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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
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
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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