Where to find stories on story in games

With all the excitment of the new year, you may have missed some of these articles on writing in games.  Integrated storytelling, story structure, story and theme as a basis for game concepts, and the awesomeness of good characters have preoccupied the minds of developers in the past two months.  Check out the results:

Hey Game Developers, Learn How To Use Your Game Writers!
I do not think this link is what you think it means. A familiar refrain, this article summarizes a Develop article on incorporating writers into the development process. Of greater interest, however, are the comments at the end, which include players love of story and distaste for poorly delivered story. See, it’s not just us!  Add your two cents to the conversation there or here…

Analysis: Storyteller And Game Narrative
Emily Short explores whether letting your players in on story structure makes it more or less fun for them.

Idea Origins
This article explores different ways games are conceived. Oddly enough, it discusses theme with story, but doesn’t use the more literary definition of theme, which usually is some comment on mankind. Instead, theme is just the story or setting which pervades the game. What’s your take on it?

The GLaDOS Effect — Can Antagonists Rule The World?
Is this article about how much fun it is to play a villain, or is it about how a well-written and engaging character, villain or protagonist, can carry a game? You decide.

What’s your take on these articles?  See you next week for more sin!

This post brought to you by Writers Cabal, a game writing and design partnership.
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Published in: on January 15, 2009 at 2:25 pm  Comments (1)  
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  1. I like Emily Short’s article. I’ve been interested in more programmatic ways to create story for a while, but somehow my vague notions haven’t yet coalesced in a form that can be, well, programmed.

    The article about GLADoS is kind of intriguing…not for its content, because I think the article sort of peters out without making a point (or maybe it’s just a call for discussion, which is okay as far as it goes). The article got me thinking, though…What if, during a game, you portrayed [i]both[/i] hero [i]and[/i] the villain? A hero can’t reach his full potential without a truly powerful villain who is matched to his capabilities. Therefore, you switch off between roles…say, between game “chapters”. You escalate the conflict between your characters and increase the drama. Players would see that, when they play as the villain, their ability to create a power base would lead to more powerful monsters and treasure being available for the hero to fight and level up with…so they would be encouraged to be the best they can, in both chapters. It would be like being an author…if you write a novel or TV show or something, you have to create both powerful heroes and villains. Writers like Stephen R. Donaldson and Robert Silverberg have always impressed me with their ability to have truly awful things happen in their works…

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