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Would people enjoy a hardcore story-based strategy game?


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#21 Opwiz   Members   -  Reputation: 288

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 03:26 PM

What would you guys think if there was a more story based strategy game? Maybe a little more restricted in terms of choice but with more story options.


It depends.

To me, the idea of a 'story based game' is a bit of an oxymoron. A game may have a background story that provides some context and theme for a game, but if you try to shoehorn a linear concept such as a pre-written story into medium which is fundamentally non-linear, something is going to suffer.

Sometimes it's the story - the author is forced to try and think of every eventuality, and/or accept the fact that sometimes things will happen that don't make a whole lot of sense. In either case, the effort involved in writing the story balloons as you try and cover all the possible branches, often with the result that overall quality suffers.

Sometimes it's the game. In order to retain the sense of the story, the player is forced onto rails, with limited choice. The player can't even fail - there's no 'win' or 'lose', its more 'finish the story' or 'don't finish the story', usually with boredom or frustration being the cause of the latter. Or perhaps the game is interspersed with an excess of non-game fluffery, long text sequences or cutscenes with no TL:DR option. And once I've sat through the whole thing, what motivation is there to play it again?

Often, it's both, to some degree.

On the other hand, all games have a story - the meta-story the player experiences during his own path through the game. This to me is a far more dynamic and interesting area to explore than a fixed, handwritten plot. If you can establish engaging lore and backstory, and provide the players with the gameplay tools to do so, they will tell their own stories. And those stories will be unique for every player, on every playthrough.

So to answer your question: If you can make an engaging'meta-story' experience, I will definitely play it and enjoy it. Otherwise, I might have a quick play of your story based campaign, but the chances are, unless you can avoid committing any of the Strategy Game Story Deadly Sins, I probably won't finish it, and head off to multiplayer/skirmish instead.

 

I think you are right so far as you can't really have it both ways - you can't have an interactive story where the player has complete freedom to do whatever, and think you can have a cohesive, unified, engaging narrative. But I think you are wrong when you say that games are fundamentally non-linear. Most games have one beginning, one ending/conclusion and progress in a linear fashion from the beginning to the end (with bubbles of freedom of action along the way).

 

I believe the reason story and games don't seem to mix well is because of 1. bad writing (such as too much exposition, back-story and red herrings), 2. trying to incorporate branching story-lines and multiple endings (mass effect 3 anyone?), 3. story is an after-thought slapped upon the game-play.



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#22 Dragonsoulj   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2110

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 03:50 PM

What about Advance Wars and Fire Emblem?



#23 jwoff25   Members   -  Reputation: 182

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 11:12 PM

Just thinking...

According to my knowledge, most strategy games don't have a lot of story because of the open and decision based nature of strategy games.  

What would you guys think if there was a more story based strategy game?  Maybe a little more restricted in terms of choice but with more story options.

Maybe the different factions have complicated relationships and you can somehow manipulate that to make things happen.

Also unique lore and cities with different backstories that overall affect the game.

Very underdeveloped idea, but some feedback would be nice:)

 

One of my favorite games "Final Fantasy Tactics" is pretty story-driven, though you don't really affect the story much through choices (besides a few minor things). However, I like the idea of story-driven games in general, although I think there are some caveats. If a game is to be driven by story it needs to feature some good story-telling and writing (too many games make basic story-telling mistakes). Also if you plan on having lots of branching story-lines, freedom of choice etc. I think it becomes harder to create a meaningful narrative - where there are layers of story and things tie together, etc.

 

I think story-driven games has the potential to be very engaging and I think there are far too few games that feature a strong story that drags you in.

I'm a big fan of FF Tactics as well!  Everything you mentioned here is what we're going for; good story telling, branching stories, etc.  Hopefully we can succeed in pulling the audience into the game world.

 

Thanks for the response:)



#24 jwoff25   Members   -  Reputation: 182

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 11:16 PM

 

What would you guys think if there was a more story based strategy game? Maybe a little more restricted in terms of choice but with more story options.


It depends.

To me, the idea of a 'story based game' is a bit of an oxymoron. A game may have a background story that provides some context and theme for a game, but if you try to shoehorn a linear concept such as a pre-written story into medium which is fundamentally non-linear, something is going to suffer.

Sometimes it's the story - the author is forced to try and think of every eventuality, and/or accept the fact that sometimes things will happen that don't make a whole lot of sense. In either case, the effort involved in writing the story balloons as you try and cover all the possible branches, often with the result that overall quality suffers.

