View Full Version : Competitive Storytelling

16th Oct 2013, 21:42

So, after watching this week's Extra Credits (which is a fairly entertaining and informative show about video games and ideas behind game development) I got to thinking about how storytelling could be conveyed in a competitive multiplayer game.

Storytelling has always been very near and dear to Legacy of Kain. That and block puzzles.

But how to implement storytelling into a clean slate game is... well, hard. I can't really think of a solution that really satisfies other than regular content pushes.

So, does anyone have any ideas or solutions? How could competitive multiplayer games like Nosgoth convey and progress a narrative?

8th Nov 2013, 22:38
Hmm...interesting video. It's an interesting thing. Narratives tend to hinge a lot on death and intrigue (if sex is absent). Things like Game of Thrones combine all three quite well in their tropes. But getting narrative into a fast paced thing like Nosgoth would be appears hard. If you had a very, very complex objective like let's say:

- Taking out/preserving the smokestack

You need some decent narratives for the importance of it's destruction/saving. I s'pose you can give it an over-arching narrative that features as a live event. It blocks out the sun after all - good for vampires/bad for vitamin d deprived humans.

But maybe you could join that up with some smaller less/key narrative subplots:

- Two humans chiefs disagree about making a human sacrifice if the smokestack is destroyed. Some kind of duel to decide? (DEATH)
- The Dumahim are secretly electing for the Turelim to protect the smokestack because they know it's structurally flawed, and the Turelim will proudly accept and then fail. Meanwhile the Razielim are secretly hoping to get the gig as they want to take any suicide mission to show themselves as on a par with the other clans. There is a council of the clans and players have to vote who they want to defend the smokestack...but the real defenders are....ZEPHONIM MOBS (INTRIGUE...well of sorts).

I don't know that all sounds rather complicated and just my imagination running a bit. It might be harder to compose these things when the game is up and running and more people have played it.

27th Nov 2013, 22:38
it might be done in-game during the match - adding talking NPC which will hide upon getting close to them or, if game will we using... ugh, how do i say it? 'talk' button, when player can chhose to ask an ally for help, warn him, accept/decline somebody else's command etc. AND make them speak about the story: like, 'recent events'/'lore' topic and if another character is colse anough and choses the same topic, they will start a conversation. also, would be nice to kee pthose topics traced, so people will be getting previously non-heard conversations first. and if done in this way, an enemy can overhear the conversation...

28th Nov 2013, 01:24
Its really not as hard as most people think, the people who assume that PvP can't have story forget the main thing that separates video games from books and movies is that your controlling whats going on. Story telling doesn''t have to be merely walking in between cut scenes, In my Opinion the thing that makes games stand out is if the game play translates to the story, in other words does the game play force you to think the way someone in this story would in order to get through it. AvP's a great example of where I had to think like a scuttling serial killer alien, even going so far as to toy with my prey. or when playing as a human I learned to fear dark places and always keep my flashlight on even in broad daylight. So if the personalities they've described of the faction translates into playing them it'll go much smoother, will a Tyrant really feel like a proud unstoppable battering ram, will the scouts be as opportunistic in there design as dark eden ought to have made them? if it can do that I think people will be able to get much more connected and make their own story so to speak, like desperate hold outs, or near suicide missions. and a little lore sprinkled on top of the levels certainly wouldn't hurt.