Interactive Narrative and Delivery

Thought I might raise the idea of Interactive narratives in games, using database as the primary form of accessing story.

Sounds Deep?

Check out the story machine!

http://www.myballoonhead.com/storymach.html

Awesome little interactive narrative demostration.. try and guess what the story is??

Basically interactive narrative is the idea of telling a story where the delivery is of a non-linear nature. Where the outcome (story) is a resultant of how the user navigated or transversed the narrative.

I find this one of the most interesting concepts to come out the convergence of digital and traditional media. The Primary focus is the delivery of the story (narrative) and not the story itself...

kinda interesting??

post ya ideas on this
cheersssss

Blitz's picture

Choose your own adventure stories o.o
CYer, Blitz

Me109's picture

Yeah right on.. exactly... I'd like to see more of it in games..

palantir's picture

But how bad wore those choose your own adventure stories? You had a book about 200 pages long, with a story about 40 pages long! [:P] And you constantly recovered the same ground. I think they were really a bit of a gimmick, designed for children with small attention spans who had difficulty reading a novel.

I think a game narrative set up with some kind of decision tree based story line would have the same weaknesses as the choose your own adventure books. Players would find themselves rehashing old game narrative/game play over and over, and a game that could have been, say, 30 hours of linear game play, would be reduced to a short adventure, only a few hours long ? though with the development time of a 30 hour game.

I think it would be an extremely difficult challenge to produce a game like this and make it even remotely playable. I think the end result would just be player frustration. Though, like the choose your own adventure books, choose your own adventure games might appeal to a very young audience, mainly for it?s novel approach. I think most intelligent gamers would see straight through the decision tree design and tire of the game very quickly.

Though like with anything, if enough research and effort is put into the development, I think that anything is possible. An interactive narrative and delivery that?s fun could be possible, but it would probably be a massive undertaking to develop. Without serious efforts put into the design and development of such a game, I think it would just be a complete wast of time for both the developer and the end user.

Me109's picture

Some really good points there dude! And I guess re-playability / re-readability is the main concern about this idea working or not working..
However I feel that if the game is of a good 'concept' stands a chance of making the whole idea work.. and i guess this is what plagues the industry, where developers realise it is harder to make someone replay a game and instead focus on a short and intense experience that suits the attention span of most gamers.

so I guess thats what it comes down too.. compelling gameplay / story
and also that a 'game' has advantages over a 'book'
where instead of restarting the story in order to 'choose an adventure'
the player continues from the last save.. I think what i mean is that you should be able to start a game anywhere and anytime vs the start

Anyhow.. this is up for discussion... so keep it coming! :) cheers

Maitrek's picture

It sounds like a gimmick to me...after having talked to a couple of industry luminary types I'd have to say that for the immediate future these kind of ideas are infeasible...way too big a development cost for too small an outcome. It costs $$$ to make that much content. A better idea is to focus on presenting an overall linear story in a series of short non-linear segments.