Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
If the player looks after his squad, their respect could show in a series of
carefully-crafted generic lines. If the player regularly gets the squad members
killed by his tactics or recklessness, the remaining members of the squad
could show their belligerence through a very different set of generic lines.
The down side to this is that generic lines become unconvincing when they
are repeated too often and if the same voice is used for another character after
the original character has died, the suspension of disbelief is severely strained.
Because the majority of games are action orientated to various degrees,
there is a tendency towards favouring an interactive plot or story over inter-
active character development.This is possible if the action is included as part
of the developing story, but in this case the character is changed as a result of
the story change and not in any independent way.
As mentioned earlier, simply having a story in a game does not mean that
the story is interactive. Many great games have excellent stories that are
completely non-interactive and very linear. Before you embark on creating
your game story masterpiece, be sure that the lead designer knows exactly the
level of interactivity they want from the narrative so that you can deliver to
those specifications.
Figure 1 Linear story
In a linear game story (see Figure 1), the progress of the story happens at
story nodes, the small squares, with the arrows representing the gameplay that
takes the player to that node. Each story fragment is effectively a reward for
completing the previous section of gameplay with the number of nodes and
fragments being dictated by the depth of the story.
The reward nature of the fragments should not be obvious to the player;
they should appear in a logical fashion and any gameplay objectives should
match the story objectives.This way the story feels like it is an integrated part
of the game design.
Even in gameplay that is completely action orientated you can do this with
gentle nudges and reminders of the story and gameplay objective - download
a map from a console which shows the layout of the area and the player's
objective clearly marked; have the player character's boss call her up on the
radio or mobile phone to give her further information or instructions. The
possibilities are dependent on the style of game being developed, but by
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