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Stories and Games

      Adrian Hon
      Six to Start
ARGs

• Games that use multiple media - or media
  in interesting ways - to tell a story
• Email, blogs, twitter, newspape...
Interactive Stories
           • Traditionally a few different ways to do it:
           • Story as reward
           • St...
Story as Reward
• Story generally told through cut-scenes
 • e.g. Wing Commander, Command and
    Conquer
• Gameplay large...
Story as Experience
• Story told through gameplay
 • e.g. Half-Life, Deus Ex, Mass Effect?
• No cut-scenes - or rather, cu...
Branching Narrative
• Can make choices about the story
 • Choose Your Own Adventure
• Gives illusion of choice...
• ...But...
Pseudo-AI
• Can completely influence story, within
  certain parameters
 • Facade
• Natural language processing and AI...
•...
Make your own Story
• No set narrative (but maybe a setting)
 • Civilization, The Sims, playground games
• Sort of cheatin...
DM / PM
• Somewhat set narrative
 • Dungeons and Dragons, ARGs
• Can react to player actions...
• ...but requires real-tim...
Designing Stories
• Interactive stories that aren’t games or
  CYOA
• Still on rails
• Google Maps - see context, pacing o...
What do you think?
• More ideas for story types?
• Which do you like?
• Which are most promising?

• www.wetellstories.co....
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Stories and Games at Barcamp Brighton

  1. 1. Stories and Games Adrian Hon Six to Start
  2. 2. ARGs • Games that use multiple media - or media in interesting ways - to tell a story • Email, blogs, twitter, newspapers, IM, GPS, etc • The Beast, I Love Bees, Perplex City, World Without Oil
  3. 3. Interactive Stories • Traditionally a few different ways to do it: • Story as reward • Story as experience • Branching narrative • Pseudo-AI • Make your own story • Dungeon Master / Puppetmaster In no particular order, not mutually exclusive, etc
  4. 4. Story as Reward • Story generally told through cut-scenes • e.g. Wing Commander, Command and Conquer • Gameplay largely unrelated to story • Last thing you do - paint the car, write the story • Walkthroughs • On rails
  5. 5. Story as Experience • Story told through gameplay • e.g. Half-Life, Deus Ex, Mass Effect? • No cut-scenes - or rather, cut-scenes integrated into game • Story has to be written right at the start • On rails
  6. 6. Branching Narrative • Can make choices about the story • Choose Your Own Adventure • Gives illusion of choice... • ...But involves creating ‘wasted’ content • Sometimes not subtle and/or only at end • Really annoying • On rails
  7. 7. Pseudo-AI • Can completely influence story, within certain parameters • Facade • Natural language processing and AI... • ...or HUGE amount of scripting • Will be cool, when the Singularity comes
  8. 8. Make your own Story • No set narrative (but maybe a setting) • Civilization, The Sims, playground games • Sort of cheating • Stories can be better than anything pre- written • Requires great game design, not for everyone
  9. 9. DM / PM • Somewhat set narrative • Dungeons and Dragons, ARGs • Can react to player actions... • ...but requires real-time responses • Not replayable or scalable for personal experience • Sort of on rails
  10. 10. Designing Stories • Interactive stories that aren’t games or CYOA • Still on rails • Google Maps - see context, pacing of story. Play around with medium. Different views, overlays. • Interaction and presentation must be designed
  11. 11. What do you think? • More ideas for story types? • Which do you like? • Which are most promising? • www.wetellstories.co.uk • www.mssv.net
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What are the different ways that stories are told in games?

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