Berlin

Game 1

Play <———————– (Game Files) 

PLAY  EXEC VERSION HERE <——————–

Characters

Plot Thought

I began writing a story that featured the player trying to convince a brother who had converted to a hermit’s lifestyle to come and have lunch. Eventually this morphed into having the characters be East and West Berlin, which are acting as satellite states The West (the USA, France, the UK, etc) and the Soviet Union respectively.

 

West Berlin

west1

You play as West Berlin. West Berlin feels they are doing better than East Berlin and has visual evidence to back it up. West Berlin argues for nihilism as a means of defending himself against the arguments of East Berlin. West Berlin must convince East Berlin and everyone around him that West Berlin is superior to East Berlin, and hopes to reconcile the differences between them. This is analogous to the West trying to demonstrate that their capitalist society is better than the communist society by comparing and contrasting East and West Berlin during the Cold War. East Berliners understood this and would try to escape to the West.

East Berlin

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East Berlin is poorer than West Berlin and aspires to have certain attributes of his neighbor. When asked a questioned, he will always give an official answer rather than what he necessarily thinks. East Berlin has an existential crisis — theoretically, he lives in the ideal world but practically he sees that it has made his situation worse than West Berlin’s. He begins confused as to why he’s living the life he’s living and eventually will try to escape through the wall to join West Berlin.

About how I chose to portray the characters — I took images that were representative of East and West Berlin and cut holes in the walls so you could “see” one character. The emotion is projected through stance/position rather than facial features.

 

Game 2

Mainly for laughs, here’s the dropped-halfway-through version I was working on before. Includes some awkward cuts owing to interim scenes not being written and/or illustrated. My solemn advice is not to play it. Yaaaaaaay.

Play

5 comments

  1. Dan Sakamoto

    Really cool and poetic idea to personify the two sides of the wall as silhouetted hole-in-the-wall glimpses of the other side, and to have the characters actually commenting on each other’s physical appearance. I’m finding that no matter what choices I make in the dialogue, the story always reaches the same conclusion. I wonder if adding some ‘bad’ endings would help to convey how much of a struggle it was for the two cultures to see eye-to-eye.

  2. Gregory

    I really loved the characterization through silhouettes, it was a very understandable and natural aesthetic by which to personify the two cities. It was interesting to see a dialog between the two, but it seemed fairly linear, with only 3 choices that all quickly converge after diverging. As a minor note, the black on gray font for menus is slightly hard to read. Overall, I especially liked the poses of silhouettes and the concept!

  3. paolo

    Ah I was just in Berlin the other day! Really interesting concept and great visual characterization. Strong ending. I didn’t get to act out the arrogance of West Berlin you are referring to in the statement, all the choices seemed similar to me and some crucial points were not interactive.
    There is an inherent problem in portraying East Berlin as one character and the dialogue as an ideological confrontation about equality: the wall was built quite late in the Cold War mainly to prevent people from running away. The Eastern Block was ideologically bankrupt by then and the DDR collapsed due to the pressure from grassroots activists, leftist and environmentalists. I’d like to see this conflicting, schizophrenic ego in the East Berlin character. Maybe East would be more interesting to role-play: maintain the official facade or admit your flaws. Worth developing more.

  4. csmurphy

    I really enjoyed the visual storytelling here. The characters east and west are both made up of the cities they are confined to. They realize they have more in common than not, but still look different. When playing we read it aloud as a script, and it was very effective at giving the characters personality. I was particularly drawn to the one scene when they both charge each at the wall/eachother, and think that scene could be expanded. I’m a big fan of using history in narrative storytelling, and this was enough to pique my curiosity. I took a tour of the Berlin wall area once, and your game was a refresher to the ethos of the time.

  5. Sandra Kang

    I think this is one of the most completed games that I’ve played on this site. You seemed to know exactly what you were doing; you had a clear sense of direction. I liked the aesthetics of the game as well; the “double exposure-esque cutouts” were appealing and additionally gave meaning when you were talking about “the hole in the wall” that they were speaking through; they themselves were a hole, cutout. Empty in some ways, until they came together as a whole. I think your game was really poetic in that sense. And appropriately so.

    I’m interested in the personalities of the East and West Berlin. You seemed to make it very clear that they seemed almost opposites of each other, but I think that there is potential to make the game longer and have their characters fleshed out even more. My favorite part was when they were arguing about their own philosophies and debating. Great job!