The Stanley Parable, is the name of a Half-Life 2 mod and its "HD Remix". It follows the journey of Stanley, an office clerk whose life is largely unknown. It is not known whether he is insane or not, this can be determined via the choices you make along the way. Explore a whole new world with just one turn, click or even just standing still. You will be accompanied by a disembodied voice who is only known as the Narrator but beware, he is not who he seems like. Stanley was a simple man, he was happy to sit in an office all day everyday pushing buttons. But one day, no one gave him orders to push said buttons. And so, Stanley went out of his office to investigate and finds that the whole building was utterly devoid of life. And so begins an adventure. Blow yourself up, explore the unfinished sections of the map, play a game in a game for 4 hours, play Minecraft and Portal through a game, find happiness or maybe escape your workplace. The possibilities are endless, what would you choose?
You will make a choice that does not matter, you will play as Stanley, you will play as yourself. You will follow a story that has no end, you will create your own story. You will have choices, you will have no choice. You will play a game that you cannot win. The end is near, the end is never.
This game is made and owned by Davey Wreden under the Galactic Cafe development name, using Valve's Source Engine.
The game begins with a story of a man named Stanley who worked in a large company as Employee 427. His job is quite simple; Stanley only sat on his desk and push buttons instructed on his computer. This is what Employee 427 did for every day of every month of every year. And Stanley was happy...
And then one day, Stanley suddenly found out that every person in his office had disappeared. Stanley ventured through the office to find the answer, but what he found, is another matter. A terrible secret hidden deep down in the building, mysterious unexplored rooms in the office, and maybe wonders waiting to be discovered. Undaunted, Stanley braves the empty office, guided by the entity known as the Narrator (voiced by Kevan Brighting).
"The Stanley Parable is an experimental narrative-driven first person game. It is an exploration of choice, freedom, storytelling and reality, all examined through the lens of what it means to play a video game."
The game is presented to the player from the first-person perspective. The player can move around and perform interactions with certain elements of the environment, such as pressing buttons or opening doors, but has no other controls.
The story is primarily presented to the player via the voiceover of the game's narrator, who explains that the protagonist Stanley works in an office building, tasked to monitor data coming on a computer screen and press buttons appropriately without question. One day that screen goes blank. Stanley, unsure what to do, starts to explore the building and finds it devoid of people.
At this stage, the story splits off in numerous possibilities, based on the player's choices. The narrator continues the story, but when the player comes to an area where a choice is possible, the narrator will suggest which route Stanley will take. The player can opt to go against the narrator and perform the other action, forcing the narration to account for this new direction which may return the player back to the target path or create a new narration. For example, the first choice the player makes in the game is at a set of two open doors, with the narrator stating that Stanley chose the left door; the player can choose to follow this narration, which keeps the narrator's story on track, or may choose the right door, which makes the narrator annoyed and the player would be pressured by the narrator to get back on the correct track. A total of six possible endings exist in the original mod, and around twenty-one endings are presented in the HD Remake.
Because of this, much of the story is considered thought-provoking about the nature of choice and decisions. The narration also breaks the fourth wall on several occasions in handling the player's decisions.
The remake does not alter the fundamental gameplay or preliminary story, keeping several of the choices and endings from the original modification while adding on new segments based on player choice.
Shortly after the release of the original mod, Wreden was contacted by William Pugh, a player who had experience in creating environments within the Source engine and had previously won a Saxxy Award for this work. Pugh had heard of the mod through word of mouth, and after being impressed with playing it, saw that Wreden was looking for help for improving the mod. The two collaborated each day for two years for the revamped mod. Though initially Wreden wanted to recreate the original game "beat for beat", his discussions with Pugh led to them deciding to alter existing material and add more, an "interpolation" of the original game, and creating a stand-alone title. The game includes the six endings from the original, but provided in a new light of larger changes made to the remake. Brighting remains the voice of the narrator in the remaster, as Wreden considers his voice "half the reason this game has been successful".
In playtesting the newer version, Pugh found that players did not respond well to having a preconceived idea of where the divergent points in the game took place, as represented by a flowchart early in the game, and this was taken out. However, Pugh also found that without some visual cues as to where divergent paths occurred, they would often miss these choices, and so added elements like colors to highlight that a choice was available at these points. In the original mod, one set of choices briefly takes the player to sections modeled after parts of City 17's trainstation in Half-Life 2. In the remake, Pugh and Wreden included the one section named Games Ending, where the player briefly revisits the first level of Portal, and another where the player is dropped into the middle of a Minecraft game. These sections were included after getting approval from their creators Valve Corporation and Markus Persson, from Mojang, respectively.
W - Move forward
D - Strafe right
S - Move backward
A - Strafe left
Mouse - Mouselook
Mouse Button 1 (Left Mouse Button) - Interact with objects (Only works in HD Remix), Use weapons if you've enabled impulse 101 (Exclusive to the Mod, as there are no weapons available in the HD Remix)
E - Interact with objects.
CTRL - Crouch
- Wikipedia - Detailed Wikipedia information of The Stanley Parable
- The official website for The Stanley Parable