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Casual Playthrough #6 – Drawn: The Painted Tower

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TimovieMan - 08 February 2015 03:41 PM

Storywise it’s wafer thin, though, basically amounting to just “work your way up the tower”. The lay-out of the tower is also somewhat confusing, but since “up” is the only thing of relevance, it’s not bothering me.

I see the game is from 2009. Does that mean it’s one of the very first casuals to completely deviate from HO scenes???

Second question first. I’m not sure it was the first, but it was one of the first. But I think calling this game HO-free does it a serious disservice.

Which brings us to the first question regarding the wafer-thin story. Again, a good point of debate when we finish the first of three. Sefir thinks the story is told in the paintings. Some, yes. But not much. I think the game’s story is told in the letters. I wish there was a compendium of the letters so that we could read them all as we proceed through the game.

I think what you are having a problem with is that the Story is all backstory. In regular adventure games, and just about any casual “story” I can think of, the story is in the future. In this game the story is not getting the protagonist, you, “up”. It’s what got Iris “up” to the top of the tower in the first place. The story is the story of Iris, not the story of you.

So I think your interpretation of “story” is wrong. At least as it applies to this game. And it will do the same for the second and third installments as well. In that way this is also a ground-breaking game. It doesn’t use the trite flashback cutscene to create a backstory. It uses something much more subtle.

     

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https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AohuMgk8BGFTdExjM2s4eGdJRGZmcWJxMUNoUTlMZVE#gid=0

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I’ve reached the hall of giants and will wait for the next part.  The whole clock tower section is great fun.  I especially like the vendors and putting the knight’s story in the right sequence.  My least favorite was the spider puzzle.  Still, I worked my way through everything without any hints.

     

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rtrooney - 08 February 2015 08:41 PM

Sefir thinks the story is told in the paintings. Some, yes. But not much. I think the game’s story is told in the letters. I wish there was a compendium of the letters so that we could read them all as we proceed through the game.

I think what you are having a problem with is that the Story is all backstory. In regular adventure games, and just about any casual “story” I can think of, the story is in the future. In this game the story is not getting the protagonist, you, “up”. It’s what got Iris “up” to the top of the tower in the first place. The story is the story of Iris, not the story of you.

Sefir thinks that way because (being a leader), he needs to be one step ahead of you!
Wait until you solve your first painting in the next chapter! Tongue

     
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Regarding the story, then I agree with Tim that it is mainly being told through the letters. The paintings is a nice touch and are very well done, but at least so far I haven’t found any narrative in them beyond, this is something Iris created and she enjoyed spending time in them, escaping from the real world?

The story is also like Tim said, not about us, who we are, why we are here or what kind of obstacles we have to overcome to get to the top and save Iris. It is about why Iris is trapped in the tower in the first place, who the villain is and what he/she/it is hoping to accomplish by trapping Iris. At least that is the story I’m curious about discovering.

It is similar to a good detective story. The best are never about the detective or how brilliant they deduce who the killer is, but it is about uncovering the events that made the murder inevitably. Not who did it, but why they did it. Whether this game can live up to that, or we will just end with some 2-dimesional villain who trapped Iris because he/she/it is evil, remains to be seen, but at least it has made me curious.

And of course, now I regret that I didn’t take a screenshot of all the letters, so I could reread them all later, but instead has to rely on my failing memory.

     

You have to play the game, to find out why you are playing the game! - eXistenZ

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Iznogood - 09 February 2015 09:42 AM

Regarding the story, then I agree with Tim that it is mainly being told through the letters. The paintings is a nice touch and a very well done, but it least so far I haven’t found any narrative in them beyond, this is something Iris created and she enjoyed spending time in them, escaping from the real world?

Read above.  Wink

     
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Sefir - 09 February 2015 09:47 AM
Iznogood - 09 February 2015 09:42 AM

Regarding the story, then I agree with Tim that it is mainly being told through the letters. The paintings is a nice touch and are very well done, but at least so far I haven’t found any narrative in them beyond, this is something Iris created and she enjoyed spending time in them, escaping from the real world?

