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Slide 1 - Interactive Storytelling for Video Games Chapter 15: The Future of Storytelling in Games Josiah Lebowitz Chris Klug
Slide 2 - Stories Then and Now Stories in games have come a long way since Donkey Kong and Colossal Cave Adventure. The importance of stories in games continues to grow. Stories have become a key feature in many genres. Games today use a variety of different storytelling styles.
Slide 3 - The Key Arguments Pro Player-Driven Storytelling: Player-driven storytelling is the evolution of the art form. The writer can explore different story angles and progressions. The player can become closer to characters he creates. What players want most is to control stories and steer them in the direction they enjoy. Pro Traditional Storytelling: Storytelling is a perfected form and has no need to “evolve”. Highly player-driven stories are time consuming and expensive to create, and most players won’t see the majority of the content. Players can too easily turn the story down an uninteresting path. It’s difficult to create highly emotional scenes when the player can always go back and change things. In many ways, the illusion of control is better than actual control. What players want most is an enjoyable well structured story.
Slide 4 - What Players Want Both arguments come down to what players want and enjoy most in game stories. Stories are a very important factor in determining which games players buy and play. Players have a moderate interesting player-driven storytelling. Games with more traditional forms of storytelling are the most popular among players by far. Games with highly player-driven forms of storytelling aren’t very popular among players, aside from a handful of big name titles.
Slide 5 - Looking Towards the Future The game industry always looks towards the future. Accurately predicting the future, even in only a single industry, is very difficult and uncertain. Interactive traditional storytelling is currently the most popular style by far and will most likely remain that way for the foreseeable future. Player-driven storytelling won’t disappear and will likely gain popularity over time. However, the carefully designed structure, pacing, and characters found in more traditional storytelling styles will continue to dominate the industry. The basic foundations of storytelling will remain constant as they have for thousands of years.
Slide 6 - A Future for Everyone Many people in the game industry are always searching for the “best” way to do things. They assume that, once that “best” way is found, everything else will become obsolete. The industry has continuously defied their predictions. No matter how the industry grows and changes over time, there will always be fans of every game genre, storytelling style, art style, and the like. Instead of arguing about which type of storytelling style is best, game designers and writers should focus on creating the type of games and stories they want to create. If the game and story are good, they’ll likely find an audience, regardless of the storytelling style.
Slide 7 - Things to Consider Do you believe that the game industry tends to become too fixated on a single “best” way of doing things? Why or why not? What are some of the most important things you’ve learned from this class? How will you use the things you’ve learned to improve your stories? What are your own views on the future of storytelling in games?