Gris Liveblog

Screenshot taken from in game

I’ve played pass the “red stage” of the game so far and have been greatly enjoying it. Gris, while being similar to a 2D side scrolling plat-former, differs in having 3D aspects of games such as needing to turn around to progress or having scenes with staircases on a different z plane than the original pathway.

If I hadn’t been told prior to playing the game that this game was related to the Kübler-Ross model of the five stages of grief, I would not have found the connection through my first run. However, once aware, it’s quite clear with the different stages, mechanics, and background music choice as the game progresses.

I will use the first colored stage as an example of how this is shown. First the whole background changes to red. This color often relates to extreme or strong emotions, such as excitement or anger. Aside from the visual, the gameplay and sound aspects also connect to this more extreme emotion. The level is filled with high winds that prevents the player from moving in places without cover, and the new ability of turning in to a block allows players to go against that wind or destroy obstacles violently.

Brady’s Liveblog of Gris

Denial: Minutes 1-5

As I started to play through Gris, I had a minimal idea of the objective and meanings behind all the colors. Gris is a beautiful 2D side-scrolling platformer; the art style and soundtrack are pleasant stimulation as I play. I found out that I need to collect spheres of light that followed me (Gris) around as I explore the map. The beginning sequence showed Gris’s main character, having her world crumbling around her, and all the colors faded to white. I was left to walk onward slowly with the character’s head looking downward.

Anger: Minutes 5-45

Once Gris stumbled across the hand, she was standing on; she had an outburst with caused the color pallet of the game to swap from white and black to mainly red. The world became a desert with reoccurring sandstorms of Gris’s anger overwhelming me and throwing me back. The only option for me to move forward (to the right) was to hide from the storms of anger, or make myself heavy and slowly pushing my way through it. This stage was relatively easy and was my least favorite to play through. At this point, I had a tiny idea of what was going on, but I enjoyed the little puzzles. I noticed that when I needed to reach for the light, I had to crush a rock that had a creature inside. Upon destroying the rock, the animal ran away from me; Gris’s anger hurt someone else. When I found the hand again, the primary color changed to green.

Bargaining: Minutes 46-90

At this stage of the game, I began to fall in love with it. Walking left through the forest, I made a friend. Mini-Me liked apples; therefore, I fed him apples (obviously). This stage showcased mainly green with hints of red, demonstrating bargaining with leftover anger. The location was filled with climbing changing trees that either changed on their own or when I jumped. Upon completing the side stage and returning towards the core, I was met with an ability to glide. This allowed me to trek upward and have a run-in with the darkness I let escape when I fell into the white room. Making it to the stop, I had another run-in with the hand, which changed the primary color to blue, where Gris was depressed, an overwhelming feeling.

Depression: Minutes 91-145

Playing through this stage was probably the most enjoyable. It featured an overwhelming blue color and minimal displays of green and red. The puzzles and swimming features solidified my enjoyment of the game. I got to explore the underground cavern of Gris’s world. I had a rough time with the freezing mechanism and using it to my advantage; however, I figured it out and got to travel through the water. Again, I discovered the hand. Gris tried to sing, but she was unsuccessful. The color yellow was added to the pallet; however, yellow was not the primary color; this was only the start of her acceptance.

Acceptance: Minutes 146-220

This stage started rough. The darkness chased Gris through the deep where only small amounts of yellow light guided the way. At first, I thought I had escaped until I got chased again. I was saved by a red turtle, which means my anger guided me and saved me from the darkness. Back at the core, I explored upward. This stage showcased all the colors working together, but not harmoniously. When I finally got to singing ability, I ran around the map seeing all the plants I could uncover. I enjoyed turning the world feature, which allowed the expansion of the map and new ideas for solving the puzzles. Upon reaching the top, I was met with a stellar view where yellow was the most prominent colors: Gris was recovering.

Ending: Minutes 221-240

When I thought I was beating the game, I was met with darkness again. This darkness took all the color from the world and swallowed me with it. The screen was covered in black. When I reached the top, the world was white and black, like at the start of the game. However, this did not stop me from making my way back up to the hand to sing once again. The color was brought back to the world, and I made my way to the light pathway. That is where my gaming experience of Gris ended.

