Environment Design Bernband Game Analysis By Mr.Z & R.


First of all I would like to apologize for the poor grammar. The writer of this article is a foreigner and he writes with an accent.

Not going away from the writings of Firewatch and the game presentation of Dear Esther, Bernband is another game in which the environment is the star of the game.

Like in a good stroll around the part, Bernband is not far behind of that concept. The player as the character Alien on the game walks around and discovers the city and this world designed in an abstract pixilated form. The soundtrack and sounds take the player to the place of discovery in an imaginary city, planet, or whatever the player think it is. The player as a tourist in an imaginary world enjoys the view and the discoveries of this new world carefully crafted for his enjoyment

Bernband is a  simple game for a simple minded player and more to be said about that it will be just another tempest in a cup of water, but in a better completion of this article a necessary view of Firewatch is necessary to better explain Bernband and other possible environmental games to be created.

The article provides the insight about the game Firewatch and how the relationship between environmental design and narrative experiences affect the player and the outcome of the game. The article talk a lot about lived experience through conscious awareness of the player to the game, the interactive experience of being in the game, real concrete experiences of feelings in the game, past experiences of the gamer into the game and memories.

Words used in the article like definitions, meanings, tactics, small choices, realizations, limitations freedom and constraints are also used to explains how the game work with the player or gamer. In one passage of the article the writer wrote: “Saint-Exupery’s Le Petit Prince famously stated: “It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important”.

I can say with certainty that the definitions and the insight of the game Firewatch have an enormous parallel with the people’s experiences on everyday life. I have been noticed in the lectures presented in class and the readings done, that games are nothing more than stories told with the active presence of the gamer – or player – using his experiences to move around in this virtual environment created for him by simply using his best judgment in pro to the limitations that the game impose to him. The gamer playing the character of the game is himself, and the character is his avatar.

The same personal relation and interpretation of the real environment and not the virtual one that the gamer is living is passed on to the game in which he becomes an important part of the story himself. The gamer is transported to the game physically and mentally like Kevin Flynn in the film Tron. The game becomes reality for the gamer for a brief moment in his life.

Man always has the quest to tell a story and many forms of telling a story were created to pursuit that quest. Dancing, painting, sculpture, music, opera, theater, sequential art, movies, books, and so on. Games are the natural evolution of this quest to tell a story, and to connect the viewer and reader to the story presented. The relationship between environmental design and narrative experiences are constant in the storytelling performances and video games are taking this concept to the next level of narrative experience by making the gamer or player to become part of the story and act directly in the story like he is acting in his own life creating his own life stories with all the rules and limitations the society can bring.

Game Share is a class assignment at Cornish School of Arts ministered by Professor Terry Schenold and presented by the students Zack Conklin and Raphael Melis. This article is only related to the thoughts of Raphael Melis about the game Bernband. More information will be followed by Mr. Z. Thanks for reading this.

Above: Bernband the game on five minutes on Youtube.


  1. Baril-Bédard, Roxanne. “Environment as Narratives.” First Person Scholar. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Oct. 2016.
  2. “Gameplay: Bernband.” YouTube. N.p., 2014. Web. 08 Oct. 2016.
  3.  Bernband the game. Photo from the game. 08 Oct.2016.

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