DICE 08: Devs talk about storytelling narratives

DICE - Image 1Ever wondered how today’s game developers manage to squeeze in an engrossing story in games, even when the games themselves aren’t RPGs? Then head on over to the full article as we get you acquainted with three of today’s top executives in this industry and how they puled off that particular hat-trick. Read on at the full article.

Bioshock - Image 1 

From mere digital pastimes, today’s videogames are now getting to be more immersive, more captivating, more engrossing. This is all thanks to the leaps and bounds of storytelling that game developers have been making.

And in this update from DICE, we get wind of what BioWare‘s Ray Muzkya, BioShock (Xbox 360, PC)’s Ken Levine and Harmonix VP Greg LoPiccolo think of it, as well as how they came about developing the narratives for their games.

Let’s start with Ken Levine, the man who brought us Big Daddies, Little Sisters and a fist full of lightning. In the discussion, he says that he’s not quite like other game developers, in terms of the amount of story, dialogue and narrative freedom.

Unlike Mass Effect (which had a ton of dialogue and multiple ways to go about situations), BioShock had a mostly-linear experience – simply because Ken Levine wanted to tell his own story, and not the player’s. He wanted to tell the story of an underwater utopia gone wrong. He wanted to tell the story about Rapture.

As for Muzyka, he revealed that BioWare whips up an engrossing narrative by focusing on activity chains, or where the story intersects with player behavior. Injecting story elements in gameplay sections such as exploration and combat makes for a tighter flow of the narrative – simply relegating the story to only cutscenes and dialogue would certainly bog it down a tad.

In Harmonix’s case, LoPicollo said that the company’s solution to providing narrative to a rhythm game – namely, Rock Band for the PS3 and Xbox 360 – proved to be a strange, yet simple one. This was through taking traditional RPG design tools, simplifying them, and then sticking them into a map.

They were honestly surprised that it worked really well. The key element to the success of this particular formula? The emotion of having four friends actually play as a rock band, together.

Definitely a contrast in styles. Read more about their discussion in DICE by clicking on the Via link below.

Via Gamasutra

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