Monday, April 1, 2019

Point And Click Adventure Games Film Studies Essay

exhibit And leaf Adventure Games Film Studies EssayThe intentions of this talk argon to delve into the depths of a much- jockeyd yet dwindling genre of painting bet, the occlusive and click Adventure. Setting prune off to investigate what made the genre so usual in the mid-nineties and discuss the mystery ring what bouncing theorists and fans refer to as The Death of The jeopardise play. situation and Click seeks ar completely exclusively a dusty book in the roll that is straight offs massively successful drama industry. until now its position in the minds of the hotfoot that experienced it that singles issue patch and click as not only great to its fans bargonly to the video back industry itself. more(prenominal) than secret plans since the mid(prenominal) 80s hold in come and g iodin, leaving precise little, if any furbish up on the gaming industry. Developers today hold the genre in spicy up regard. In an consultation with Claas Paletta of Daedalic Entertainment, I asked him about his experiences with the point and click genrePoint and click had a long impact on me and my friends as teen get onrs in the 90s. I remember waiting for the next LucasArts or sierra title to be on the shelves. Its what made me want to be where I am today, I just wanted to be convoluted in video plays. I equable play them all to this day, If I tin get absent with it.Claas, like many involved in the gaming industry have shown just what an impact the genre has had on their c argoners. Point and click is a genre that divine a extension of spirited developers, with their witty humor, mind-bending outwits and in-depth story.This ability that point and click had to tell a story was in no small part collectible to the biggest developer in the genre and of the 1990s, LucasArts. Founded under the name LucasFilm Games in 1982, they were originally set up as a research call down company, however in 1984 they announce themselves as a deve loper and publisher of entertainment softw are. After several old age of development a member of the LucasArts team developed the SCUMM engine, which stood for Script knowledgeableness Utility for Maniac Mansion, a game that begun the revolution in Point and Click. His name was Ron Gilbert, he would go on to be a driving force hind end the point and click generation of games at LucasArts, with titles much(prenominal) as the famous brownie Island serial and Day of the Tentacle a good continuation to Maniac Mansion. It was this engine that rejuvenated what was at the time parser driven threaten genre. The worker would have to typecast commands into the game to get come onion, however with the advent of the SCUMM engine Point and Click was born.With the experience of many successful movies in their arsenal, LucasArts and their development team, were able to create in-depth story and complex annals that could only be comparable to that of the movie industry. Games at this time obviously could not contest with the complexity of several(prenominal) LucasArts titles. The likes of Sierra who round would say kick started the adventure genre in the 80s with titles such as the abilitys Quest series (1984-1994) were unable to create anything to get near the gross sales levels that LucasArts achieved. The initiatory Monkey Island change roughly 44,000 copies in the US alone, with estimates claiming Europe tends to double that number.According to an demandion with Tim Schaefer (2007), co-creator of the monkey Island seriesIn 1990, Monkey Island took nine months to make and be $200,000. In the aboriginal 90s, we were really excited if we sold 100,000 copies of a PC graphic adventure.This would leave sales at an estimated 150,000 units Worldwide. So considering the context of the time, and the money spent on the development of the game, Monkey Island was a huge success. Moreover, victorious into work out the owner commit of PCs in 1990, in which not every star sign would own a PC, this figure was considered to be a very high and successful number despite it worldness vastly overshadowed in todays commercializeplace.These sales were no fluke, of course the standard of game was the chief(prenominal) contributor to its success, merely LucasArts had one of import receipts over their main rivals Sierra, an already huge captive interview. This audience was due to the huge success of the image franchises lead story Wars and Indiana Jones. George Lucas had built a huge fan base due to the success of these movies, a fan base that were hugely excited by the prospect of video game versions of their favorite movies.Poss quote.With such a huge following LucasArts were able to create videogames that would invoke to the masses. They could call upon their already realised film franchises to excite and connect with the fraud. For example the custom of subtle references to the StarWars saga in the second Installment of Monkey Island, Monkey Island 2 LeChucks Revenge(1995). During the climactic fight scene near the end of Monkey Island 2, LeChuck proclaims to be Guybrushs father, a twist taken directly from the Star Wars Movies in which you discover Darth Vader is, in fact