Storytelling 101

Let’s start with a simple premise: Game designers always want duct tape.

The impossible-to-remove, holding-a-car-aloft, lifesaver-of-astronauts-and-other-people duct tape.

Duct tape holds infinite possibilities.

This amazing thing captures your imagination.

Basically, it sticks stuff together.

That is why we want it.

Of course I am talking metaphors here. As game designers we can interpret duct tape as the reason the player wants to play a video game. We game designers love to duct tape your brain to our game by using addictive game mechanics, stunning visuals, amazing audio or even thrilling stories.

And in this part I will elaborate on stories and how to get them duct tape effective.

What makes a good story? How can you capture and ensnare and thrill and retain your audience? Now, some games do not require a story (e.g. Tetris), but even the implication that a story could be formed makes a game more interesting. Most stories are written based on the following rules (well, more like guidelines really):

  • Story arc
  • Dramatic acts
  • Plot
  • Archetypes

So with these basic guidelines you can write a good story or analyse a story to see what makes it tick. When you have these basics under control, you can continue to the next step: making your story interactive!



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