Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Embedded Narrative Techniques within Deus Ex

Hello everyone!

Recently I have conducting research on Embedded Narrative and the repeating aspect of the New York Hell's Kitchen area within Deus Ex, released in 2000 by Ion Storm. It has been proving to be an insightful look into rewarding players willing to explore and read the material left around by explaining events in the world through multiple 'channels'.

For instance - when you first arrive in Hell's Kitchen from the subway, you are able to access a Public Access terminal that has a few articles and announcements about what's happening in the game world. The first entry talks about a chlorine leak poisoning the Hudson river and causing problems in one of the water purification plants.

Further on through the level - you may choose to investigate the sewer areas - after being provided a key and asked by a smuggler to go rescue a friend of his. If you choose to do so - you will discover a group of what appear to be private military individuals. One of the data pads simply state that they are there to covertly observe a warehouse in the area.

However once you do some more investigating - you discover that they set up base in one of the water purification plants - and have been administering chlorine into the water supply from the plant. 

Here we have simply one story that a player can discover and learn about. All these different approaches and channels funnel into delivering the information and story for the player to piece together as they explore the environment. The game also mentions places that the player will be going to later on [Brooklyn Shipyards] and also lays the foundation as to what, why and how what will happen was able to take place.

An insight that can be taken from Deus Ex's approach to relaying information about events is to take different approaches. What a player can learn about in a news paper article, you can then reinforce and provide further information in a e-mail. Piecing these specific pieces together provides both an interesting way for you to provide information about the game world, and what the player is seeing and experiencing!

Until next time,

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