Ending Thoughts:

Gris was a game I was not expecting. It ended in such a beautiful not that I went straight to Youtube to watch a video about it. Knowing the competition was organized by the Kübler-Ross model of the five stages of grief allowed me to focus on changing colors during my playthrough. I enjoyed noticing the hints of colors in new settings, such as the red in the bargaining stage. It demonstrated that there is no straightforward cycle of grief and that it is mixed together. Getting to learn more about the five stages of grief through Gris puts a perspective to what others are going through, especially the overwhelming feeling of depression that overtakes all other emotions. As I progressed, I noticed what affect the colors had on the layout. Red was dominant because it was the first color we experienced. Green allowed red to enter in the stage because anger does not just go away. Unlike the other colors, blue covered the entire screen when it was discovered. Finally, when yellow was introduced, it only took up the game’s background for a few moments. The way yellow was added demonstrated that acceptance does not just “click;” acceptance takes time and energy. I believe the developers chose to make a platform game to explain grief’s complicated feelings through 2D steps. Grief is not filled with simple, chronological stages. It is a mix of emotions that is not merely five stages. Gris is not a platformer like grief is not just stages, because you can expand on it and demonstrate let the other types of genres and stages influence and shape the experience. 

Liveblogging Gris

        As the moment I opened this game, the initial impression it gave it me was just one word: beauty. Yes, the arts, the color, the design of the character are so delicate that make me think I was watching a movie rather than playing a video game. It brings me not just the mindset to plat a simple game, but to feel the complex and unknown emotions the girl in the game has. 



        As I began moving with Gris and jumped and moved forward, I was a little bit confused what was the goal of the play, since most games I experienced before had clear purposes and standpoints. However, there was nothing I could do other than moving forward. As I kept walking, the scene was filled with red blood gradually, feeling with a depressed atmosphere, echoing with the overall artistic sadness and depression. It also made me notice that the meaning of Gris’s name that it originates from Spanish, meaning gray, somewhat symbolizing painfulness and sorrow that she went through. A sense of empathy immediately rise from my inner heart; therefore, I substitute myself as Gris to experience the rest of the story. 



        Then I fell from high in clouds, falling into a large scale of desserts. The color around me was no longer red, green, blue, and yellow; instead, it was only grey and white. Everything was full of depression, anger, and denial. It might be an event that Gris can never forget in her entire life or a heart knot she could never compromise with herself. 



        But this game is not only about emotions and story, though. As I moved along, there were various settings, space, buildings, and even underwater space. One thing that is quite unique is that Gris has to turn to square to avoid the danger in the upcoming sand storm. Many challenging but engaging skills were gradually unlocking as the game went on. As a gamer, I had to utilize different knowledge in physics to solve a variety of puzzles. 



        Here is a very artistic and impressive picture from the beginning of the game, which leaves me a great view on the sounding, picturing, designing effects of the game: 

Liveblogging Gris

        As the moment I opened this game, the initial impression it gave it me was just one word: beauty. Yes, the arts, the color, the design of the character are so delicate that make me think I was watching a movie rather than playing a video game. It brings me not just the mindset to plat a simple game, but to feel the complex and unknown emotions the girl in the game has. 



        As I began moving with Gris and jumped and moved forward, I was a little bit confused what was the goal of the play, since most games I experienced before had clear purposes and standpoints. However, there was nothing I could do other than moving forward. As I kept walking, the scene was filled with red blood gradually, feeling with a depressed atmosphere, echoing with the overall artistic sadness and depression. It also made me notice that the meaning of Gris’s name that it originates from Spanish, meaning gray, somewhat symbolizing painfulness and sorrow that she went through. A sense of empathy immediately rise from my inner heart; therefore, I substitute myself as Gris to experience the rest of the story. 



        Then I fell from high in clouds, falling into a large scale of desserts. The color around me was no longer red, green, blue, and yellow; instead, it was only grey and white. Everything was full of depression, anger, and denial. It might be an event that Gris can never forget in her entire life or a heart knot she could never compromise with herself. 



        But this game is not only about emotions and story, though. As I moved along, there were various settings, space, buildings, and even underwater space. One thing that is quite unique is that Gris has to turn to square to avoid the danger in the upcoming sand storm. Many challenging but engaging skills were gradually unlocking as the game went on. As a gamer, I had to utilize different knowledge in physics to solve a variety of puzzles. 



