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It's (almost) over: Post-thoughts on Meta-Narrative designs and impact

Embassy of Time


Dear lord do I sound like a pompus academic! Words are fun!!

The flashy title aside, I just got the full content of the second draft of "Worthless", the/a key storyline for a multi-game project I have been embarking on for about a year with some people in suits. And looking back is giving me panic attacks!

The 63 chapter draft (which, again, is free to read online) details the beginning of a fairly sprawling time travel universe, meant to be the bedrock for games on he drawing board, most of them smaller indie titles over the coming years. Plus comics and more stories and all that good stuff, but I digress. The idea is tha familiarity not only breeds greater interest, but will also allow for some games that stand out more from the crowd, because players will either know or have the option of learning the backsory before a game even begins. Kind of like game franchises, but in reverse. Kind of.

A year ago, this was jus some collection of thoughts and notes, and a lo of noncommittal talk with people who knew/know little to nothing about writing, game design, etc. Now, with the second draft out there, it has become very real, and i am thinking thoughts I never had before. I have 300-500+ views on each chapter, but no comments, so I have no idea if anyone is really reading any of it (if you are, please let me know in the comments!), and in these days, game backstories seem to be in a weird place. Back in the 80s and 90s, story sometimes made up 50% or more of the gaming experence, because games themselves were limited. Now, people brush right by the story in games like Mass Effect or Mirror's Edge and just play the game. So I can't help but wonder, what is the role of a story at this point, on a deeper player interaction level? Is the existence of a deeper connection between games something that people react to, or is it jus somehing they skate by in a WhatCulture video? I am a huuuge fan of the storytelling in Dark Souls, but part of it might be because I respect how it doesn' really matter to the game, so it makes me wonder how much it really matters to players. And would the modern player enjoy the fact that there exists significant sory content outside the game, which can enhance or elaborae the story in the game?

I'm still in a weird place after finishing that second draft (and not just due to the 300K+ wordcount...), and there are waaay too many weird questions in my head right now. But if any of this made sense, please let me know your stand on the value of stories in, and beyond, the games you enjoy!


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