Story and narrative
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Story and Narrative. Part 1! (Up to Granularity) Brendan Sim. Why Put Stories in Games?. Stories can add significantly to the entertainment that a game offers. League of Legends: The Journal of Justice Zelda franchise LORE - Legend of Zelda ( youtube ). Why Put Stories in Games?.

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Story and narrative

Story and Narrative

Part 1! (Up to Granularity)

Brendan Sim


Why put stories in games

Why Put Stories in Games?

  • Stories can add significantly to the entertainment that a game offers.

    • League of Legends: The Journal of Justice

    • Zelda franchise

      • LORE - Legend of Zelda (youtube)


Why put stories in games1

Why Put Stories in Games?

  • Stories attract a wider audience

    • World of Warcraft

    • Most MMORPGs………. if not all…


Why put stories in games2

Why Put Stories in Games?

  • Stories help keep players interested in long games


Why put stories in games3

Why Put Stories in Games?

  • Stories help to sell the game


Factors that affect amount of story

Factors that Affect Amount of Story

  • Length

  • Characters

  • Degree of realism

  • Emotional richness

    • The Walking Dead

  • Separate game from similar games with the same mechanics

    • Half-Life 2


Key concepts

Key Concepts

  • Story: an account of series of events, either historical or fictitious


Requirements of good stories

Requirements of Good Stories

  • Minimally Acceptable Story

    • Credible

    • Coherent

    • Dramatically meaningful


Interactive stories ludonarrative

Interactive Stories(Ludonarrative)

  • Takes place NOW

  • Includes three kinds of events:

    • Player events

      • Dramatic actions

    • In-game events

      • Dishonored

    • Narrative events


Key concepts1

Key Concepts

  • Narrative: noninteractive, presentational part of the story

    • Cutscenes

    • Super Mario Galaxy (youtube) (6:19)


Narrative

Narrative

  • Narrative blocks (cutscenes):

    • Opening/Ending sequence

    • Title/Closing credits sequence

    • Post-credits scene

    • Interlevel sequence

  • Design Rule

    • Interruptible


Narrative1

Narrative

  • Forms:

    • Prerendered movie

    • Cut-scene

    • Scrolling text

    • V.O.

    • Character monologue

  • Misconception: one-liners


Balancing narrative and gameplay

Balancing Narrative and Gameplay

  • MGS4…… over 9 hours of cutscenes… that ending…

  • Multiple endings

    • http://gaming.wikia.com/wiki/List_of_video_games_with_most_endings

  • Design rule

    • Don’t take control of the avatar


Key concept

Key Concept

  • Dramatic Tension and Gameplay Tension


Dramatic tension

Dramatic Tension

  • Desire to know what happens next

  • Cliffhangers (lol spoilers)

    • The Walking Dead (youtube) (20:06)


Gameplay tension

Gameplay Tension

  • Desire to overcome a challenge

  • Multiplayer

    • League of Legends (youtube)


Differences between tensions

Differences between Tensions

  • Tolerance for randomness and repetition


The storytelling engine

The Storytelling Engine


Linear stories

Linear Stories

  • Require less content than nonlinear ones

  • Simpler storytelling engine

    • Reduce continuity errors

  • Deny the player agency

  • Capable of greater emotional power

    • To the Moon (youtube)


Nonlinear stories

Nonlinear Stories

  • Structures:

    • Branching Stories

    • Foldback Stories


Branching stories

Branching Stories

  • Game events

    • Player events

      • Challenges

      • Decisions

    • In-game events

      • AI-driven


Influence

Influence

  • Immediate

  • Deferred

    • Runescape: Shield of Arrav and Heroes’ Quest

  • Cumulative


Branching story structure

Branching Story Structure


Disadvantages to branching stories

Disadvantages to Branching Stories

  • $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

  • Critical event branches create disjointed sections

  • Replay for all endings


Foldback story

Foldback Story

  • Focuses on disadvantages of branching stories

  • Commonly used in industry


Foldback story structure

Foldback Story Structure

  • OH GOD WHITE SPACE


Emergent narrative

Emergent Narrative

  • No set story

  • Created from playing (based on core mechanics)


Endings

Endings

  • Based on dramatic actions in the game

    • Challenges  1 ending (or 2)

    • Critical decisions  multiple endings


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