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patterns:linear_narrative [Motivational Design]

Motivational Design

Lenses and Patterns for Motivational Game Design

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patterns:linear_narrative

Narrative

Stories are a huge part of our lives. We narrate them, we consume them and subconsciously, we also learn from the stories we are told.

Although they are commonly used interchangeably, narrative differs from story, as the latter depicts a sequence in which events take place, whereas the former deals with the sequence in which these events are being told (may involve re-ordering). Although narrative is prevalent across all entertainment media, it is exceptionally powerful within video games, due to games' ability to forge non-linear / personalized narratives and their scope for a higher level of audience immersion.

Use to ...

  • Attract a wider range of audience
  • Add depth and context to the experience
  • Offer players' Dramatic Freedom

Can be instantiated by

Examples

The Last of Us (Linear Narrative)



The Last of Us tells the story of Joel, a seasoned fighter in his 40's and a little girl Ellie, whom he is escorting. The game does a fantastic job at narrating the story through both cutscenes as well as gameplay dialogues. The story follows a linear structure and offers the player no deviations from the path laid out by he designers.


The Witcher (Non-Linear Narrative):

Considerations

When thinking about implementing narrative into your game, consider the following:

Desired Experience

What experience are you trying to convey? The narrative can act as a strong encouragement towards giving players that desired experience. Some experiences, such as The Last of Us as described above, work best with a linear narrative in order to fully convey the specific experience. Others, such as Mass Effect, have their experiences enhanced by allowing the player to make multiple major narrative decisions that affect the rest of the game.

Validity

This pattern is industry standard.

Categories

References

Authors

Contributors

patterns/linear_narrative.txt · Last modified: 2014/05/20 03:17 by arunabraham