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Star Wars: Knight of the Old Republic

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I'll admit that few games with good story exist, but that is not inherent in the medium. Rather, it is inherent in how storytelling is approached in general.

Well I contend that it is inherent in the medium. Any medium where the person interacting with that medium is in charge of what's happening and free to do what they will, can't really tell you a story, and the problem is that if you suck control away from the player in order to really tell him that story, then it's not a true interactive game any more, and that's even worse. I hate games where you spend half the time looking at cutscenes and the other half being directed along a certain course by the plot.

Games are just not an adequate storytelling medium, and if you force it to be, you're taking away the unique essence of what games are.

The very point of a story is that it's one person telling another what happened. It's a fixed idea. You can't have that person interacting and messing with it while you're trying to tell it.

Games have to be a different thing, an ongoing dynamic player-controlled experience, and that has little to do with storytelling.


Civillisation will not attain perfection until the last stone, from the last church, falls on the last priest.

- Emil Zola

 

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I disagree. Many of the best movies don't explain everything to the audience; they have to work it out on their own from the clues given.

 

In games, it becomes even more difficult to tell the story overtly, but this is not a flaw. It's the laziness of developers that results in most of the lock-in. Some things, like dialogue trees, are the consequences of an inability to simulate intelligence. But other things, like linear level design, are the result of insipid designers.

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No, I'm not just saying that games aren't a good storytelling medium, but that they shouldn't try to be.

The full potential of the gaming medium had not been realised yet, and will not be for another 10-15 years.

The one crucial element needed to achieve that true ongoing dynamic experience that games are perfectly, and uniquely, suited for, is exceptionally good AI. Basically human-like AI that can be interacted with in real time, on the fly, much as we might chat on IRC.

In such a game, there would be no plot, no quests, no linear storytelling, but it's the AI's interaction with each other that create dynamic content in which things happen that the player can get involved in, much like reality.

I believe that is the real potential of the gaming medium, it has nothing to do with plot or story, and it's actually small-minded to think of games as just a slightly different form movie, which is exactly what it has been used for.

Well have to wait a while for it though.


Civillisation will not attain perfection until the last stone, from the last church, falls on the last priest.

- Emil Zola

 

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Nobody wants to play a video game about a fat slob who does nothing but play WoW (although, ironically, a god game about said fatty could be fun diversion--think Flash game).
I actually once played just such a Flash game, though you controlled the fat slob directly instead of it being a god-game.

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Figures. Was it any fun?

 

The full potential of the gaming medium had not been realised yet, and will not be for another 10-15 years.

The one crucial element needed to achieve that true ongoing dynamic experience that games are perfectly, and uniquely, suited for, is exceptionally good AI. Basically human-like AI that can be interacted with in real time, on the fly, much as we might chat on IRC.

No argument there.

 

In such a game, there would be no plot, no quests, no linear storytelling, but it's the AI's interaction with each other that create dynamic content in which things happen that the player can get involved in, much like reality.

I would agree with you were it not for the existence of tabletop roleplaying games. While, yes, poorer GM's will tend to railroad characters on their plots, good GM's can present a story without stepping on the players' toes. Players will want to follow the story; they just want to go off-roading occasionally.

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Yes, but now you're getting into a completely different area - having a real person controlling things in real time.

It's a pretty useless entertainment medium if it requires that you have a very knowledgeable person there, putting a lot of effort into giving you a good time

That's not unlocking the potential of the gaming medium at all, since in the end, it means little if you do table top or computer simulation, the good stuff that matters is coming from the GM and other players.


Civillisation will not attain perfection until the last stone, from the last church, falls on the last priest.

- Emil Zola

 

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Games are fun and that's why people play them. They play them so thy can have a little fun and forget about their problems for a little while.

 

The mind tends to forget on purpose, otherwise people would die of sadness.

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Of course, and that's why the vast majority of people for the vast majority of human evolution didn't play any games when they became adults.

And any qualified anthropologist will tell you that they all did indeed die of sadness in the end.

You are genuinely a little bit retarded. That's not meant as an insult, I'm just stating an apparent medical fact.


Civillisation will not attain perfection until the last stone, from the last church, falls on the last priest.

- Emil Zola

 

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Sure, games like Go, Chess, and Dominoes are all modern inventions.

 

Yes, but now you're getting into a completely different area - having a real person controlling things in real time.

It's a pretty useless entertainment medium if it requires that you have a very knowledgeable person there, putting a lot of effort into giving you a good time

That's not unlocking the potential of the gaming medium at all, since in the end, it means little if you do table top or computer simulation, the good stuff that matters is coming from the GM and other players.

My point was that GMs demonstrate that it's possible to tell a story and still give players the freedom of choice, not that it's a trivial matter to do so.

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Sure, games like Go, Chess, and Dominoes are all modern inventions.

My point was that GMs demonstrate that it's possible to tell a story and still give players the freedom of choice, not that it's a trivial matter to do so.

 

They have to be there, dynamically changing it, so it's no longer a story but a live event.

That was my point. There's a big difference between a pre-planned story, and something that is dynamically changing as you interact with it. (and let's distinguish between pre-planned 'dynamic' stories which go a certa in way depending on your actions, those are not true dynamic 'anything can happen' events, they are still hardcoded)


Civillisation will not attain perfection until the last stone, from the last church, falls on the last priest.

- Emil Zola

 

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That's true. I'm merely pointing out the fact that with hard work, the job of a GM can be virtually duplicated. In terms of plot progression, GMs really only have an advantage in adjusting for sequence breaking. Their stories (with fairly rare exception) are still preplanned to a very large degree, and much of the dynamic adjustments they provide can be duplicated with careful pre-planning (and branching). I'd argue that except for the best GMs, games are actually better in providing the backdrop world for you to freely wander in (like Oblivion or Assassin's Creed).

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No, I'm not just saying that games aren't a good storytelling medium, but that they shouldn't try to be.

The full potential of the gaming medium had not been realised yet, and will not be for another 10-15 years.

The one crucial element needed to achieve that true ongoing dynamic experience that games are perfectly, and uniquely, suited for, is exceptionally good AI. Basically human-like AI that can be interacted with in real time, on the fly, much as we might chat on IRC.

In such a game, there would be no plot, no quests, no linear storytelling, but it's the AI's interaction with each other that create dynamic content in which things happen that the player can get involved in, much like reality.

I believe that is the real potential of the gaming medium, it has nothing to do with plot or story, and it's actually small-minded to think of games as just a slightly different form movie, which is exactly what it has been used for.

Well have to wait a while for it though.

 

Two words: Dwarf Fortress.

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