Luke Skywalkers father.Its this innovative ability to interweave story, chronicle, humor and in some cases touristed culture into a single entity that set LucasArts and the genre it helped to re-mould, obscure from other games of the time.Narrative within games had never been so advanced, it created mass appeal for PC gamers, a generation that played games out front they progressed into the mass consumer market that they exist in today. So is narrative in requireion today? With titles being churned out much like in the movie industry, is narrative in modern gaming not what it was in the early to mid 1990s?MethodologyWhen investigating this area of media it is most-valuable to take into account the ways in which I impart tackle r esearch surrounding the subject. The majority of the dissertation allow for be reliant on slope into the History of not only the point and click genre but the history of video games overall.Monkey Island and the point and click genre was a period in gaming, in which, I as a section impostor was heavily involved. This is a vital consideration when it comes to charting the events of The Death of The adventure game ane Research model that will be useful for my investigating is the somewhat controversial manner of Auto-ethnographic research. This is the process in which the writer or author writes his or her own somebodyal narrative exploring their experiences within a certain field, preferably than relying on the beliefs and findings of others. This is wholly the case in this dissertation due to my exposure and experiences with the subject matter. Despite the process becoming more widely used within the spheres of bleak media and journalism it is still conceit somewhat contr oversial as a reliable system of research. umpteen Qualitative researchers have expressed concerns with the validity of the method, expressing concerns that all analytical texts should in some way connect to something larger part of life, rather than stating its richness through personal belief. Conversely Chang(2008) argues the benefits of Auto-ethnography. He claims that it allows for a research method that is friendly some(prenominal) researchers and readers because of the texts engaging qualities, allowing the researcher to gain a heathen understanding of self in relation to others, on which cross-cultural concretion canister be built among themselves and others. In summary, Auto-ethnography, used in conjunction with other variances of research, will allow this dissertation to start more engaging and allow, what are considered, important self-experiences to be communicated to the reader. star factor that essential be considered if this method is going to be executed jogly is the limpid understanding that subjective opinion of the subject matter can be somewhat skewed by the fact that my relationship with it was conventional at a young age. The genre was what I grew up playing, it is important not to make drastic claims, solely based upon personal experiences of enjoyment interacting with the genre.The machinate that this dissertation will take, heavily relies on the recollection of historical events, suspension big money these events and uncover potential reasonings for the fall of the point and click genre. This makes active research a somewhat tenuous subject in uncovering truths. Nevertheless, by employing an ethnographic approach that will coincide with the aforementioned Auto-ethnographic method I will endeavor to perform interrogates with industry insiders, people that have in some way been involved in some element of the video game industry during the time period in question.One potential pit fall with querying could be the stru cture of the questions asked. It is important that I set out to ask no leading questions, and leave the participants result to be entirely reflective of their experiences. One potential issue I have encountered during the interviewing process was the location of the interviewees. The majority of the people of whom I wished to verbalise to are based in either the USA or Europe, this meant that interviewing face to face was implausible, this meant all interviews would have to be conducted via email. Potential problems with this process of interview include the inability of the interviewer to probe any interesting responses, Cowen(2001) tells of the importance of interview technique, she talks of the importance of empathy and rapport, listening and questioning, restatement, clarification and persistence. Many of which cannot be adhered to in an email-based interview.Chapter 2 The secret mythology of Monkey IslandIt is vitally important to single out and identify what it was that mad e Point and Click adventure games so popular in the 1990s. One of the most successful titles released in this period of escapist gaming was the work of a small team at LucasArts. In order to understand their success, we moldiness understand the roots of the games their inspirations, intentions and results.LucasArts video games had the advantage of 2 hugely popular and highly praised film trilogies to call upon when create their Star Wars and Indiana Jones games. These aforementioned box office hits were all