(re: An interesting discussion with Roberta)
If you”re a film buff, you”ve probably already seen Kurosawa”s legendary film Rashomon. The film takes the “puzzle” concept one step further, and sends it over the ledge, by introducing the concept that the narrators, or the sources of information in the film, aren”t reliable. A much more graphic, and some would say pedestrian, book and movie to utilize this concept is “American Psycho”.
A widely-acclaimed Nintendo Gamecube console adventure game was the first game I can remember that incorporates this concept directly into a game – the awkwardly-titled “Eternal Darkness – Sanity”s Requiem”. From Gamespot.com:
“The magic system is great, but probably the most interesting gameplay element in Eternal Darkness is the sanity meter and its accompanying effects. When hearing about the sanity aspect of the game, it”s easy to brush it off as a novelty, but nothing could be further from the truth. In the game, as you come across unsightly manifestations of evil, your character”s sanity meter will start to fall. As your meter begins to dwindle, you”ll be cued to the fact that your character is starting to lose his or her grip on reality when blood begins to run down the walls. However, this is just the precursor to the game”s incredibly inventive insanity effects. If your sanity meter hits rock bottom, your character will really start to lose it. Sometimes you”ll enter a room to find you”re walking on the ceiling, or you”ll be placed in a scenario that doesn”t seem quite right. But the sanity effects aren”t confined to affecting the character onscreen–they will also influence you. Without giving away too much, if some technical issues should arise while playing the game, don”t be too quick to take action…”
Was this ever a concept that was considered at Sierra – actually programming the game to mimic technical problems with the player”s computer? The possibilities, and potential lawsuits, boggle the mind!