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September 24, 2019
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Responses to The Interactive Montage

by Reid Kimball on 05/20/09 03:00:00 pm   Expert Blogs

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The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
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Lots of great discussion was spawned after I published my article on the idea of using interactive montages in games to help with the passage of time. Ideally, it reduces the amount of repetitive gameplay and speeds up the narrative. I wanted to highlight a couple of the responses.

Kumar wrote a blog post
, expanding on the idea and thought of a character generation system for an RPG using a series of Wario Ware style mini-games. Players begin creating their character during an interactive montage while at a young age by choosing a favorite toy.

This toy might indicate their gender and personality type. As they grow older they make more important decisions related to clothing style, school subjects and extracurricular activities.

Kumar suggests after a finished interactive montage, a summary can be given of the results of each mini-game on the player’s character skills and stats. While we both thought it presented some tricky problems to solve, we agreed it would be more fun than traditional character creation methods in games.

The other response was done by the blog and podcast production called Experience Points. Jorge and Scott had a really interesting discussion about which games, such as BioShock, Far Cry 2, Fallout 3 and Majora's Mask might benefit from using interactive montages.

They also talked about differences in how games handle the passage of time throughout the normal play and whether or not time impacts gameplay. Having not played Far Cry 2, it was interesting to hear that it has day and night cycles and at night you might happen upon an enemy who is sleeping, but that is pretty much the only difference. He can easily wake up and start attacking you as if it were daylight.

Thanks for the responses everyone. It's clear to me that this concept can have many applications in games:

  • Show time passing
  • Show character growth over time
  • A metaphor for player actions

The last one can be like what we see in the movie, The Godfather. There's a famous scene at the end known as Baptism and Murder.

It serves to equate the character Michael being baptised into the life of crime. An interactive sequence like this could make for gameplay sequences that carry more emotional weight than typically conveyed.

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