Draco was looking at SUPERHOT. Aside from listen to a machine scream SUPER and HOT simulator it’s a game that’s all bullet-timey but the story did a thing that Draco doesn’t like. Don’t get Draco wrong, it’s cool. It’s basically fighting puzzles. While looking at Soma, another game that went with this same story element, Draco dismissed it as just bad writing but apparently it’s a trope of some sort. It’s not actually listed on TvTropes but it definitely occurs a lot. It’s a problem that is sorta worrying. The problem here is that for some reason the writer just assumes you’ll care about their characters. In Soma at some point(This is going off the description another person gave so ya know, grain of salt) they just present you with “the last person in the world” and they are hooked up to life support. The person then asks you to unplug them. After you have done so the game taunts you for caring and being so sad. It’s kinda reminiscent of that part in Force Unleashed where the random boss no one cared about because they were just introduced revealed she could turn in to the main character’s love interest. Surely the main character was a little broken up about attacking his love interest but ultimately he and the person controlling him know it’s fake. There you could at least feel empathy because he was a faced protagonist. In games like Soma and SUPERHOT you don’t get a face. You get surrealist nonsense that tries to hint at a deeper meaning of meaninglessness. In SUPERHOT the story is a little better(spoilers); the game is supposed to be about killing red guys but then the red guys are people blah blah blah. Then they go down a weird Stanley Parable route of not having a choice but without the humor and innovation. The cool bullet time stuff would make up for that if after doing stuff it wouldn’t repeatedly scream “SUPER! HOT! SUPER! HOT!”. They went the “artistic” route probably to save money but there isn’t really anything that connects you to anything. It’s super sterile and pointless and that feels lazy. Undertale and Life is Strange did it better. They may pull at heartstrings but they set it up and make it reasonable first. They make you care about the characters or at least feel something. To help you feel how Draco feels, Draco has written a similar scenario to the ones in Soma and SUPERHOT.
“Hello. Welcome to Empty Room. Here, You can kick a ball. To welcome you to Empty Room, here, kick this ball.”
“Thank you for kicking the ball.
It’s too bad you’re so STUPID!
YOU COULD HAVE NEVER GUESSED THAT THIS BALL WAS ACTUALLY…
YOUR BEST FRIEND!
“THEY EVEN HAD A MOHAWK! LOOK HOW COOL THEY ARE! AND YOU KICKED THEM! TRULY YOU ARE A PUPPET TO THE ESTABLISHMENT! YOU SHOULD FEEL SO BAD FOR YOUR FRIEND RIGHT NOW! THEY HAVE FREE WILL WHILE YOU GET TO SUFFER IN A PIT OF FILTH ALONG WITH THE OTHER INSECTS! WRITHE ABOUT FOR THERE IS NO HOPE!!!!!!!!”
“Thank you for writhing.”
Draco just realized there is a problem here. With Draco’s masterful writing you probably do feel bad. Way too much effort was put into this bit. Please try to imagine this but worse. Please understand that the ball was actually just a drawing and not your best friend… Well unless you want it to be… This ball forgives you for kicking it and would like to stay best friends.–
OK let’s talk about that. Draco started getting attached to a drawing meant to not be attached to. If you can’t get Draco attached to your character that’s a bad sign. Draco just almost cried about some unknown reader being sad about a drawing not being their best friend… Like come on, son. Get to character developing. It’s easier than you think. Also don’t make your game scream the same two words repeatedly just to make it seem weird. If Guardians of the Galaxy was just 1 hour of movie and the rest was Groot screaming I am Groot, people would have walked out.
UPDATE: Draco ran this example(without good writing or added emotional flavor) by the wonderful RJCody and after going through the scenario all he felt was confusion. No sadness, no attachment, nothing. The theory is sound. This type of storytelling does not elicit emotional connection.