Computer Games - Story Writing Theory - Story vs Games

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This material has been produced to be used on the BTEC Level 3 Games Development Extended Diploma (formerly National Diploma) course delivery. This resource can be adapted and amended for other relevant courses.

Transcript of Computer Games - Story Writing Theory - Story vs Games

  • 1. Story Development Computer Games ResearchReport//StoryProduction//Dialogue//Evaluation Story (narrative) vs Gameplay (ludus)
  • 2. Story Development Computer Games ResearchReport//StoryProduction//Dialogue//Evaluation Approaches What is it that makes a game good? Is it the story that a game tells? Is it the process of playing?
  • 3. Story Development Computer Games ResearchReport//StoryProduction//Dialogue//Evaluation Narratology The theory and study of narrative and narrative structure and the way they affect our perception Russian Formalists Tzvetan Todorov Vladimir Propp Victor Shklovsky
  • 4. Story Development Computer Games ResearchReport//StoryProduction//Dialogue//Evaluation stability disruption resolution Act I Act II Act III Story (narrative) vs Gameplay (ludus)
  • 5. Pulp Fiction and narrative structure 5 1) Vince collects briefcase 2) Vince dates Mia 3) Vince killed by Butch 4) Vince cleans car 5) Vince at the diner 1) Vince collects briefcase 4) Vince cleans car 5) Vince at the diner 2) Vince dates Mia 3) Vince killed by Butch
  • 6. Story Development Computer Games ResearchReport//StoryProduction//Dialogue//Evaluation Narratology & Gaming Concerned with gaming as a new way of presenting a familiar story Allowing the player to enter a new world, to assume the role of a character
  • 7. Story Development Computer Games ResearchReport//StoryProduction//Dialogue//Evaluation Narrative decisions: Bioshocks moral imperative Harvest Save Player
  • 8. Story Development Computer Games ResearchReport//StoryProduction//Dialogue//Evaluation Games as literature the concentration of game designers and consumers on genres that are fairly low down the literary pecking order does little to add to the respectability of the computer game B Atkins, 2003, More than a Game: The Computer Game as Fictional Form, Manchester: Manchester University Press. E.g. FPS?
  • 9. Story Development Computer Games ResearchReport//StoryProduction//Dialogue//Evaluation Games that are examples of the narratology approach Final Fantasy VII Grand Theft Auto Resident Evil Zelda
  • 10. Story Development Computer Games ResearchReport//StoryProduction//Dialogue//Evaluation That which has neither utility nor truth nor likeness, nor yet, in its effects, is harmful, can best be judged by the criterion of the charm that is in it, and by the pleasure it affords. Such pleasure, entailing as it does no appreciable good or ill, is play (Plato cited in Poole, 2002)
  • 11. Story Development Computer Games ResearchReport//StoryProduction//Dialogue//Evaluation When people talk about videogames, they tend to compare them with forms they already know and love: film, painting, literature and so on. But theres one critical difference. What do you do with a video game? You play it. (Poole 2002: 26) Defining play
  • 12. Story Development Computer Games ResearchReport//StoryProduction//Dialogue//Evaluation Ludology From the root ludus meaning rule bound (see Callois, 2001) Although games have stories, these are seen by ludologists as incidental in the gaming experience.
  • 13. Story Development Computer Games ResearchReport//StoryProduction//Dialogue//Evaluation More than identification When you play a video game you enter into the world of the programmers who made it. You have to do more than identify with a character on the screen. You must act for it. Identification through action has a special kind of hold [] it puts people into a highly focused, and highly charged state of mind. For many people, what is being pursued in the video game is not just a score, but an altered state. (Turkle, 1984/2003, 509)
  • 14. Story Development Computer Games ResearchReport//StoryProduction//Dialogue//Evaluation 3 Important Dimensions 1. Rules 2. The material system (gameworld) 3. Gameplay
  • 15. Traditional media are representational, not simulational like games 15
  • 16. Story Development Computer Games ResearchReport//StoryProduction//Dialogue//Evaluation FILM GAME Start Start End Ends? Ends?
  • 17. Morality and player choices 17
  • 18. Emergent narrative and immersion 18
  • 19. Player choices and free will?
  • 20. Story Development Computer Games ResearchReport//StoryProduction//Dialogue//Evaluation What is it that makes a game good? Is it the story that a game tells? Is it the process of playing? Put forward your argument based on the title. Thinking about the issues discussed in this presentation. Site examples of games you have played- use screen shots if appropriate to illustrate your points. 500-600 words