Sometimes it's the game. In order to retain the sense of the story, the player is forced onto rails, with limited choice. The player can't even fail - there's no 'win' or 'lose', its more 'finish the story' or 'don't finish the story', usually with boredom or frustration being the cause of the latter. Or perhaps the game is interspersed with an excess of non-game fluffery, long text sequences or cutscenes with no TL:DR option. And once I've sat through the whole thing, what motivation is there to play it again?

Often, it's both, to some degree.

On the other hand, all games have a story - the meta-story the player experiences during his own path through the game. This to me is a far more dynamic and interesting area to explore than a fixed, handwritten plot. If you can establish engaging lore and backstory, and provide the players with the gameplay tools to do so, they will tell their own stories. And those stories will be unique for every player, on every playthrough.

So to answer your question: If you can make an engaging'meta-story' experience, I will definitely play it and enjoy it. Otherwise, I might have a quick play of your story based campaign, but the chances are, unless you can avoid committing any of the Strategy Game Story Deadly Sins, I probably won't finish it, and head off to multiplayer/skirmish instead.

 

I think you are right so far as you can't really have it both ways - you can't have an interactive story where the player has complete freedom to do whatever, and think you can have a cohesive, unified, engaging narrative. But I think you are wrong when you say that games are fundamentally non-linear. Most games have one beginning, one ending/conclusion and progress in a linear fashion from the beginning to the end (with bubbles of freedom of action along the way).

 

I believe the reason story and games don't seem to mix well is because of 1. bad writing (such as too much exposition, back-story and red herrings), 2. trying to incorporate branching story-lines and multiple endings (mass effect 3 anyone?), 3. story is an after-thought slapped upon the game-play.

I'm going to have to disagree.  I think you can have both an engaging narrative and a non-linear gameplay.  Basically, by throwing out bits of lore and story around in the game world, the player can put the pieces of the puzzle together.  Every action will have consequences, and will have an impact on the story.  By no means will the story be simple; it will be complicated at some points, but that's why it can be so intriguing.  

 

But thanks a lot for your opinion:) Constructive criticism really helps get the brain moving, so it's greatly appreciated.



#25 jwoff25   Members   -  Reputation: 182

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 11:20 PM

What about Advance Wars and Fire Emblem?

Fire Emblem.  Yes.  Advance Wars?  Not so sure.  Will check it out.

 

Thanks for the response:)



#26 Dragonsoulj   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2110

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 06:12 AM

Fire Emblem. Yes. Advance Wars? Not so sure. Will check it out.



Thanks for the response:)

 

Both are made by Intelligent Systems. Advance Wars is a bit less RPG strategy and more just a strategy game, but you do get a story along the way.



#27 ShiftyCake   Members   -  Reputation: 530

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 01:23 AM

 

 

What would you guys think if there was a more story based strategy game? Maybe a little more restricted in terms of choice but with more story options.


It depends.

To me, the idea of a 'story based game' is a bit of an oxymoron. A game may have a background story that provides some context and theme for a game, but if you try to shoehorn a linear concept such as a pre-written story into medium which is fundamentally non-linear, something is going to suffer.

Sometimes it's the story - the author is forced to try and think of every eventuality, and/or accept the fact that sometimes things will happen that don't make a whole lot of sense. In either case, the effort involved in writing the story balloons as you try and cover all the possible branches, often with the result that overall quality suffers.

Sometimes it's the game. In order to retain the sense of the story, the player is forced onto rails, with limited choice. The player can't even fail - there's no 'win' or 'lose', its more 'finish the story' or 'don't finish the story', usually with boredom or frustration being the cause of the latter. Or perhaps the game is interspersed with an excess of non-game fluffery, long text sequences or cutscenes with no TL:DR option. And once I've sat through the whole thing, what motivation is there to play it again?

Often, it's both, to some degree.

On the other hand, all games have a story - the meta-story the player experiences during his own path through the game. This to me is a far more dynamic and interesting area to explore than a fixed, handwritten plot. If you can establish engaging lore and backstory, and provide the players with the gameplay tools to do so, they will tell their own stories. And those stories will be unique for every player, on every playthrough.

So to answer your question: If you can make an engaging'meta-story' experience, I will definitely play it and enjoy it. Otherwise, I might have a quick play of your story based campaign, but the chances are, unless you can avoid committing any of the Strategy Game Story Deadly Sins, I probably won't finish it, and head off to multiplayer/skirmish instead.

