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That was a good story


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#1 EdEc   Members   -  Reputation: 152

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 07:48 AM

Hello guys

So I have few questions that kind of are bothering me..

For the last month and a half i think I have been writing the basic plot, outline, of linear story and I thought it would last 3 days :/. When I have came to an almost end I struck a large problem that I was not able to see while developing.

My story started to look more like an NPC story than an actual main character personal story. It start with problem that main character has but as he searches the solution he learns about things few had know. However it soon turns out to be story about the NPCs rather then the character and his aim (even due they still exist, but became smaller in comparison to what he/she had discovered). I could try to make his "new findings" his new problem, but it would probably turn out confusion and unreasonable. I made my story to be highly logical and where player wont get in the position where he fights a certain enemy without particular reason that is connected to overall plot.

What are your suggestion I should do about this problem ? Go do it all over again or should I rearrange the problems so that they highly concern the main character (which will be hard I think).


The second question is about complicity of the story. My story currently is very complicated, but not in a Spanish soap way. Every part of it has deep meaning and it is higly connected to more parts on the plot. I design it so player would become emotionally attached to it by providing him details that will create that spell. Star wars i complicated and highly successful. Shadow of Colossus is totally contradictory to the Star Wars and it is as well very successive story as Star Wars.

So my question is what you thing story should be, complicated or simple ?

Thanks Posted Image (sorry if it is already written or discussed since this is my first post)

Edited by EdEc, 26 May 2012 - 03:08 PM.


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#2 Stormynature   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3421

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 06:46 AM

My story started to look more like an NPC story than an actual main character personal story. It start with problem that main character has but as he searches the solution he learns about things few had know. However it soon turns out to be story about the NPCs rather then the character and his aim (even due they still exist, but became smaller in comparison to what he/she had discovered). I could try to make his "new findings" his new problem, but it would probably turn out confusion and unreasonable. I made my story to be highly logical and where player wont get in the position where he fights a certain enemy without particular reason that is connected to overall plot.

What are your suggestion I should do about this problem ? Go do it all over again or should I rearrange the problems so that they highly concern the main character (which will be hard I think).


My question to you is why can't the protagonist be motivated by the stories of npcs? For example a lawyer will act upon the needs of his client, a parent will act upon the need of their child, a police officer will act upon the need of a citizen or a crime to be resolved. When you refer in a sense to the motivation of your protagonist being influenced by the stories of npcs to the point where your protagonist's own story is seemingly trivialised, you are ignoring in one sense that a person's motivation will include the needs/wishes/wants of other peoples or in other words what you have done is enriched your protagonist's story by inter-relating other stories into it that affect his/her behaviours ingame. Old saying: "No man is an island". We live in the world where a large portion of people's time is spent in activities influenced by other people. The gaming worlds are filled with questgivers asking protagonists to do something for them.

On the otherhand if your protagonist's own personal story is what you wish to emphasise then yes you will probably need to re-write based on your above description of what has happened.

The second question is about complicity of the story. My story currently is very complicated, but not in a Spanish soap way. Every part of it has deep meaning and it is higly connected to more parts on the plot. I design it so player would become emotionally attached to it by providing him details that will create that spell. Star wars i complicated and highly successful. Shadow of Colossus is totally contradictory to the Star Wars and it is as well very successive story as Star Wars.

So my question is what you thing story should be, complicated or simple ?


complicity = complexity

In my opinion, if a story is well written it does not truly matter if it is complex in plot or simplistic. The only rules of thumb you might want to approach in this are:
  • Will being too complex lose people?
  • Will being too simplistic fail to engage people?

...again it really comes down to how well you have written the story and it's ability for people to connect with it in such a way that they do form the emotional attachments you are seeking to inspire in them.

---------------------

I would be interested in reading a synopsis of your story mostly to gain a better understanding of how your npc's stories are taking over.

#3 EdEc   Members   -  Reputation: 152

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 09:37 AM

So you are suggesting that my main character eventually changes his personality since he is effected by the environment. This "new personality" should be reflection of what is "right thing" in contrast to the society today. On the other hand I have to justify 10 hours of non stop killing, jumping, going through puzzles and so on. The way to justify is to introduce characters and their stories and effect of those stories on you, the main character. This is where I got my story kind of messed up. Posted Image

I kind of think that games require more of a simple story rather then complex one. How do you make this simple story a hit is using environment, astonishing environment. Shadow of Colossus (with those huge beautiful colossus approaching to you leaves a breath taking scene) as well as Bioshock and God of War used that environment to increase the size and importance of the story as well as attach people emotionally to it. So I think environment in which player plays is equally important to the story. Posted Image

#4 Stormynature   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3421

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 12:56 AM

So you are suggesting that my main character eventually changes his personality since he is effected by the environment. This "new personality" should be reflection of what is "right thing" in contrast to the society today.


