Creating exciting narrative — instructions for indie developers

People buy games because of “history”, but a quick look at the achievements of players on Steam shows that the majority of gamers simply dont reach the finals. And it turns out that this is a unique phenomenon in the gaming industry. Just imagine that 70% of people come from the audience after 45 minutes of the film.

Imagine the situation when a person who has read two huge volumes of “Game of thrones”, suddenly stopped in the middle of the third and say. “The book is nothing, but Im better now I will read Lord of the rings, but its not read”. Lets not take into account that the narrative of most games can break your heart, but it should definitely meet your expectations. Developers, of course, advisable and even strategically to give lots of promises about how will be complicated and engrossing narrative. And then not to do any of that.

Why not. It is much easier to start a fascinating story, if you dont need to worry about where you will come. Thats why Peter Dinklage involved in Destiny, but it seems like he wants to throw the script out the window. This is why Emma stone talked more about Sleeping Dogs in the gaming press than it actually did in Sleeping Dogs. I couldnt find Kevin spacey in Call of Duty.

Advanced Warfare, but according to Polygon, most of his dialogue is utter nonsense. But I went off the topic. In the end. You indie developer, and this is not the truth. Do you have reason to create a decent story for their game.

You cant involve celebrities, and parasites you have in the team and therefore strong narrative could be the hallmark of your company in the market where such competition, any advantage will not be superfluous. This article will give you some useful advice, regardless of who you are, narrative designer, or just a man trying to understand why you so hate the writer with whom you work. Its not about talent.

Im not a talented writer. All I have to do is to keep in mind a fairly simple idea, when Im working on another story, and then deliberately to test their work on these ideas. If you will do the same thing, I think the results will please you. So. People by nature are drawn to the mysteries.

Maybe it has something to do with what our ancestors feared in the tall grass they could wait predators, but the fact that we can barely see, will always attract our attention. Take a look at the teaser that I wrote for Planet of the Eyes, it contains narration from the first audio track, which you will find in the game: I set the story on a dark and gloomy tone. My goal is to make almost every line was a hint of something unknown, and therefore intriguing. Look at video again, and try to notice all these techniques.

Ill wait for you at the next paragraph. So, in the space of 46 seconds, try to find all the phenomena, which you now know, but know nothing about them. This is similar to a unique secret mission. The possibility — not the certainty — that there are other survivors. And after surviving that, actually.

If the narrative of your game begins differently than in the example — it doesnt mean its bad. I would argue that you can never go wrong, if you build your narrative around “the unknown”. It captures people. So try.

Even if you already finished the story, take part, and first hide it, find a way to hint at what you hid. Youd be surprised how interesting will be the narrative. I would then have to descend to monolife, but it serves it purpose, which so many game narratives simply overlooked. Realistic and meaningful picture of human beings. This is another item that is interesting to all, and we are always subconsciously feel when it is not implemented.

Why the end of the game The Last of Us so good. Because Joel and Ellie go through traumatic events. You will learn about what they can and cannot accept in their experience, and how their own experiences affect the understanding of each other. The zombies in this case are just a crucible, nothing else.

Why Silent Hill 2 is so beautiful. Because man is reconciled here with their past, with the consequences of what he did and why he did it. But even before that you receive the reliability. Why the game Life is Strange so strange and so hurts the eyes. Because people here are not like people.

If you saw that someone was murdered in the bathroom, you have to quickly get out of there — and wouldnt hang out on the front lawn. Why Watch Dogs is a crime against art. Yes, because the people here do not behave like people. They dont change, dont grow — they generally have no sense, if anything. I said that there are no rules.

I lied. The inclusion of the narrative of the supernatural should not undermine basic human nature, unless you have a specific reason for it. Then again, maybe it is to you and is not related. Maybe the narrative in your game not about people, not about how they struggle to grow and change.

Still, if you have the opportunity to include this aspect in the story, I highly recommend to do it. How can you defend yourself if you make the protagonist a slice of bread. We are vain and selfish type who wants everything to be about us and only us. What for us and for the people does not matter, do not have in this case no sense. Try.

Create such a story that would touch people who behave believable, which will be about the people, the nature of which is formed and changed under the influence of events in your narrative. If the main character early in the game — and cold-blooded killer, and so he remains at the end of the game, then most likely, your story is no good. And the last point. Here I would like to throw you a little personal bias.

Read plays. Read contemporary plays, written in simple language that you do not have to spend time on the analysis of footnotes. Shakespeare is a fantastic author, but if you start with it, then it is like starting to read the Bible with the book of Genesis. You quit as soon as you reach a huge, tedious list, listing who who went. Read such writers as David Mamet.

Read Eric Bogosian. Read “Goodnight, Gracie” Ralph Pape. Or dont read any of them, but find someone who will like you instead of them. People claim to be in the play Actual Sunlight is like to read a short story. But its not.

This is the secret. This piece. This is a one-man show with neskolkim additional characters. This War of Mine — drama game. The Stanley Parable — too dramatic.

Papers, Please — too dramatic. Read plays. They often sound dialogues and monologues, which, although stylized, however, sound quite realistic, which I think, fits well with how the story can be well told in the games. To some extent, I even think that theatre can help you to overcome the constraints that you as an indie developer may encounter. For the sake of the audience, being at some distance, the theatre has to be emotional.

The same can be your simple and not too emotional character. The scenery and props in the theater is usually static as well as the scenery in your game. Of course, this is a very broad topic to discuss, and I only touched the high places, but suffice to say only one thing. David cage makes the narrative of their games, cinematic — and you are not. You, as the indie developer is much more likely to create something small, intimate and connected with your audience, but realistic.

In other words, something dramatic. Read plays. If you live where you can play look, thats great, but if you have enough budget for professional quality voice acting, then go and see them, if not, then it is necessary to focus on the text that your users will read. Think about how written a good play, it sounds like people are saying, even if you just read it. You indie developer, so stick to your strengths.


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