 

I think you are right so far as you can't really have it both ways - you can't have an interactive story where the player has complete freedom to do whatever, and think you can have a cohesive, unified, engaging narrative. But I think you are wrong when you say that games are fundamentally non-linear. Most games have one beginning, one ending/conclusion and progress in a linear fashion from the beginning to the end (with bubbles of freedom of action along the way).

 

I believe the reason story and games don't seem to mix well is because of 1. bad writing (such as too much exposition, back-story and red herrings), 2. trying to incorporate branching story-lines and multiple endings (mass effect 3 anyone?), 3. story is an after-thought slapped upon the game-play.

I'm going to have to disagree.  I think you can have both an engaging narrative and a non-linear gameplay.  Basically, by throwing out bits of lore and story around in the game world, the player can put the pieces of the puzzle together.  Every action will have consequences, and will have an impact on the story.  By no means will the story be simple; it will be complicated at some points, but that's why it can be so intriguing.  

 

But thanks a lot for your opinion:) Constructive criticism really helps get the brain moving, so it's greatly appreciated.

 

An example of this would be Dark Souls, a lacking narrative on the surface, but full of in-depth lore and side knowledge if you actually play the game.

To the max.

I spent too much time on that game.

 

And story's and games DO mix well, it's just quite a lot of time people are viewing it as two separate entity's when, in fact, they are actually one.


If, at any point, what I post is hard to understand, tell me. I am bad at projecting my thoughts into real words, so I appreciate the knowledge that I need to edit my post.

 

I am not a professional writer, nor a professional game designer. Please, understand that everything you read is simply an opinion of mind and should not, at any point in time, be taken as a credible answer unless validated by others.

 

I do take brief bouts of disappearance so don't worry if I either don't reply to you or miss certain things. I am quite a lazy fellow.


#28 Sandman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 2117

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 09:28 AM

Most games have one beginning, one ending/conclusion and progress in a linear fashion from the beginning to the end (with bubbles of freedom of action along the way).

 

It depends on what you actually call the 'Game'.

 

Let's take Starcraft 2 as an example. The 'Game' is an archetypal RTS with resource mining, army building etc. The 'Story' is the single player campaign, which is essentially a string of 'Games' with a bit of extra scripting, with a bit of exposition in the form of cutscenes holding it altogether. There are also some minor interactive components here, like the ability to choose which map to do next, or which research upgrades to buy or whatever, but nothing that really makes any difference to anything. 

 

Playing through this kind of 'Story' is a bit like watching a short and slightly disjointed movie which pauses every so often and requires you to win a game to continue. If you're lucky, some chapters of the story you can choose to watch in a different order. Or to look at it another way, it's like playing a sequence of scripted single player maps, except between each one you have to sit through a bunch of cut scenes. 

 

The success of this formula depends on a lot of factors. The 'Story' will have to make some concessions to justify the sequence of games within it, and to avoid annoying the player with over long cut scenes and exposition. These concessions can render the narrative irrelevant.

The 'Game' will have to make some concessions (usually via the scripting) to the story, often in the form of scripted events, limitations, and special victory conditions. These concessions can sometimes lead to some really enjoyable scenarios. However, they can also utterly destroy the gameplay, paring the options back to such a degree that you're just clicking your way through a linear script. 

 

In short, I don't think this is a particularly great way to incorporate story into games. It often suffers from exactly the problem I originally spoke about, where both the story and the gameplay can suffer as a result of their combination. For me, this model only works if the gameplay remains intact - as a general rule, if the gameplay is there, I couldn't care less if the story is rubbish, so long as it's skippable. Sacrificing gameplay for story on the other hand, is a big no-no.

 

I'm going to have to disagree.  I think you can have both an engaging narrative and a non-linear gameplay.  Basically, by throwing out bits of lore and story around in the game world, the player can put the pieces of the puzzle together.  Every action will have consequences, and will have an impact on the story.  By no means will the story be simple; it will be complicated at some points, but that's why it can be so intriguing.  

 

This sounds like the right direction for story in games, in my opinion. Instead of imposing your (the designer's) story on everyone, you create a framework for the player to develop their own narrative as they follow their own path through the game. Each playthrough tells a slightly different story. 



