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zeybey1

A game made solely to tell a story

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Have you played Dear Esther?


Just looked it up. Pretty interesting that someone has tried this before, thanks



Interactive Fiction is a lot like what you're describing.


Somewhat, I was thinking more about using graphics and sounds in it as well though Edited by zeybey1

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Interactive Fiction is traditionally text based, but more modern incarnations do make use of graphics, sounds, animation, etc. and are highly related to the adventure genre. Games like MYST are very much a graphical "choose your own adventure" with some simple puzzles thrown in.


So yes, it's certainly an approach that can work if you've got good enough writing to draw your "player" in to the story and world. smile.png


You could also borrow another idea from the world of children's stories: pop-up and play books have small interactive features which aren't crucial to the story but can be amusing to play with. This could be ideal in a smart-phone or tablet based "game" where the player experiences a story and can "play" with small features in each section -- tapping to make a character dance, or a firework detonate, or similar. Mixed with simple choices (which way to proceed), dialogue choice, and some simple and relevant puzzles you could do quite a lot to help keep your "player" engrossed in and involved with the story as it unfolds. smile.png

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Somewhat, I was thinking more about using graphics and sounds in it as well though

Visual novels are commonly less interactive and more like a comic book with sound. And, ugh, I know there's a Chinese or Japanese word for a piece of software that emulates the storytelling technique where a board is used as a backdrop to stick still images of characters to while the story is being told... can't remember what that was called, but the concept was quite similar to interactive stories and visual novels.

At some point though you have such little interactivity that you are better off straightforwardly making a movie, whether it's a machinama or animation or what, so you can use the unique strengths of that medium. Edited by sunandshadow

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You could go pretty far in the story direction (visual novels, IF, point & click adventures).

But, in the end a game is about making decisions (or at least about an illusion of making decisions), if there are no decisions to make, it's not a game.

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Sure you can do this. There is a continuum between zero user choice audio visuals, say a 3d movie like toy story, and full free choice games. A lot of game artists also work on movies.smile.png

When there's no user interaction, there's a lot of shortcuts you can take. Objects may only need to be built with one viewing angle for instance. You don't tend to need physics representations in the same way. And the whole thing can be prerendered with smoother curves and effects. On the other hand the detail expected tends to be higher for movies.

A lot of games have scripted elements. This would be more akin to a movie sequence. Game designers have to choose how scripted a game is (which is good for storytelling), and how much choice there is. Sometimes it can be difficult to force the intended story without giving the player the impression that the game is linear.

As the others say, there is a cutoff point, where your game is so linear, that you might as well make it pre-rendered or a movie, so you can take advantage of those techniques.

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