My heart comes undone

For some reason, I happen to rediscover the same pieces of content throughout the years. Websites, videos, images… They seem to hide in the depths only to sporadically return back to the surface, to expose themselves and make me smile. Perhaps it’s a sign I spend too much time online.

This is a video with Björk I’ve found at least twice, and I think you too should spend a few minutes with it. If you don’t like this, then I pity you. Not because you’re too dumb to understand how good it is or any such nonsene – no, only because you’re missing out on something wonderful.

Through the noise

Here’s another batch of interesting links that got through the noise of the tubes and wires.

The “Raiders” Story Conference
The blog The Mystery Man on Film gives us the highlights from a transcript of a creative meeting on the story of the first Indiana Jones movie. The participants are executive producer George Lucas, director Steven Spielberg and the script writer Lawrence Kasdan. It should be an interesting and fascinating read for anyone who works with story, inside or outside the film industry.

Color Theory for Cinematographers
This one is about color theory in film, but just like the last link it applies to games as well. It explains some basics about color theory, and shows how effects can be achieved by breaking traditions.

Battleship Island – Japan’s rotting metropolis
A fascinating journey to an abandoned and decaying japanese city island, which was once the most densely populated place on earth.

Where everything is right

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Warning: Serious Fable 2 spoilers.

I love Fable 2. It is perhaps a flawed game, but few games has given me such a sense of adventure, and even fewer games has made me care so much about one of its characters. From all the great moments in the game, this is the one that touched me the most.

In your quest to avenge the death of your sister, you ultimately die by the hands of her murderer. The world fades to black.

Fading back, you’re on a farm. You are once again a child, and your sister is with you. It doesn’t take long until you realize that the farm is your childhood’s home. It is a beautiful day, and your sister is happy. The day is spent playing around on the farm. Everything is right. Everyone is right.

Once the night comes, you both wake up from a mysterious sound down the road. It is intriguing, but if you decide to investigate rather than to go back to sleep, your sister tells you that it is dangerous and asks you to go back to sleep.

The next day is again a perfect day, best spent playing with your sister on the farm. But, again, as the night falls the sound returns. Again, she asks you to go back to sleep. Perhaps you don’t, perhaps you decide that you want to see what’s out there. If you do, she will follow you, ask you to go back inside, plead with you to stop. The closer you get to the gate leading to the forest, the more desperate she gets. And that’s when she says it.

“I don’t want to be alone again”.

She knows. You know. This is not your childhood. This is not life. But it’s a place where you can be together. And if you walk through that gate, you’ll leave her. She will be alone, again. You will lose her, again.

Despite her cries, you leave the farm, and continue the adventure as a grown man.

But this is not how it must be. Each night you could choose to go back to sleep. You could stay in that farm, and forever be with your sister, forever sharing that perfect day with her. Forget revenge, forget saving the world. The game could be left unplayed at that point, the player content knowing that they are together.

Yet, as more or less all players of the game (I assume), I went through the gate and never saw her again.

This section of Fable 2 has no focus on gameplay or mechanics. The point is not to fight or to gain points. No, the mechanics are now simply tools used to tell a powerful story, to provide the player with a choice filled with emotional impact.

Perhaps it could be argued that the choice is false, but maybe that’s part of the point. You have to let go to continue.