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Scipting TV style Episodes?

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Similar to a thread I posted in Game Design before realising that how to "script" an "episode" of a game was more of a topic for this forum. Here is an idea that I want to present for discussion, (I originally saw it being kicked around in the ''propoganda'' for the Cassandra project _ as headed up by Kieron Gillen of PC Gamer Uk). If games are made in Episodes (ie. little self-contained chunks), then this allows the strong ideas and themes to be explored. And by having the section be able to be played through in one / two hours, there can be (a three act structure) of the idea being set out, of the idea being explored, followed by a resolution where the problem is wrapped up and some of the consequences of the action are shown. (Ie. think of a StarTrek episode). So that instead of just being a bunch of in_game actions, what the player does becomes wrapped up as part of a little story, and that the way it concludes can even refer back to what the player has done during the episode. For example if a mission has several different ways in which it can be approached, then the choice of approach that the player chooses (violent, stealthy) can be referred to by ingame characters, or in cut_scenes which reflect the consequences of their actions. So what do you think would be good ways of structuring such intros middles and endings, what do you think would be the drawbacks / advantages ETC ETC....

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ST:TNG is a good example of 3-act episodic television.

It basically follows this format:

Prologue (everything before the credits, includes a shocker or quick problem definition)
Act I (full definition of the problem)
Act II (characters fumble about trying to resolve or understand the problem as it develops)
Act III (characters fumble some more, eventually resolve the problem)
Epilogue (characters learn from the experience, or we show the consequences, wrap everything up.)

I think the max playable time for any given episode should be about an hour. Any more, and its going to be a pain to play.

Note that LucasArts DID try this briefly - they came out with these "Desktop adventure" games which were meant to be short 30-minute episodes or something. It didn''t fly, partially because the extra episodes were kinda expensive.

-ATR-

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You should try to limit the discussion of this topic to one area, since this is diffusing the momentum of ideas. I would suggest keeping the thread in Game Design since it seems more active...but that''s only my opinion.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
quote:
Original post by taratr98
ST:TNG is a good example of 3-act episodic television.

It basically follows this format:

Prologue (everything before the credits, includes a shocker or quick problem definition)
Act I (full definition of the problem)
Act II (characters fumble about trying to resolve or understand the problem as it develops)
Act III (characters fumble some more, eventually resolve the problem)
Epilogue (characters learn from the experience, or we show the consequences, wrap everything up.)



Well really ST:TNG usually skipped the third act and replaced it with some quick techno-babble deus-ex-machina fix: "Capt. if we just destabilize the quantom fluxorator the big bad thing that was about to kill us at the end of act II will suddenly go away and we can get right to the epilogue."

Joe Ward

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