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Why is Forgotten City the most creative game of 2021? | Players Toolboxes (119)

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It's been several years since the game Maker's Toolkit YouTube channel explored and described various aspects of video games and related concepts in short, informative videos. Deals with this area. I decided to translate the content of these videos into Persian by capturing it a bit and adapting it to the writing medium. This series of articles will be very useful for those who dream of playing games or just want to understand video games better and deeper. Stay tuned to the Players Toolbox's collection of articles.

Every year in the Players Toolbox's series of articles, it is customary for me to review the games published in the last 12 months in the last article of the year, and I think they deserve a review. It is more accurate. A game that perhaps the best word or phrase to describe it is "creative", "bold" and "extremely clever". The games that have been covered in this context in recent years are as follows:

  • Her Story (2015)
  • Event [0] (2016)
  • Snake Pass (2017)
  • Return of the Obra Dinn (2018)
  • Baba Is You (2019)
  • Watch Dogs Legion (2020)

For 2021, there were many options to choose from (I will mention the deserved games at the end of the article). But it was a game I really wanted to talk about. This game is called The Forgotten City.

Well, as usual, I give a brief, no-spoiler description of the game at first to get you hooked, leave the article, go finish it And then go back and read on.

The Forgotten City is a time-driven detective game. This game is located in a small Roman town at the end of a very deep gap. About 20 City dwellers all follow the Golden Rule. The Golden Rule states that if one person commits a sin, the entire population will be punished. What is their punishment? Death.

Your job is to figure out who is going to break the Golden Rule and stop it before it succeeds.

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You have complete freedom to solve this puzzle; You can roam the streets of the City freely, talk to citizens, find clues and hear rumors, and finally find the answer for yourself. But if you can not identify the culprit, you have to go back in time and start all over again. But this time, you have new items and information that may help you in the next time cycle or loop

You may think that this idea sounds a bit familiar. Going back in time to solve the murder puzzle The idea behind the game was to return to Obra Dean, wasn't it? Gathering information while stuck in a time cycle is also somewhat reminiscent of The Outer Wilds. The idea of talking to the citizens of a small town to find the culprit also seems to be inspired by the game Disco Elysium, and it reminds me a bit of the game Paradise Killer, which was released in 2020.

All of these assumptions are true, but the problem is that the Forgotten City is older than all the games mentioned! This game is basically a flashy remake of one of the most popular Skyrim items in 2015. Thanks to Unreal Engine, this game has been rebuilt and turned into a standalone game. How to implement that idea. This game caught my attention very quickly and made me feel like I had a lot of freedom of action, but without confusing that freedom. The Forgotten City was a game in which I was constantly moving forward, without encountering a dead end or losing a clue. This game surprised me from the beginning to the end. Satisfaction

Of course I have a small complaint; Was it really necessary to transfer Bethesda's non-stick combat system from Mad to the main game as well?

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Leaving this small issue aside, The Forgotten City is a unique example of interactive storytelling, and when I finished it, it occupied my mind for a few days, and I was asked how its creators managed to achieve this.

If you come up with something out of the ordinary, then they have to re-think their position. This game is available on Steam and all major consoles and was even available on Gimps.

If you have not finished the game and you plan to do so, do not read the rest of the article, because here Then the important points of the story are to be revealed.

In-depth study of the Forgotten City (danger of revealing the important points of the story)

As I mentioned in the introduction of the article, The Forgotten City caught my mind, and the game's engagement can be attributed to five factors:

  • Engaging opening
  • Providing high freedom of action without confusing the audience
  • Sense of Constant Progress
  • Fiction Surprises and Revelations
  • Satisfactory End
  • It was interesting for me to discover how the game managed to achieve these achievements, for I just played it again, watched the Let's Play video of some of the game's YouTubers, and also contacted Nick Pearce, the game's designer and writer, to find out more. I will quote him throughout the article.

    Engaging opening game

    Let's start from the beginning of the game. A game like Forgotten City, which has unique and original ideas, has a lot to do in the first hour. First of all, the player needs to know where he is, what he is doing, and most importantly, the reason behind what he is doing.

    The strong opening section conveys important information to the player while also doing something about him Be curious to learn more. In addition to defining the main goal, such an opening also provides enough motivation to do so.

