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<  The Path - discussion  ~  How to enjoy The Path? Please share tips

Posted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 11:52 am Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 22 Apr 2008 Posts: 305 Location: Gent, Belgium
Playing The Path is a very moving and enjoyable experience to many. But others just get bored and cannot detect any point or find any joy in it. We tend to dismiss this issue by accepting that The Path is not for everyone. But maybe that's too simple.

This is the start of a blog post we want to make soon.

We want to collect a bunch of tips for people who don't "get" The Path. Because we've noticed that the difference between enjoying it and not is often simply a difference in attitude and expectations. And we think that some people, if informed of this beforehand, may actually enjoy the game more. Many players discover the right atitude on their own, but I'd like to collect some tips for people who don't have the patience or who are more resistant, less forgiving, etc.

Question So please share your tips for these people in this thread!

If you have enjoyed playing The Path, try and figure out what the conditions of this joy were. How did you play? What gave you pleasure? No vague philosophical pondering this time, but simple concrete observations and recommendations.


We may quote you in our post. So watch your spelling! Wink

Quotes from other forums, blogs, etc are welcome too! (just mention the author and the source properly)
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Posted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 12:24 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 11 Jun 2009 Posts: 21 Location: Canada
Behind the game comes, Red Riding Hood,

I guess before playing the game, you would have to have certain expectation of your own knowledge of the game; aka, your own research on the game, whether it is from forums, game reviews, Auriea and Michael, or even friends maybe, you just have to get enough to understand and suck yourself into the world contemporary graphic literacy.

There're so much to interpret from this game, it is more than you average walk-straight-towards-the-quest game, it isn't hack-n'-slash, it isn't shoot-them-up, e.g. the point of not having death/re-spawning in this game, or even some sort of advancement program (Experience points,etc), is to get the users to understand the idea of the game. This game is beyond and something new.

I know that sometimes, you might get bored when you played this and think of "why didn't they do...", because. This is more like reading a book, than playing games on a mobile phone; this gets you to think while you play. ( I mean well, most of the times you could always try google and Tale-of-Tales forums )

Surely some people might not play this game, cause its not their cup of tea. But I mean, does trying ever hurt? The whole process of me getting hooked with this game was: accidentally stumbling on game reviews/website, then I start to get to know the game, then I downloaded the demo and tried that, then I asked my friend to give me a copy, (if you don't have a friend, use torrents, but that's almost 100% unsuccessful, but its the closest thing to a REAL demo), then cause ... you know it didn't work as well as the full version, I bought it, played it, and ... well its like playing WoW and CS, except all the action is indirect.

Ok, you still don't believe me, try playing "American Mcgee's Alice" first, or at least read a couple of childhood storybooks. Hell, comic book might work fine as well, as long as its there. I would be so surprised if there're more people who likes to stick to the old and unchanging rule of (gaming) society, than there're of those who likes new, changeling and evolutionary changes (games) expanding everyday in different game engines( PS3, XBOX, Wii, etc).

So, yes, get stuffed, and play the game.

Have a nice day,
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Posted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 4:38 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 14 May 2009 Posts: 32 Location: Eindhoven, Netherlands.
I downloaded the Path from Steam, and by playing it, I was blown away by the beautiful graphical details, the way it's drawn and the effects in this game that often makes you feel you're watching an interactive old movie.

The fact that you can discover more and more every single time you play, made me even think of the game while I was in bed ready to sleep. I kept on wondering what would have happened, or what I could have found, if I had gone a different direction.

The characters all have their own behavior and instinct. You keep on thinking what would happen if you go a certain direction with a differed girl. In any case.. I can't stop thinking about it.

For example.. A few weeks ago, I visited my boyfriend in Germany for the first time, and we walked through some amazing forests close to his home. Walking on that path through the forests, we stumbled across some old ruins of what used to be an observation hut of some kind. The small creatures and lizards were hiding under the broken floors and walls. Somehow, I really thought of the Path again, seeing this.
The feeling of walking through nature, discovering things both beautiful and dangerous, is a feeling I'll always remember.
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Posted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 6:12 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 17 Feb 2008 Posts: 502 Location: In UR Brainz, bee'n a deerz
My best guide to entertainment would be as follows:

#1: Read all the information presented; the manual and the character livejournals, specifically. The manual keeps you from falling in the "follow the instructions" trap-thingee, at least if you don't want to just see what happens, and the livejournals further flesh out the girls, which to me was a major part of the "purpose" of the gameplay itself. This and other things will also give you a good idea of what you're getting into, so you don't enter the game with expectations that could be dissapointed.

#2: Don't stress over doing the game "right," or getting "100%." I mean, if that's what you like, and you find joy in the process of getting everything possible, go right ahead. But you don't have to. Take as much or as little of the game as you want, and don't worry about what's right and what's wrong. This game can be as short or as long, as detailed or vague, as you decide it should be.

#3: Think. This tip is much more "philosophical" than the others, but it remains important. This game is, in large part, about exploration: of the characters, of their situations and fates, and of the forest. But, I think for full entertainment, "exploration" doesn't just mean "move the character around the enviroment." It means learning things about the world these characters live in, both the external and internal. And learning means questioning, and seeking answers, and speculating, and coming up with ideas. Don't just press buttons like a mouse in a lab; participate by thinking and, in many cases more importantly, feeling.

I'll play again and see if I can think of any more tips. #3 strikes me as the one most people who don't like it may overlook.
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Posted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 8:03 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 23 Sep 2007 Posts: 612
A short tip I'd like to throw in:

Allow yourself to fall into a state of suspended disbelief.

