One of the major strategies of video games to engage and catch the focus of the player is Storytelling. In this text, allow us uncover how story-developing is completed in video games.
You may possibly have heard that the artwork of storytelling is a terrific tactic to use in a range of media, this kind of as schooling, advertising, or brand developing. But have you ever stopped to feel about the relevance of superior storytelling in video games?
If not nevertheless, I place you: the manufacturing of electronic game has as one particular of the initial actions the creation of the plot . It is essential to make a total script with: the definition of the target audience, the elaboration of the characters and the creating of the story (currently being ready to observe various genres, like action, suspense, terror, and so forth.). Graphics and style and design are also critical, but they require to be guided in these initial facts to get a legal occupation.
Storytelling in video video games can be deemed a terrific contributor to superior consumer expertise, a notion that translates into how it feels when interacting with a particular products or support and is critical for conversion.
Are you curious to comprehend a very little bit about the capabilities employed in game stories and how they have gotten a lot more engrossing in excess of time? Press start off!
It’s a me, Mario! Trailers and cutscenes in video games
First of all, I’m going to introduce you to two pretty well-known approaches in electronic video games: trailers and cutscenes.
Just like in films, game trailers have a soundtrack and inform component of the storyline. They introduce to the potential player simple factors of a storytelling : characters, setting, challenge or conflict, and are therefore ready to excite, engage and produce expectations.
A cutscene is a short interruption in the game, and can have several objectives: to contextualize an event, to develop the character, to reinforce the engagement, to introduce new characters, to introduce dialogues, to give information or clues, to advance the story.
A curiosity: the first game to use cutscenes was Space Invaders Part II, (1979).
Round 1, fight! Storytelling in old games
Old games, 8 or 16 bits, also have stories, you know? However, the features are somewhat different from those of the current games: the plot is simpler, it is unchanging and events follow a single linearity.
In the first Space Invaders (1978), for example, the story has to do with alien invasions. The player has to stop invaders in space to save the Earth. The theme of aliens was recurring at the time, in other contexts too, as in movies (Star Wars, for example, was released in 1977).
Contra (1987) also involves the theme. In the plot, the year is 2633 and a combatant and his partner are sent to an island, with the goal of preventing the Red Falcon conspiracy from invading the planet. With rifles, they must face male and alien enemies in 8 stages.
Mario Bros. (1983) tells the story of two plumbers, Mario and Luigi, who live in New York City’s plumbing and need to deal with strange creatures and defeat them. In 1985, Super Mario Bros. appeared, with the same main protagonists, but in a different environment: the Kingdom of Mushrooms. The goal is to find Princess Peach and save her from the clutches of the dreadful Bowser.
In The Legend of Zelda (1986), the story takes place in the Kingdom of Hyrule. The character is young Link, with the mission to protect the kingdom and prevent the Triforce (a powerful sacred relic) from falling into the hands of enemy Ganon.
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Finish him! Storytelling in current games
He realized that those games were all from the 70’s and 80’s, right? Today, the games have more elaborate stories, more engaging and the characters tend to be more realistic: they have hearing, smell, express feelings (as in God of War). This creates closeness to the player, making him experience the journey and challenges even more.
In addition, many games enable branching , with creations of different stories, from the choices of each player, providing even more intensity in the user experience.
Silent Hill Shattered Memories (2009) is one of the greatest examples of this. The protagonist is Harry Mason, who looks for his daughter, Cheryl, missing after a car accident, suffered by both. The story of the game alternates in 3 environments: a psychiatric office (where you need to go through tests and answer some questions to the psychiatrist), the city (where you look for your daughter), the protagonist’s nightmares (when you need to escape of creatures).
In the game, the character is an ordinary person, has no weapons. In addition, his personality is shaped, according to responses given to the psychiatrist. This influences the unfolding of the plot, the scenery items change and there is the possibility of reaching 4 alternative endings.
In The Legend Of Zelda: Breath of The Wild (2017), the story continues with the protagonist Link who, after 100 years, wakes up and notices the destroyed Kingdom of Hyrule. Besides going after the enemy Ganon, he needs to recover his memory. The game is “open world”, that is, there is no traditional linearity to follow the sequences of the phases. The player is free to go wherever he wants and achieve goals according to his preference. There is also an alternative ending here, if you meet certain prerequisites.
This whole dynamic of current games gives more autonomy to the player, turning him into a storyteller .
Hey, listen! Games and surveys
Engagement in video games has been the subject of several researches. The Legend of Zelda franchise has been reviewed in some studies:
“Zelda, according to many people, was the first game that made people cry while playing. It was very story-centered. The possibility of feeling what the character felt and going through all that he had to go through to become a better person was something that moved a lot of people. “ (Heather Chaplin, co-author of the book Smartbomb, quoted in Curram, Bailey and Barbato, 2007 documentary).
“Throughout the research, we sought to understand which aspects (of the Zelda game) have the potential to mobilize archetypal images in players, guiding them in the theoretical framework of analytical psychology and using resources related to the plot … the game can be understood through the essential themes myths, especially the attributes of Hero’s Journey. “ ( Polcino and Fortim )
Well, many players agree on one thing: it’s not just the story, it’s the graphics, it’s the gameplay. But it is a fact that a plot without meaning, without clarity, not instigating, influences the gamers to leave the control aside. Some classic examples of critical and pointed target games with weak or confusing history over the years have been: ET (Atari 2600), Haze (PS3), Final Fantasy XIII.
Thus, the creator of history has to think of engaging content. The player needs to have an interest in continuing to play so that success is guaranteed.
Old or current, an attractive game is one that makes the user feel like the protagonist . People do not usually talk: “Mario killed Bowser, Luigi passed the stage”, but rather: “I managed to defeat Bowser, I passed the stage, I canceled the game”. A good storytelling in games allows the player to put himself in that place.