inspired by the works of Joseph Campbell, a prominent figure in the depth psychology of heroic myth throughout civilization. Campbell was an American mythologist, writer and lecturer who endeavored to break down the structure of myth. Most importantly in the context of this essay, was his abridgment of the many faces and intentions of the maven. Campbell (1968) explains the basic structure in his book The wedge shape With A special K Faces like thisA hero ventures forth fr om the world of greenness day into a region of supernatural wonder fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won the hero comes impale from this mysterious adventure with the power to outdoow boons on his fellow man.In October 1990 a videogame emerged as one of the most rummy and critically acclaimed adventure games of the decade. It too, like many of Lucas films, relied on this same myth structure but placed it in a padly natural and unique setting. The mystifying Of Monkey Island (1990) takes these same principles of the heroic myth as laid out by Campbell and delivers an interactive experience packed with wit and humor that has plough a classic in its own right.Monkey Island is one of the best examples of interactive narrative that was released during the point and click era of gaming. It achieved this by utilize varying techniques of narrative and video game design to deliver a Joseph Campbell experience. Whilst other games in 1990 were helping y ou build railways or carry two plumbers to save a princess, Monkey Island was setting out to tell a story of Love, laughs and a mans endeavor to become Guybrush Threepwood, A Mighty Pirate.In the source moments of the game the player is introduced to their setting, Melee Island. This is where the adventure really begins. We are then introduced to Campbells archetypal Old Wise Man in the form of the blind Island lookout this is where the player and hero, Guybrush Threepwood, are given their instructions to complete the quest of becoming a mighty freebooter.Our protagonist, Guybrush, is already on an island be by plagiarizers much mightier it would seem than he. So this initial opening chapter begins his quest to become a member of a pre-existing society much like Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars trilogy. Campbells concept of proving your worth to the tribe before setting out on your tour. This is done by a series of runs in which Guybrush must prove his credential as a pirate, once more connecting with Campbells outlining of the heroic myth. Campbell states that the ease with which a Hero defeats these quarrels demonstrates how great of a person the truly are. This same argument can be easily transferred onto the puzzle solving element of Monkey Island, and in fact any adventure game. However it as closely coheres well with narrative idea that the protagonist, Guybrush, must battle from the head start in order to prove himself.Anything but the mighty pirate he dreams of being, Guybrush and the player must solely rely on their wits, and the puzzles and game design reflect this. To beat the swordsman, you have to participate in erudition based puzzles. Learning insults by fighting various wandering pirates most Melee Island, then using logic to work out the correct insults to beat the sword master. Another challenge is to plunder some inhumed treasure from a dark forest, relying on either a guide or stumbling close to in the woods until you by cha nce achieve your goal. Such finales to solve puzzles or aimlessly wander are ofttimes ones faced by various heroes in their gos through similar darkness. For example, in the Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the inaugural known pieces of literary work, the character of King Gilgamesh chooses to descend under the mountain in his quest for the Fruit of Immortality, stumbling around until he finds his way out before the Sun reaches him.The third and final exam quest is to steal an idol from the governors mansion, a test of wits and man-eating poodles this trial similarly harks back to ancient forkingend and myth. The previously mentioned man-eating Poodles, are a reflection of the beast guarding the prize. Guybrush must find a way ult this defender before he is able to venture into the governors home, which represents the cave or temple of many ancient myths. Whether its the three-headed Cerberus defending Hades or the dragon protecting the Princess (as the governor eventually turns out t o be) the beast plays a large determination in the structure of mythology. LucasArts game design allows the player to be challenged in ways that mimic the patterns and conventions of the heroic myth by testing various skills that allow the overarching quest of the game to be embarked upon.One of the ways that LucasArts made the story of Monkey Island so compelling was the use of cutscenes to tell the story and fill in the gaps that were unobtainable during initial game-play. During the opening stages of the game a cutscene reads Meanwhile, deep beneath Monkey Island This is where we get our scratch glimpse of our storys Villain The Evil Ghost Pirate LeChuck and his ghost ship anchored deep under Monkey Island in a place that can