GOAT is headlining on the UNITY engine blog!

Talk about anything related to Ghost of a Tale here.
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david
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Tue May 06, 2014 1:34 am

evilkinggumby wrote:Here is a question for you: how do you like lore/backstory/characterization in games to be implemented outside of cut scenes and/or flashbacks? Reading documents? Monologue narration? Dialogue between immediate characters? listed in the game's manual? I'm curious what folk prefer, or what other methods they come up with. :)
This is a valid and legitimate, but tough question... :D

As for me, in order of preference, I favor having the following tell the story, directly or though clues:
- locations
- sound fx
- characters
- items
- documents

Here, is a decent, wide-ranging rant that touches on the storytelling approaches in GTA 5, Dark Souls, Dear Ester, Gone Home., Galaga, ..



But, though I personally favour it, such an approach may not be easy or possible or beneficial for GOAT. Whether it is beneficial or not, it is quite a bit more challenging and risky to get right imho.
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evilkinggumby
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Wed May 07, 2014 10:20 am

Hm, interesting video. Not really a rant but more of him aggressively trying to make a point. :)

I agree with a lot of what he says, I think this type of storytelling is a fairly new and capable method of giving a game a story without using most of the tropes seen in film and novel. This in itself is kind of exciting and wonderful to see. But I also agree it is not the end all be all method every game should use, especially since it defies the traditional methods most folk are used to in how a story is told.

I sort of touched on this when I reviewed 'Gone Home' in the comments for one of the youtubers I watch who covered it. Storytelling like that places the clues and "story" entirely within the environment, and requires both an inquisitive, investigative, and empathetic person to truly find and grasp the entirety of the story. And dare I say, requires a fair amount of critical thinking. That's a very specialized set of skills, ones not normally taught so much as 'learned' on your own (more or less). So for all the gamers that choose not to have those skills (not everyone wants to be Encyclopedia Brown or Sherlock Holmes) the game will feel like it has no real story/plot/narrative.

It could work if the environments are meticulously designed and littered with details to make everything come together. I think GoaT has enough lore to make it viable, though at the same time I am unsure if the breaks in action/combat/puzzle solving to pour over objects/notes/scrolls is going to kill any sense of pacing. I think a combination of a few styles might work so there is both a direct narrative that can convey the basics of the story from beginning to end, but also a number of items/clues about the areas to properly fill out the story and world. Really this all hinges on how details about the history of periclave ties directly to Tilo, because if there is no pivotal detail that makes Tilo significant to the island and it's events.. you're telling 2 stories at the same time and that can be mighty confusing to keep track of.
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david
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Thu May 08, 2014 12:22 am

evilkinggumby wrote:It could work if the environments are meticulously designed and littered with details to make everything come together. I think GoaT has enough lore to make it viable, though at the same time I am unsure if the breaks in action/combat/puzzle solving to pour over objects/notes/scrolls is going to kill any sense of pacing. I think a combination of a few styles might work so there is both a direct narrative that can convey the basics of the story from beginning to end, but also a number of items/clues about the areas to properly fill out the story and world.
Imho your last post pretty much hits the nail on the head, and especially the above.
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