Writing for the hero with 1 000 faces l.jpg
Sponsored Links
This presentation is the property of its rightful owner.
1 / 113

Writing For The Hero With 1,000 Faces PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on
  • Presentation posted in: General

Writing For The Hero With 1,000 Faces. Storytelling Challenges and Gears of War. On today’s menu. Storytelling in games Crafting the player experience. How? Not by accident, that’s for sure. Storytelling in games = group effort For many on team, uncharted waters

Download Presentation

Writing For The Hero With 1,000 Faces

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Presentation Transcript

Writing for the hero with 1 000 faces l.jpg

Writing For The Hero With 1,000 Faces

  • Storytelling Challenges and Gears of War

On today s menu l.jpg

On today’s menu

  • Storytelling in games

  • Crafting the player experience

Slide6 l.jpg

  • How?

  • Not by accident, that’s for sure

Slide7 l.jpg

  • Storytelling in games = group effort

  • For many on team, uncharted waters

  • Today’s session is for all game devs, not just game writers

Slide8 l.jpg

  • Work with freelancers?

  • Unique challenges

  • This session can help

Slide9 l.jpg


Gears of war l.jpg

Gears of War

Bioshock l.jpg


Blacksite l.jpg


Group effort l.jpg

Group Effort

  • Gears

  • Bioshock

  • Blacksite

  • Always working with team

Slide16 l.jpg

  • Different projects, similar challenges

Here we go l.jpg

Here We Go

Slide18 l.jpg

  • 1 2 3

Mirror neurons l.jpg

mirror neurons

Slide20 l.jpg

  • There’s only one Fenix

  • But 3 million + guys playing as Fenix

  • One hero, 3 million faces

Movie his story l.jpg

Movie = His Story

  • Plot

  • Character development

  • Exposition

  • Conflict

  • Dialog

  • For one story: his

Game zillion stories l.jpg

Game = Zillion Stories

Slide24 l.jpg

  • Every player wants to drive the story

  • Every player is different

  • What the hell

Slide25 l.jpg

  • Where to begin?

Slide26 l.jpg

  • a place to begin

Slide31 l.jpg

  • Their mirror neurons are telling them the game is happening to them

  • Not their avatar

  • Them

Slide32 l.jpg

  • Players respond emotionally to what they do

  • If the player does it, it matters

Slide33 l.jpg

  • Here comes the takeaway:

  • Use mirror neurons to match player experience and avatar experience

Slide34 l.jpg

  • Design game & story so that player and avatar want the same thing

Slide35 l.jpg

  • Can use this concept to decide what stays in your story and what goes

Slide36 l.jpg

  • Fenix’s dad no, Colonel Hoffman yes

  • Alpha Squad

Slide37 l.jpg

  • Can think in terms of emotion

  • What will player feel when he plays?

  • For an FPS, there are some safe bets...

Slide38 l.jpg

  • Anger

  • Fear

  • Frustration

  • Dominance

  • Satisfaction

Slide39 l.jpg

  • Use mirror neurons to immerse player in your game

Slide40 l.jpg

  • Mirror neurons are cool

  • Experimenting with it now

  • Hope to say more about this in future

Story can do 1 of 2 things l.jpg

Story can do 1 of 2 things:

  • Amplify gameplay

  • Or

  • Block gameplay

Slide42 l.jpg

  • If story mirrors player’s feelings, then story amplifies gameplay

  • Booyah

Neurons good l.jpg

Neurons Good

  • Mirrors player experience

  • Amplifies gameplay

  • Integrates story with game

Slide44 l.jpg

  • 1 2 3

Backstage l.jpg


Cinematics l.jpg


Cinematics can l.jpg

Cinematics can:

  • Throw player out of game

  • Force story on player

  • Reveal too much

It s a pickle l.jpg

It’s a pickle

  • You want to tell the story

  • But you don’t want to get in the way of gameplay

  • Help

Slide49 l.jpg

  • Player can solve this problem

  • Put that guy to work

Slide50 l.jpg

  • Things we do at the same time:

  • work

  • surf the web

  • IM

  • answer phones

  • eat lunch

  • talk to coworkers

  • wish we were doing something else

Slide51 l.jpg

  • We have all become multitaskers

Slide53 l.jpg

  • How to integrate without distracting?