only be described as Hell. The player is exposed to the undead crowd of the ghost ship ominously discussing your arrival. The glowing blues and reds of this nightmarish venue are equally off-putting and are a stark telephone line to that of the colors o f Melee Island. This place is equally the subject of myth for all of the characters you meet throughout your journey, they tell Legends of doomed journeys to Monkey Island, ships leading without their crews.These cut scenes and NPC enabled narrative progression is what allows the player to gain an air of excitement and intrigue. They must venture to this Hellish place, yet have no idea how they will get there. Such an idea of the goal or part of the quest being some distance from home is a convention noteworthy by Propp(1968) in his work Morphology of the folktale, he stated principally the object of search is located in another or diametric kingdom. This kingdom may lie far away horizontally, or else very high up or deep down vertically.The trigger for the main quest to begin is LeChucks kidnapping of regulator Marley. The players relationship with Marley is dependant on the order in which the trials are completed, Guybrush will either have a jilted romantic exchange with The Go vernor due to his not being a pirate or she is taken away just as the relationship with Guybrush has begun. In either circumstance Governor Marley takes the role of the in demand(predicate) female figure that everyone desires. Numerous NCPs will talk of their admiration for Governor Elaine Marley, whilst she complains of her annoyance at having to continually turn away their advances. The Villain of the piece, LeChuck is as well as driven by his lust for Elaine, leading him to kidnap her and take her to the illusive Monkey Island. The female figure or love interest is an important convention of any myth Campbell explains that part of her value is to serve as both a goal for the hero but also one that can be attained through spiritual purity, in the rather skewed case of Monkey Island this is represented by Guybrush proving himself as a mighty pirate. Campbell explains the female goddess figure as followsShe is the paragon of all paragons of beauty, the reaction to all desire, th e bliss-bestowing goal of every heros earthly and unearthly questshe is the shape of the promise of perfection the souls assurance that, at the conclusion of its exile in a world of organized inadequacies, the bliss that once was known will be known again.This has never been truer than in The Secret Of Monkey Island and its subsequentness Return to Monkey Island The unattainable female character drives the plot of both games. This however was lost in the subsequent games in the series, highly criticized by the games creator, Ron Gilbert, for having Guybrush and Elaine Marry. Part of the function of her role in the story was lost when this decision was made. Guybrushs endless pursuit of Elaine whilst she laughs him off was one of the key driving forces behind what made the story and characters so successful. When she is kidnapped, neither Guybrush nor the player once hesitates in their need to rescue her.The transition from the pirate Island of Melee to the high seas in pursuit of Monkey Island coincides with a shift in chapter but also backdrop. It becomes daytime for the first-year time in the game, suggesting a new dawn, a new adventure. This theme continues with the discovery of Monkey Island, which is framed and explored during the day time. However before actually reaching the island the player must again attain another convention of fairytale and myth. Described by Propp as The accomplishment of a magical agent the Hero receives some sort of magic, which helps progress the story. This comes in the form of a potion that Guybrush must put together using inventory items. formerly the potion is complete Guybrush enters a Rip Van Winkle-like state. This concept of the Hero entering a dream like state during his journey into the mythical realms is a key element of many myths that Campbell outlines. Once Guybrush has wake he has reached his destination. This all works towards emphasizing the mythical and mysterious melodic phrase surrounding the island, portrayed previous in the story.Exploring Monkey Island allows for the skills learnt earlier in the game to be finally tested, albeit applied in new ways. fitting as Campbell statedThe initial trials will dictate how difficult the heros journey will beThe players ability to puzzle out this section of the game has fundamentally already been tested. Those skills now only need to be clarified and adapted to suit the new puzzles. The earlier insult based shimmer becomes collecting bananas to please a monkey enough to hold a gate open for you. Wandering around the dark forest evolves into exploring an vast island, finding a way to the other side and eventually down under the island, cohering with the earlier mentioned convention of the goal being far away above or below where you start your journey.Prior to this our wits are tested as we attempt to find a way around the Vegetarian Cannibals that inhabit Monkey Island. Eventually the player finds themselves in the depths of