Symbols Used in Foreshadowing

Here's another Plot Deepening Technique. Though it only appears in one specific game moment or situation, it prepares us for something coming later in the plot. In foreshadowing, once again you're creating a symbol that usually operates outside the conscious awareness of the gamer or audience. The symbol, or what occurs to the symbol, suggests something that will occur later in the story to one of your main characters usually something bad.

In the film Shawshank Redemption, Andy Dufresne (played by Tim Robbins) is a man who has been unjustly sent to prison. There he runs afoul of the warden, and the two become enemies. Later in the film, a another man is sent to the prison who has information that could clear Dufresne. The warden finds out about this and asks the man to step out with him into the prison yard at night. The warden grills the new prisoner, who confirms his knowledge of information that could help Dufresne.

The warden, finished, tosses his cigarette on the ground, and steps on it to put it out. He walks away and the prisoner is shot from an unseen source in a guard tower.

The extinguishing of the cigarette was the foreshadowing that the prisoner or at least the information he held was going to be snuffed out. It's emotional: It gives us an ominous feeling when we see it happen.

Creating Emotion in Games. The Craft and Art of Emotioneering
Creating Emotion in Games: The Craft and Art of Emotioneering
ISBN: 1592730078
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 394

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