Story Lines

  • I think that in most of the games you mentioned, jayderyu , the player is creating their own story (the story of their struggle and hopefully victory over their opponent), which is also true in chess, although chess would have a much deeper psuedo-narrative relative to Mario Kart. Not every game needs as explicit a story (roulette, for example), whereas some games are almost entirely story and very light on mechanics (recent example, Gone Home).

    I think the points about the importance of successful mechanics, though, are also quite true. Think of reading a book like George R. R. Martin's Game of Thrones ... simple mechanics, incredible story. You flip a page or press "next" on your Kindle and keep reading. Well, if the book were printed on 12-meter tall iron sheets, virtually no one would get through it.

    So, the mechanics DO have to complement and enable the development of the narrative. I think most of the participants on this thread are at least partly right, and even completely right from a certain perspective.

  • If your game is scifi and you need an interesting story or concept, my brother has a blog at scifiideas.com which often posts great ideas and concepts.

    great site! thanks!

  • For what little it is worth, I found BioShock to be very boring due to the gameplay. I even tried cranking the difficulty up to make it more interesting but still quit before I made it to the end. Didn't buy the sequel. I realize I'm in the minority on this one.

    I do like good stories. I'm a huge movie fanatic. I enjoy good written fiction. If I want a great story, I don't play games. I watch a movie or read a book. The gameplay mechanics almost always get in the way for me, for whatever reason (slows down the story? is generally repetitive? too shallow?).

    However, I am a huge fan of creative settings and themes that tie the gameplay together. Left 4 Dead is great. I love roleplaying MUDs. What would the Civ series be without the empire building backdrop?

    The story for my hobby project which will probably never get finished is this:

    Thousands of years ago dark magic and stuff of myth was locked in the Great Pyramids--a stone vault which extends thousands of feet beneath the sands of the desert. Something goes wrong, and all of this stuff is unleashed in the modern world which cause apocalyptic chaos.

    The game begins thousands of years in the future with a typical gritty fantasy RPG setting. There are five playable races, four of which mostly keep to themselves. Mankind has re-established itself as those in charge, and struggle to maintain a tense peace in the known world. That is, until the day the game starts when something has happened to all of man's guards and soldiers leaving a power vacuum.

    The world is going to be very malleable with lots of simulation elements. It is possible for the player to really change what happens and create their own story. I would like each NPC to have individual, changing needs ("quests") based on what is happening around them. Eventually the player will be able to build buildings and create towns for certain races, or eradicate others if they so choose and can pull it off.

    I have a 'final' boss character too, but haven't settled on how he will work.

  • One recent example: Two Souls has one of the best story and characters but is getting mixed reviews because it's pretty much a movie that you paid $60 for and that runs for 8 too many hours. The few parts where you get too play are not that great apparently.

    But that does not mean story is not important.

    One of my favorite game of all time is Another World. There was a story, it was simple, it's mostly told through gameplay (some cutscenes, but never longer than a few seconds), without the need of dialog. The action was great and rarely repetitive. Great graphic for the time (still holds up today), great atmosphere, many innovations, and all this made by one single guy, living at his parent's

    A great inspiration for me !

  • How about this perspective on the entire subject.

    It's not about Story or Game Play. It's about what the consumer; the gamer is looking for. I think more than anything else on the matter. Only what the gamer wants.

    If a gamer wants a story they will look for story. If a gamer wants gameplay they skip story.

    Some games clearly focus on story, Heavy Rain. Where as some games focus on game play such as Fifa. They find market because there are gamers that are searching certain criteria.

    Often gamers are best made with a good enough story and good enough gameplay. This hedges the bet to try and gain interest from people interested in story and gameplay.

    As an example a couple of months ago. I decided to watch Deadspace cartoon on Netflix. I never wanted to play the game. After watching the frist show i was interested in the story. I watched the second show. Wanting more I ended up reading the Deadspace Wikia to know the entire story. I would rather watch a movie, but there is now more temptation to play the game.

    I never discount the value of story. Movies, books, TV, Radio all provided a form of important entertainment. Even oral stories are traditional. Human's love entertainment and that seems to be 3 types. Stories, education and activity.

    There is no reason why games can't have stories. But in the end games don't need stories nor do they need someone to "fill" in story when it's not present. There are too many gamers that click through the story just to play the game.

    It's just a matter of desire from the consumer. For us on this game creation site. We are probably best off to have solid gameplay and a story that the player wants to see.

  • Try Construct 3

    Develop games in your browser. Powerful, performant & highly capable.

    Try Now Construct 3 users don't see these ads
  • I agree with jayderyu that perhaps it depends more on the player.

    Personally, I love the stories and pay attention to every cut scenes and CGs. But there are many players who cancel those cut scenes and go straight to the gameplay. Haha I do find myself pushing myself through some very dull and boring gameplay just to know what happens next in the story.

    But I do agree that some games concentrate too much on stories until they tend to fell more like a movie. I guess in the end, it depends on the type of player you are targeting, and if you are able get them to play your game. Perhaps with CG, and all that associated with great stories in games, many companies are leaving them out because they are expensive, take time and take up much more space?

    In comparison one of the best story games sold

    <img src="smileys/smiley20.gif" border="0" align="middle" />

Jump to:
Active Users
There are 1 visitors browsing this topic (0 users and 1 guests)