Cool-B In Search Of Floyd – Breathing New Life Into Traditional Story Elements

Standard

by Bob Reinhard

As a writer, I often find myself focusing heavily on the writing of any game that focuses on narrative or tries to separate itself from various other games through use of unique concept design and story elements. This leads to a lot of disappointment as I often find the same characters and concepts being told in the same tired way. And while it’s fine to have traditional aspects to keep things fit nicely into their genre, it’s always nice to see games spice things up by taking those traditional story elements and presenting them in new ways.

While sifting through the Greenlight section on Steam recently, I came across Cool-B In Search Of Floyd, an indie game (which seems to have actually released today!) from a small company out of North Carolina called Solanimus. The game uses a quirky hand-drawn art style to put forth fairly simple platforming and mini-game style gameplay, but it’s not the gameplay that drew me in, as much as it was the description of the concept itself that caught my attention.

“In Cool-B in Search of Floyd, you play as Cool-B the cat on his journey to find his brother, Floyd.
These were two cats that I had in real life. Floyd passed away, and Cool-B dramatically changed,
searching for Floyd and calling for him every night. It was then, when I was much younger, that I
began thinking about the story for this game.”

TTAP8XO6QVaottR9G0np_cisofnewtitlescreen_oil_450

While narrative concepts such as familial love and lose are nothing new, something about this very different, authentic approach to it gave the game something that separated itself from various games like it. Instead of relying on people, the game strips away the humanity of the situation and shows us these aspects on a more base, instinctual level. These are things we ourselves experience as people, but showing it without the ego and the conscious thought process that we go through is something that I appreciate.

With just a little tweak, a real-life concept that can be related to sticks much more as it’s shown to cross the boundary between species. This basic setup helps bring out the warmth and spirit in the colorful, fanciful worlds the game presents. It allows us to feel these things as part of a psychological, spiritual journey. While the game may not rely heavily on the narrative aspect or really mean for it to be analyzed so deeply, it’s that simple concept that makes the style work. It’s something games need to grasp in order to make a narrative, a story, characters, a world, more authentic and give us a sense of feeling instead of a barren, boring shell to play in.

So, kudos to you Solanimus for taking a small aspect of life and creating an experience around it that is unique and sticks out, while still relying on tradition.

Cool-B In Search Of Floyd is available now for PC and Mac priced at $1.99 or on iOS and Android for $0.99. You can pick up the computer versions and the games soundtrack (for $0.99) over at Solaniums’ store here. Check out a gameplay trailer over on Youtube. And be sure to swing over to Steam’s Greenlight and give it a vote! 

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Cool-B In Search Of Floyd – Breathing New Life Into Traditional Story Elements

  1. AusDoz

    TV culture, as one example, seems to think that the narrative ‘bar’ has to be continually raised, resulting in formulaic or convoluted writing (or both). Once upon a time, games didn’t really even have a narrative and it was still entertaining and we look back upon those times fondly. Is there a mindset within a lot of the industry? Less is more, but however simple or complex the narrative might be, so much comes down to its presentation. Show, don’t tell.

    When one writes, it’s a challenge to come back fresh to a piece and slice into our work with the red pen, but I think it’s sometimes a vital element to many art forms. Games like ICO, Limbo, Ocarina of Time, these all have some successes with crediting the audience, the gamer, with intelligence and allowing them to make certain connections for themselves. Whether you’re an on-stage performer or a director of a videogame, there’s an eschelon of eliciting an emotional response from their audience.

    But then again, it’s not an approach that will work with ALL games either, without even drilling into the detail of genre and theme…

  2. Deraj626

    I agree with you. It’s simple things that can make great things. The graphics though, a little too simple for my taste. Well, not really simple, it kind of just looks a bit unprofessional to me.

Sound Off!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s