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Ketchaval

Making warm, tender, heartfelt games?

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Ketchaval    186
The opposite to "Making bleak, tragic games" thread, how do we go about making heart-warming games, that emanate warmth and affection? I'd much rather play a tender, upbeat, loving game than a "bleak, tragic" one. I'd love to see more games that just make you smile every time you play them, where entering it is like meeting old friends, like going to a place where everybody knows your name.

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AgentC    2352
I've already mentioned it elsewhere, but Kirby's Dreamland 3 (SNES) is fairly unbeatable to me in this respect. Let's see what it has:

- Abstract animal/blob characters, who respond emotionally to your actions (for example, there are screens where you can choose which animal friend to take with you. The one you choose gets excited/joyous, while the rest look sad or annoyed.)

- In addition to clearing each level, you've got to perform various good deeds (like reuniting each animal friend with his/her mate) to get "heart stars" needed for 100% completion and entering the final level. These tasks don't feel annoying, artificial or preachy but rather seem to fit the theme of each level (though some are fairly obscure)

- Because the characters don't try to be human, you don't look for flaws in their behaviour and it's easier to feel connected with them, the same thing as with the mimigas & battle robots in Cave Story

- Lovely "dreamy" atmosphere created by the graphics & music. The rest of the Kirby games are very good in this also, but KDL3 stands out to me because of the emotional aspect.

Actually now that I think of it, I have absolutely no idea how to make a warm game with usual strive-for-realism 3D graphics & characters :) Maybe HL2 has plenty of warmness in the family scenes, but those aren't interactive and require meticulous animation/scripting - the illusion is very easy to break.

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WeirdoFu    205
Ico probably falls into this category in a strange way, but the little subtleties just jump out at you at times. Its one of those games where body language tells more about the characters and their relationships than dialogue. Not to mention the blurry, slightly out of focus, dreamy ambience is unbeatable.

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