside.

Parker: That’s right. That game was awesome. I think that’s the great thing narrative games can do is invert their own mechanics, especially when it fits the story objective. It feels like this is really the perfect inverse because when you’ve been through a whole match you just can’t control it. You’re opening your eyes wide and trying not to blink, but when you blink, it’s completely out of your control. You will only blink accidentally compared to when you close your eyes, it’s completely up to you when you want to open them. So, suddenly, we’re giving you autonomy for the first time after we’ve eliminated that for so long.

We repeated where we used it earlier in the game and we realized, “Oh no, we have to take all that out and save it”, because it’s going to be so much more powerful. If it arrives at the end of an hour of use try to keep your eyes open.

Why, from a creator’s perspective, is it a compliment to me to say, “Your game made me cry.” Why does that make you proud?

Parkes: Well, I think we’ve seen that it’s actually very catalytic. I think that’s what TV series are supposed to do. It means this space where you can go and experience difficult emotions in a safe space. For us, I love art that makes me cry and that moves me and brings me to that place.

Also, when people love this game vehicle so much but always feel they can be more. We’re big movie buffs too, and for us movie kids, it’s always been, “Why don’t games try harder to garner those really intense reactions from those who do. who movies, books, and music do?” That feeling is a rare thing. I think when we got into college, that started to happen more and more. You start seeing games like Gone Home, suddenly the moment of independence starts to really happen.

But I think we are also conscious of that. Like, we wanted to see what we could do with the vehicle that other people didn’t and that could push it further because we thought it was capable of that. I think it has the potential to be the most emotionally intense medium of art because it’s all medium at the same time plus this of player agency, it’s totally crazy secret sauce this crazy. I think for us too, it’s also about the love of the medium and saying, “Let’s see if we can do something different with it.”

You can read GameSpot’s Before Your Eyes Review by following the link.

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