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Posts tagged “narrative”

Feature: Waiting For God Knows What

Beckett is an extraordinary multimedia collage of terror

It's safe to say you've played few games like Beckett. A multimedia collage piece about futility and hopelessness, it's utterly fascinating in many ways. To call it a visual novel is to suggest far too many ideas that aren't relevant here, so let's instead call it a "narrative experience". Parts Kafkaesque, parts Lynchian, parts bad sixth form poetry, it's really quite something.

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Feature: It's all about freedom

How multiplayer makes Divinity: Original Sin 2’s singleplayer great

This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites developers to discuss the inner workings of their games. This time, Divinity: Original Sin 2 [official site]. It’s the holy grail for RPGs, right, that perfect mix of a strong story and freedom to do what you want. But if players can do anything, how do you tell them a story in the right order and without…

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Feature: Press play

How Tacoma tells a non-linear story with ghosts

This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites developers to discuss the inner workings of their games. This time, Tacoma [official site]. Fullbright is running out of things to steal from the Shock series. “Like, we made a game that is basically about audio diaries for Gone Home, and now we’ve made a game that’s basically about the ghost sequences in System Shock 2 and…

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Feature: And how other RPGs should learn from it

How Little Choices Make Sorcery! Feel Epic

This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites developers to discuss the inner workings of their games. This time, Sorcery! [official site]. From Warlock of Firetop Mountain on I was pretty much obsessed with the Fighting Fantasy gamebooks. Of course I was: they presented richly drawn fantasies in which I could play a part, my imagination spinning on their words and illustrations. (My favourite illustrator?…

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Feature: CUT TO: You reading and enjoying this

How Virginia’s Cinematic Editing Works

This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites developers to discuss the inner workings of their games. This time, Virginia [official site]. Virginia is a new game from studio Variable State about two FBI agents investigating the disappearance of a child. But its story is less about that mystery than it is about the lines you draw between the fragmentary events, images, locations and characters…

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Feature: Explaining the magic behind the scifi colony sim

How RimWorld Generates Great Stories

This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites developers to discuss the inner workings of their games. This time, RimWorld [official site]. Every player will have stories of their RimWorld colonists. Dramas set amid cabin fever, raider attacks, depressing decor, infected limbs, cannibalism and bloodthirsty local fauna. Personal dramas, tales of threat and victory, of small things and large things, tragedy and comedy. This colony-building…

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Garriott Says We’ve Not Mastered Storytelling

Interviewed in the latest episode of Game Theory with Scott Steinberg (below), Lord Richard Garriott of Britain explains that as far as game narratives may have come, be believes they're still falling far short of those in books and films. He says, "I don't think we've yet mastered the techniques of true interactive storytelling." You can see the full interview, along with contributions from Charles…

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Gore Verbinski: Not Useless After All

Though the internet gave the director of the increasingly turgid Pirates of the Caribbean movies a gentle roasting for his infamous "You must possess some madness" advice to gamingdom, it rather seems as though he's thinking along potentially exciting lines for his own flashing pixel endeavour. (Pirates of the Carribbean Online, pictured above, is not it. But hey, you make your bed, you lie in…

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A Word Is Worth A Thousand Pictures

This wordthink originally appeared in the Escapist. It's an exercise in tackling the graphics vs narrative argument, which perhaps occasionally lapses into cliche. As you'll see as you read through, I don't necessarily agree with all my arguments - it was written in an attempt to create a thesis which would generate opposing antitheses. Together, we can reach synthesis. Discuss. A Word Is Worth A…

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Hooray For The Writer’s Strike?

COD4's Captain Price. Everything a real man should be. Protesting writers may be dragging the US movie and TV industries to an embarrassing halt at the moment, but ever-terse entertainment industy rag Variety (via Eurogamer) reckons distressed wordsmiths may turn to videogames to fill their increasingly empty coffers. Having slaved through more atrociously-written games than I can remember, that's potentially very exciting. While a disdainful…

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GCDC: Stories Vs. Games

GCDC provides another interesting debate, this time on the subject of story in games. Specifically, that games shouldn't even try to make them more complex, as they're simply no good at it. Say the writers of stories in games. Bethesda's Ken Rolston and adventure veteran (and man responsible for the frattish Spellcasting series in the early 90s), Bob Bates, both agreed that, "our inability to…

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