Monkey I sland, it before long becomes clear that guybrush will require a guide for this particular leg of his journey. There is only one route through the twisting passageways of Hell, and in order for us to follow this path we must rely on the decapitated navigator.Once the player reaches the Ghost Pirate LeChuck and his ghostly pirate ship, that was shown in earlier cutscenes, the player finally can feel the gladness described by Joseph Campbell of the Hero as he reaches the mythological setting. Once onboard the ship after much jostling with a rather objectionable severed head, Guybrush must recover a magic root that enables the player to mix a potion that has the power to defeat the ghost pirates. This idea of obtaining a magical agent is representative of the fruit that Gilgamesh pursues a convention also seen in countless other myths. It is described by Campbell as a Symbol of knowledge and life, however in Monkey island it is of course a way to make some root beer, which we all kn ow is subtle to ghost pirates. This discovery and return to Melee Island coincides with the return of the Villain, LeChuck. Along with the return of LeChuck comes with it the feeling of terror and danger, this neatly coincides with the return to the darkness of Melee Island, creating a daunting scene for the imminent and fast approaching climax. This meeting of the Hero and Villain is often depicted as a battle, which only the Hero can overcome. However with the wit and satire that LucasArts bring to the genre of point and click, we learn that in fact Governor Marley is still more effective that all the other characters combined. This get ahead cements her place as the divine female, whilst Guybrush defeating LeChuck reflects his role as the hero of the piece.In his book The Hero With A Thousand Faces, Campbell goes on to explainIt is obvious that the infantile fantasies which we all cherish still in the unconscious play continually into myth, fairy tale, and the teachings of the church, as symbols of undestroyable beingsbut the circumstance is obstructive too, for the feelings come to rest in the symbols and exsert passionately every effort to go beyond.And this could be described as the result of Monkey Island. It explains wherefore it is ultimately such a well loved and critically acclaimed game. It has taken the conventions and structure of Mythology that we all subconsciously know, love and understand and combined it to create a comedic, fulfilling and rich story for its audience. The creators tacit what makes story work due to their extensive experience in the film industry, in the creation of Monkey Island they crafted an interactive experience that breathed further life into conventions and structure that have been integrated in mans stories for thousands of years. They proved that games arent inescapably all about the graphical elements, by allowing the player to truly centre themselves into a story and character they felt that they already kn ew they could create a game that would be permanently associated with a genre and a generation for years to come.SECTION 3 Failings of the PAC genre, 3d gaming.During the mid 1990s society was very much engrossed in emerging technologies and the age of the computer. Technology was progressing faster than ever before, with home PCs becoming more and more powerful. Computers were beginning to really show the world, specifically the mass media audiences, just what they could achieve. In 1995 Toy Story was released as the first solely 3D rendered peculiarity film. It set a benchmark for the industry and firmly put a stamp on the market, showing just what computers were able to achieve.Meanwhile, in the games industry, the market at this time was in somewhat of a battle between the home consoles. At the time the only real contenders in the race to win the hearts of the consumer were the firmly established Nintendo and new kid on the block, Sega. Nintendo had dominated the market of home consoles since the advent of the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) in 1985, some 5 years later Nintendos command of the home video game business appeared unassailable. However in the early 1990s a competitor emerged. Armed with much faster technologies, riskier games and a more aggressive merchandise strategy, Sega arrived on the scene with the MegaDrive. As Kline, Dyer-Witheford and De Peuter explain in their book digital Play (2003), this console war pathed the way for the future of home video gamingThe contest between Sega and Nintendo revolutionised video gaming, propelling new extremes of adept innovation, market intensity, and cultural audacity and opening the way for other contendersThis new competitive edge to the video game industry had never been seen antecedent to this first big clash between rivaling factions. The point and click genres main contributors, companies such as LucasArts and Sierra, began to get left in the wake of these pronto growing gaming giants. In an interview with the gaming blog escape from Paper Shotgun, Ron Gilbert, one of the original co-creators of Monkey Island and inventor of the SCUMM engine, aired his feelings on how the rest of the industry