Designing story-based games *Article*

Join 500,000+ Artists

Its' free and it takes less than 10 seconds!

Join the #1 Art Workshop - LevelUpJoin Premium Art Workshop

Results 1 to 3 of 3
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Calgary,AB Canada
    Posts
    597
    Thanks
    363
    Thanked 613 Times in 197 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0

    Designing story-based games *Article*

    My friend Levi posted this on his blog. http://momentary.tumblr.com/ Im unsure where he found this, but I thought it was a great read.

    Designing story-based games

    Awesome description of designing interaction and narratives. From 1996 and still just as relevant (as if humans have changed). A lot of times I think that we still have the same sort of concerns as thousands of years ago, relationships, career, happiness, yet we think we are so much more advanced. In some ways more, in some less. A few legs up from more available education, a few steps back from the distraction/lack of responibility from, say, technology or prevailing external-reality-as-controlling-us beliefs. But anyway.
    Eons ago, in 1996, Next Generation magazine asked me for a list of game design tips for narrative games. Here’s what I gave them. Reading it today, some of it feels dated (like the way I refer to the player throughout as “he”), but a lot is as relevant as ever. I especially like #8 and #9.

    1. The story is what the player does, not what he watches.

    2. List the actions the player actually performs in the game and take a cold hard look at it. Does it sound like fun? (Resist the temptation to embellish. If a cinematic shows the player’s character sneak into a compound, clobber a guard and put on his uniform, the player’s action is “Watch cinematic.” Letting the player click to clobber the guard isn’t much better.)

    3. The only significant actions are those that affect the player’s ability to perform future actions. Everything else is bells and whistles.

    4. Design a clear and simple interface. The primary task of the interface is to present the player with a choice of the available actions at each moment and to provide instant feedback when the player makes a choice.

    5. The player needs a goal at all times, even if it’s a mistaken one. If there’s nothing specific he wishes to accomplish, he will soon get bored, even if the game is rich with graphics and sound.

    6. The more the player feels that the events of the game are being caused by his own actions, the better — even when this is an illusion.

    7. Analyze the events of the story in terms of their effect on the player’s goals. For each event, ask: Does this move the player closer to or further away from a goal, or give him a new goal? If not, it’s irrelevant to the game.

    8. The longer the player plays without a break, the more his sense of the reality of the world is built up. Any time he dies or has to restart from a saved game, the spell is broken.

    9. Alternative paths, recoverable errors, multiple solutions to the same problem, missed opportunities that can be made up later, are all good.

    10. Don’t introduce gratuitous obstacles just to create a puzzle.

    11. As the player moves through the game, he should have the feeling that he is passing up potentially interesting avenues of exploration. The ideal outcome is for him to win the game having done 95% of what there is to do, but feeling that there might be another 50% he missed.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  


  2. Hide this ad by registering as a member
  3. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Daniel Andrews For This Useful Post:


  4. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Oakland, California
    Posts
    36
    Thanks
    58
    Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Cool, guy.

    I could see a book written on this topic. Someone should do it. :-)

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  5. The Following User Says Thank You to WinterTime For This Useful Post:


  6. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Slovakia
    Posts
    4,178
    Thanks
    5,096
    Thanked 2,049 Times in 1,108 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    It'd be good to add some game examples for each point.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

Members who have read this thread: 0

There are no members to list at the moment.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Register

Developed Actively by vBSocial.com
The Art Department
SpringOfSea's Sketchbook