• Announcements

    • khawk

      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
swiftcoder

Name for unusual narrative mode?

14 posts in this topic

What would you call a mode which includes a first person narrator, who addresses the main character in the second person, and both the narrator and the subject are clearly distinct from the audience?

 

(other than 'disturbing' - I appreciate that this is not a narrative mode to be taken lightly)

 

I swear I have read a book (or at least short story) written in this fashion, but I can't for the life of me put a name to that either.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Portal seems to fit this description. I'm interested to know what this would be considered.

I was struggling for examples, Portal is pretty close. Chell is a bit of a tricky one because as a silent protagonist with little backstory, I'm not sure how distinct a character she really is from the player for the majority of the game.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think that's any unusual term, just second person narrative.  If the narrator is talking in first person, they are explaining their own actions.  If they switch to second or third person, it just represents them as a separate character than the main who probably exists in the same world.  Take Bastion for example.  The narrator talks mostly about "The Kid" doing this and that, third person.  Then he occasionally delves into his own part in the story, first person.  Having the distinction just shows that the narrator is a real character in the story, rather than a disembodied voice for the reader/listener to take information from.

 

As second person narrative in general is very rare, I would say that Portal is your best example in a game.  GlaDOS speaks to "you" as Chell, not so much telling the story of what you're doing, but giving backstory and playing the part of a constantly present antagonist.  Though thinking about it, lots of first person shooters use this technique now, where different characters will radio in and talk to "you" about the world or things you've just done/are about to do.  Some other examples would be Borderlands or Half Life.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think that's any unusual term, just second person narrative.


Agreed. The player is the first person. Both the narrator and the player's character are second persons.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just a dialogue between two characters; calling the one who does most of the talking a "narrator" is a stretch, as a narrator is supposed to address the audience rather than other characters. Use of first and second person isn't very meaningful, as it's the natural pattern of any dialogue.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a dialogue between two characters; calling the one who does most of the talking a "narrator" is a stretch, as a narrator is supposed to address the audience rather than other characters.

 

So I perhaps haven't described it in completeness, and the portal example is misleading because video games don't have quite a traditional narrator.

 

In particular, the narrator is narrating in the traditional sense: directly describing the actions and emotions of the main character in the second person, while also describing their own actions/emotions in the first person. That's the bit that is confusing me - it's a first person narration or a 2nd person narrative, or some such...

 

For example:

You took the phone call, though you knew the risks as well as anyone. "It'll be all right" you said as the click of the phone receiver stretched into silence, but I knew that you were lying.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your example is exactly what would be described as a second-person narrative mode.

  • First person is from your perspective; I did this and that.
  • Second person is when you are told what is happening to you by another person or a narrator; You did this and that.
  • Third person is when you are told what is happening to someone else; He/She did this and that.

 

There are also different types of narrative voice (subjective, objective, omniscient, conscious, epistolary/fictional etc). Lastly, there's narrative tense which I suspect rather interestingly is more applicable to games than it is to literature - past, present, historic present or even future tense.

 

 

I'd describe Portal as using an unreliable second person narrative that uses historic present and future tense. These are all established terminologies, so you should be able to find plenty of reading material along these lines :)

Edited by ambershee
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First and for most, nearly every person who has responded to this post as only made the situation worse, lol.

 

First Person: "I"

Second Person: "You"

Third Person: "They"

 

That's viewpoint 101, lol

 

Secondly, The narrator. . . ? as in? the person who is describing the actions of the character? is the character the player? I'm confused, you should have used actually terminology to distinquish who is who, and what they do within the context of the story.

If the player's character resolves the problem of the game's story, they are the hero.

The main character, is the person involved intimately, as the one most described.

Frodo was the ringbearer, but WAS NOT THE MAIN CHARACTER. The MAIN CHARACTER was the ring itself.

Look, in Star Wars. . . Darth Vader was the main character, and Luke was the hero. It was about the evolution of Darth Vader as a character, while Luke resolved the conflict of the main character, which was the main character changing from good guy to bad guy. That was the whole story.

In this case, I'm going to quote game design: "if your story can't be described in one sentence, it's too complex."

 

Your example is exactly what would be described as a second-person narrative mode.

  • First person is from your perspective; I did this and that.
  • Second person is when you are told what is happening to you by another person or a narrator; You did this and that.
  • Third person is when you are told what is happening to someone else; He/She did this and that.

