Yeah, when exactly was this heyday of storylines in videogames? The Final Fantasy series got it spot on for a couple incantations, but I think most of the power in the greatest of video game storylines came from honest, actual involvement in the lives of the characters. Why is the story in Final Fantasy 7 so good? Try to identify the specific elements that make it so good. Find enough individual elements that you think are grabbing to an audience, put them together, and you have (at least for you) a terrific storyline. For me, I found Cloud's quest for identity to be applicable to my own life when I was a teenager, even today, at the ripe old age of 24, identity is an illusive thing. Cloud also had a severe mental problem, which is a subject that I've always found fascinating. His quest for revenge after Sephiroth killed Aeris was satisfying - I wanted to get my hands on Sephiroth myself after that. These were all plot devices that molded the story into something that I found to be incredibly involving - it's probably my favorite story of any game I've ever played. Not that I'm suggesting you just steal from Final Fantasy. I think designers in general (especially storywriters) need to expand their horizons. What is your favorite Shakespeare play, for example? Hamlet? Macbeth? All's Well That Ends Well? (actually, it's probably not, that's one of Shakespeares weaker effort.) But Shakespeare is such a cliche in literature! John Ford was writing at the same time, but why don't we remember him? (not the director John Ford, by the way) He wrote a play called 'Tis Pity She's a Whore about an incestual relationship between a sister and brother, but doesn't condemn it. The brother ends up killing the sister's suitor and tearing his heart out. Is this good literature? Read it and judge for yourself! Also, the reason Shakespeare is considered such a good writer is because he really was - his plays capture elements of humanity and the grand themes of morality so well that they're still moving 400 years after the fact. We can empathize with Hamlet, the prince of Denmark whose father was killed by his uncle so the uncle could claim the throne, because the emotions that Hamlet feels - betrayal, revenge, pride - are emotions we can relate to. True, these stories are hidden behind "thee's" and "thou's" but that in no way diminishes their power. Storywriting - even for videogames - is more literary than technical. If you want to write better stories, you need to read as much as possible. Not that I'm critiquing you in general - this is the general you. that is to say, in 1600s english 'you' was the plural second person, whereas the singular second person was 'thou.' Did thou know that?