  • Think of game space as a stage:

Slide54 l.jpg

  • Front of the stage = gameplay

  • Back of the stage = story

Slide55 l.jpg

  • Tell story AROUND the player, instead of TO the player

Slide57 l.jpg

  • Tell story in bite-size chunks

  • Run it in background

  • Tie only loosely to gameplay

Slide58 l.jpg

  • Breadcrumb the story

  • Little at a time, early and often

  • Use this to pace the story

Slide59 l.jpg

  • This makes story portable

  • Can move story around level to match game design

Slide60 l.jpg

  • Baird & The Cole Train

Slide61 l.jpg

  • Everything contributes to story

  • Visuals, audio...

  • Call out in story meetings

  • Designed for gameplay, but helps story too

Backstage good l.jpg

Backstage Good

  • Story runs parallel to gameplay

  • Story builds naturally

  • Story is portable, adjustable

Slide63 l.jpg

  • 1 2 3

Throughline l.jpg


Slide65 l.jpg

  • Script review process can be painful

  • What to leave in? What to cut?

  • Always pressure to cut

Slide66 l.jpg

  • What always makes the cut:

  • Gameplay instructions

  • Often story is reduced to:

Slide68 l.jpg

  • Why does this happen so often?

My big fat theory l.jpg

My big fat theory

  • No clear right or wrong with scripts

  • Uncharted waters for most devs

  • Fall back on approach that works

Slide70 l.jpg

  • 90% of the writing in this industry looks like this

Slide73 l.jpg

  • Code is great

  • Without it, none of us would here today

  • BUT

Slide76 l.jpg

  • Stories that are built only on logical sequence of events fall short

Slide77 l.jpg

  • Good stories are more than logical:

  • They are true

  • Not the same thing

Slide78 l.jpg

  • Stories help us understand who we are

  • And we need that help

  • We’re crazy!

Slide81 l.jpg

  • The writing we do for each other - in stories - works when it’s rooted in human behavior, in what drives us and moves us

Slide83 l.jpg

  • Your player interacts emotionally with your game - hopefully: that’s the goal

Slide84 l.jpg

  • Your player is already emotional

  • With a throughline, you can add structure to that experience

  • Send him from Point A to Point B

Slide85 l.jpg

  • Send him on an adventure

Slide86 l.jpg

  • But what is a throughline?

It s friday night l.jpg

It’s Friday night

Slide93 l.jpg

  • Children of Men is about one man’s journey from despair to hope

Slide94 l.jpg

  • ...but that IS what it’s about

  • That’s the throughline

  • That’s where the story goes, from beginning to end

Slide96 l.jpg

  • Children of Men trailer

Slide97 l.jpg

  • The throughline is your story’s engine

  • It’s what pushes the story forward

Slide98 l.jpg

  • But wait

  • Doesn’t this force a player to listen to dev’s story, instead of creating his own?

  • Not necessarily

Throughline for games l.jpg

Throughline for games

  • Build throughline in the game itself

  • Have the player experience it and impact it through his actions (gameplay)

  • Use mirror neurons, backstage

Throughlines good l.jpg

Throughlines Good

  • Simple, flexible

  • Gives you freedom to iterate game and script 100 + times

  • Keeps story in focus

Slide101 l.jpg

  • Gives your writer something to work with

  • Helps you make informed decisions about drafts, edits

  • Saves time and money

Wrapping it up l.jpg

wrapping it up

Slide103 l.jpg

  • Storytelling = group effort

  • These are tools the entire team can use

How to use these tools l.jpg

How to use these tools?

  • As a checklist

  • Taped over my desk

  • Every script revision & story meeting

  • Both conceptual & analytical tools

Slide105 l.jpg

  • 1 mirror neurons

Slide106 l.jpg

  • back 2 stage

Slide107 l.jpg

  • throughline3

Good luck l.jpg

Good luck

Thanks l.jpg


  • susan@susanoconnorwriter.com

  • Login