Development and storytelling: a many-to-many relationship

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We explore the many ways in which development and storytelling interact, generating stories of different kinds.

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Development and storytelling: a many-to-many relationship

  1. 1. ROME 11-12 april 2014 Development and storytelling: a many-to-many relationship Pietro Polsinelli @ppolsinelli
  2. 2. Why care?
  3. 3. You, developer (in some sense): as you can learn anything, you should allocate a % of your energy to improving your work / product / service / (life) looking at it as a story. 3
  4. 4. 4 Storytelling can give more value to your game than more FPS!
  5. 5. 1.Getting it in the hands of users 2.People want to use it 5
  6. 6. 6 I’ll break the news for you: you are a writer
  7. 7. Hidden thesis: you can learn anything The Genius in All of Us: New Insights into Genetics,Talent, and IQ This should be a life belief of any geek. 7
  8. 8. "We will encourage you to develop the three great virtues of a programmer: laziness, impatience, and hubris." Larry Wall, Programming Perl Competitve advantage of the software developer: everything else is simpler – so you can learn it. 8
  9. 9. Writing code & good writing
  10. 10. http://blog.codinghorror.com/how-to-write-without-writing 10 10
  11. 11. “ The difference between a tolerable programmer and a great programmer is not how many programming languages they know, and it's not whether they prefer Python or Java. It's whether they can communicate their ideas. By persuading other people, they get leverage. By writing clear comments and technical specs, they let other programmers understand their code, which means other programmers can use and work with their code instead of rewriting it. Absent this, their code is worthless. ” Dev side. 11
  12. 12. “In defense of my fellow programmers, communication with other human beings is not exactly what we signed up for” Not signed up for. 12
  13. 13. Give me an example of stories useful in development
  14. 14. Ideas -> Drawings -> Requirements -> Mockups -> Functional mockups -> Linked mockups -> Conditionally linked mockups -> Javascript browser prototype -> Javascript model ported to a Unity quick prototype -> Unity for web / desktop demo -> Multi platform deploy }GLUE?
  15. 15. Could hardly be simpler: a match-3 game, Bust the Dust. 15
  16. 16. 10000000 addictive, linear story. 16
  17. 17. Not alone in developing awareness. 17
  18. 18. Maybe getting to the point
  19. 19. 19
  20. 20. Learn to write
  21. 21. How I learned to write: it is a skill, a real craftmanship. Made many discoveries. My story. 21
  22. 22. 22 Its a craft.
  23. 23. Quality resists means. 23
  24. 24. For sale: baby shoes, never worn. Practical tips: - brevity- Twitter is a great master - break common places -use a third eye - use white space 24
  25. 25. Tip. Self-contained posts. People can join any time. 25
  26. 26. The most important point I’m making is to WRITE WITH THE DOOR OPEN. What I am saying is simply: write a dev log? Learn to detect the story 26
  27. 27. http://www .shiningroc ksoftware.c om/ There are videos, and quick ways to do them. If you have a narrative defined, you can do them quickly. 27
  28. 28. No way to learn more, experiment, get feedback,attention, ideas than passing the damn door: I am a novice in games, but I am keeping the door open… 28
  29. 29. No way to learn more, experiment, get feedback,attention, ideas than passing the damn door: I am a novice in games, but I am keeping the door open… 29
  30. 30. No way to learn more, experiment, get feedback,attention, ideas than passing the damn door: I am a novice in games, but I am keeping the door open… 30
  31. 31. Stories express meaningful work
  32. 32. So one day you begin to write. Thinking of your work, your new enterprise as a story can help in multiple dimensions. If it begins to make sense to you, it can make sense to others. At least its possible. 32
  33. 33. The incredibly important day of your game being published. Nothing happens, a boring day like any other. Hooks can only come from your narrative. Repubblica 24h ... 33
  34. 34. Back to writing for games
  35. 35. Stories, loops, interactivity
  36. 36. One idea: progression vs. emergence