        Here is a very artistic and impressive picture from the beginning of the game, which leaves me a great view on the sounding, picturing, designing effects of the game: 

Liveblogging Gone Home

Now I’m playing “Gone Home”!

(Pre-game): The phone call is very intriguing to players. And looking back right now, I find the phone call from Katie to her Mom offers a smooth and attractive introduction to the game. Also it is covers the main background story effectively and without procrastination. The three beeps right after the end of the call are really loud, or should I say, they are meant to be loud in order to foreshadow some alerting signs. So far so good, great transition to the actual game. Loving it…

(At the front door): It is 1:15 am. I’m at the front door of my house. Now the game has established its setting; it’s done in a quick fashion. Visually it is dark around me. Outside the door, the light is so dim that I could barely see. In fact, weak light makes me anxious. The sound effect corresponds to the gloomy feeling as well, with the extra disturbing rain and thunderstorm…I hear heavy footsteps by myself, which makes me even more nervous. I don’t quite know what I’m supposed to do at first. I checked the front door and then some corners. I opened the doors of the cupboard, and I found a key. This should lead me to the main entrance of the building…I like the design of this game. A first person narrative always makes me feel more closely connected to the character. It also gives a better look of the computer screen than the third person narrative. Players’ visions are cleaner and larger. It gives me a feeling that I’m in a detecting/searching game, something like a breakout room but definitely some horror breakout room. Will I see some bodies or some crimes? I have no idea. Let’s get inside and search the house…

Live Thoughts of “Gone Home’s” Beginning

I am beginning to play through the game, “Gone Home,” from the request of my English professor, David Morgen. https://eng101f20.davidmorgen.org/quests/side-quests/side-quest-3-liveblogging-gone-home/. From what I can, the opening phone call makes the main character out to be a young girl who got to be on her own for the first time in a faraway place and has newfound confidence in her self by showing her trying to be independent, thus not wanting her mom to pick her up from the airport. However, the grim music and moody lighting of the start give a quick indication of the game genre. Upon arrival, the dark atmosphere, combined with the slow walking pace and heavy rainfall, gives off a mysterious and grim tone to the game. The note on the door with the names mom dad crossed out to show the main character’s oddities as she searches for her family and piece together whatever she possibly can.

Gone Home

I have started the game. My first impression with this game is that it is an open world game, kind of like Grand Theft Auto, but obviously with no violence. I admit that at first I didn’t know how to enter the house so I had to look it up.

I have just entered the house. First, I love that the visuals are immaculate and consistent. The overall theme is dreadful, scary, and quiet. This theme was conveyed very successfully through the wallpapers, the house wooden structures, the dim lightings, the dark colors, and the creepy bathroom on the ground floor.

I am now making my way to the left wing of the house. I am thoroughly impressed at the amount of details the authors put in. The handwritten notes are super realistic. Object arrangements are appropriate as well. The fact that I could grab an object and throw it down the floor or anywhere else gives me the feeling of being home alone, which is true.

One of the handwritten notes. Source: taken by me.

The story line and the clues are difficult to follow but that is appropriate since it mirrors real life. I have collected 3 journals now from Sam. I like her soothing and innocent yet depressing voice as it complements the theme of the house and game.

I am going up the stairs. Seems like the same pattern would occur throughout the whole game. My prediction is that we will be able to find Sam after collecting all the voice recorders and having visited the full map.

Overall, Gone Home’s mysterious theme succeeded in making me crave for more after playing the game. I always felt like there was something missing or about to happen while playing the game. Even though it was dead quiet for the most part, the suspense was all there. I felt like every little detail counts and when put together it would become a huge surprise or substantive to the story line.

Livebloging “Gone Home”

Just started playing Gone Home. The opening screen shows a house in the forest during the night. The opening music is very ominous, so I speculate that this game is going to be very tense.

7:14 pm

Opening sequence: I was honestly pretty scared during the opening sequence. I could still hear the ominous music playing over the rain and occasional thunder which raised my heartbeat. There were also a few occasions where I heard the door creak, the wind gets louder, and the lights flicker from the inside of the room. The use of an audio message from the first-person narrator to her mom was a good way to establish character. It was nice how I could attribute a voice and personality to the character. I spent a few minutes looking around the front porch for more items, but I only found the key. I think the rest of the game will also be scary for me, although the sound of rain and thunder will be softer inside the house. 