Read above.  Wink

Read the highlight Tongue

     

You have to play the game, to find out why you are playing the game! - eXistenZ

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rtrooney - 08 February 2015 08:41 PM

But I think calling this game HO-free does it a serious disservice.

That’s why I said it “deviates from” HOs. Collecting those pieces of glass is imo a HO scene that’s spread over multiple screens, a bit like that cloth-collecting in the subway in Angelica Weaver.
I prefer those to regular HO scenes, btw. At least in this type, you need every item you find instead of just one or two out of twenty…

I think what you are having a problem with is that the Story is all backstory.

That’s not it as I don’t have a problem with that. I realize there’s the letters, and there’s the talk in the paintings, and that those constitute the backstory. It’s just that there’s still not much to go on at the moment. Everything is still spelling “Rapunzel in her tower, except with magical drawing skills instead of magical hair” to me, no matter what those letters state.
Maybe that’ll improve as we find more letters, visit more paintings, and see more of this “evil magic” that’s chasing Iris, but for now I just plain feel that the story is really thin…

     

Last played: Oknytt (CPT) - 2.5/5 | Horizon: Zero Dawn - 4/5 | Marvel’s Spider-Man - 4.5/5 | Freddi Fish 3: The Case of the Stolen Conch Shell - 3/5 | There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension (CPT) - 4/5 | There Is No Game (replay) - 4/5 | Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars (replay) - 3/5 | Lighthouse: The Dark Being (CPT) - 2.5/5 | Anna’s Quest (CPT) - 4.5/5 | Simon the Sorcerer II: The Lion, the Wizard and the Wardrobe - 4/5 | Florence - 4/5 | Alice Trapped in Wonderland - 1/5 | The Hunt for the Lost Ship - 1.5/5 | The Talos Principle - 4/5 | Tex Murphy: Martian Memorandum - 3/5 | Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc - 3/5 | Simon the Sorcerer (replay) - 4/5 | Portal 2 - 4/5 | Murder By Numbers - 3.5/5 | Heavy Rain - 3.5/5 | Disco Elysium - 4.5/5

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I played the first part in one sitting - didn’t clock it though. The only difficulty I encountered was making the potion. First I read it having 5 ingredients and because of that misconception I got the order wrong even after I figured it was only 4. But I didn’t need to resolve to any hints or walkthroughs. I don’t think I did in the first time through either, I think the game quite average on difficulty, maybe even easy, considering there isn’t much room to get stuck.

Anyway what I like most about Drawn is how the world is constructed so that the adventure and casual gameplay suits it perfectly. Everything you do in the game is very logical in the ingame setting. That is very inventive of the creators and that’s one of the reason the puzzles don’t really feel frustrating even when you don’t immediately figure them out. (Also the spider was icky but the puzzle itself was fine.)

Because of the seamless world I don’t really feel “a lack of story”. And like others said this is also about uncovering things while progressing instead of actually playing ‘a plot’. Honestly I don’t remember what is waiting me in the end even though it’s not that long from my first playthrough.

     

Currently playing: Keepsake (CPT), Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning
Recently played: Cats Organized Neatly, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Night Call, Call of the Sea, Donut County, Haven, Oknytt (CPT), Astrologaster, Observation, Carto, GreedFall
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Iznogood - 09 February 2015 09:52 AM

Read the highlight Tongue

Sefir is correct about one thing. My memory may prove me wrong, but I’m going to go for it anyway. The first painting puzzle you play in the Hall of Giants contains some detailed backstory about Iris and Frederick and is narrated by Frederick. This is the only painting where that happens. So, with one exception, the letters tell all.

Side note: This is the second Frederick/Froderick sidekick we’ve had. I’ve not made much use of Frederick’s hints. I’m curious how specific he gets by the time he gives the third hint.