I am not quite sure how you reached this conclusion from my post.

On the other hand I have to justify 10 hours of non stop killing, jumping, going through puzzles and so on. The way to justify is to introduce characters and their stories and effect of those stories on you, the main character. This is where I got my story kind of messed up.


Okay your story is messed up. How? Introducing characters and their stories to have a justifying effect on the main character's behaviours so that the player acts in keeping with your linear storyline is a valid form of story writing. As best as I can determine from your posts your concern seems to be that your main character is left without any real story of his own but rather servicing everyone else's needs. Helping others out could be considered part of your character's personal story. If you wish to, you could add an internal monologue covering ethical and moral issues to flesh out your main character in such a way as that the npc's task/need is considered/analysed and in some ways devalued from being the larger story but rather being incorporated into the main character's own story as an episodic moment.

#5 Seongjun Kim   Members   -  Reputation: 227

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 12:59 AM

So you are suggesting that my main character eventually changes his personality since he is effected by the environment.


I think this part is correct. For most of the story driven games, you WANT the player's character to have some sort of progression, a growth, a change, something. That, majority of the time, makes the story more engaging and by showing WHAT and HOW this change occurred will get the players to be emotionally attached to the character, more so if they can sympathize with the character's change.

This "new personality" should be reflection of what is "right thing" in contrast to the society today.


This can either be this way or it can totally be the opposite. The character might start with doing things morally/ethically right, but then throughout the game, the outside forces (NPCs and monster killing/jumping/going through puzzles) make him become more in sync with today's society. This all depends on your plot and the character.

I kind of think that games require more of a simple story rather then complex one. How do you make this simple story a hit is using environment, astonishing environment. Shadow of Colossus (with those huge beautiful colossus approaching to you leaves a breath taking scene) as well as Bioshock and God of War used that environment to increase the size and importance of the story as well as attach people emotionally to it. So I think environment in which player plays is equally important to the story. Posted Image


This is true to the certain extent, yes video games can engage players using beautiful graphics. However, a good storytelling within the game can also engage the player. Consider IF (Interactive Fiction). There is no graphics involved, only texts. However some of those stories can be astoundingly engaging, and that comes from the complexity of the story, the deep history and background of the game world (although not a game, Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series pretty much created a whole universe, and is very engaging to the readers).

Basically, it all comes down to good storytelling. I would suggest showing your game story to other close people around you and ask for their opinion. Was it engaging? Was it too hard to understand? Which part did you particularly like/dislike? Where do you think I can improve on? etc.

Edited by jsj795, 29 May 2012 - 12:59 AM.


#6 EdEc   Members   -  Reputation: 152

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 03:54 AM

This can either be this way or it can totally be the opposite. The character might start with doing things morally/ethically right, but then throughout the game, the outside forces (NPCs and monster killing/jumping/going through puzzles) make him become more in sync with today's society. This all depends on your plot and the character.



Yes, it can be totally opposite. However I was thinking on more of a end. The main character could go opposite of "right thing" and as a result story should introduce character that again shows the "right thing". For example you play with character and as story develops your characters starts to be more of a evil person and at the very end he is. However usually new character is introduced and in the part 2 of the game you play as that new character against the evil one. My point no matter how things develop through the story the main message should be the "right thing". If this is not the case then I think critics could be all over your game.

This is true to the certain extent, yes video games can engage players using beautiful graphics. However, a good storytelling within the game can also engage the player. Consider IF (Interactive Fiction). There is no graphics involved, only texts. However some of those stories can be astoundingly engaging, and that comes from the complexity of the story, the deep history and background of the game world (although not a game, Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series pretty much created a whole universe, and is very engaging to the readers).


I agree. However those storys still have GREAT enviorment too. In moder and more advanced games that enviorment is presented through graphics, visuals but they can also be presented only through text if the writter is skilled (but for me, better writte a book then).

This quote I found in some article I can not find right now:


" In traditional dramatic arts, to "write story" is to have creative control over the character's psychological makeup, relationships and the plot arc itself. In games, to "write story" rarely, if ever, entails substantial changes to the actions of the central characters. Rather, the writer develops the "environment" -- ie: everything around the character. A game writer gives the world texture and substance which can, in and of itself, engender excellent writing but doesn't classify, in strict dramatic criteria, as "story"".


It explains it.


Edited by EdEc, 29 May 2012 - 03:56 AM.





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