infovore + story   49

In The Shadow of the Holodeck – Charles J Pratt – Medium
This is really good. I had some beginning-threads of thought at the time of the Bogost article that I just couldn't frame, and in the meantime, CJP has run with similar threads, a good dose of history, and come to some sharp conclusions, and basically reminded me what I actually think. So I'm just going to point at this to say "yes, I think this, and this is better expressed than I could ever have put it". Strong stuff.
games  narrative  charlesjpratt  ianbogost  writing  story  plot  interaction  design 
may 2017 by infovore
We're in this crazy situation called life
George Saunders on 'story'; watching this, and hearing him talk, I begin to see more about his writing emerges. It's still a mystery, but it feels like a tiny bit more of a known mystery.
writing  georgesaunders  story  process  kindness 
january 2016 by infovore
How Dan Harmon Drives Himself Crazy Making Community | Magazine
"His earliest revelation about how the TV medium worked—one that heavily influences Community—came courtesy of a Cheers board game he spotted at a toy store. He realized that the characters were so relatable and their dynamics so clearly defined that anyone could step into their lives—even in a board game." Brilliant interview with Dan Harmon - but this paragraph really leapt out at me.
community  story  narrative  danharmon  writing  sitcoms  tv  structure 
october 2011 by infovore
The Brainy Gamer: Impotent narrative
"One succeeds because it leverages the player's motivated, explorative, self-driven experience; the other fails because it relies on a hackneyed, disjointed "epic" plotting (told in 3 separate plot-lines via cutscenes) with incongruous settings and 2-dimensional characters. One succeeds because its formal systems directly feed the player's connection to the world and characters; the other fails because its formal systems bear no discernible relationship to the stories the game wants to tell." This is strong stuff from Michael; I am increasingly fed up of the focus on (poorly-told) stories in games.
games  narrative  emergence  story  michaelabbott  rpg 
october 2010 by infovore » Blog Archive » Designing story-based games
"Eons ago, in 1996, Next Generation magazine asked me for a list of game design tips for narrative games. Here’s what I gave them. Reading it today, some of it feels dated (like the way I refer to the player throughout as “he”), but a lot is as relevant as ever. I especially like #8 and #9." Jordan Mechner is a smart chap; nice to know he was on the right lines so long ago.
games  story  design  narrative  play  jordanmechner 
november 2009 by infovore
The Story in Left 4 Dead - Steam Users' Forums
One great big massive thread in which the Left 4 Dead story gets dissected to death - with lots of excellent screengrabs - by perceptive fans. Good stuff: as usual with Valve, there's so much story in the world.
valve  left4dead  l4d  games  story  narrative  environment 
august 2009 by infovore
Gamasutra - News - Develop 2009: Gameplay Not Everything, Says Dyack
"Dyack’s controversial message was delivered during a talk at Brighton, UK's Develop Conference calling for games to be considered as "the Eighth Art." He highlighted the writings of Ricciotto Canudo, an Italian author and one of the first theorists of film who considered cinema to be the Seventh Art." More to come on this - because I was there and disagreed a lot. That said, Dyack was interesting - I just don't think he's correct. This is mainly because he's adapting the writings of someone writing film theory for people new to film, as opposed to the film theory that happens when the audience understand it.
carudo  dennisdyack  develop09  games  story  art  narrative  design 
july 2009 by infovore
Synthetic drama #1: Battlefield 1943 « rotational
"Suddenly, an enemy plane bursts over the remaining vegetation at the top with an incredible roar. I nearly trip backward as I crane around to see where it’s going, only to see it explode behind us. My breath catches and I zip my view back to the crest of the hill and see a second plane, one of ours, howl over it in victory." It's so good. More to come!
games  bf1943  battlefield1943  story  experiential  alexwiltshire 
july 2009 by infovore
Traffic Department 2192 | Narrative Flood
"[Our heroine's] name is Marta Louise Velasquez, and she’s quite possibly the most unpleasant female lead character in the history of gaming. She’s also what makes TD2192 worth remembering." Indeed, I have many. She did not lead a happy life, I'll give Richard that.
td2192  games  narrative  story  plot  shareware 
june 2009 by infovore
Narrative Flood - Because Story Matters
"Being a light-hearted look at the world of story and writing in games." Written by Richard Cobbett, it's quite a lot of fun. And he's played Realms of the Haunting, too. Awesome.
