Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
2006 THQ Inc.
Figure 7.1. Company of Heroes . c
nipotent.
It is a multitude of perspectives, a strange space above men but below
gods.
Without attachment to a central perspective, the player is free to manage and
direct a seemingly live wargame strategy system. Now called real-time strategy (RTS)
games, this video game type has been in constant evolution for the almost 20 years
since its inception. Like the entire game industry itself, RTS has evolved from a
graphics and cinematics standpoint, yet it has also seen a slow evolution in story-
telling.
What is most interesting from a storytelling standpoint is the perspective, or
seeming lack thereof. The games seem to have little to do with the stories of individ-
ual characters. They exist somewhere between second person omnipotent and third
person.
From the inception of the game type, the stories for RTS where all essentially
war-based. Even first-generation RTS titles like Blizzard's groundbreaking 1994
fantasy RTS game Warcraft: Orcs and Humans were nevertheless about war. The
natural competitive ludic nature of RTS is somehow rooted deeper than the game
type itself. Stories from mankind's earliest days seem to revolve around war and
power struggles. Unless they are creation myths, most stories about early civiliza-
tions center on struggle—a competitive moment in time showing who defined his-
tory. This is even reflected in our language, as the primary players in a story are
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