A One Chance Passage Through Everyday the Same Dream

Everyday the Same Dream

I played three games this week that I thought would be beneficial to talk about together: Passage, One Chance, and Everyday the Same Dream. You could look at these games’ relationships to eachother more like a venn diagram, each sharing varying degrees of similarities with eachother. Take Passage and One Chance for example. They are both illustrated through a use of more simple animation, as compared to Everyday the Same Dream, whose animation is more detailed and complex. One of the fundamentals common to all three games however, is the determination of success being reached through a sense of direction. I think it is interesting how during the first week of classes, we looked at some of the great ancient and primitive of the video games such as Space Invaders and Donkey Kong, and we saw firsthand how in these games, achieved success is made known to the gamer by a directional progression upward. In Donkey Kong, the higher you climb, the better you’ve done, and the closer you are to reaching the end goal. However, in Passage, One Chance, and Everyday the Same Dream, the level of success is not measured vertically, but horizontally. The characters move across the screen instead of top to bottom.

One commonality all three games possess is that they are a portrayal of the life experience. However abstractly they may be conveyed, there are elements of truth in each which allow the gamer to attach their sentiments to it. Passage is essentially a 5 minute love story in the form of a game. A young man begins his trek across a color gradient and quickly picks up a girl. The remainder of the game is pushing forward into different color schemes and backgrounds. The two move perfectly in sync. The farther they go, the more points earned. It is evident that this game represents their life together because the characters gradually age until they become elderly and eventually die at separate points.

Passage: http://hcsoftware.sourceforge.net/passage/

One Chance is a more complicated game that communicates explicitly to the player the task at hand. It sets up a world in which the player must make choices that effect the outcome of the future. A disheveled scientist is tasked to save the world from his own cancer cure, which backfired and will kill every living cell on earth. He has six days to figure out how to reverse this and only one chance. He literally is carrying the fate of the world on his shoulders.

One Chance: http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/555181

Everyday the Same Dream is a direct contrast to One Chance, though it is a complete development of it. You have a faceless, nameless man who goes through the same routine of getting up and going to work, greeting his wife, greeting his boss, seeing the same hunched over woman in the elevator, getting caught in the same traffic, going to his cubicle, and then waking up and going again. This game allows the player to make more choices, often rediculous choices that can change the mundane outcomes of his everyday dream and add significance which indicate his self discovery. We the players, attach sentiment to this character as well. Another notable thing is in the colors used in this game. Passage and One Chance are quite rich in color, whereas Everyday the Same Dream is comprised of colors which starkly contrast, black and white mostly, so much so that the seldom times other colors are used, it further exaggerates the contrast. Not only is this inherent by the representation of colors, but also by the freedom of the choices we as players are able to make, as compared to One Chance or Passage. We can make the man walk out of his house and show up to work in nothing but his briefs, and there are reprucussions for that! Some of the more notable thematic contrasts encountered in this game are the pastoral and romantic idealisms vs. the rigidity and mechanical qualities in everyday rituals.

Everyday the Same Dream: http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/540741

All three of these games stress in some way the routineness of life. All three are artistically rendered and pursue touching on the meaning and the important values encountered in life.

  7 comments for “A One Chance Passage Through Everyday the Same Dream

  1. January 29, 2013 at 11:23 am

    Great! I like these games for various reasons (as you know), so it’s interesting to think of them as a “venn diagram” of life. I like your point about horizontal representation of progress — do you think that provides a model (metaphorically, perhaps) of that eternal return of routine that each of these games exhibits?

    (Also: I set your image to be “featured” so it shows up in that banner spot, and I’d recommend adding these game titles as tags for greater clarity.)

  2. all6is6on
    January 29, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    I definitely see your point on that. And that brings in another point about what exactly is “progress” within these games. “Winning” in Passage is marked by our character’s tombstone. And in Everyday the Same Dream, is leaping from a skyscraper to his death the way we, the players win? It’s as if the players and the characters have this sort of inverse relationship in which our progression within the game relies on seeking their demise.

  3. Guillermo
    January 30, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    I too loved the venn diagram idea with these games. I was trying to think of a way to connect the three somehow, and that is a great way. Regarding the horizontal success idea, I wouldn’t necessarily say that “success” is achieved horizontally in the three games as it is in the vertical games such as Space Invader and Donkey Kong. For example Jason Rohrer, the creator of Passage describes his game in this way: “Passage is a game in which you die…and you are powerless to stave off this inevitable loss.” His usage of the word “loss” seems to subvert the common idea of success in gaming. The points you acquire and the choices you make in Passage are ultimately found out to be arbitrary. So I agree with you that perhaps “progress”, in the literal sense, is the best way to describe the gameplay in these three games, because success doesn’t seem to be the point in any of them. Another quick note on Passage. I don’t think it is accurate to call Passage a love story since you can opt out of having a spouse. Passage was created to instigate reflection on life and death, not just love.

  4. January 30, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    I think we’ve all felt that we are just doing the same rituals everyday, which is why I myself can relate to One Chance and ESD. I think it is also fun to note that in Once Chance in addition to moving to the right, you are able to move to the left to progress the story, unlike in Passage and ESD where the story only progresses when you go to the right. This may seem like a bit more freedom from the traditional sidescroller constraints, but you are still being restricted in the sense that you are unable to continue the story without going wherever the game tells you to go. Im sure this represents something…but I cant figure out what…

  5. cristina
    January 30, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    I disagree with your use of the word “success” when describing the horizontal format of the game. When playing all three of these games, I had originally approached them as I do with any other video game: I tired to figure out how to “win” or succeed accordingly. But what made these games significantly different from other video games such as Space Invaders and Donkey Kong was the actual lack of success that the player inevitably feels at the end of game. Your statement that these three games reach success through the sense of direction I think is a bit underdeveloped, simply because each game provides very little options (if any) for the player to personally choose any specific direction and in fact; the game’s forceful leading of the character I think would ultimately invoke a sense of helplessness and not one of success within the player.

    • all6is6on
      January 31, 2013 at 1:27 am

      I see your point about the word “success”. I think we noted that progress is a better word.

  6. nelsondee0085
    January 30, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    I am still fairly new to PC games as well as video games. I enjoyed your post about the game One Chance. I enjoy role player games so I would have to surmise that the a.i. in the game is quite entertaining. The ability to make choices and for the user to interact with the game reminds me of a video game I played briefly that my husband introduced me to called L.A. Noire.

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