Storytelling and Narrative - McMaster se3gb3/SE3GB3/2012/slides/Chapter 7 - Storytelling...آ  Storytelling

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  • Storytelling and NarrativeStorytelling and Narrative

    By: Thanus Mohanarajan and By: Thanus Mohanarajan and Diego ValdiviaDiego Valdivia

  • IntroductionIntroduction

    stories have developed into rich experiences of retelling eventsstories have developed into rich experiences of retelling events, both , both real and imaginaryreal and imaginary

    Examples: classical poetry, religious and mythological text, Examples: classical poetry, religious and mythological text, playwrights and novelistsplaywrights and novelists

    things didnthings didn’’t start well in video game storytelling t start well in video game storytelling

    long way to go if it wants to achieve literary status like novellong way to go if it wants to achieve literary status like novels and s and scripturescripture

  • The Great DebateThe Great Debate

    Are stories and narrative Are stories and narrative elements necessary in video elements necessary in video games?games? Tetris, Asteroids, and PongTetris, Asteroids, and Pong However, these games have However, these games have one thing in common; they were one thing in common; they were developed during the early developed during the early stages of gamingstages of gaming Modern games need the Modern games need the complexity of narrative in order complexity of narrative in order to complement the complexity of to complement the complexity of gameplay and environments.gameplay and environments.

  • Enhance EntertainmentEnhance Entertainment

    require a contextual environment in which require a contextual environment in which a player needs to partake and believe ina player needs to partake and believe in provide a sense of progress and provide a sense of progress and accomplishment accomplishment Sports Games Sports Games –– Exhibition vs. Regular Exhibition vs. Regular Season vs. Playoffs vs. Championship Season vs. Playoffs vs. Championship GameGame RPG Games RPG Games –– Spawning Characters vs. Spawning Characters vs. Final BossFinal Boss

  • Attract Wider AudienceAttract Wider Audience

    ensure more gamers; gameplay will automatically draw ensure more gamers; gameplay will automatically draw in gamersin gamers added incentive of a added incentive of a ““goodgood”” story will attract more story will attract more gamers who might have dismissed the game beforehandgamers who might have dismissed the game beforehand modern games should incorporate some sort of narrativemodern games should incorporate some sort of narrative

  • Keep Gamer InterestKeep Gamer Interest

    story can push gamers story can push gamers to play their games for to play their games for longer durations of longer durations of timetime

    smaller games that smaller games that involve only high involve only high scores may not entice scores may not entice gamers if they had gamers if they had complicated storiescomplicated stories

  • MarketingMarketing

    Gameplay isnGameplay isn’’t easily t easily marketablemarketable

    Inclusion of characters, Inclusion of characters, taglines, synopsises, or taglines, synopsises, or environment artwork will be environment artwork will be required to get potential required to get potential gamers to buy their gamesgamers to buy their games

  • Example: MarketingExample: Marketing

  • Example: MarketingExample: Marketing

  • When To Put Stories In Games?When To Put Stories In Games?

    depends on the genre of gamedepends on the genre of game

    Tetris, Space Invaders and Pong donTetris, Space Invaders and Pong don’’t t need a story to garner any success, and need a story to garner any success, and can serve as a distractioncan serve as a distraction

    successful game needs to find a balance successful game needs to find a balance between story and gameplaybetween story and gameplay

    Design Rule: Gameplay Comes FirstDesign Rule: Gameplay Comes First

  • Factors to ConsiderFactors to Consider i) Lengthi) Length Shorter games donShorter games don’’t need a story, just a context to play the game int need a story, just a context to play the game in Longer games will need a story to keep longevity of gameplay andLonger games will need a story to keep longevity of gameplay and player interest.player interest.

    ii) Degree Of Realism ii) Degree Of Realism level of abstraction to a game can affect the type of narrative level of abstraction to a game can affect the type of narrative used in used in the games. the games. Characters usually decide what level of story is necessary: raciCharacters usually decide what level of story is necessary: racing ng games are realistic but dongames are realistic but don’’t really require a storyt really require a story

  • Factors to ConsiderFactors to Consider

    iii) Charactersiii) Characters avataravatar--based, or central characters require back stories and a based, or central characters require back stories and a narrative to invest time in the gamenarrative to invest time in the game

    iv) Emotional Richnessiv) Emotional Richness more relevant to single player gamesmore relevant to single player games simple achievements and gameplay tension (will be discussed latesimple achievements and gameplay tension (will be discussed later) r) are not enough for players to continue playing the gameare not enough for players to continue playing the game characters and story are triedcharacters and story are tried--andand--true componentstrue components

  • Key ConceptsKey Concepts

    a) Storya) Story Definition: retelling or an account of a series of Definition: retelling or an account of a series of events (fictional and nonevents (fictional and non--fictional)fictional)

    b) Narrativeb) Narrative Definition: text or the discourse produced by the act Definition: text or the discourse produced by the act of narration (retelling of a story by an overseer, or of narration (retelling of a story by an overseer, or external agent), it is nonexternal agent), it is non--interactive and the player interactive and the player has no influence in the events to comehas no influence in the events to come

  • Story Story -- CredibilityCredibility

    accuracy of a nonaccuracy of a non--fictional retelling fictional retelling believability of a fictional story are criteria that believability of a fictional story are criteria that need to be met by game designersneed to be met by game designers ““suspension of disbeliefsuspension of disbelief”” A good writer will set up the world in a way so A good writer will set up the world in a way so the participant is integrated into the experience the participant is integrated into the experience Three Dimensional characters with developed Three Dimensional characters with developed back stories and personalities back stories and personalities creating the illusion of purpose and creating the illusion of purpose and consequence with virtual beingsconsequence with virtual beings

  • Story Story -- CoherencyCoherency

    thematic structure of a story and its elements thematic structure of a story and its elements must be relevant to each other and not seem must be relevant to each other and not seem arbitraryarbitrary

    appropriate tangents are accepted, but nothing appropriate tangents are accepted, but nothing that will distract the gamerthat will distract the gamer

  • Story Story –– Dramatic MeaningfulnessDramatic Meaningfulness

    With more relevancy to characters, this technique details With more relevancy to characters, this technique details the importance of a story that has relatable characters the importance of a story that has relatable characters that the gamer will come to care aboutthat the gamer will come to care about empathy should not be forced (aka melodrama) empathy should not be forced (aka melodrama) accepted form of empathy should come through naturally accepted form of empathy should come through naturally in the story development, as the gamer will set the tone in the story development, as the gamer will set the tone for their experience and not be force fed how to feelfor their experience and not be force fed how to feel Game events: introduction, rising action, denouement Game events: introduction, rising action, denouement and conclusion. and conclusion. Thematic elements of the story not connected to its Thematic elements of the story not connected to its characters can be used as dramatic meaningfulness,characters can be used as dramatic meaningfulness,

  • Example: Dramatic MeaningfulnessExample: Dramatic Meaningfulness

  • InteractivityInteractivity

    Definition: a story that the player interacts with Definition: a story that the player interacts with by contributing actions to it, and despite the by contributing actions to it, and despite the playerplayer’’s action inability to alter the plot direction, s action inability to alter the plot direction, the story can still be interactivethe story can still be interactive

    active agents active agents -- player has an interactive role in player has an interactive role in the story development and progress of the game the story development and progress of the game itselfitself

    passive agents passive agents –– includes a reader or a viewer includes a reader or a viewer of film or TVof film or TV

  • Player EventsPlayer Events

    actions separate from the actions separate from the game