games  narrative  story  blog 
june 2009 by infovore
Touched By The Hand Of Mod: Dear Esther | Rock, Paper, Shotgun
"This is a mod. And that’s kind of relevant, for two reasons. Firstly, we don’t want to pay for this kind of thing. Hell, look at The Path: people are upset that even exists, let alone that its developers had the guts to charge seven quid for their remarkable efforts. But this is the sort of thing I’d love to pay for. It seems illogical that we’ll all happily splash out fifty pounds for the same old story of science-fiction revenge, yet aggressively avoid anything that encourages us to engage our brains and challenge ourselves a little."
games  storytelling  story  narrative  depth  interaction  ungames 
may 2009 by infovore
Ludus Novus » Blog Archive » Left 4 Godot
"...there’s no real hope for the Survivors. Each trip through a campaign is different, but it begins with them knee-deep in the undead, and ends with them escaping to an uncertain future. We never see the Survivors truly safe. Between chapters, they rest in Safe Rooms, but they can’t hide there forever. Most unsettlingly, there are signs that the Survivors themselves remember doing all this before." Francis, incidentally, hates Beckett.
left4dead  beckett  narrative  repetition  games  story 
may 2009 by infovore
GDC Takeaway: Tiny, Tiny Stories « Save the Robot - Chris Dahlen
"Many deep, sophisticated emotions can emerge from those three plots. But they should emerge in the experience, in the actions the players take, in the reactions they receive, in gestures and decisions and deaths and tasks and achieving or failing to achieve a goal. They should not emerge from people sitting around talking to each other in a cartoon." Chris Dahlen on post-GDC09 narrative.
games  narrative  story  chrisdhalen  writing  character  plot 
april 2009 by infovore
Quick and dirty slides
Margaret's slides from GDC2009. Even without the notes, there's clearly some great meat here, and "Stop Wasting My Time And Your Money" has some stonkingly good moments - notably, the discussion of the HL2 lambda, and a great, great Sam Beckett gag.
margaretrobertson  gdc2009  slides  presentation  games  story  narrative  play  spore  education 
march 2009 by infovore
Gamasutra - Features - Game Writing From The Inside Out
This is both good and bad in places; I'm not totally convinced by the "What would players rather shoot -- a wall, or a Nazi?" argument, but I'm very interested (as per my previous writing on Far Cry 2) in notions of non-player characters as protagonist; the player as lens through which story emerges, rather than hero of said story. Stuff to think on, for sure, but I'm still working out how to respond to this; I'm not sure it fulfils its goal of discussing "how writers and designers can collaborate smoothly and successfully"; it just shows me some examples.
design  games  writing  narrative  story  structure  protagonist 
march 2009 by infovore
Blue Lacuna: An Interactive Novel by Aaron A. Reed
This looks very, very interesting. Yes, it's IF, but it looks like it's pushing that genre quite far.
games  storytelling  narrative  story  interactivefiction  if 
february 2009 by infovore
Fullbright: Storymaking
" games are driven by the player, experientially and emotionally. Fictional content--setting, characters, backstory-- is useful inasmuch as it creates context for what the player chooses to do. This is ambient content, not linear narrative in any traditional sense. The creators of a gameworld should be lauded for their ability to believably render an intriguing fictional place-- the world itself and the characters in it. However the value in a game is not to be found in its ability at storytelling, but in its potential for storymaking." Some commentary on the scale of storymaking games offer, from Steve Gaynor. Also: I like the word "storymaking", as opposed to "storytelling".
games  narrative  story  mechanics  stevegaynor  plot  pace  storymaking 
february 2009 by infovore
Lookspring » Snapping point
"Tears shouldn’t be our goal. Stories don’t need to be our tools. The majority of art forms don’t rely on narrative for their emotional impact. Stop and think about that for a second. The games industry tends to draw on such an amazingly limited roster of inspirations that it’s easy to forget it. But our obsession with linear, story-based - word-based, even - non-participatory art at the expense of all the other forms makes life so much harder for games, and it makes me crazy."
games  art  narrative  story  emotion 
december 2008 by infovore
Brighten the Corners/Shop/Victor & Susie
"A modern tale about caring, mending and letting-go, drawn with letters and punctuation marks." Oh! This is just beautiful - a short story about a girl, and a snail, composed entirely out of type.
design  story  typography  illustration  children  book 
december 2008 by infovore
Matthew's non theme based fancy dress party
"The problem I have with the note is not that he was having a party and didn't invite me, it was that he selected a vibrant background of balloons, effectively stating that his party was going to be vibrant and possibly have balloons and that I couldn't come." David Thorne knows how to wind people up.
humour  writing  story  anecdote  party  davidthorne 
december 2008 by infovore
The Brainy Gamer: Dissonance
"Does the road to ludonarrative unity really lead us where we want to go? Is the destination reachable? Is it possible to embrace a design aesthetic that takes us in another direction that could be just as fruitful, if not more so? Okay that was three questions, but it's my blog so I get to ask as many as I want. Now if I could only answer them." This is going to be interesting when I come to write about Far Cry 2.
