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Story Mangement For Games

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Game stories are once again becoming increasingly important to modern games, and the complexity is growing rapidly.
With a good story model, we will be able to create immersive stories for games, making complicated scripts more manageable...

From an abstract level, what kind of models are there to manage game stories?
For example, I know that the use of a directed acyclic graph is suitable for modelling locations/quests (nodes) and actions/events (edges).
- What kind of drawbacks are there to this model?
- - Can we use this model easily for all games with non-linear stories?
- Are there any other models?
- What are some of the current technique that is employed for games with non linear stories?

I realize this is a bit of a loong "question", but if any of this interests you, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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That's a great description of the design and writing side of the story.

For the programming side of the storyline, it is best to have the game code data driven by the story itself. That is, you allow the scripts to have access to some simple state machines and data storage. It then falls upon the game's writers to use the tools.

Even for complicated stories, and regardless of which mode you choose as described above, the story tools ultimately boil down to a collection of nested state machines.

Scattered through the game code you will spawn events and notices to the state machines, and it may trigger a state change. The state machine will have queries into the game as well, to discover if conditions are met to change the state.

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Both quality posts. Thanks for the insight. Prior to this post, I have never heard of strings modelling stories, but it does seem like a neat idea. I think that as far as story managing goes, DAGS and strings+beads seem to be equally powerful... although the addition of beads allows for some modular components to be included.

I wonder if we can generalize story, arrays, meters and state machines (or a combination of) so that we can apply the same rules every time for aiding the creation of any story driven game... :) Thanks again.

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Well, we've had several threads about generalizing interactive story scenes and generating story in gamedev's past, but I don't believe any of those attempted to include linear stories. If you look at the field of "how to write" books there are several formulas or patterns for what an ideal novel or play should be structured like; those of course are only about linear, non-interactive stories because they're not about games.

I think that if you made a generalized set of instructions for creating the story structure of a game, you'd probably have to make it for the most heavily structured game, but then you wouldn't be using 80% of the instructions for a simple linear game. Is that what you want to do?

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[quote name='sunandshadow' timestamp='1306857372' post='4817912']
I think that if you made a generalized set of instructions for creating the story structure of a game, you'd probably have to make it for the most heavily structured game, but then you wouldn't be using 80% of the instructions for a simple linear game. Is that what you want to do?
[/quote]

Yes, something like that. I'm working on a domain specific language (DSL) aimed at managing stories in games -particularly non-linear stories. The main concern now is what kind of features should/can be included and would it be worth it (in terms of spending the resources and time) for others to learn this DSL. In any case, thanks for all the help, I think I have a good idea of which direction I should be heading in now.

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