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Old 03 January 2010, 01:23   #3
Marcuz's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2002
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Age: 40
Posts: 5,151

i guess game narratology is kind of a tricky flavour, since the story telling in games suffers of more bumps than any other medium i know of.
i mean, there's the obstacle of the interfacing, with wich the user must push the story on, and that's harder than to make your eyes wander on a book or just being attentive enough to have a narration told or played to you.

plus the story happens by means of smoke and mirrors (the hardware and software in front of you) always a bit wobblin in place and that's a bit of a distraction.

computer storytelling suffers also a dis-unity of play that is not chosen by the user: while the reader chooses to interrupt reading or a watcher can pause a movie at will, the story in a game is interrupted each time the player does not know the next move.

therefore, i assume that the values in game stories must be those that allows the narration not really happening on the monitor, but in the fantasy of the player unrelatedly to when he's playing or not (plus of course a generally good storytelling): the creation of a believable background for a conflict imho appears more important than in other media.

then as for consistency of the whole packaging, the details and the whole shebang that makes the game fruition almost not being interrupted by whatever may be distracting, i would suggest Perihelion.
a good, simple story, conveyed almost only through player actions / choices, plus a great coherent coreography of visuals and sounds to the short but effective story texts.

At that, It Came From the Desert too, that you mention, is a great choice!

what else? about good ideas in RPGs there were the journal entries on paper for the whole gold box saga, by SSI. those were much better than modern journal entries inside the games, in an aspect, they were structural to the solution of the game, not mere accessories like in Bethesda games, for instance, and they were better readable, at a easier pace, more curious, a bit like the "choose your adventure" kind of games.

I cannot identify many good story teller games on computer, however, i have a hunch that the more self restrained, contained, the better they are.

For instance, i'm not sure Lucas Art games are examples of great storytelling, even if they may be great games. They looks more like collections of genres' commonplaces, or situations, with often unclear directions. maybe with the exception of Loom.

anyway, just my 2 cents.
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