Drama as a Gameplay Element
10:06 AM | Ben Boffey | Comment on this story
One of the increasing concerns within the development community is how to attract a wider audience to computer gaming. An area of game content which has come under major scrutiny lately is the need for a plot -- a story line that drives the game forward and keeps the player interested. There is a growing awareness that games cannot be sold purely on technical advancements, something which has driven much of the market over recent years. While increasing poly-counts and striving for ever more realistic textures is certainly not something that will be forgotten, it's important to remember that the real sucesses of the market have been innovative games with something different to offer. This was a noticeable talking point at GDCE. Gamers are becoming bored with the plethora of clone titles and again want something to capture their imagination.
Gamasutra, the home of computer game industry discussions, has just posted an article by Randy Littlejohn discussing the use of drama in interactive storytelling. This excellent article theroizes on many ways to include dramatic content in a game, and what makes such a game successful. Here's an excerpt:
A rising concern is, "How do we graft a story to our action game?" Story means linear...right? The whole idea of a story is opposed to the idea of interactivity…right? The basic concern is "How do we make an effective interactive story?" So what does effective mean in terms of interactive storytelling? There are two basic ingredients. These are intuitive interface design and compelling stories. In this article, I will address one of the two ingredients, the development of compelling interactive storytelling.As depth of game-play is rediscovered, we can hope to see less games which have the 'story clamped onto a game-engine at the last minute' syndrome, something which luckily has not been as quite as apparent on our beloved platform as it has on others. Taking lessons from other forms of story-telling media such as theater, film and TV, the article discusses what makes for a good story and how to draw a player or viewer into it. This is well worth a read whether your interested in hot topics within the industry or just want to know what you may be playing in the future.
Adapting the Tools of Drama @ Gamasutra
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