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Carsten Germer

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About Carsten Germer

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  1. Carsten Germer

    Narrative-Gameplay Dissonance

    Good article, Will.   I'm all in favor of decoupling systems within a design, but your suggestion opens up a whole new can of worms:   If your overall design requires or encourages balance you can not really have a "mind-hacking warrior". Simplification: Either very strong or very intelligent, otherwise would be overpowered. Outsourcing the skill set to (swappable) equipment would not remove this completely.   You'll have to design around many possibilities of emerging ludonarrative dissonance. A gentle, intelligent and caring Close-Combat-Type who gets pushed to slay hundreds of dragon-puppies because that's the most (only?) effective way to get somewhere specific for that skill set.   The more one designs around this, the greater the danger of having to "dumb down" encounters and levels in general. I can't remember offhand which one it was, but one of the early Deus Ex games became very easy if you played an all-around Type because the levels/encounters simply had to be doable with all types of combinations (still tons of fun, though).   A more or less inherent connection between mechanics and narrative can be easily violated and can in turn lead to "narrative-gameplay dissonance". There's no "Game Master" in interactive computer games (yet), who judges players decisions, gameplay or story related, and will block the player from acting, based on something like alignment. I've given this a fair amount of thought and prototyped a simple system that does this good enough for games. Using it would require far more design in pre-production and keep in mind, it wouldn't help with the level/encounter problem of having to "dumb down".   I feel that with todays technology one either has to keep possible variations and freedom of choice in restraints or have a big budget to expand and fine tune design and worldbuilding.
  2. Carsten Germer

    Narrative-Gameplay Dissonance

  3. Carsten Germer

    5 Core Elements of Interactive Storytelling

    @ArsDiaboli && @GamingPoint: I have a feeling that we're mixing different kinds of games here. I personally agree that gameplay has to come first and foremost, as that is what makes games "fun" for me. Then again, as a Designer and I really appreciate any input on the topic from designers who are emphasizing conveying a story. I find there's much to learn for the process that ArsDiaboli describes. Tricks of the trade, so to speak.   Yes, with interactive games we have to work on telling a story with many more channels then Films, Audio or Books. Think about the differences in storytelling between Books and Film. And the many different kinds of games that can be made. I find it a quantum leap and the more techniques we're exploring as a community, the more tested and discussed methods one can choose from when designing a specific kind of game.   Cheers /Carsten
  4. Carsten Germer

    5 Core Elements of Interactive Storytelling

    Any particular reason why you didn't link to your articles about 4-Layers at the Frictional Games Blog and Gamasutra? I find them very good reads and think it complements this article nicely. http://frictionalgames.blogspot.se/2014/04/4-layers-narrative-design-approach.html (http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/ThomasGrip/20140429/216467/4Layers_A_Narrative_Design_Approach.php)
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