#29 jwoff25   Members   -  Reputation: 182

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 11:48 PM

Fire Emblem. Yes. Advance Wars? Not so sure. Will check it out.



Thanks for the response:)

 

Both are made by Intelligent Systems. Advance Wars is a bit less RPG strategy and more just a strategy game, but you do get a story along the way.

Just checked it out.  Though it's not exactly what we were going for, we believe that it would be good inspiration for our combat system.

 

Thanks again for the response:)



#30 jwoff25   Members   -  Reputation: 182

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 11:51 PM

 

 

 

What would you guys think if there was a more story based strategy game? Maybe a little more restricted in terms of choice but with more story options.


It depends.

To me, the idea of a 'story based game' is a bit of an oxymoron. A game may have a background story that provides some context and theme for a game, but if you try to shoehorn a linear concept such as a pre-written story into medium which is fundamentally non-linear, something is going to suffer.

Sometimes it's the story - the author is forced to try and think of every eventuality, and/or accept the fact that sometimes things will happen that don't make a whole lot of sense. In either case, the effort involved in writing the story balloons as you try and cover all the possible branches, often with the result that overall quality suffers.

Sometimes it's the game. In order to retain the sense of the story, the player is forced onto rails, with limited choice. The player can't even fail - there's no 'win' or 'lose', its more 'finish the story' or 'don't finish the story', usually with boredom or frustration being the cause of the latter. Or perhaps the game is interspersed with an excess of non-game fluffery, long text sequences or cutscenes with no TL:DR option. And once I've sat through the whole thing, what motivation is there to play it again?

Often, it's both, to some degree.

On the other hand, all games have a story - the meta-story the player experiences during his own path through the game. This to me is a far more dynamic and interesting area to explore than a fixed, handwritten plot. If you can establish engaging lore and backstory, and provide the players with the gameplay tools to do so, they will tell their own stories. And those stories will be unique for every player, on every playthrough.

So to answer your question: If you can make an engaging'meta-story' experience, I will definitely play it and enjoy it. Otherwise, I might have a quick play of your story based campaign, but the chances are, unless you can avoid committing any of the Strategy Game Story Deadly Sins, I probably won't finish it, and head off to multiplayer/skirmish instead.

 

I think you are right so far as you can't really have it both ways - you can't have an interactive story where the player has complete freedom to do whatever, and think you can have a cohesive, unified, engaging narrative. But I think you are wrong when you say that games are fundamentally non-linear. Most games have one beginning, one ending/conclusion and progress in a linear fashion from the beginning to the end (with bubbles of freedom of action along the way).

 

I believe the reason story and games don't seem to mix well is because of 1. bad writing (such as too much exposition, back-story and red herrings), 2. trying to incorporate branching story-lines and multiple endings (mass effect 3 anyone?), 3. story is an after-thought slapped upon the game-play.

I'm going to have to disagree.  I think you can have both an engaging narrative and a non-linear gameplay.  Basically, by throwing out bits of lore and story around in the game world, the player can put the pieces of the puzzle together.  Every action will have consequences, and will have an impact on the story.  By no means will the story be simple; it will be complicated at some points, but that's why it can be so intriguing.  

 

But thanks a lot for your opinion:) Constructive criticism really helps get the brain moving, so it's greatly appreciated.

 

An example of this would be Dark Souls, a lacking narrative on the surface, but full of in-depth lore and side knowledge if you actually play the game.

To the max.

I spent too much time on that game.

 

And story's and games DO mix well, it's just quite a lot of time people are viewing it as two separate entity's when, in fact, they are actually one.

I've wasted SO MUCH of my time on that game.  But it's so addicting...must...keep...playing.  Though I view story and games as 2 different entities, I think they go hand in hand.

 

Thanks for the response:)



#31 jwoff25   Members   -  Reputation: 182

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Posted 23 March 2013 - 12:07 AM

Most games have one beginning, one ending/conclusion and progress in a linear fashion from the beginning to the end (with bubbles of freedom of action along the way).

 

It depends on what you actually call the 'Game'.

 

Let's take Starcraft 2 as an example. The 'Game' is an archetypal RTS with resource mining, army building etc. The 'Story' is the single player campaign, which is essentially a string of 'Games' with a bit of extra scripting, with a bit of exposition in the form of cutscenes holding it altogether. There are also some minor interactive components here, like the ability to choose which map to do next, or which research upgrades to buy or whatever, but nothing that really makes any difference to anything. 

