Spoiler Alert: I’m absolutely going to ruin bits of the game in this post if you care about such things. All the spoilers are below the fold though.
I recently spent several hours playing through and thoroughly enjoying The Vanishing of Ethan Carter by The Astronauts. It’s a really interesting game to me because the designers are really trying to build on previous narrative games to explicitly improve storytelling in the medium. I’m going to attempt to take a critical look at the game trying to keep in mind the 4-Layers approach developed by Adrian Chimielarz of The Astronauts and Thomas Grip of Frictional Games. You can see Adrian Chimielarz speak about his approach to pushing storytelling in games in this presentation from the Digital Dragons conference this year. It’s super interesting and well worth taking the time to watch.