Catherine, as Described by PGDI – Part II

Two weeks ago, I wrote a blog post about describing the mechanics of Catherine based on the descriptions of the Player-Game Descriptive Index (PGDI). I had decided to split it up into two parts, the first post looking at the Customization, Progression, and Social categories. There was supposed to be a follow-up post last week that described Catherine via the Immersion, Mastery and Participation categories, but as you may or may not have noticed, that did not happen. Without going into too many details, I decided that I had written enough for the first month of the semester and met with some professors to greatly adjust what I am doing this semester for their class. Basically, the goals for what I was going to do this semester were inadvertently already met within the first month, and we decided that the rest of my work was unnecessary. So I proposed a new semester’s work and now I will be aiming towards something I wasn’t going to touch this early. There will be more details about that in a separate post. For now, let’s just get down to describing the Immersion, Mastery, and Participation categories of Catherine.

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Catherine, as Described by PGDI – Part I

In today’s post I will be describing the game Catherine through the framework of my model, the Player-Game Descriptive Index (PGDI). Earlier this month, I described the mechanics present in Catherine, based upon a playthrough I completed. To describe the game, I will be using the descriptions provided by my recent posts on PGDI. This will be the first of two parts, and it will be focused on describing the Social, Customization, and Progression components of Catherine. I will do so based upon my field notes and recorded gameplay. The scale I will be using for components is: none < weak < fair < medium < strong <total. A score of none means that the game does not exhibit the component in any way, while a score of total means that every aspect of the game exhibits the component. Few components will be none or total.

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Field Notes for Catherine

For my class on understanding games and impact, we have to describe 60 minutes of gameplay. As I mentioned in my last post, I have chosen to analyze gameplay from Catherine, a game about a man who has a supernatural nightmare that mirrors his real-life dilemma of choosing between a life of marriage or a life of fun. I chose to record my playthrough from start to finish and have divided the video into digestible chunks. In this post I will be providing the video and then following each video will be a description of the mechanics described and used in the game, as well as how the game progresses through its narrative. A side note on the structure of Catherine, as I describe in a previous post, the game is divided into three parts. The first part is a climbing block puzzle, the second deals with narrative decisions that affect the resolution of the game, and the third is a section of narrative feedback, which describes the results of the player’s performance in the first two parts. Keep this in mind when viewing the videos.

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Learning Everything in an Hour

This should be a brief post of my journey of finding a game I could use for quickly absorbing and describing a game’s mechanics. My goal with this was to find a game where the core of the mechanics were described in bulk, up front. The reason for this is that I’m going to have to eventually describe the mechanics in the game, and I didn’t want to have to play the whole game to do it. Instead, I am focusing on what is presented to new players and how it is presented. The aim of this is to describe the mechanics of the game in terms of the PGDI model I created, based on the psychology of player types research. I ended up considering eleven games for this, and played through the intro stages of eight of them. The other three games I relied on my memory of recent playthroughs to determine their usefulness.

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Heaving a Huge Sigh of Relief

Goodness it’s been a while. These last few weeks have been nothing but rush to get significant work done on three projects that plagued be throughout the semester. But they are done for now and I can relax for a little bit. What I’m going to do today is recap the last four months or so, and explain what I am going to be doing this Summer. I’m going to do this in the following way:

  1. A list of the games I played or watched plays of (via roommate or YouTube)
  2. An update on the game project for the semester (The Doors Are Frozen Shut)
  3. An update on the narrative project
  4. An update on the player types project
  5. My plan for the next 3.5 months

I have made links so that you can skip past things like the lest of games. If the more link is showing below, then you’ll need to hit it to use the links. So without further ado.

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Brief: ChatChat

Ever since he started working on it during Ludum Dare, I had been wondering what Terry Cavanagh would produce.  He would say things like “it’s a game about being a cat” and then things like “network coding is tough”.  I’ve been intrigued and amused for a while, but I wasn’t sure it was ever going to go anywhere.  So what happened today? Terry Cavanagh released ChatChat on Kongragate.

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