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Reverse Ruleset

Change the Narrative Description to reverse the theme of the game "Flower" from positive and calming experience to dark and evil.

Han Liu, Blogger

September 30, 2012

4 Min Read

      Many video games have been developed, and different themes are introduced to compete for players’ interests and to have a better rating in the gaming market. A theme of a game is usually introduced through its narrative descriptions. From game previews on television to the introduction booklet inside the game box with high quality game screenshots, players are informed of the type of games they will probably be spending their money on. Since game mechanics for most games are very similar, game themes can often be remodeled to give the players a whole new set of illusion of a different gaming experience.

      One of these games is a very inspirational game that is designed to play on the Player Station Network System is called the “Flower.” “Flower” is a game played in three dimensional graphical landscapes where the main concept of the game is to change the world with the power of wind. The core mechanic of the game is to navigate oneself as the element of the wind and journey from one land to another while making changes to the world by collecting flower pedals. The game provides players with very relax and calm experiences through beautiful graphics and soothing music. As the players collect required flower pedals for each location, the surroundings nature will transform into more beautiful sceneries with the emergence of additional flowers. The game is designed to be a non-zero sum game through unlimited time and no death, which provides players with much flexibility. The control of the game allows the players to freely steer the direction and speed of the wind to meet players’ desired experiences. Overall, the aspect of the game is mainly focused on visual, sound, and interaction between the players and the world inside the game.

      Despite the fact that the game provides sensational soothing experiences, it is also possible to adjust and reverse the theme of the game by making changes to its narrative descriptions. The original game of “Flower” creates the illusion of peace and comforts when the players imagine themselves as the wind gliding in the fresh landscapes.  To create a reverse narrative description would be to remove the cleanliness in the air and transform it into repulsive and sickening feelings. Such as to replace the traveling wind to the breath of a grim reaper and with the idea of anyplace that the smell has passed, it will leave a trail of darkness and death behind. While the wind can be reversed into the breath of the grim reaper, the flowers in the landscapes can be recreating it as living human in this world. The pedals that are collected by the wind in the original game of Flower can be redrawn as the souls of men. Last, combining the two reversed concepts of the game, the narrative descriptions of the game have now become “being the breath of the grim reaper, the players’ mission is to journey across the human world to collect souls of men.”

      The game has now become dark and sinful rather than its original peaceful expression, and new changes will need to be made to meet the main story of the game. Modifications on the artist styles will be a big part of the changes.  Through utilizing different ethnic group living in different countries to replace the idea of different types of flowers grown in different parts of the plains and mountains. There will also be the incorporation of religious beliefs and social groups to divide up the different levels of the game, such as regular individual human is easier to retrieve the souls while it takes more serious steering to successfully retrieve souls of men who are religious believers.

      In conclusion, games can have the same core mechanics but different themes that makes them unique from each other. The game “Flower” is a great example where the original game promotes a positive and relaxing feeling to players, but when the theme of the game is changed by reversing the narrator descriptions, it can become a game focuses on evil and darkness. Therefore, narrative description is a huge part of the game designing process because it helps promote players’ interest in playing the game.


  1. "PlayStation®." Flower for the PS3 System. Buy Flower, a Strategy Game for the PS3 System from PlayStation. Web. 25 Sept. 2012. <http://us.playstation.com/games-and-media/games/flower-ps3.html>. 

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