I tried to show The Path to a friend of mine -er, I did show it to her- but she was insistent on trying to view it literally. She got stuck in a rut as to why, after a girl disappeared, the mother kept sending them out one by one. I've known her since we were toddlers, so I think I know her well enough to know she could appreciate The Path. But she became so entrenched in that viewpoint to begin with that I think she blocked herself from the experience. Sad
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Posted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 8:54 am Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
I always say "give in" and "let go". But that's too vague for many people.

One thing I thought of was to tell them to carefully observe their avatar, to try and imagine what she's thinking. And to think of playing as a collaborative activity between you and the avatar.
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Posted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 4:40 am Reply with quote
Joined: 28 Mar 2009 Posts: 45
1) Games are about recognizing and interacting with meaningful patterns. In fact, most art is like this, if not all. The difficult part of, "The Path" is that the pattern you are looking for is much, much more abstract then in other games. Not only is there no points, but even completion of the story, and discovering the optimal pattern to reach the end of the story, isn't exactly the end result that is most meaningful. And, there's no natural progression to improve your characters with, and reward and reinforce your gaming behavior. Approach this game understanding that all the traditional re-enforcement do not apply here, and this might leave the game feeling empty at first. Instead, the point is to piece together the thoughts, motivations, attitudes and perspective of the individual girls. You have to be the driving force.

2) Appreciate the dressing. The music is haunting. The characters are distinctive. The visuals are beautiful. With less emphasis on game play, more emphasis is placed on appearance and atmosphere. Raw, graphics powerhouse realism is not present, so you have to appreciate the style.
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Posted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 8:50 am Reply with quote
Joined: 11 Jun 2009 Posts: 21 Location: Canada
well, c, i think Michael has a point. Its just that people aren't ready to break through that web of their own, formed from reviews and critics twisting in words to confuse players.

Websites use screenshots of bright flashes and weary colors to get players sucked in, so they are mis-guided towards an age of gameplay where most of it is contrrolled by big games like Warcraft, WoW, Counterstrike, Unreal Tornament, etc. Games that are crude in the underlying of idea and was not made for consumption of time and mind.

People cannot see past this game to the artistic level where it in-corporate literacy.
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Posted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 9:24 am Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
But I think they can, Tower43! At least some of them. Maybe even many.

Gamers are generally of above average intelligence. I think the problem with The Path is that they are looking for joy in all the wrong places. But if we can express to them in straightforward terms how to do it, I'm certain that many will get it.

See, for those of us who do enjoy The Path tremendously, this stuff comes so natural that we may not realize exactly how we do it. So let's all have a good look at ourselves and analyze our own attitude. Don't judge what others are doing wrong, but try to understand and express what you are doing right. And let's share that!
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Posted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 2:57 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 11 Jun 2009 Posts: 21 Location: Canada
Ya, I guess, but not only at ourselves, but I think, ourselves and them too, just to equal it out,

and most of all I just don't want this wonderful game to turn into something below peoples' expectation, or have anyone ruin them =O
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Posted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 1:50 am Reply with quote
Joined: 21 Apr 2009 Posts: 320
When I first dived into The Path, I did just that. I had been to the site, explored the tidbits and hints about each girl and so I already had the spirit of exploration and curiosity awakened.

Bottom line; Don't start playing expecting to play a video game!

The Path breaks most of the 'unwritten laws' of gaming;
-You don't NEED to collect every item.
-Getting where your going isn't everything.
-Death is not the end.
-The 'bad guys' can be avoided, but you'll be missing out.

I could go on and on, but don't think this is a negative review. What makes The Path so mold-breaking is that it challenges these rules, casts them down and says "No, there can be more to this than gold rings and princesses in castles!"
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Posted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 7:57 am Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
Good point. I have indeed seen people change their opinion of The Path when they realized they should not approach it as a traditional game. They often come to this conclusion on their own.
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Posted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:09 am Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
We've made the post. Please add any other tips to the comments.
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Posted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 6:09 am Reply with quote
Joined: 29 Jul 2009 Posts: 1
So I'm afraid I probably won't be able to give any good advice, but here goes.

I got The Path completely randomly. Steam had an Indie Games sale, and I'm a big fan of indie games. I find they're generally higher quality. In addition, I really like more artsy, abstract stuff *when I get it*, and for $10 I gave it a try.

I say this because above it was suggested that one read everything on the internet about this game before playing it. I'm trying to say that I jumped straight in and thoroughly enjoyed it.

I think the two biggest points for my enjoyment are:

1) It just resonated with me. I can't really explain why. It just does. I think it's a beautiful game, the music and visuals go together perfectly, they create the greatest haunting atmosphere. I think there are some obvious technical and interface issues (the most obvious being the camera angle going top-down when running so you can't see in front of you) but I think the overall high quality of this game MORE than makes up for it.

2) I completely agree with Michael that peoples' expectations will severely colour their experience. This isn't really a game per se; I don't know how I'd explain it. The closest thing I can call it is an "Interactive Experience". The fundamental difference between this and typical games is that, while the journey is entertaining, in general, games have a goal, and acheiving the goal is the fun. In this, the fun is simply the experience. In this game, you don't have to *do* anything. You just have to *be*
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Posted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 5:22 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 12 Aug 2009 Posts: 21
This is what I told my teenaged nephew who is into mostly action/FPS games:

Treat The Path as a movie. Watching a movie, you don't control characters, but you spend some time with them to get to know them. The only goal in The Path is to get to Grandma's House...and doing so is akin to watching the beginning of a movie then fastforwarding to the end...
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