Last time I posted, I mentioned that storytelling and world building are two of the main reasons that I’m interested in creating video games. Which is a good thing, seeing as chapter 5 of our book is all about story.
Going back to why people play games, one reason that Game Development Essentials brought up was the idea of escapism, or how people look to video games to experience worlds differing from their own. A game with a good story is going to allow the consumer to do just that; the same way a book would, but visually, or a movie could, but interactively.
Video games actively put the player in the center of the action, allowing for the player to affect the outcome of what’s happening. They take on the role of the protagonist, they deal with each trial and knockback the hero does themselves. They receive the same advice from the mentor as the hero. It’s their villain that they defeat in the end. The better the narrative is throughout the game, the more weight each of these steps will hold with the player.
Gamesindrustry.biz posted a recap of script writer Rhianna Pratchett’s talk at the D.I.C.E. (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) Summit earlier this year. In said talk, Pratchett goes on about the importance of stories of games; how gameplay can hold the mind, but story holds the heart. She uses TellTale Games as an example of what incorporating a focus on narrative can do. Originally small indie developers, they’ve grown exponentially in popularity with story driven titles The Walking Dead, and The Wolf Among Us. Even in my own household, my little sisters recognize TTG from the mobile versions. I’ve been told about different series the team has made by coworkers who’ve previously shown no interest in games. The Walking Dead franchise has been licensed to more than a few games, but there’s only one I hear about in my day to day life; the one that focused on a good story with relatable characters. My team is attempting to make a game with episodic content, and story will be key for us is we wish to emulate the success TellTale has had.