Regarding Iz’s comments about taking screenshots of the letters, it’s strange that there isn’t some kind of Journal function that would keep track of what the letters say. That’s common in casuals as well as in many adventures. Although this is not a typical game.

     

For whom the games toll,
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Casual Game Developer List
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rtrooney - 09 February 2015 06:30 PM

I’ve not made much use of Frederick’s hints. I’m curious how specific he gets by the time he gives the third hint.

I have used the hints a couple of times, and mostly I didn’t find them very helpful at all.
One time was when I couldn’t find one of the glass shards, but instead of pointing me in the right direction, it basically just told me that I had to find them. The hints for the puzzles/minigames seems to be a bit more helpful and actually helped me understand the objective of a puzzle, but I only used the 1st level hint there, so I don’t know how specific it gets at 3rd level.

TimovieMan - 09 February 2015 03:55 PM

Maybe that’ll improve as we find more letters, visit more paintings, and see more of this “evil magic” that’s chasing Iris, but for now I just plain feel that the story is really thin…

It’s true that we haven’t really uncovered much story yet, but hopefully there will be more later in the game.

     

You have to play the game, to find out why you are playing the game! - eXistenZ

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rtrooney - 09 February 2015 06:30 PM

I’ve not made much use of Frederick’s hints. I’m curious how specific he gets by the time he gives the third hint.

I used it a couple of times in order to see how it goes. In the third hint he actually gives you the exact solution (like the exact steps needed to complete a puzzle, or what you need next to proceed and where you will find it).

     
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I hope tomorrow is the day you tell us to play to the end. Anxious is an understatement.

     

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they toll for thee.

Casual Game Developer List
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AohuMgk8BGFTdExjM2s4eGdJRGZmcWJxMUNoUTlMZVE#gid=0

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rtrooney - 10 February 2015 09:30 PM

I hope tomorrow is the day you tell us to play to the end. Anxious is an understatement.

Yes. We will finish and discuss the game as much as we like, for as long as we like (2 weeks max). Then Lady K will open her thread whenever she feels ready.

More info about the 2nd part coming tomorrow. Wink

     
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I skipped the “eyes” puzzle. I skipped it the first time I played too. That type of puzzle simply doesn’t appeal to me. For people who didn’t skip it, did you write down what happened when clicking on every single eyeball? Or is there an easier way?

I think what we are exploring storywise is partly Iris’ background, through the notes that have been left. But also we have been exploring the mystery of her powers. How has she created this amazing place? What else is she capable of? Is she a danger to others? She seems very good at making allies. Who would be foolish enough to be her enemy?

Someone who must know a lot more than we do. Everyone is so hardworking. This fellow seems to work night and day. I wonder why the only people we talk to are older. You’d think Iris would want playmates. I don’t remember if that changes as the game progresses.

     
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Becky - 11 February 2015 12:18 PM

I skipped the “eyes” puzzle. I skipped it the first time I played too. That type of puzzle simply doesn’t appeal to me. For people who didn’t skip it, did you write down what happened when clicking on every single eyeball? Or is there an easier way?

Someone who must know a lot more than we do. Everyone is so hardworking. This fellow seems to work night and day. I wonder why the only people we talk to are older. You’d think Iris would want playmates. I don’t remember if that changes as the game progresses.

I just sketched out the eyes on a piece of paper and started clicking. Click on every eye until one stays lit. When you click on the next eye, if it isn’t in the right sequence both eyes will go dark. Just keep doing it over and over until the correct sequence of eyes are all lit. It’s a tedious puzzle, but easily solvable by process of elimination. Similar to the underwater keypad puzzle in Phantasmat.

About the older people, I think the question will be partly answered when we start the second half of the game. I think it’s quite possible that Iris has never known any other children. So she has no frame of reference. If the only person she has known is Frederick, it’s logical that the characters she creates would be about his age.

     

For whom the games toll,
they toll for thee.

Casual Game Developer List
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AohuMgk8BGFTdExjM2s4eGdJRGZmcWJxMUNoUTlMZVE#gid=0

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