Mapping plotlines…and coping with interactivity…

In Games as Stories? Are Games a Form of Interactive Fiction?, I posed a few questions around the first half the article Foundations of Interactive Storytelling that were intended to help you explore the notion of interactivity in the context of storytelling.

In this post, I suggest that you finish reading the article (Foundations of Interactive Storytelling) and bear the following questions in mind as you do so (if you take notes and maybe blog about your thinking, make sure you link back here…;-):

  • Interactive Plots & Non-linearity five sorts of plotline are described – what are they, and can you think of any games that exemplify them? How might these five sorts of plotline be related to the six ways to tell a story that Adrian Hon described? (That is, can you find a way of relating the five plotlines to the six ways of telling a story? Can each of the six ways of telling a story make use of all the plotlines, or only some of them?)
  • Interactive Characters how can characters be designed at a high level technical level so that they can take on an interactive role with the game?
  • Making Interactive Stories Manageable when managing the development of a product that incorporates an interactive storyline, what common pitfalls might the unwary encounter, and how can they best be avoided? To what extent do you think this sort of project can be managed like any other project? (That is, are there any issues that are likely to be particularly problematic and/or peculiar to this sort of project?)

Having spent some time thinking about these things, we have seen how the introduction of interactivity into a game complicates the extent to which we can view a game as the telling of a story in the way that a film, or a traditional novel tells a story.

Armed as we now are with an appreciation of some of the issues that are at stake, it also brings us to a point where we can start to consider the “narratologists vs. ludologists” debate…

…but that’s for another post…

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2 Responses to “Mapping plotlines…and coping with interactivity…”


  1. 1 Tony Hirst April 25, 2008 at 8:49 pm

    Here’s a short additional reading list on the use of story in game design.

    “What Every Game Developer Needs to Know about Story” [ http://www.gamasutra.com/features/20050727/sutherland_01.shtml ] – an article that describes the importance of story in game design, along with a consideration of the basic structures of stories.

    “The Seven Basic Plots” [ http://onlyagame.typepad.com/only_a_game/2005/10/the_seven_basic.html ] – a review of Christopher Booker’s book ‘The Seven Basic Plots’ that describes the seven archetypal stories identified in the book.

    [via http://del.icio.us/truna ]


  1. 1 An Unfortunate Sequence of Events… « Digital Worlds - Interactive Media and Game Design Trackback on April 2, 2008 at 7:35 pm

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