Game Development Reference
working on how best to maximise the way the story and gameplay fit
together, a rich, linear story can be an excellent accompaniment to a strong
game.The real beauty of a linear story is that because the studio does not have
to allocate time and resources towards creating alternative scenes and dialogue,
you can maximise the quality and impact of the scenes you use to tell the tale.
Figure 2 Linear story, non-linear gameplay
Figure 1 not only shows a linear story, but also linear gameplay, meaning
that the route the player takes to get through each level of the game is pre-
determined and fixed. Figure 2 shows a variation where the story is still linear,
but the gameplay that leads to each story node is varied and will depend on
how the player approaches each level.This usually means that the players have
the option to draw from a range of gameplay mechanics in any way they
choose, which gives them the feeling that they are in control of the gameplay.
This type of game/story structure is a strong combination as it has the advan-
tage of relatively open gameplay with a specific and potentially powerful story.
Figure 3 Branching story and gameplay