7:30 pm

In the main room: The first thing I did was go to the bathroom because it was the closest room. There was not much there. I also looked through the right closet, but I didn’t find anything. On a desk, to the left of the stairwell, I found a note claiming that my neighbor daniel was weird, and wanted our house back. There was also a message left on the phone desperately asking for Sam. I will most likely go left to see what I can find before going up the stairs.

7:50 pm

I checked the first drawer and found an obituary for the man that most likely owned this house before. In the closet next to it, I found a list and a journal entry implying that Sam might be depressed.

8:05

Inside the TV room: There was no door to this room, and the TV was on, so that really creeped me out. I looked through the room and there was another journal entry from Samyalking about making friends. Our dad, Terry, seems to be an editor of some kind. He also seems to be obsessed with JFK. I will go to the room next.

8:30

Secret room: I went into the secret room and it was really weird at first. I thought it must have been from Oscar, but it ended up being from Sam too. There was a strange red light in one of the rooms, I will check that out next.

9:30

Honestly, this really scared me. It was really unexpected. I was afraid to turn over the picture, but I was pretty sure that it would be Oscar because Sam claimed that the house was owned by a psycho. I am interested to see what’s in the attic, although I have a feeling it will be a dead body. 

In the secret entrance, I picked up the crucifix and dropped it, and immediately the lights turned off. I immediately turned away and covered my head. I was almost too scared to continue the game, but my fascination drove me on.

End: I finished the game. Honestly, I am kind of disappointed. I am glad Sam is ok and happy, but I was really hoping there were some freaky things going on like Oscar’s ghost haunting the house. I think the game did an excellent job of subverting our expectations and placing things like red paint and scary games in order to build a false sense of fear. I enjoyed my time playing this game.

“Live” From Home

9:45: I’m not sure if the wind is coming from my surroundings or because my computer is overheating. Nevertheless, this front porch is penetrating darkness. The shadow illuminated by the windows could be from a tree, but all that seems to come to mind is the picture of BFG depicted on character books. I’m not sure if my character is coming home of if they rushed home because Sam is in danger, but maybe if I can come inside I’ll know. Just typing this out makes me feel nervous; I’m suddenly hypersensitive to the doors outside the apartment opening and closing as if something is going to happen to me when I go inside the door.

10:30: I’ve been walking aimlessly. It took me too long to find the key. I am filled with anxiety; there is something startling about walking in a large house alone. Not to mention, Sam’s journal referred to herself as the “psycho house girl”. What is wrong with this house?! The weather alert especially made me uneasy. I feel brought back to 2012 during Hurricane Sandy when my family lost power for two weeks. We since moved out of the house, but walking in the darkness with an aimless goal forever remains ingrained, and this game reignited that memory. Darkness is so central to this game that even walking into the light makes me wary.

Liveblogging “Gone Home”

There existed a sense of foreboding in the front porch. With a flickering light, the place grew eerie. Near the window, thundering and rain is what I could hear but as I got closer to the main door, the noise seemed to faint. This hints at the extent of time I spent looking for the key. That attention to detail raised my expectations for what was behind that main door.

I’m an all for clues person. Solving mysteries is my thing. I’m beginning to play this game with caution. I do not know if that’s the right attitude. I just checked the toilet paper for it could mean something. Roaming in the hallways and searching every room minute by minute made me impatient. To my dismay, not all rooms bore clues. Music library was one of them. 

Right now, I am near the dad’s office. I hear two men talking. 

8:00 PM 

Though it turned out to be the TV, that thought was blood curdling. Reading every crumpled note from trash, I could feel what Samantha was going through. I then climbed the stairs. Picking up clues along the way, I reached an area with red lights. It cautioned not to enter if the red lights were on. Though every bit of me wanted to explore that further, I couldn’t find the entrance to it.  

8:12 PM

I’ve just learned about the existence of a secret room. I’m headed there. As thrilling as the path was with the panel opening from the wall, there was a feeling of disappointment on climbing down to the secret room. By then I had reached a conclusion of my own. Probably, Samantha’s parents were too hard on her so she fled with Lonnie, her lover; her parents might have gone to find her. I’m still traversing through the house so I might keep adding more.

My eyes were strained during the game, but I kept going. With pulling every bulb string, I had chills going down my spine. It felt as if unveiling the entire mystery was the only way I could swallow food down my throat.