    Enough worldliness and setting the story is included in it, so that the player's goal is clearly defined. "After achieving these goals, I gave the player the freedom to explore the world of the game." Guided tour introduces us.

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    Glarius himself is the period in which the game takes place Informs us and points to the election to be held that day.

    After that, we meet with Sentius. He explains the Golden Rule to us, assigns us our main mission, and explains why we should care about this mission.

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    Sentius: "If you succeed in preventing the occurrence of a sin that violates the golden rule, then I do not need to bring you here. "I'm not creating a portal and you can never get in here." Be interested in knowing what is going to happen next and be motivated to help the people of this City and understand that the only way to help yourself is to help these people and talking to each of them is supposed to be a pleasurable experience.

    This approach is a great example of effectively introducing the game to the audience. In a short time, you will be provided with any reason you need to continue playing.

    Provide high freedom of action without confusing the audience

    We come to the second factor: providing high freedom of action without confusing the audience.

    After the opening part of the game, you are obliged to solve the puzzle that is in the heart of the game. How you try to solve this puzzle is entirely up to you. The Forgotten City is remarkably non-linear, and you can engage in an intricate web of clues and rumors as you wish. It's your choice who to talk to, where to find out, and which clues to follow.

    When the game was in the early stages of development, this was exactly what was going to happen after the opening part of the opening. The game falls: Centius assigned you a mission and then left you to do whatever you wanted. After receiving the mission, you knew that the City tour was over and it was your job to choose the next route.

    But Nick realized that some Players might need help. Providing this amount of freedom of action can be confusing and discourage the player from continuing the game. Personally, I'm very interested in The Outer Wilds, but I have to admit that it turned me off at first, because the number of planets, characters, deadlocks and clues was so high that it confused me!

    So what Nick did was give the player a clue in the role of Centius.

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    Centius:" Oh, before you go. "If I were you, I would first go to Lucretia in the Temple of Apollo and start my investigation from there." If you walk to the Temple of Apollo after the conversation with Santios is over, you will come across some important clues along the way. For example, along the way to Domitus and Horatius, you meet two guards talking about the disappearance of the Sentilla.

    Up the stairs leading to the Temple of Apollo may Is to encounter Equitia. He also entrusts you with another important mission called "The Common Thread".

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    After arriving at the Temple of Apollo, Lucrezia tells you that her patient is dead, but can be saved with a resin. A person named Desius has an acme, but he has set a high price for it and under no circumstances is he willing to sell it below that price.

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    Given that we do not have enough money to buy Angem at this point, the game sets a different mission: to steal it. Stealing a spell breaks the golden rule, so you have to repeat the time cycle. But Angam is still in your backpack. Maybe this time we can go to Lucrezia and give her angm to treat her dying patient.

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    At any point in the mission, we can leave the mission and continue to explore and explore at our own discretion. We can ignore the clue of Centius and follow another path. We can forget about the Apollo Temple mission altogether and do the Aquitaine mission instead. In fact, at the beginning of the game we can even tell Galerius that we do not need his tour of the City and we can explore it ourselves.

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    The important point is that if we prefer to explore the game world ourselves, the game will allow us to cancel guided tours and move the game the way we want. . But whenever we get confused, due to the game's recurring time cycle, these tours are always available to remind us of important information. We are also given a series of different missions, two of which lead to all the different endings of the game. In solving these missions, we directly observe the mechanism of the golden rule and the time loop system.

    It should be noted that some Players like to be guided to the goal, because their great freedom It confuses and discourages, and others like to explore freely. The game has the air of both types of players. Ultimately, the choice is up to the player: to follow or disobey commands.

    Sense of constant improvement

    Another strength of the game is this. When you play it, you feel like you are constantly improving and you do not encounter dead ends or lose important clues along the way. How does the game achieve this?

    To understand this, it is necessary to understand the basic structure of the Forgotten city. If we want to use the term used in Skyrim, there are 20 sub-missions in the game, but the game itself calls them leads. These clues are rumors and requests that may help you advance your research.

    The most important thing is that there are several ways to find out clues. Two or more characters may give you the same clue to start with. There are often several ways to advance these missions.

