Interactive storytelling for video games chapter 15 the future of storytelling in games
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Interactive Storytelling for Video Games Chapter 15: The Future of Storytelling in Games. Josiah Lebowitz Chris Klug. Stories Then and Now. Stories in games have come a long way since Donkey Kong and Colossal Cave Adventure. The importance of stories in games continues to grow.

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Interactive Storytelling for Video Games Chapter 15: The Future of Storytelling in Games

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Interactive storytelling for video games chapter 15 the future of storytelling in games

Interactive Storytelling for Video GamesChapter 15: The Future of Storytelling in Games

Josiah Lebowitz

Chris Klug


Stories then and now

Stories Then and Now

  • Stories in games have come a long way since Donkey Kong and Colossal Cave Adventure.

  • The importance of stories in games continues to grow.

  • Stories have become a key feature in many genres.

  • Games today use a variety of different storytelling styles.


The key arguments

The Key Arguments

  • Pro Player-Driven Storytelling:

    • Player-driven storytelling is the evolution of the art form.

    • The writer can explore different story angles and progressions.

    • The player can become closer to characters he creates.

    • What players want most is to control stories and steer them in the direction they enjoy.

  • Pro Traditional Storytelling:

    • Storytelling is a perfected form and has no need to “evolve”.

    • Highly player-driven stories are time consuming and expensive to create, and most players won’t see the majority of the content.

    • Players can too easily turn the story down an uninteresting path.

    • It’s difficult to create highly emotional scenes when the player can always go back and change things.

    • In many ways, the illusion of control is better than actual control.

    • What players want most is an enjoyable well structured story.


What players want

What Players Want

  • Both arguments come down to what players want and enjoy most in game stories.

  • Stories are a very important factor in determining which games players buy and play.

  • Players have a moderate interesting player-driven storytelling.

  • Games with more traditional forms of storytelling are the most popular among players by far.

  • Games with highly player-driven forms of storytelling aren’t very popular among players, aside from a handful of big name titles.


Looking towards the future

Looking Towards the Future

  • The game industry always looks towards the future.

  • Accurately predicting the future, even in only a single industry, is very difficult and uncertain.

  • Interactive traditional storytelling is currently the most popular style by far and will most likely remain that way for the foreseeable future.

  • Player-driven storytelling won’t disappear and will likely gain popularity over time.

  • However, the carefully designed structure, pacing, and characters found in more traditional storytelling styles will continue to dominate the industry.

  • The basic foundations of storytelling will remain constant as they have for thousands of years.


A future for everyone

A Future for Everyone

  • Many people in the game industry are always searching for the “best” way to do things.

  • They assume that, once that “best” way is found, everything else will become obsolete.

  • The industry has continuously defied their predictions.

  • No matter how the industry grows and changes over time, there will always be fans of every game genre, storytelling style, art style, and the like.

  • Instead of arguing about which type of storytelling style is best, game designers and writers should focus on creating the type of games and stories they want to create.

  • If the game and story are good, they’ll likely find an audience, regardless of the storytelling style.


Things to consider

Things to Consider

  • Do you believe that the game industry tends to become too fixated on a single “best” way of doing things? Why or why not?

  • What are some of the most important things you’ve learned from this class?

  • How will you use the things you’ve learned to improve your stories?

  • What are your own views on the future of storytelling in games?


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