The Trail: A Frontier Journey

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When I first played this game on my iPhone I did not know what to expect at all. However, as I began to play it I came to a conclusion that it is a game based on trading, crafting, and exploring the New World. First, I chose my character and then I got checklist of what had to be done. The checklist stated:

  • Find a helpful guidetrail-frontier-journey
  • Follow the trail to Eden Falls
  • Collect and craft items
  • Trade my crafted wares
  • Settle in Eden Falls
  • Take on a profession
  • Develop a community
  • Find my perfect partner
  • Raise a family
  • Build my business empire
  • Make my fortune

In the game, players start off with nothing but clothes on their backs. As they go on their trail they explore the wildlife and scenic views . The player also collects items to eat and to craft into valuable goods to trade with other travelers. Also as they begin working together they build a community.

Peter Molyneux 

peter-moly“The Trail has been an exciting project for me,” said 22cans founder and Creative Director Peter Molyneux. “It allowed me to get back to my roots as a game designer and put my passion for creating transformative play experiences into this unique and engaging game for today’s mobile audiences. My hope is that whether they have 5 minutes or 5 hours to play The Trail, they continue thinking about their journey long after the game screen has been closed.” Evidently, Peter Molyneux is the designer of The Trail and part of 22cans; however, he did not design the game all by himself. Peter partnered with Kongregate, which is a mobile and PC publisher and web gaming portal that is owned by Gamestop.

Emily Greer 

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Emily Greer, co-founder and CEO of Kongregate states:

“When I saw The Trail, I knew it was a special game and one that we had to publish. It’s been a pleasure to work with Peter and his team, and I am proud that our company’s founding principles of supporting indie developers and bringing truly unique game content to players worldwide are as true now as they were when we started the company 10 years ago.”

 

Evidently, both 22cans and Kongregate worked together to create The Trail. Therefore, one can say there is not one concise person that created the game. According to Sociologist Howard Becker social actions surround art. So what does he mean by that? He means that everyone does something or everyone has a role when it come to producing art. There is not simply one person producing it all. For example, publishers and developers exist in the gaming world. And in this case, Peter Molyneux is the developer that creates the ideas and puts it into application and Emily Greer is the publisher who does the marketing for it. Although, publishers and developers are huge influencers in the game world they are not the only ones, especially in The Trail. There is music that is added that someone else. Also Game Stop owns Kongregate, so they are also part of the art production work in The Trail.

Considering the artists’ influence on the game is important because it allows the player to understand the game beyond simply playing it. According to Sociologist Becker, “someone must respond to the work once it is done, have an emotional or intellectual reaction to it.” Therefore, by the player having one reaction to the game he or she becomes part of the art world in producing the game without realizing it. This matters because art is a collective activity that not everyone involved in gets credit or recognition for. So, understanding where games come from gives the player much more appreciation or criticism towards the game and I was able to do that when playing The Trail.

Howard Becker. (1982). “Art Worlds and Collective Activity” in Art Worlds. Berkeley: University of California Press: p. 4.

 

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4 thoughts on “The Trail: A Frontier Journey

  1. Fairly stated. Clear. I would also note that you could say that Molyneux’s recent loss of popularity due to failed games (Godus) makes the collaboration all the more important. He could not succeed without support from Kongregate.

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  2. Peter Molyneux is certainly an interesting force within the gaming industry. I remember how ridiculous Curiosity seemed when it first came out, and I found it funny that people devoted so much energy to tapping on their screen, only to be shown a pompous, pseudo-intellectual Youtube video essentially showing that gamers had wasted a great deal of their time for a pointless experiment. This game, however, seems a great deal more engaging, relaxing and well developed. My only problem with games on the mobile platform is the great deal of energy they consume on mobile devices, and sometimes it seems like you half your battery with an hour of play. Very clear and concise post, and I find your doubling of the artist attribution is pretty sweet. Well done.

    Peace
    —Nathaniel

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  3. People reacting to the game to give it meaning is very important. Surly once something is created it belongs to the consumer as he or she will make of the product what they want to see/ get out of it. Kinda like books. The author losing control of the meaning once it reaches the public.

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