took off and left action adventure behind. He stated that games such as Doom and Tomb Raider appeared and injected adrenaline and new types of energy into video games, an energy that Point and Click simply wouldnt be able to contend with. This suggests that within the inner circle of those involved in developing point and click it was felt that the genre was beginning to dwindle. As Monkey Island writer Tim Schaefer stated in an independent interviewIt felt very much, as if the genre we loved and helped to create and nurture had been infected. We all knew what was wrong but were powerless to helpHowever, before the do of the console war could be felt, whilst the home console was in its early years, The Action Adventure genre was allowed an environment in which to flourish . With its already established SCUMM system, created in 1987, LucasArts led the way in cutting edge narrative based action adventures. With titles such as Maniac Mansion being such a huge success, the genre continued to go from potence to strength whilst not paying too much attention to the ongoing battle between the Japanese contenders. As a genre, Point and Click offered something to gamers that, at the time, only the movie industry could offer, its ability to connect with its audience through the use of in-depth and immersive story and narrative. However they offered something new in story-telling, the unique quality of video games meant for a potential revolution, breaking the shackles of the standard elongated storytelling.LucasArts had a strong team of developers behind the titles such as Monkey Island and Day of the Tentacle. The likes of Ron Gilbert and Tim Schaefer were strong believers in story telling. Story as a medium of communication has been on this earth since the dawn of our species, so the implementation of this fundamental value of human society should be an thriving one. However, this isnt always the case. Many games created after the point and click generation in some circles are thought to have neglected these story-telling elements in opt of highly polished graphics or over indulgent gameplay elements. This was never more apparent than in the period after the boom of the first full 3d games.With the release of hugely successful titles after their first release Maniac Mansion, including Day of the Tentacle, Monkey Island and Sam and Max it could be said that LucasArts and other leading point and click developers were sitting picturesque at the top of the pile of PC game developers. However, the video game industry is not one where a company is allowed to rest on their laurels, there is always someone waiting in the wings to challenge you and take the top spot. This landed in the hands of another Japanese technological giant, Sony. In 1995 the Sony Playstation was released with huge commercial success. This was the beginning of the boom in home consoles and the eventual progression into fully 3D gaming environments. The first major title to bring the concept of 3D environments to the forefront was middle Designs Tomb Raider, released in 1996 on three platforms, including PC, Tomb Raider would become one of Playstations most successful titles, whilst playing a large role in the 3D revolution of video gaming.In order to fully comprehend the success of 3D video games, it is important to understand why the consumer wanted to be a part of them. As mentioned in the earlier chapter, Video games up until this point were 2D based arcade games, or more narrative driven titles such as the point and click. What the 3D revolution allowed developers to do was to take this story based game type and mould it into something with higher levels of realism. The creation of 3D worlds arguably allowed for a greater level of immersio n for the player. Realistic soundscapes, voice-overs and sound effects, also worked to heighten the players perceive of involvement.Immersion is a word banded about within the stadium of video games, but it is important to fully understand its different forms and how they have-to doe with the player. Were Point and click games just not immersive enough? Or did the marketing led phenomena of progressively increased visuals and graphical aesthetics bring about the end for the un-advancing genre?When looking at where the point and click failed, it is important to focus on how the industry changed. As previously mentioned with the advancements in 3D graphics, PC games were slowly being left behind, requiring a multitude of upgrades in order to play titles that were easily running on the more league home consoles such as the Playstation. With the advent of 3D gaming, came a new generation of gamer. It was the era of instant gratification.ConclusionThere is no regime approved startin g place. Sometimes its story, other times its setting or a lead character. It all evolves in concert with each other. (Ron Gilbert, 2007)These are the words of Ron Gilbert one of the co-creators of Monkey Island, arguably the most popular Point adventure game ever made. Much like his surmisal for creating video games, this Dissertation doesnt necessarily begin with a setting or a main character

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