Week 6 – The Player Experience: Story Development

Story development in videogames has advanced through the years from starting off as simple linear stories of which the story is told through the scenario to stories that are effected by the player’s actions. The actions the player must make are usually representations of what the player would do in that situation which really helps immerse the player within the story because it acts like it’s not just the game character’s story but also the player’s story.

I have been tasked with looking at a part/s of a game that I’ve played that made me feel emotion. The game I have chosen to look at is ‘Valiant Hearts: The Great War’. I’ve talked about this game a few times before because it’s a game that has stuck with me due to it’s art style, story telling and how it made me feel. *MASSIVE SPOILERS BELOW*

The first part I’ve decided to look at is the level were you have to save Karl after he’s been exposed to poison gas.  Watch video below from 4:20 to 8:00.

This part made me feel a multitude of emotions, I was scared, I was panicked yet I was hopeful and the end I was relieved and happy. The reason I was scared and panicked was due to the fact that he was exposed to gas because he took off his mask in order to save his wife and child so I was scared that I may not be able to save him in time (Which also made me panic) and that he may die and never be able to see his family again, he would never know if he succeeded or not, the thought that he’d never know if his sacrifice saved them or not genuinely terrified me and made me feel upset, and that’s why at the end when I had managed to save him I was actually quite relieved and happy to know that he could be his family again after everything he’s been through…

Yet those feelings were short lived as the scene that followed was horrible and was just depressing and actually made me think and feel awful afterwards. The second scene I’ve chosen is the ending where you walk to your death and can’t stop it.

This was a truly emotional experience for me because I loved playing the game, I loved the characters, reading their diaries and watching as they progress with their lives through the war. And in the game the player spend the most time with or as Emile (the guy in the scene) so I really did learn to love that character and it’s terrible at the end because he never wanted this, he was forced into the war and he never meant to kill the officer (which is worse because the officer deserved it, he was sending people to their deaths). What makes it even worse is that he sees all the people who he’s become attached to at the end but only one of them he actually gets to see and the worst part about it all, he doesn’t even know Karl is alive, as far as he’s aware Karl is dead which helped make it a truly depressing experience and to top it off the game reminds you that despite this just being a game, the experiences are real, that this is what the war was like which reminded me that the story is based of the letters sent by soldiers in the war, and that made the entire experience much worse but it also reminds the player that they didn’t die for nothing and it kind of motivated me to remember to make my life worth it while I still can.

This is why the game has stuck with me since I finished it, it reminds me that it’s okay to be upset and that life isn’t the best but it could be worse and that I should do my best to enjoy it,  make it worthwhile and to cherish what I’ve got and to not be afraid of sacrificing things for others even if I don’t have a choice about it.



i.ytimg.com, (2014), War makes men mad [ONLINE]. Available at: https://i.ytimg.com/vi/yN-1Eh3ksVA/maxresdefault.jpg [Accessed 11 November 15].

Video 1:

Gamer Max Channel. (2014). Valiant Hearts: The Great War – Ending Walkthrough Gameplay Let’s Play Part 10 No Commentary . [Online Video]. 03 July. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87vtTQiEdFY&list=PLS2y7ym4sgp-M0RVe9VB0eBXiRHpwruiy&index=6. [Accessed: 11 November 2015].

Video 2:

Edward Hiller. (2014). Valiant Hearts Ending: War Makes Men Mad. [Online Video]. 06 August. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anKqBK_Rxss. [Accessed: 11 November 2015].


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