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Old 14 September 2013, 17:12   #350
Mrs Beanbag
Glastonbridge Software
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Edinburgh/Scotland
Posts: 2,202
Originally Posted by desiv View Post
So, if the manual had said:
Zool is a gremlin "Ninja of the Nth Dimension" who is forced to land on Earth. In order to gain ninja ranking he has to pass six lands, because a ranked Ninja can marry!

.. then it would have been a much better game?
It's not about what the manual says, it's about the idea that forms the foundation of the game and holds it together as a coherent whole. Zool didn't have that. It just had sweets land, music land etc. Nobody reads the manual anyway but you have to start the design process with an idea of a story and build on that if the end product is to make any sense.

In Zool's case the written story seemed even to contradict the game. It says he landed on Earth, but I don't see any Earth landscapes there. I don't know where in the Earth he landed to find himself on a giant cake. Obviously they just made some different levels and added a "story" as an afterthought because a game ought to have one.

In Super Mario Brothers the princess is in a castle, somewhere, so Mario has to go look in all the castles. And such he does. It's not much of a plot, but it gives a framework. There is an implicit narrative there that gives the game meaning and purpose, and you don't need to read the manual to get it.
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