  37. 37. Emergenceis the primordial game structure, where a game is specified as a small number of rules that combine and yield large numbers of game variations, which the players then design strategies for dealing with. This is found in card and board games and in most action and all strategy games. Emergence games tend to be replayable and tend to foster tournaments and strategy guides. Progressionis the historically newer structure that entered the computer game through the adventure genre. In progression games, the player has to perform a predefined set of actions in order to complete the game. One feature of the progression game is that it yields strong control to the game designer: Since the designer controls the sequence of events, this is also where we find the games with cinematic or storytelling ambitions. This leads to the infamous experience of playing a game "on a rail", i.e. where the work of the player is simply to perform the correct pre-defined moves in order to advance the game. Progression games have walkthroughs, specifying all the actions needed to complete the game. 38
  38. 38. Emergence / Progression Sim City, Braid. 39
  39. 39. 40
  40. 40. Narrative for / in / from / out games
  41. 41. The Magic Circle: Huizinga, Johan. 1971. Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play Element in Culture. Boston: Beacon Press. 42
  42. 42. Which story? - user gameplay story - learning story - author scripted story - game generated story - describing the game (story as ux tool) Distinguish: emergent narrative vs. embedded narrative. 43
  43. 43. Classical media is not interactive: depends how you look at it.There is a branching reality, and videogames are rarely truly interactive. http://gamamoto.com/2011/11/08/storytelling-and-video-games/ 44
  44. 44. “If one understands that storytelling for games has little or nothing to do with interactive storytelling one has already saved oneself a lot of trouble.” It goes in many directions. 45
  45. 45. 46
  46. 46. 47
  47. 47. http://www.amazon.com/Fundamentals-Adventure-Design-Ernest-Adams-ebook/dp/B00IE950C2 48
  48. 48. Relationship with mechanics
  49. 49. Game are made of loops To analyze the mechanics of a game, you got to find the loops. 50
  50. 50. Flow:The Psychology of Optimal Experience Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Author) 51
  51. 51. Koster – Deterding definition of fun. 52
  52. 52. “Fun is about learning in a context where there is no pressure” But in school there is, and there has to be, pressure.There is here a dynamic. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=x5YtkTw4wn4#! 53
  53. 53. http://codingconduct.cc/Pawned 54
  54. 54. Fun is learning - but learning is not always fun. “Fun is a feedback we get in the mind when absorbing patterns for learning purposes” - Koster From “Theory of Fun” 55
  55. 55. The dark side
  56. 56. No narrative ideal, no purpose beyond monetization. Lenses in a skeleton:The Sims Social. 57
  57. 57. Measure,measure,measure. 58
  58. 58. Addiction by Design Natascha Schull http://gelconference.com/videos/2008/natasha_schull 97% is given by the slot machine – study IT
  59. 59. Applications
  60. 60. Problem: RAI Cinema -> people love movies, people don’t go to movies. Make them play “movie writer”. Melt-a-Plot: UI design includes motivation. 61
  61. 61. 62
  62. 62. 63
  63. 63. Problem: Integrating social tools in the enterprise (like anything else) is conceptually complex and practically hard. Social Business Toolkit 64
  64. 64. Meet this “thing”. Reactions? 65
  65. 65. We have a complex theme, a friendly approach.We basically have this problem: the cards are on the surface.And the alternative is not very friendly. It is a learning problem. 66
  66. 66. (See mockup.) 67
  67. 67. Turning into a strategy game activates a feedback loop – only the digital game can give this is a practical, feasible way. 68
  68. 68. Engine core is the action / task relationship. 69
  69. 69. Non played games. Dear Esther, Proteus, Journey 70
  70. 70. Games for change 71
  71. 71. Games for change 72
  72. 72. Oh how nice it is to work as a slave for this multinational http://unmanned.molleindustria.org/ 73
  73. 73. Playfied solutions “Gamification”. Bottle bank arcade. Somemtimes, unhealthy psychological consequences. Techniology of “fitting better”: technology for control (Foucault). Game play is instrumental to an external goal. 74
  74. 74. http://thegamebible.com/ 75
  75. 75. Finale
  76. 76. 77
  77. 77. 78
  78. 78. Persuasive UIs 79
  79. 79. Sebastian Deterding Jesse Schell Chris DeLeon “Hobby game Dev” 80
  80. 80. https://twitter.com/ppolsinelli/lists/game-designers https://twitter.com/ppolsinelli/lists/game-magazines-studies 81
  81. 81. My twitter stream is mostly dedicated to game design: http://twitter.com/ppolsinelli A blog on game design http://designagame.eu 82
  82. 82. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/hobbit-desolation-smaug-48- frames-655444 http://strangesounds.org/2013/09/new-us-mysterious-booms-reports- from-virginia-kentucky-ohio-california-florida-new-york.html https://www.heidisongs.com/blog/2012/02/teaching-kindergartners-to- write.html Image sources.

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