More story in the design: what you missed at ION 08

A few weeks ago we spoke at the ION Game Conference on Ready to go for the juggularStory vs. Story: Redefining Narrative and Player Engagement in MMOs. As shocking as it may seem, we actually weren’t the only ones talking about story and MMOs. Think story in MMOs is only for writers? Here’s what you may have missed.

BlackStar Designer Reinhart On Design Doc Alternatives
Reinhart uses a few tricks of the writing trade to make your game concepts more palatable to those who don’t like to read massive design docs. Check out the comments on this article.

Microsoft’s Hanna On The Fight For Shadowrun Audience
What I didn’t see in this article is how the entire game story was thrown out right around E3, so they had to rebuild it from scratch and in a hurry. Turns out you really do need to get buy-in from your fanbase on game story early and often. Who knew? Oh, we did 🙂

Hear ye, hear ye!Joe Ludwig on Pirates of the Burning Sea
Highlighted some of the interesting bits about Pirates of the Burning Sea — including an emphasis on storytelling for single players. How cunning! We almost forgive them for sharing our time slot at the conference.

A five year forecast for MMOs
Five years in the future you will find Scott Jennings and Damion Schubert. Who knew? Presentation covered business models and trends, but one take-home can be applied to storytelling: embrace your genre and learn to love the niche. Powerpoint!

I predict there will be increasing efforts to incorporate quality story into MMOs, because we’ve already seen that trend on published and up-coming MMOs. What do you predict for the future of MMOs and storytelling?

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Published in: on June 3, 2008 at 11:53 am  Comments (3)  
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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I’ve been imagining what would happen if you went up to an NPC in an MMO, asked for something, and he responded with “Wait. Aren’t you a member of so-and-so’s guild? Because he owes me money.”

  2. Or he’s like — your buddy so-and-so never got me that sword because he’s too busy running raids. Do this quest, alright?

    -Anne

  3. Exactly! I think reputation should be a big part of MMOs. We discussed it on the forums for the Firefly MMO (not sure where that stands now though). Your character should have a reputation, as well as your guild.


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