The following is the first chapter in Narrative Tactics for Mobile and Social Games: Pocket-Sized Storytelling (CRC Press), due to be published on August 15, 2018. It has been excerpted and modified for the blog-post format. Here’s a premise for you: It’s you against the world . . . A fight for survival, you have to wipe out all of your enemies, or they’ll obliterate you from existence. You must do whatever you can to stay alive. Outwit them before they figure out your plans.
I’m pleased to announce that my next book project is Narrative Tactics for Mobile and Social Games: Pocket-Sized Storytelling, a follow-up to The Game Narrative Toolbox. Narrative Tactics will be the first book specifically dedicated to narrative design and game writing in mobile games. CRC Press will publish it on August 15, 2018. Part I of Narrative Tactics focuses on general storytelling (player agency, worldbuilding, characters, storytelling with little or no story, dialo
In case you missed them: “Part One: Mechanics Are Clichés Too!” “Part Two: Where’d This Come from, Anyway? Some Case Studies” "Part Three: Please Don't Break the Player" I designed the following scenario to help inform the paper I wrote at Project Horseshoe (which informs the content of this series). I developed a process of thinking through the scenario to take advantage of contrary game design’s strengths, and to avoid its weaknesses: The scenario takes place in a high-fant
In case you missed them: “Part One: Mechanics Are Clichés Too!” “Part Two: Where’d This Come from, Anyway? Some Case Studies” Potential Problems with Subversion Contrary game design has the potential to give players new perspectives by placing them in unexpected gameplay scenarios. Its intent can confuse players if the design isn’t implemented carefully. An arbitrary subversion—or a poorly chosen time to subvert the mechanic—can convey unintended (and/or unwanted) messages. O
In case you missed it: "Part One: Mechanics Are Clichés Too!" I first became interested in what I’m defining as contrary game design when playing the following games and watching others play them. Each game has a unique take on subverting clichés. By the way, if you’re interested in playing these yourself and haven’t done so, SPOILERS are most definitely ahead! Case Studies Until Dawn Until Dawn plays with classic horror movie tropes, tasking the player with trying to save (o
This post series is based on a report I wrote at Project Horseshoe. I’m not providing concrete answers here. Hopefully, I’m exploring design in a way that will be of use to some developers. In mid-2015, I began noticing games that were adding a “twist” to their gameplay. Traditional mechanics, mechanics that gamers were very familiar with, were leading to unexpected outcomes. So, I became curious as to the nature of these “twists,” the effects they had on gameplay, and—more i