 

Playing through this kind of 'Story' is a bit like watching a short and slightly disjointed movie which pauses every so often and requires you to win a game to continue. If you're lucky, some chapters of the story you can choose to watch in a different order. Or to look at it another way, it's like playing a sequence of scripted single player maps, except between each one you have to sit through a bunch of cut scenes. 

 

The success of this formula depends on a lot of factors. The 'Story' will have to make some concessions to justify the sequence of games within it, and to avoid annoying the player with over long cut scenes and exposition. These concessions can render the narrative irrelevant.

The 'Game' will have to make some concessions (usually via the scripting) to the story, often in the form of scripted events, limitations, and special victory conditions. These concessions can sometimes lead to some really enjoyable scenarios. However, they can also utterly destroy the gameplay, paring the options back to such a degree that you're just clicking your way through a linear script. 

 

In short, I don't think this is a particularly great way to incorporate story into games. It often suffers from exactly the problem I originally spoke about, where both the story and the gameplay can suffer as a result of their combination. For me, this model only works if the gameplay remains intact - as a general rule, if the gameplay is there, I couldn't care less if the story is rubbish, so long as it's skippable. Sacrificing gameplay for story on the other hand, is a big no-no.

 

 

>I'm going to have to disagree.  I think you can have both an engaging narrative and a non-linear gameplay.  Basically, by throwing out bits of lore and story around in the game world, the player can put the pieces of the puzzle together.  Every action will have consequences, and will have an impact on the story.  By no means will the story be simple; it will be complicated at some points, but that's why it can be so intriguing.  

 

This sounds like the right direction for story in games, in my opinion. Instead of imposing your (the designer's) story on everyone, you create a framework for the player to develop their own narrative as they follow their own path through the game. Each playthrough tells a slightly different story. 

 

I think you made a LOT of good points in this one post.  I shared this response with my team.  I'm glad you like the way we're going with our game.  We're trying to set up a kickstarter page next week, maybe if you're interested you can check it out and see exactly what we're trying to do (no need to donate though).

 

Thanks so much for the insightful response:)



#32 Opwiz   Members   -  Reputation: 288

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 08:49 AM

Most games have one beginning, one ending/conclusion and progress in a linear fashion from the beginning to the end (with bubbles of freedom of action along the way).

 

It depends on what you actually call the 'Game'.

 

Let's take Starcraft 2 as an example. The 'Game' is an archetypal RTS with resource mining, army building etc. The 'Story' is the single player campaign, which is essentially a string of 'Games' with a bit of extra scripting, with a bit of exposition in the form of cutscenes holding it altogether. There are also some minor interactive components here, like the ability to choose which map to do next, or which research upgrades to buy or whatever, but nothing that really makes any difference to anything. 

 

Playing through this kind of 'Story' is a bit like watching a short and slightly disjointed movie which pauses every so often and requires you to win a game to continue. If you're lucky, some chapters of the story you can choose to watch in a different order. Or to look at it another way, it's like playing a sequence of scripted single player maps, except between each one you have to sit through a bunch of cut scenes. 

 

The success of this formula depends on a lot of factors. The 'Story' will have to make some concessions to justify the sequence of games within it, and to avoid annoying the player with over long cut scenes and exposition. These concessions can render the narrative irrelevant.

The 'Game' will have to make some concessions (usually via the scripting) to the story, often in the form of scripted events, limitations, and special victory conditions. These concessions can sometimes lead to some really enjoyable scenarios. However, they can also utterly destroy the gameplay, paring the options back to such a degree that you're just clicking your way through a linear script. 

 

In short, I don't think this is a particularly great way to incorporate story into games. It often suffers from exactly the problem I originally spoke about, where both the story and the gameplay can suffer as a result of their combination. For me, this model only works if the gameplay remains intact - as a general rule, if the gameplay is there, I couldn't care less if the story is rubbish, so long as it's skippable. Sacrificing gameplay for story on the other hand, is a big no-no.

 

I believe much of the success of the Starcraft-franchise wasn't just about the actual game-mechanics. What got me exited about Starcraft 1 was much about the whole tone/setting/atmosphere of the game. Starcraft 1 did this nicely, a few alien-esque cut-scenes, a pretty well-written and cool back-story (if you bothered to read it in the game manual), and a simple story goal of unifying against a common threat. Everything in the game mechanics, the gory deaths, the voice acting, music, etc. played into the narrative. We have a game where the game-mechanics playing into the story and vice versa. 

