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Pavilion video gives a quick look at this “fourth person” exploratory experience

Friday, 28th February 2014 13:51 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Pavilion, the “fourth person” isometric “exploratory experience” in development for PlayStation 4 and Vita, has been detailed a bit more by the developer, Visiontrick Media. There’s also a new video of it below.

pavilion

According to Henrik Flink, the firm’s co-founder and creative director, the character in the game is not an avatar nor will the player control him.

Instead, the player will use various environmental interactions to “guide, influence or even force” the character to explore the game world and fulfill its purpose.

“This indirect control is essentially what we refer to when we use the term ‘fourth person’,” said Flink. “Using the term ‘forth person’ has also resulted in some interesting reactions. Some people feel it is just a buzz word while others are rather intrigued by it.

“But in the end we are happy to see people giving it a thought and talking about it.”

Flink said Pavilion will be an experience “best played without knowing too much about what lies ahead,” so while the team plans on releasing more details on the game, it also doesn’t want to give too much away.

The game is slated for a release later this year.

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3 Comments

  1. TheWulf

    Ooh, I like this. A lot!

    We used to have loads of games like this. Sleepwalker, Lemmings, and even that rather controversial MegaCD game. And then they all went away, perhaps because of the rise of the mainstream — it might have been considered as too complicated a concept for the people that were being brought into gaming at the time.

    So, this is hardly a new concept, then. It’s an old, abandoned one. It’s also a genuinely interesting one that I’ve missed. I’m honestly very intrigued by this. To a degree, I guess it feels like a god game where you focus on one subject alone. You have me taking a lot of trips down memory lane, today, VG24/7. I’m also reminded of stuff like Polterguy, where you did play an avatar, but your job was to indirectly herd a bunch of people out of a house.

    I really want a new Polterguy game, but perhaps without the ridiculous underworld elements which everyone disliked at the time. (And is still commonly disliked, from what I remember.)

    So, yes, I’m up for this.

    What’s really grabbed my attention though is the bizarrely organic nature of the ruins this random person seems to be travelling through, which I’m sure will come into play quite often.

    Yep. This is perhaps the first Sony exclusive where I can’t help but wish it would land on the PC. This kind of genre was actually born there, and I’d love to see it return there. If not with this game then with others.

    #1 7 months ago
  2. ij 44

    Re: the use of the term “Fourth Person” : I feel it is just a buzz word yet at the same time am rather intrigued by it.

    So what does the game involved? Ringing bells and opening doors and shit like that?

    #2 7 months ago
  3. TheWulf

    @2

    It’s worth playing Lemmings or Sleepwalker to understand how these games work. They work via a method of indirect handling, and that’s a somewhat under-appreciated attribute in my opinion. We’ve become so focused on having direct and complete control that I wonder how much of an abstract it would be for a person to have to approach something which is indirect.

    One interesting recent example was Gone Home, it was a masterwork of indirect storytelling. You would progress through the house, and each room would present you with new tidbits and clues, and if you took your time and allowed all of this to percolate, a story would surely blossom in your mind. It amazes me how many people had such a boring view of the Uncle that was so contradictory to the clues presented by that game. Someone who’s played it will likely tell you that he was a paedophile, but then why would the two protagonists of the story be so interested in contacting him? The evidence fits a different story, that he’s actually a crossdresser. And they saw him as something of an unsung hero of an inexorably xenophobic moment in time.

    To apply the notion of indirectness to something you need an abstraction layer between you and what you’d seek to control or understand. So if the game is as shallow as you suggest, then it’s not a very good example of indirect control. More to the contrary, I believe you’ll be able to use obstacles to control movement, perhaps even reshape the terrain. Even temporarily pick up the character to place him elsewhere, or scare him so he travels down another path. Perhaps trigger a trap before he walks upon it, or set a boulder rolling down towards a wall to crack it open, thus providing a new path.

    The indirect attribute can lead to really fun gameplay when done well. And I’d love to see it become more common. To a degree, Two Brothers was also almost an indirect system of control, because there was an abstraction layer between you and the brothers themselves. This lead to interesting things happening that normally you wouldn’t otherwise experience.

    So what happens when you can no longer directly control the character, but you can influence them, provide for them, and elucidate them?

    On the topic of elucidation, The Novelist is another fine example. You can’t directly control the family and tell them what path their life absolutely must take, but you can observe their memories and you can play up to their desires to have them follow one desire or another. This can lead to many different outcomes, good or ill. It’s worth playing to experience it.

    Shelter, too, is almost this. Though you do have control over the mother badger, you don’t have any over the pups. They follow you, sort of, but they have many troubles in that they can’t always keep up, provide for themselves, or defend themselves. So you have to do these things for them. You have to manage their existence so that they can reach their goal.

    All in all, I’d like to see more of it. It’s a shame this one won’t be hitting the PC, but it sounds like it’s definitely one for Sony fans to pick up.

    #3 7 months ago

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