Saturday, January 14, 2012

Six words about stories in games

    According to a recent tweetdeck, one of the trending:worldwide topics on twitter was 6 word stories.  In the past few months I've asked people to say 6 words about game design, programming, wargames, and casual games.

    This time the charge is this: say six words about stories in games (or stories and games, if you prefer).


Paul Owen said...

"Finish game, start telling epic tales."

When I read your challenge, I had just finished Chris B.'s MenWithDice review of Blue Moon City. His principle objection to this otherwise challenging Knizia design was the absence of narrative. It's fun to play, but when you're done, there's no story to tell.

Lewis said...

Not the best medium for storytelling
Stories provide context for learning gameplay
Themes influence gameplay, atmosphere does not
Players should write their own stories
Story often an excuse for action
HiSTORY games can be learning tools
Gameplay must come first, story later
A game *story* idea? Worth nothing.
Game designers are rarely story tellers
Linear stories tend to stifle gameplay
Story in games? Write a novel.
Film envy will get you nowhere

Lewis said...

Paul, isn't that true of most of Knizia's games? Of many (most?) Euro-style games, in fact? In light of your comment, how many "epic" Euro-style games are there? Virtually none.

Anonymous said...

"Games are not stories. Stop it."

Anonymous said...

stories not in, but about, games

Paul Owen said...

The game is not the story.
(Unless it's a role playing game.)
The story is about the playing.
Telling friends about what they missed.
How my strategy unfolded - or folded.
Knizia - beauty in form, not narrative.

To answer your question, though Euro games are not exactly epic, many do at least follow an arc that can be recounted - and the error in strategy or execution pin-pointed. "I was set up to build a wharf to exploit my shipping strategy, but I came up one doubloon short." That's my thinking, at least.

But perhaps my approach to your challenge was a little tortured and not quite in line with what you were after.