A little while ago, Dan wrote about how games play much like the movie Russian Ark, in one continuous shot that tracks the whole level. He observes that cinema, by contrast, more typically cuts space together, both to augment it (larger than it could be, adjacent to things it couldn’t be), and to abbreviate it (shots cutting between places with no sense of their spatial relationship).
Thirty Flights of Loving, he suggests, is highly unusual in that game space is chopped and abbreviated in this way.
Bryan Ma points us to an eerie analysis of the hotel from The Shining:
I was thinking maybe this was just a way of abbreviating the shots without having to use cuts - maybe the shot of Danny circling around would just take too long if the rooms were the right width? Also, the set is 8th-wonder-of-the-world huge (for a 70s movie set), maybe they didn’t have the budget (or lot space) to build the extra rooms and light-well that should exist there?
But the bit where they walk into the cold storage room via one door, but exit on the other side of the corridor, that must have been deliberate and just for effect. So instead I get the feeling this hotel doesn’t just have ghosts but ghost doors and ghost rooms, old configurations of the hotel that simultaneously exist at the same time as new ones.
I’m really curious now if there are games that approach non-linear space like this too? Do they have impossible space, self-overlapping levels and doors that open into rooms that don’t exist from the other side (tardis-style)? I imagine it’s possible to swap in different bits of levels depending on which way you arrive at a space, but has anyone tried? Portal or Fez is maybe the closest example I can think of?