Gamasutra: Alan Jack’s Blog – On Stories & Games: Point-Based Storytelling, Implied Narrative & How Interactive Stories Work

Interesting article about game narrative:

Gamasutra: Alan Jack’s Blog – On Stories & Games: Point-Based Storytelling, Implied Narrative & How Interactive Stories Work.

Ultimately, it depends on the game- in a game like Mario Bros., the player’s narrative is simply the trial and error of conquering the levels. The “story” of the game (save the princess) is less important than the work of the player getting through it. The player is encouraged to bulldoze through the levels as quickly as possible, even if that increases the chances that they’ll lose. It’s about personal challenge.

Conversely, in a game like Indigo Prophecy, the gameplay is very open-ended, but the atmosphere is guiding the player into a specific frame of mind, so that the choices they make aren’t flippantly about the end goal. The idea, of course, is for the player to identify enough with the protagonist that they become immersed in the story.

Not all game narrative can be point-based, but there certainly is a balance to strive for…

What can I say, it’s heady stuff.

Blargh. It’s early in the morning.

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