 

If you removed those story-elements and just have 3 random races battling each other with no context or feeling of anything being at stake (the human race), I dare to say it would not be as successful of a game. 

 

Again I think the idea of story "getting in the way" is more indicative of bad writing than that having a linear narrative and game-mechanics does not mix. Look at the most loved games of all-time and what they have in common: Chrono Trigger, Mass Effect, Half-life 2, Final Fantasy VII, Metal Gear Solid, Portal, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, etc. They all have a strong cohesive, unified, engaging (linear) narrative as well as compelling game mechanics (and they go together). 

 

I'm not saying there is no place for games where the players makes their own story - in fact I think there is a place for it. I believe it can be done in MMOs and multiplayer games - you can have a place where players play a role in economical forces, power struggles, diplomacy, etc. set it up right and intrigues and stories will emerge just as in real life. I would love to see a game like that.



#33 Sandman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 2117

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 10:19 AM

I believe much of the success of the Starcraft-franchise wasn't just about the actual game-mechanics.

 

I'm not so sure about that. Perhaps early on, the story was a factor, but it was the strong game mechanics (and excellent multiplayer that arose from them) that was responsible for the franchise's incredible success and longevity. 

 

I'm not so sure I'd call it a particularly great example of a well written story, either. It's been a while since I attempted to play it, but my memory of the campaign is that the story wasn't that interesting, I didn't really care about any of the characters, and the scenarios weren't anything special either. I got about five or six missions in before I became bored and went back to skirmish and multiplayer.

 

Starcraft 2 pulled it off a bit better, but mainly because the scenarios were better. The vastly higher production quality helped a bit too - the cut scenes were significantly more watchable than the little dialog sequences in Starcraft - but ultimately I still didn't really relate to or care about any of the characters. The cut scenes didn't particularly involve or immerse me in the plot, rather they told me about a bunch of stuff that was happening to some other people. Other people that I didn't really care about. At the end of the day, I played it for the game, not for the story.

 

Portal is an interesting example. Portal actually had a pretty simple story when you break it down. What was good was the way that it was presented, with minimal cut scenes. Instead, the story develops almost in the background, through GladOS's commentary and the writing on the wall, and other clues. You weren't told the story - you deduced and experienced it, all seamlessly while playing the game. Portal 2 was a bit heavier on the story, and had a few more cut scenes, but essentially followed the same pattern. What exposition there was, was highly integrated into the interactive portion of the game, so only rarely were you waiting around doing nothing while a cut scene played. Chel is also left as something of a blank slate, leaving the player free to insert their own personality into the role. This removes the possibility of a unrelatable protagonist and helps the player to feel involved in the story.

 

Portal is also a puzzle game at its core. A puzzle in which there is often only one correct solution, and the challenge to the player - the gameplay - is to figure out what that solution is. It's a style of game which lends itself well to linearity, without feeling like it suffers from lack of freedom. 



#34 Xoyo   Members   -  Reputation: 131

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 06:58 AM

Just thinking...

According to my knowledge, most strategy games don't have a lot of story because of the open and decision based nature of strategy games.  

What would you guys think if there was a more story based strategy game?  Maybe a little more restricted in terms of choice but with more story options.

Maybe the different factions have complicated relationships and you can somehow manipulate that to make things happen.

Also unique lore and cities with different backstories that overall affect the game.

Very underdeveloped idea, but some feedback would be nice:)

The idea of actualy affecting the outcome of the game is very interesting. That is just what made me a fan of table-top rpg games and so. I think it would be very fun and easy for that to be implemented in a strategy game. In a stage, for instance, you could have lots of possibilities: saving a village, killing all enemy troops, loosing. Destroy this or that enemy base (or both) in a given time. That actual choice could influence the story of the game and open diferent "ways" of interacting with it. The point is this kind of development of a game would be huge work for a reduced time in the player's experience. If you give the player 2 or 3 choices it is 2 or 3 times more work for the level designer to do.

 

Story in Starcraft/Warcraf of whatever has no players choice at all. The campaings are all "one after another" just a "tutorial" for you to learn how to play that race. I think it is very hard to integrate story on the game mechanics. And in some way it is impossible to do that in strategy games, because strategy games are all about cunning and ability and logic thinking and the outcome must happen in one match. Think you could do a "can't save" the game between matches or so. Dunno if that's  what you were thinking... lol



#35 Xoyo   Members   -  Reputation: 131

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 07:25 AM

This is a little off-topic I think ('cos it's not related to strategy games). 

