Setting as Character in Narrative Games (PAX East 2011)

Part of Saturday’s proceedings at the 2011 IF Summit that conveniently adjoined this year’s PAX East.

In adventures and other explorational games, the setting is often the most eloquent and memorable character: an island, a castle, a starship. How do these locales tell stories, and how does the player character fit into those stories?

This panel discussion features independent IF creators Andrew Plotkin, Stephen Granade, and Rob Wheeler, and Dean Tate of Harmonix (formerly of Irrational Games).

Click here to watch this on Vimeo.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged  , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Setting as Character in Narrative Games (PAX East 2011)

  1. Dean Tate says:

    Thanks for posting the video! Doing the panel was fun, I hope people enjoyed it. Good meeting you too.

  2. salty-horse says:

    In this interview with Looking Glass alumni who worked on System Shock, they give one reason why environments filled with corpses are prevalent in gaming (or at least in games where the environment is especially memorable and convincing).

    Telling a story through notes left over by corpses in an environment where you're the only living person is much more easier than crafting a living, breathing environment with convincing characters you can interact with.

    Having real-life characters around means they have to react to your (random) actions correctly. For example, if you kill a roaming NPC in front of a merchant, and all he does is stay in place, offering you an item for sale, it breaks the illusion of him being a real person inhabiting a real place.

    If the only living things around are brainless monsters who want to kill you, it's easy to make your behavior convincing. You can then concentrate your efforts in making the static, simpler-to-simulate environment tell an interesting story.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>