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Channeling Narrative Momentum

by Erik Loyer

At the beginning of each of screen/puzzle in the iOS app Framed, most panels consist of scenes where something is about to happen—time doesn’t begin to pass in a given panel until the main character arrives. Some panels have more than one physical location where the protagonist may enter and exit, which gives rise to the primary puzzle aspect of the game: by moving a given panel to a new position, the player can change which entrance and which exit are used in the subsequent panel, thereby enabling the protagonist to circumvent obstacles in the environment. In this example from the beginning of the game, the default panel arrangement leads to the capture of main character in panel two when, entering from screen left, he is seen by the policeman. The policeman in panel two, however, happens to be standing in front of a door. The solution to the puzzle, therefore, is to swap the order of the panels such that the main character does not enter from screen left, but instead through the door, which then hits the policeman and gives protagonist a chance to escape. Throughout Framed, a single constraint is enforced which makes these kind of puzzles work: that once a character enters a panel, they keep moving in the same direction until they encounter an exit.

Framed (Door Puzzle)

An excerpt from the iOS app Framed, which allows players to resequence comic panels to solve puzzles. In this segment, the player must figure out a way to get the protagonist past two police officers. Video captured by YouTube user rrvirus.

from Framed (2014)
Creator: Loveshack
Distributor: Loveshack
Posted by Erik Loyer