OK- so time to move the discussion that came out of "save anywhere" into it's own thread.
Thanks for your suggestion JT- I checked out Shadow of Memories and it's an interesting look at a game that is playing with timeline in a flashback style. This is not QUITE what I'm on about though...
Time travel is one thing- but doing the timetravelling flashback sequence still works its way into a logical linear timeline. The action in the game still follows the A, then B, then C route- Even if you start at C (the death of the avatar) and jump to A, and work yourself back through B to C. It's like so many movies that start with the ending and then the rest of the movie shows you how you got there. Even Memento is completely logical in its temporal progression. There is actually an article online that documents the way to resequence the scenes of the movie on your DVD player so it will run from start to finish!
The most convoluded example I can think of in this vein is Timecop 2 with Jason Scott Lee- After seeing the movie I'm not really sure how carefully they worked out the repeating timeline but it goes without saying whoever had to do the scripting must have needed a sebatical after it was complete. (having said that we could all have been spared alot of bad one liners if they'd never gotten employed in the first place!)
What I'm specifically looking for are stories that play with the idea of time itself. Run Lola Run really plays with its 20 mins. Fellini's 8mm follows the director of the movie we are actually watching as he is doing the casting for the lead actress- and then he walks into another room in the same scene and we see the costumes that were being worn actually being designed and sewn together by a costume designer. The costume exists in both times, but it is not clear exactly how those times are situated in relation to each other in terms of a linear timeline. There is a connection- but not necessarily one that we can make definative sense of because it works both ways. Many films are shifting in this direction. A, B and C are related, but there are parts of A that are part of C and whether they happen before or after is ambiguous.
Obviously games would be hesitant to introduce this shift in a players perception of the timeline because game timelines do their best to make sense so the player can understand how to get to the END.
Have you ever seen a game or game element that questions narrative linearity?
Do you think there is a place in the game industry for game narratives focussed on experiences and perceptual shifts rather than challenge and win scenarios to develop?
What would happen if games stopped delineating a flashback with limited interactivity or widescreen bars and pieces of the past could filter into the present, and what the present was could constantly be thrown into question?
OK. I'm not going to blame anyone for needing a caffeine break before attempting a response to that one...