    For example, there are three ways to get to Villa Malleolus:

    Jump from a high height to the pool of his house

    2. Climb the ivy on the wall of his house

    3. Bribe the front door guard

    When there are several ways to start and end these missions, you are less likely to hit a dead end or lose an important clue. But I think one of the smartest aspects of the game is that all of these clues are so intertwined. Let me give you an example.

    There is a character in the game called "The Assassin" who enters from the City bath. When you first meet him, a townman named Fabia enters a temple with a collapsing roof and is killed there (although he can be prevented from dying by warning about the temple, but when You play the game first, you may not have a reason to give him this advice, because you do not know that the roof of the temple is going to collapse). The killer also says that there is a traitor in the City whose eyes are different colors. Eventually, he shoots an arrow at you and starts a new time cycle due to the sin of attacking another human being. Now in this new time cycle you can go back, save Fabia, lead the killer to the deadly temple and steal his slingshot.

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    Basically, solving this clue will pave the way for you to solve a few more clues. The clue you get about the traitor will help you get Malius out of the election to solve the clue to "Democracy in Action" (because the traitor is Malius; he has dissimilar eyes). Helps to find the person who is threatening and coercing Vergil to solve the "sinner" clue. Saving Fabia in the clue of "A Virtuous Man" will persuade Georgius to change his mind. Finding a killer slingshot will solve a "straight as an arrow" clue.

    In other words, solving one clue paves the way for solving four other clues, and this is not the only burden. This is what happens.

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    I plotted the solution of all the game missions on the chart and discovered That almost all clues are somehow connected to at least one other clue.

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    This is the strength of this system That whenever you make progress in the game, it will naturally and organically help you progress in another part of the game; Whether by starting a clue, advancing it or ending it. The Forgotten City is not like standard role-playing games in which you may complete an independent mission and then not know what to do. In this game, completing each mission puts new paths for you to walk on.

    This system has another strength, and that is to provide a sense of immersion and reliability. "In real societies, especially small communities - like the one we see in the game - everyone knows each other and everyone is involved in each other's personal affairs," says Nick. So in the game, I made sure that each character mentioned his neighbors in the conversations as much as it seemed natural. The alternative equivalent of this system - which you often see in big world games - is that each character lives independently of the other characters next to him. This system makes the gaming world seem shallow.

    By comparison, the Forgotten City is a perfect example of the proverb drop by the depths of the ocean.

    Surprises And the story's revelations

    The next strength of the game is the number of surprises and its rich revelations. This strength is due to the non-linear structure of the game. As Nick puts it: "Usually Players are very talented at putting the details of a story together to get a deeper understanding of the big picture. However, there are some notes or building blocks of the story that, if found in the wrong order, can confuse even the smartest players. For example, if the grounding process for revealing a surprise element fails or the narrative of the game moves too fast and suddenly, it gives the player that feeling. "

    So while the game gives the player a lot of freedom of action, The game designer has cleverly inserted "gates" into the game, the purpose of which is not to provide the player with a series of information until he has passed a series of preconditions.

    For example When you have not identified multiple defendants, the option to "determine the culprit" will not open in your dialog box with Stentius. Or as another example, Aquitaine will not tell you the true nature of the City until you have asked them about the life and past of the townspeople; And until you know the true nature of the city, a philosopher living in an underground tunnel will not let you in.

    "So I decided to use a small number of them and justify their existence in the narrative line of the game." It does not come together. Instead, it offers you its surprises slowly and steadily: the true nature of the city, the history of the city, the offense behind the breaking of the Golden Rule, and

    In this respect, the game acts like an exciting novel that can not be grounded. put. .

    ( ) . : . .

    . ( Canon Ending ) .

    . . . (Kabash) . . .

    . .

    : . .

    ***

    . :

    1.

    2.

    3.

    4. .

    5. .

    . 2021 .

    2021 :

    • (Toodee and Topdee): (Dimension Flip) .
    • (Unpacking): . .
    • (Before Your Eyes): - .
    • (Wildermyth): .
    • (Unsighted): .
    • (Silicon Dreams): (Blade Runner) .

    2021 . (Inscryption) (Slipways) .

    . . 2022 .


    Source: Mark Brown - YouTube

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