Saturday, January 18, 2014

Narrative Tools

One of the loftiest goals that we have for this game is to create a story that does more than just rest alongside the gameplay. As much as we all love roguelikes and tactical RPGs, their rigidity and the level of abstraction inherent in their mechanics usually forces the narrative into a secondary role.

So, we want to find a way to tie the narrative and the mechanics of our game together in a more meaningful way than we've seen done before in this type of game. 

Being completely overwhelmed by this, I decided to start small. I wrote out all the tools I could think of that our game could have to deliver narrative to the player.

Click "read more" to see the document!

Narrative Tools

The things we could use to give the narrative to the player

Dialogue Bubbles

  • Ambient NPC & Ally Dialogue

    • NPCs and Allies occasionally spout out some dialogue
    • Some situational
    • Some random and situation-independent
    • Should be a character-independent system
      • Essentially, every X seconds during map exploration gameplay, chance of triggering an ambient dialogue bubble. If triggered, choose a character on the map at random, then choose one of their dialogue lines at random
  • “Combat” Dialogue

    • Dialogue bubbles triggered by combat events
  • Event-triggered Dialogue

    • Dialogue triggered by non-combat scripted events
    • Interrupts gameplay
    • A sequence of bubbles for multiple dialogue lines
    • If we want any real scripted narrative events/conversations, this is where they would be
    • Used for meeting new characters
    • Camera would track to text bubbles for events

Set Piece Interaction Text

  • Memos, Computer screens, etc.
  • Moving to them and clicking on them brings up text on a background related to the type of set piece

Item/Equipment Descriptions

  • Seen through inventory or upon picking up the item

Combat Actions

  • Use the names and effects of combat actions to set the tone and add to the story
  • Ex.: Player starts with an attack equipment called “Naive Optimism”. Attacking with it equipped fails most of the time. Upon failing ten times, the item is destroyed: “<player>’s Naive Optimism has broken!” It works if the player throws it away after it fails so much, too: “<player> threw away his Naive Optimism”

Voice-Over Narration

  • ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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