The book Gameplay, Emotions and Narrative: Independent Games Experienced is devoted to the emotional and narrative immersion in the experience of gameplay. The focus of our research is the complex interplay between the story and mechanics in digital games.
Our goal is to demonstrate how the narrative elements and the ludic elements together can form a variety of unique player experiences. This book focuses on the issue of developmental tendencies that shape the particular nature of contemporary indie games, which we consistently perceive as significant texts of popular culture due to their ubiquity and influence on the recipient.
We also approach them as texts of exploratory nature, whose creators do not shy away from experimenting with the form of storytelling through structuring gameplay in many creative ways; regarded from this perspective, the analyses point to how the discussed texts could pave potential paths of both further development of the genre and, possibly, the shape of digital games to come.
The volume is a collection of case studies involving close reading of selected independent titles (largely indie games) with the focus placed on the themes, motifs and experimental approaches to gameplay that the relative freedom of the indie scene encourages. We have devoted attention to a selected number of games that in our opinion demanded that attention; not all of them are small independent game texts, and not all of them are high-profile, either, but they are all bold in design, testing the limits of both the medium and the content by the means of experimenting with mechanics and storylines.
Gameplay, Emotions and Narrative: Independent Games Experienced is intended for a wide academic audience, including scholars, students and professionals interested in digital games, especially in independent games, and their place among other texts of culture, as well as game scholars interested in unconventional gameplay solutions or emotional effects of game texts.