games  narrative  story  michaelabbott  dissonance  design  mechanics  systems 
december 2008 by infovore
Respect the Character, p1 « BioWare Blog
"...the players are there for their character, not for your story. Your story is just the path for their characters, the medium through which they can play their persona. Once the GM realizes this, they should then realize that respecting the player and the character is paramount to their story. And it’s a surprisingly easy skill to master, because it really is as simple as recognizing what the players and characters want, what they came to do and then give it to them."
narrative  story  rpg  bioware  storytelling  games 
november 2008 by infovore
BioWare Blog
BioWare now have a blog. It looks like it's going to be full of good stuff about games and, especially, writing for them. Can't wait.
bioware  games  writing  rpg  narrative  story 
november 2008 by infovore
GameSetWatch - Opinion: On Far Cry 2's 'Slow Burn'
"...the game tries to define a set of rules and an environment in which memorable experiences are likely to happen, and simply lets the player loose in its world -- a fascinating prospect." This captures a lot of the great things about FC2 well, and in an even-handed manner. The lack of handholding is jarring, but the possibilities it opens up are wonderful. For a tense, hectic, genre, it's interesting to see an entry that's by turns soothing and surreal, amidst the malaria, bushfires, and wholesale slaughter.
games  story  narrative  play  emergence  openworld  farcry2 
october 2008 by infovore
Versus CluClu Land: The Limits of Escapism
"This is the challenge, it seems to me: it's to do with the tools of design-- rules and states-- what other media do with images and sound: reveal the world as seen through different eyes, with lapidary clarity and moral courage. And this means moving beyond merely empowering and entertaining the player."
iroquoispliskin  escapism  play  games  media  art  criticism  entertainment  story  narrative 
october 2008 by infovore
The Online Photographer: The Amazing Gift of Woo Lai Wah
"And if there was a "prize" in this lottery, it was not so much the object itself, but the letter and the awesome mysteries of unfathomable spiritual connections, and the very gesture itself from this dear, dear person and the timing!" What a story.
photography  chance  happenstance  story  fortune 
september 2008 by infovore
Gamasutra - Valve's Faliszek: Not All Game Stories Need 'Evil Masterminds'
"Trying to over-explain the cause of a disaster often detracts from its more tangible impact. ... Instead, Faliszek says, it is more effective to create resonant gameplay experiences that players will remember, particularly if the setting in question, such as a zombie invasion (or a tornado outbreak, for that matter) is already familiar." Why games don't always need tangible villains.
games  resonance  left4dead  valve  story  narrative  technique 
september 2008 by infovore
Another forum game - The Gameshelf
"So why am I mentioning this now? Because Alternity has just started. This is a new Harry Potter game, and it starts from the beginning -- September 1, Harry's first day at school. Only not as in The Philosopher's Stone. In this scenario, Voldemort, er, won." Fanfic-cum-alt-universe-RPGs in the Potterverse being run solely on Livejournal. Amazing.
games  arg  harrypotter  livejournal  fanfic  rpg  roleplaying  storytelling  story  narrative 
september 2008 by infovore
Patsquinade - How my not-great plot happened: a mini post-mortem
"An interesting article at Rock, Paper, Shotgun tackles BioWare's tackling of issues tackling modern society, tackling one of my Mass Effect plots in the process. I responded in the comments, and after looking at how much I yammered on, I figured it was worth posting here as a look inside how these things get into the game, and why some things that seem dumb get done." Patrick Weekes follows up the RPS post criticising his own plot elements with some frank self-criticism, and some interesting explanations; a reminder of how hard creating any kind of meaningful choice can be.
rockpapershotgun  writing  games  masseffect  bioware  criticism  postmortem  plot  story  narrative  choice 
august 2008 by infovore » Blog Archive » Finished Braid
"Every inch of Braid is a painting; every game dynamic makes music. Unlike most platformers, Braid is forgiving; when you miss a jump, you simply back up time, and the visuals and audio cues associated with this mechanic are pleasing of themselves, aesthetically, while also supporting the underlying fiction." Harvey Smith on Braid.
braid  harveysmith  games  play  mechanics  story  narrative 
august 2008 by infovore
Versus CluClu Land: Minigolf with a Story
"Narrative, like play, is one of the most basic tools we posses as human beings for coping with experience. And just as play can be fundamentally empowering, there is something distinctly empowering about using the tools of narrative to throw a net of meaning over our lives."
