Like Many Games, Her Story is Missing Something Crucial - The Story

Like Many Games, Her Story is Missing Something Crucial - The Story

There's something missing from indie narrative experiment Her Story: namely, the "story" part.

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You got some noms in your soup.

Or as Wikipedia puts it, "A narrative or story is any report of connected events, actual or imaginary, presented in a sequence of written or spoken words, or still or moving images." (source)

The description of her story is reminiscent of 'analogue: A hate story' - Which by the sounds of it is a lot more minimalist in terms of content. (text only), but also seems to do a much better job of it.

From the outset it frames who you are, and what you're doing. (you're an investigator, trying to find out what happened to a ship that's been found dead in space)

The first thing you see is a command prompt, after having logged in using remote access.
You dig around a bit, find an interesting looking file, and find yourself talking to an AI.

All very simple, basic things.
But it works surprisingly well at hooking you in, even though the reason given is trivial "It's your job"

And, more importantly, while the overall goal is to figure out what happened to the ship and it's crew, it's the AI herself that starts to draw you in, commenting on what you're doing, and hinting at a mystery of her own.
And sometimes just randomly interrupting you because she's bored and wants to talk to someone...

Same basic idea (search data for clues to piece together a mystery), slightly different framing, and suddenly it works surprisingly well.
But the AI really is key, even though from a gameplay perspective it's a trivial thing with little to no 'interactivity'.
(but then, show me an AI from a game that has decent interactivity when the only thing you're interested in is talking?)

Odd how one thing can work, and something similar fails...

CrystalShadow:

...Same basic idea (search data for clues to piece together a mystery), slightly different framing, and suddenly it works surprisingly well.
But the AI really is key, even though from a gameplay perspective it's a trivial thing with little to no 'interactivity'.
(but then, show me an AI from a game that has decent interactivity when the only thing you're interested in is talking?)

Odd how one thing can work, and something similar fails...

(((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((SPOILERS)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

I can see the comparison with Analogue, but I don't think Her Story fails in any way, and I also disagree with the premise of the article. Her Story not only has a story, it is actually two stories being told at once. The first story is the one where we and the player character watch the emotional journey of a mysterious woman through a series of interviews. Even though we can unlock the scenes in any order, the story we are watched still takes the same shape because it is only over the course of several hours that we really see her full emotional arc from a confused, naive, and mysterious woman to a guile, open and resigned one. The second story is shown in a non-chronological order, but consists of the actual course of events that begins with an unusual pregnancy and ends with a daughter exiting a police computer. All detective fiction works on this same premise, actually; the story we are uncovering in real time, and the past story we are trying to discover.

Both have beginnings, middles and ends. The clever part of Her Story's second story is that whilst you trawl through a police archive, you don't realise it is the end of the story till the end of that story, when you get up from the police computer. That's when you solve the final mystery and resolve the plot.

maninahat:

CrystalShadow:

...Same basic idea (search data for clues to piece together a mystery), slightly different framing, and suddenly it works surprisingly well.
But the AI really is key, even though from a gameplay perspective it's a trivial thing with little to no 'interactivity'.
(but then, show me an AI from a game that has decent interactivity when the only thing you're interested in is talking?)

Odd how one thing can work, and something similar fails...

Interesting. I suppose, not having played something doesn't give you much of a sense of what someone else is actually complaining about.

By the way, if that constitutes such a big spoiler, you could, you know. Use actual spoiler tags?
That's what they exist for, after all.

they look like this [spoiler="Description of spoiler"]Text you want in a spoiler[/spoiler]

 

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