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Visual Narrative Logic in "Framed"

by Erik Loyer

Throughout Framed, a comics-inspired narrative puzzler for iOS, a single constraint is enforced which makes the puzzles work: that once a character enters a panel, they keep moving in the same direction until they encounter an exit. This rule sets up the core spatio-temporal logic of the game—logic that enables the player to make educated guesses about what will happen when they change the order of the panels. In fact, this principle is so baked in to the structure of the game that it is followed even when it defies conventional narrative logic. In this sequence, the main character, attempting to escape through a locked door, must use falling luggage to knock out a police officer who holds the key to the lock. The protagonist, however, propelled forward by her own spatio-temporal momentum, is rendered unable to pick up the keys that are lying right next to her; instead the player must allow her to exit the panel to the right, and then move the panel with the fallen officer subsequent to her current location so that she can then reenter the very same panel from the left and retrieve the key.

Framed (Key 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 the key to a locked door from a hostile police officer. Video captured by YouTube user rrvirus.

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