This material has been produced to be used on the BTEC Level 3 Games Development Extended Diploma (formerly National Diploma) course delivery. This resource can be adapted and amended for other relevant courses.
Text of Computer Games - Story Theory - Narrative Delivery Types
1. Story In Relation to Game
2. Why Stories? In general: Illuminate the human condition Make you feel something Help you learn something Fun
3. Stories In Games: New medium new ways to tell stories Keep people playing to the end They end feeling of accomplishment instead of exasperation or boredom Good experience will sell the next game
4. How? In General: Beginning Stability Middle Disruption End Resolution
5. How? (continued) Drivers of Drama Conflict Mystery Stakes Raised Life Food Shelter Love Companionship Reproduction
6. How? (continued) Stakes Comfort Money Fashion Fame Power Social standing Control of others Control of your own destiny
7. Story in Games Narrative to Start then forget it Who are you? Who are they? Why do you want to kill each other? Are there other stories to tell that dont involve life and death stakes? Are there other mechanics to play than violience?
8. Story and Games Story Delivered in the Structure of Games
9. Story is same for all players Play stops at each obstacle until its overcome Examples: X-Wing TIE Fighter Myst Tomb Raider Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy Linear story
10. Linear story Advantages Complete narrative control Player sees all content or quits Disadvantages Play stops until obstacle is overcome No replayability Player may quit
11. More than one path from beginning to end Players have varying degrees of success yet can continue Examples: Wing Commander Balders Gate Planescape Torment King of Dragon Pass Europa 1400: The Guild Branching Storyline
12. Branching Storyline Advantages Players make choices that affect their entire game experience Replayability Some narrative control major plot points Disadvantages Unseen content Some game experiences better than others
13. Emergent Storylines Broad rules lead to stories that emerge during play Winning conditions dictate end of game, not narrative Examples: Civilization Falcon 4.0 X-Com Daggerfall
14. Emergent Storylines Advantages Every game has unique story Player feels totally in control Replayability Disadvantages Very difficult to generate good stories Very little narrative control
15. How do we write in-game stories? Story space as opposed to linear narrative Discovery as a means of storytelling Scripted action sequences Found stories
16. Linear/Branching/Emergent Task 3 For each of the 3 story writing styles above cite an example of a game that you have either played or researched. Discuss how the story is delivered in your example and how that complies to the type of delivery Discuss the strengths and weaknesses within this story and the story delivery method itself Draw conclusions about the methods of story delivery. Consider how appropriate these methods are in relation to games. Does one have more potential than another? If so why?