Story ideas..

Posts: 460
Joined: 2002.09
Post: #16
I agree, story is overlooked and misunderstood by us game developers. As you alluded to, many developers start with the urge to make a game, not with the urge to tell a story. If we could enable the people with the story urge to make games, as I feel Crawford was trying to do, then the situation might change. Barring that, we need to find ways to properly use storytellers during development for more than a background story in the manual, or incidental dialog...

It's hard enough to find an artist to work though. I don't see any storytellers offering their services in the forums, and if they did, the programmers would probably assume it was one of those people who post "I have a great idea for a game, someone just needs to write it for me." Subconsciously, story is equated merely with the game idea. Maybe the way around this barrier is what Quillbit just did: post samples.

This thread is great. I certainly hadn't thought about developing any story to the extent that Quillbit describes. I'm going to have to go back to my file of game ideas and reconsider the ones that have the kernel of a story, and think about this some more. Not sure if I'll end up inspired or discouraged though. :-)

(Anyone know the official word on Erasmatron, BTW? Crawford's website now makes it looks historical rather than ongoing, but I couldn't see an official announcement or anything.)

Measure twice, cut once, curse three or four times.
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Post: #17
Last I heard, he was trying to build a new version of "Balance of Power" using the Erasmatron. Of course, after eight years of developing the latter, I'm not sure if he'll be able to develop in full the former. (To be fair, I always felt that Crawford erred in trying to create a full-featured development environment. Creating a generic "motivational engine" that could be incorporated into a project might have been an easier task.)
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Posts: 118
Joined: 2002.08
Post: #18
MattDiamond Wrote:I agree, story is overlooked and misunderstood by us game developers.

I could not agree more. The best thing to happen to me as a game developer was undoubtedly taking a course in the writing of a screenplay. Since I took that course I have not only been a devout follower of the 3 Act Structure, but I have also progressed signifigantly as a game designer.

It's interesting, but I have progressed a great deal in gameplay design in addition to storyline. Film and Games are both all about keeping the viewer interested. So, yes, the game needs a hook at the beginning. They need to have a reason to finish the game/film. This can, and often does, come in the form of a story element, but it can also come in the form of a gameplay element. A reward like getting the next upgrade, the high score or the cooler gun is a fine way of having this hook.

As Carlos mentioned in a thread a while ago, every level (or so) the player needs to be introduced to something new. Just like in a movie, if the hook is great but the movie is terrible (e.g. Blade 1) the player is not going to stick with it.

Welp, I'm "outtie", as the man says.
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