 

When I think on great story in games I remember Okami, Zelda, Metroid, FFVI/VII, Fragile Dreams and other games like that. Where there is actualy little to no interaction with the story itself. I think it is even stupid when on the dialog box they ask things and the only way to progress through the game is saying the "right answer" (ocasionaly Y or N). No player decision "affects" the outcome of the story, but they are great stories anyway. The point is there are two approaches to story one is a linear, compelling, fun, sometimes melancholic story where the player has no interaction (in the cases above the gameplay is great either). The alternate approach is the sandbox-like gameplay. When i think of that I remember the Fallout and Elder Scrolls series, and even some MMOs. But on those cases the gameplay kind of turns into a "do quests, get stronger, so you can do more quests". Think the game looses a lot with that, also does the replay factor. You don't feel you are into the story of the game, politicaly and socialy immersed. You ally with this or that faction so you can become more powerfull or win some items or access to another area, etc... Think games today are very hard to implement if you think on those possibilities. Say Minecraft (the king of the sandbox): lots of gameplay, no story at all. Think it is very difficult to do that on an electronic gaming experience. Is it possible to create a unique (and great) experience to every single player?



#36 mippy   Members   -  Reputation: 1002

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 04:04 PM

From my perspective, I can see a conflict between story-telling and gameplay in rts games. The player should have a sandbox where he can develop his own strategies and tactics, resulting in a slightly open-ended outcome. The story elements might also interfere with the intense (the r in rts) gameplay as well as making the sandbox too tight. Another challenge is how to manifest the player in the game. When you circulate the "gameboard" in some kind of invisible shuttle - who/what exactly are you? A ghost, a satellite? It might seem like a silly problem, but it is a problem FPS games don't suffer from. Your "character" becomes anonymous and thus an outsider from the game itself. Most RTS games solve this by introducing heroes, but I don't think it's the same thing as the first person view, at least from a story/immersion perspective.


Edited by mipmap, 01 April 2013 - 04:06 PM.


#37 AltarofScience   Members   -  Reputation: 933

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 07:33 PM

Are you familiar with King of Dragon Pass? It's, to my mind, the archetypical story/strategy game.

http://a-sharp.com/kodp 

 

The strategy is around establishing a mythical/fantasy tribe in a new land, and the story comes in as you have to manage people as individuals as well as the tribe as a whole.

 

I'm glad someone mentioned this. KoDP has a great story.

 

I am working on my modified RTS engine right now trying to make weird genre blending exploratory strategy games. Currently I'm doing Majesty/Emperor combo but with deeper guilds, but later I'm going to be doing some storyish Dominions/KoDP event system style things. I'm actually writing the event code right now. There are gonna be several individual events but also some long interlocked series of events.

 

If OP ends up making a game I'll be interested to see his method of integrating story. I'm always looking for new surprising genre combos.



#38 LorenzoGatti   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2688

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 01:45 AM

I don't value the kind of story that can be found in Starcraft very high. It's nice to get some background on who you are, why are you fighting, and what's happening outside the battlefield; but it isn't the focus of the game, because it remains a game about using your army to defeat the enemy army and plot or characters have no bearing on that. The most meaningful type of player-driven narrative in a strategy game is probably the sort that can arise in Civilization or a lot of 4X games: choosing alliances, choosing whom to attack or betray or provoke, the diplomacy involved in deploying military units, and all the other player and AI actions that make strategy and tactics the backbone of a plausible simulated history.
Produci, consuma, crepa

#39 jwoff25   Members   -  Reputation: 182

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 03:37 AM

I've been quite busy these days and have not been able to respond to every response but I'd like to think everyone for posting and offering their two cents on this.  We are taking all your opinions and ideas into consideration.  Thanks to you guys we were able to build up more confidence to take on this challenge.  If you are interested in this project, please support us when we upload our website sometime this month at projectdomini.com.  Also we are attempting to set up a kickstarter page.  Donations are not necessary, but it would be great if you can spread the word if you like our ideas.

 

Again, THANK YOU SO MUCH for all the responses:)



#40 jwoff25   Members   -  Reputation: 182

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 05:35 AM

For anyone interested, here's the link to our IndieGoGo Project:

 

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/project-domini/x/3134891






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