narrative  story  games  play  design  storytelling  mechanics 
august 2008 by infovore
The Artful Gamer · Narratives and Interactivity Still Misunderstood
"We’ve forgotten that our ability to engage with something is a gift inherent to human perception, and instead we’ve attempted to replace that form of engagement with a derivative technological form of interaction."
games  play  interaction  narrative  story  storytelling 
august 2008 by infovore
GameSetWatch - Column: 'Homer in Silicon': Betraying the Protagonist
"if the player identifies with the protagonist and is motivated by the desire for the protagonist to "win" or "succeed", how can satisfying interactive tragedy exist? Won't the player always be trying to avoid actions that propel the story to an unhappy conclusion? What can an interactive tragedy offer to the player in place of traditional metrics of success?" Emily Short on making tragedy playable.
games  interactivefiction  narrative  story  storytelling  interaction 
august 2008 by infovore
Braid » Blog Archive » A lecture about how our games are inherently conflicted.
"This one-hour lecture is about three ways in which current mainstream games are inherently conflicted, and how this holds them back from affecting people as strongly as the forms of linear media they are striving to emulate." Blow's talk from Games:Edu.
lecutre  games  design  art  story  narrative  play  jonathanblow 
august 2008 by infovore
GameSetWatch - In-Depth: Braid 's Blow On Why 'Games Need You' Develop: Braid's Blow On Why 'Games Need You'
"Gameplay elements have meanings outside of the visual and linear; the meaning of the gameplay rules is often in conflict within the visual meanings from the linear meanings, which results in a game becoming conflicted."
gameplay  play  narrative  story  games  jonathanblow  braid  theory 
august 2008 by infovore
bmabey's rspec-story-tmbundle at master — GitHub
"Textmate Bundle for RSpec plain text stories". Some nice snippets and solid syntax-highlighting, which is just what I need.
textmate  bundle  rspec  story  storyrunner  syntax 
july 2008 by infovore
Click Nothing: Ludonarrative Dissonance in Bioshock
"By throwing the narrative and ludic elements of the work into opposition, the game seems to openly mock the player for having believed in the fiction of the game at all."
games  story  criticism  narrative  bioshock  storytelling  interaction  play  design 
july 2008 by infovore
Versus CluClu Land: The Final Exam
"The capacity to convey narrative through interaction is a constitutive rather than accidental feature of the medium. Every time a designer exploits this ability we get closer to finding [...] what forms of expression are unique to games..."
games  criticism  narrative  story  art  expression 
july 2008 by infovore
GameDevBlog: Story in games re-evaluated
"The holy grail for me now wouldn't be the game that can create infinite story - but a game that could procedurally generate infinite interesting content." Jamie Fristrom on games and storytelling. Good stuff.
narrative  games  play  videogames  story  storytelling  procedural 
june 2008 by infovore
Lookspring » The real story
"Every single point along that road is wrong. And every single point along that road takes games somewhere expensive and difficult. [...] Emotionally complex games are great, but so are emotionally crude - or indeed emotionally barren - games." Excellent.
games  narrative  story  play  interaction  storytelling  emotion  engagement 
may 2008 by infovore
Gamasutra - Opinion: Why Time-Management Games Ought To Be Great At Story-telling (And Why They Mostly Aren't)
"The result is a casual game with surprisingly nuanced and interesting characters, with whom the player begins to feel she has a real relationship -- even though all the dialogue occurs in cut scenes which we have no ability to alter." Excellent.
story  storytelling  games  play  interaction  design  narrative  interactiondesign 
may 2008 by infovore
BBC - WW2 People's War - Personal memories
A remarkable story of commando training under Fairbairn and Sykes.
ww2  combat  closecombat  handtohand  training  story  memoir 
november 2007 by infovore
Helping users retell experiences (Leapfroglog)
"...supporting the retelling of experiences is important. After all if you’re offering a cool product or service, you want others to know about it. A passionate user is probably your best advocate." More great stuff from Kars.
design  ia  interaction  emergent  storytelling  story  play 
october 2007 by infovore
Play, story and recombination (Leapfroglog)
"If you approach design not as embedding your story in the environment, but as creating an environment wherein users can create their own stories, then I’d say you’re on the right track." Kars on playful IA again.
ia  design  interaction  story  storytelling  narrative 
october 2007 by infovore » What’s in a Story?
A great Dan North entry on stories and BDD.
bdd  agile  testing  story  tdd  methodology 
september 2007 by infovore
Wonderland: SXSW: Will Wright Keynote
Alice provides a near-transcription of Will's SXSW keynote; requires a more careful readthrough... but at first glance, it's bloody marvellous. Totally should have gone to SXSW.
willwright  spore  games  play  story  narrative  sxsw  keynote 
march 2007 by infovore

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