 

There are also different types of narrative voice (subjective, objective, omniscient, conscious, epistolary/fictional etc). Lastly, there's narrative tense which I suspect rather interestingly is more applicable to games than it is to literature - past, present, historic present or even future tense.

 

 

I'd describe Portal as using an unreliable second person narrative that uses historic present and future tense. These are all established terminologies, so you should be able to find plenty of reading material along these lines smile.png

See? someone has done their homework, lol. It's about definition and you didn't describe enough, to even remotely offer anyone a way of helping. A true narrative technique in't VIEWPOINT, it is when you arrange the way scenes are involved. i,.e. , Beginning with a flashback, is one example. This whole post, should just be destroyed lol

 

^^^ epistolary: when a letter describes a story.

omniescient, this is knowing what is happening at any given time in the plot,

sigma characters, describing more than one character and their emotions, while their emotions are not described when these characters are together.

subjective is when the main character is the only character whose emotions are described.

stream-of-consciousness, when the main character's thoughts describe the story as they happen in scene, i,.e a soliloqouy

And, I've never even heard of narrative tense, and I write literature for a living, lol

 

I think what you are trying to say, is episodic. When the story is told in methods using episodes, lol

I'm just going to write an article or something on the whole nature of writing a story, because this stuff is pretty basic lol

If you guys don't know this stuff, how on earth do you plan on writing an actualy story?????

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, why would you even write a narrator that converses to the main character in second person?

why are they seperated from the audience?

It's not even plausible to execute, if the narrator isn't involved in the game.

It's like Omniescient, the narrator is playing god.

Except in your version, it goes as follows:

 

"Main character, You are jumping up and down" <<<< what role does the narrator provide???? that's too distracting for a gamer to even both with, they are trying to play a game with an anonymous voice speaking to the main character, who I'm not sure is the player. .. if they are not the player, the entire premise won't work.

I mean, would you play a game where a random voice describes the actions of another character to that character, while your character is trying to get through a level? it makes no sense at all.

 

You shouldn't tell ANYTHING, you should show it< that's why it's a visual medium lol.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


You took the phone call, though you knew the risks as well as anyone. "It'll be all right" you said as the click of the phone receiver stretched into silence, but I knew that you were lying.

 

I'm not going to bash on you. . . but, why would a character stop in their life and say this? it sounds to me like you need to work out your charaterization better.

A character, wouldn't say this , "as the click of the phone reciever stretched into silence" that's too verbose, lol it WOULD work as,

"You took the phone call, although you knew the risks as well anyone. 'It'll be alright' you said, but I knew you were lying." and that's more of a dialogue exchange, in which the other character, who the dialogue is directed to doesn't respond. LOLOLOL

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not even plausible to execute, if the narrator isn't involved in the game.

I probably should have clarified that I didn't have a game in mind when I asked the question. It's a literary construct, which as you say, probably doesn't translate well to a game.

 

(actually, had you read my initial post, I think it is fairly clear that this was asked in the context of a short story)

Edited by swiftcoder
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did read it, I'm trying to help clarify the issue, bc ^^^ nobody else has even tried to help, they just lobbied with you that it was weird. I write short stories, send them off, get paid. So, I can offer you help. . .

The problem is your characterization, and the usage of the wrong terms to describe things. lol

I'm really not trying to bash, but the ignorance of story design is seriously offensive to me, lol

But, in terms of a short story. . . I would need more information, nothing as far as specifics of things, just generalities.

How long is the story? is the story based on problem/resolution, linear?, mystery/revelation? I just don't understand why you would try a viewpoint like this? lol

 

Is this for a short story market?

P.s, lol sorry about being a douche in respect of the game part. . . I must've misread that bit.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you need any help with something like this, please. . . Come to me, and  dont attempt the forums. Lol obviously, nobody else could offer concrete advice.  By the way, dont post your story ANYWHERE. No not bc of idea theives, but bc of reasons pertaining to the literary market. Your material would be considered previously published, and if you sent it to a publisher on the premise that it hadnt been published before, and they handle stories that are original stories only, should they discover otherwise and accept your story, it could turn out bad. . . 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I swear I have read a book (or at least short story) written in this fashion, but I can't for the life of me put a name to that either.

Reminds me of [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Song_of_Stone"]A Song of Stone[/url] by Iain Banks. The male narrator sometimes describes what is happening to him directly, but also talks to the reader, you, (his female lover).

 

An odd read.

Edited by rip-off
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0