Where is Everyone? > Gone Home gameplay

June 7, 1995 1:15AM: “…don’t go digging around trying to find out where I am. I don’t want Mom and Dad anyone to know…” – Sam

> Launch Game

Hello! I am starting off with Gone Home– an exploratory game. A link to side quest 3: Liveblogging Gone Home is provided here : https://eng101s20.davidmorgen.org/quests/side-quests/side-quest-3-liveblogging-gone-home/

> React to Game

The opening sequence started with a slow tempo; the deep bass echoing through my ear buds and the single female voice set an unsettling atmosphere. The deep bass and mix of silence as no one responds to her voicemail adds to that question of who is behind the receiver. In particular, the theme of darkness shown by a black screen gives that sense of blindness going into the game which hints at the audience to explore beyond what they are able to see at first. I was genuinely scared that this was a mystery/horror game after seeing the note from Sam.

DESIGN: Font style resembles type-writer font, sounds like rain are used, and the setting visually takes place in an old house in Oregon. The creators set the main character as a traveler through her audio message and her travel bags. I liked the small Belgium flag that shows her travels in Europe even the little tag detail showing the main character’s name. Close ties with family are shown through her message, and the note Sam left behind knowing Katie would be concerned.

Game mechanics: There are no instructions unless one explores and highlights all items that are potentially interactive. This adds to that mystery of the game. I certainly found the Christmas duck to be a cute and quirky hiding spot for the key when I wandered around. I am assuming there will be other puzzles closer to opening safes, doors, or even drawers at this point, because mystery games always have those mechanics. The directional perspective and lighting actually guides the player into the right direction (to notice things of importance), so the gameplay does not have a high learning curve. However, it is a bit disorienting. Audio is a definite form of characterization and story element in this game, which is certainly more engaging as it requires different attention compared to standard soundtrack and text.

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