Benefits of Video Game Storytelling

One time, Justin told a friend that we were excited about creating this game because we really want to play it ourselves. I don’t know that that’s my reason, to be honest. See, as much fun as that would be, and as much as it’s true, that’s never been my purpose in creating anything. It’s never just for me to enjoy or just for the self-satisfaction. And I think that’s what’s held me back from a lot of other projects: the looming thought that no one else would ever read/watch/play what I’m making, so what’s the point?

But video games are fun and exciting – it’s an interactive medium that catches attention and engages the audience. I mean, I’ve read (even made simple versions of) experimental comics in which you can make choices to affect the story you end up reading (it’s complicated but a lot of fun!) – but ultimately, you’re always aware that the parallel plot lines exist, physically, right on the next page – so there’s no sense of urgency. The same satisfaction in attaining an ending is gone.

In video games, and well-done RPGs especially, not only do you feel challenged and your competitiveness excited, but you may feel that impending doom looms unless you, the player, follows through and succeeds. Knights of the Old Republic was incredible in this regard. Every decision made could affect the ending but you didn’t know how. The universe hung on you! I loved the possible endings. The potential connection with Carth or Bastila – or the betrayal you could inflict. They actually cut one of the better endings for female jedi, which was a dark-side character still with a Carth romance (although I always went light side).

Anyways, off topic. Though we cannot possibly even attempt that level of control over the ending using RPG Maker, there will be significant events that can be averted or allowed based on player interactions – and it will be more than just who the player ends up with at the end of the day.

Arinnel-Blush Taya-Blush

 

Although, you know… I do want to know which one of them your character would end up with 😛 (please say there is one… if it’s neither, what a fail!)

Needless to say, though I’m a thorough fan of the written English language, and though I go to the local Barnes & Noble just about every week, and though I love DC’s New 52, video games have a little something special in their storytelling magic. It’s really exhilarating to become part of that magic, or to at least emulate it.

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2 thoughts on “Benefits of Video Game Storytelling

  1. In my opinion, player interaction in the storytelling process is the future of video games and is the reason I find RPGs so interesting. The one thing that sets games apart from movies and books is their ability to allow the player to interact with the world the developer created. While there are some great linear games out there, I believe that player choice is where video games can really thrive. One of my personal favorite examples of this is in the Witcher game series. I love how the game forces me to really think about my actions and their potential consequences instead of just telling me what will happen.

    • Definitely. The Witcher series is a great example. I mentioned KOTOR above, but even the MMORPG, The Old Republic, has that element going on. Unlike other MMORPGs, players don’t just build their own story but are players within a narrative.

      Though we can only accomplish this in a really limited capacity in our own game, it’s definitely a goal we’re striving toward.

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