The Importance Of Tension In Gone Home

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The house is ominous and dark, its night time and it’s raining outside, the player is alone, and there is a note on the door implying that something off-putting happened to Katie. The player is put in the creepy old deserted house with little context. The ambiance makes it seem like there is something off and disconcerting about this place. Gone Home elegantly makes the player’s mind start imagining all of the possibilities which will create eventually lead to higher positive tension and depth.

The perceived possibility in the player’s mind is expansive space at the beginning of Gone Home while the actual possibility space is rather linear. The player is forced to wander around in this creepy deserted home while picking up objects. Dialogue
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Expectations arise when the player discovers something and this creates tension. The primary engagement type in Gone Home is discovery. The game Gone Home rewards players with extra backstory and dialog. To those who enjoy discovering things or are just curious about the story will crave the next piece of information, which will create anticipation within the player’s mind. This will cause tension to grow because the player’s speculations will be confirmed or unconfirmed when the next piece information comes to them. The tension in this game is geared more towards the casual and normal audience. The stakes in Gone Home are not high and the there is no high tension.

There are many subtle cues in Gone Home. When the players’ reticle is placed on an object that could be picked up, it glows a little and then shaded with white lines. The walls that can be opened also start to slightly glow when the player looks at them. This allows the player to distinguish what they can interact with and what they can’t interact
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The player already knows that they can interact with objects. There is the book that the player can pick up, TVs that they can turn on or off and radios that can be used to the player music. These things allow the player to see how modern the family was and how they lived. This adds a lot more depth to the world that the player is put in. If the player can’t open a door, they instinctively know that they need a key in order to open the door and that there are keys hidden in the house. There is one part of the game that the player needed to find out what the code to a safe was in order to unlock it. The player already has the affordance that in real life, lock do exist and they need a code in order to be opened. The player just needs to find and use the code in order to open the door. This is something that game does not need to explain do to the fact that it is a common affordance and schema in real life.

Gone home in a very elegant game due to its depth vs complexity ratio. Gone home is not a complex game. All the player does I move and look around, and interact with objects. The controls are simple and intuitive. Anyone can use it with relative ease. There aren’t any rules in the game and the player can play at their own pace. There is a huge amount of perceived depth in the game due to the fact that the player is put in this house without any previous insight to what the

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