Let's make an example of game don't show and show don't tell. The game is about assassination.
Story element There's an antagonist who you need to kill. You can: - tell the player with a dialogue "mister x has been killed". - Show with a cutscene deciding how and when mister x will be killed - Let the player play the killing.
Too easy? Let's add some subplot. Story elements The enemies had a informer in your team. You think he's Mister M, and you send an ally to kill mister M. While on mission you will understand that you were wrong. Mister M is not an enemy. Now, you can: - use dialogue to tell the player: "ok, you saved him". - Show a cut scene where you see him saved. - Give a player a chase challenge to run and save him.
Ok, also dialogue and cutscene are useful, and I'm not saying that we've to put away show don't tell. I want to say that the best part of the stories should be playable, and this should be our priority as game writers. Part of the story who aren't playable can be freely cut.
A possible application: Long lines of dialogue can be boring and many players start to avoid them. So we should: a) let the player play more and listen to dialogue less. b) make the dialogue a gameplay element (such in Alpha protocol)
Show don't tell is a basic rule for a written story, it's very old and accepted by the experts.
But I think we should talk about: game don't show (a new rule I heard about gaming, I think on penny arcade - extra credits, don't remember which episode).
In a game we should express the story using the game challenges.
Ex. in assassin creed you KILL. Yes, the killing is also showed. But it's not simply a cut scene or a line of dialogue (that are ok for other media such movie or books), the challenge of the game is the main issue to communicate the story.
@ msvc The story, with some little adjustment I think, is ok. The question is: how do you plan to implement it in the videogame? In which genre does it fit? Why it is good for a videogame?
Yep, an MMO with a win condition. Once it ended, a new server started up (with marginally different mechanics). I think you had a year and a half to complete the challenge, or else it was deemed a failure and the server reset.
Nice . I think this type challenge can be set as repeteable periodically. Also without restarting the server.
No, not Art of Game Design (good book though - you could probably get it from an online book store). This was a document written specifically about his game "Balance of Power". Here is a link: http://www.erasmataz...nceOfPower.html
Yey, I found the book on ebay, alas not the cards (at least on acceptable shipping cost). Thanks for the link!
That is an example of a very simplistic form of what I am talking about. However, it sort of fails as the paths the player takes through the story (the narrative) are still pre-set.
Ok, I agree, I only want to check if I understood.
I think to understand what you mean by Agent and Agency, and it's a very sexy Idea (and maybe not so difficult to implement).
I'll try to be more specific. The choices of the players can influence the game, not only in an "illusionary fake way" (like torment and many other single player games, where the player can decide, but it didn't matter to the story, or it matters, but not so much), but also in a "real way" (or simple "illusionary real way"). With "Real way" I mean that a players' decisions have (or can have) consenquences on the MMORPG setting.
I'd like to elaborate this "real way" and to check what a player can do to a MMORPG setting. Killing is very very simple, territorial wars is a little more complex (and already implemented), I'd like to check if anyone has other ideas. I'd like to find "objectives". What can do the players to the game-world?