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Customer Discussions > Video Games forum

The story in games these days are lacking....


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Showing 76-100 of 135 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 5, 2012 8:59:55 AM PST
Except the narrative isn't shaped by whatever the player does in any game where the player has freedom to do anything other than advance the story. Does killing random pedestrian #1 have an effect on story in certain games that allow it? Sure, it could. Does killing random pedestrian #5407 have an effect on story in those same games? No, it doesn't. Similarly in HL2 (I would assume, I've never played the game (I get horrible nauseous in FPSes)), you undoubtedly have the ability to do thing within the gameplay that ultimately have no effect on the story as it's told. If the player does nothing but goes on a rampage for an hour or trod back and forth looking for a given easter egg or hidden weapon or, hell, just admiring the scenery, it doesn't affect the story, only how it's told. Similarly, getting the player to fulfill the role of killing enemies doesn't improve the storytelling, even if killing enemies is part of the story; especially if the point of getting the player to do that is so the player can have fun, which is the point in almost every video game in which killing things is an included mechanic. They are _games_, after all. I'd like you to step back for a moment and ask yourself whether the openness in GTA or the sheer number of enemies you can slaughter in HL2 really makes sense within the worlds those games try to present, and whether distracting yourself with sundry pursuits really enhances how the story is presented.

Your absolutely right when you say that storytelling can be interactive, but the problem is you're applying the idea to the wrong medium. You see, video games, as they exist today, are an inherently "dead" medium. They're finished products which are delivered to the consumer as is. Technically there is some life in modern games--updates and multiplayer interactivity ensure that things can change; but where the story is concerned, once the game is on shelves, it's really no longer changing, at least not in terms of its interaction with its audience. Any reaction the game makes to the player has to be predicted by the developer and implemented during development; and with current limitations of technology, budget, and time, there simply is no way to make a game (or a game's story) that can react to anything the player could do. "Living" media, like plays, a storyteller, or a DM, have the capability of changing to accommodate the audience, making the story a more fluid thing. In games, however, even ones as open as Skyrim or GTA, THE STORY is something set in stone, no matter how many possible outcomes are recorded there. Every story-relevant choice you make leads to a set outcome; and in addition, the more variables you include to allow player interaction, the less control the developer has of making sure the player's interaction has anything to do with that set STORY.

Now the player can choose to interact with the game in a manner that he feels interacts well with the story, even if there isn't necessarily any indication or reaction from the game to enforce the idea; that is to say, he can roleplay and use his roleplay to enhance how the story relays itself to him. The problem with this idea is that it's on an individual basis, and most players refuse to sacrifice very much in the way of "fun" in the name of "story"; in addition, there are only so many roles the player can fill in any given game: Dragon Age, for example, even though it tries its hardest to encourage a wide variety of roleplaying, doesn't really allow you to play a character that conforms to the Chaotic Neutral archetype in a way where the world (or even your companions) recognizes it at all.

Posted on Nov 5, 2012 9:02:35 AM PST
Marvelous says:
I have to say Assassin's Creed III contrast this thread entirely.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 5, 2012 7:32:45 PM PST
I understand what you're saying, but the thing is when I'm wasting time in a game looking for hidden stuff or admiring scenery, I don't consider that to have anything to do with how the story is told. Those actions are APART FROM the story.

Posted on Nov 5, 2012 7:49:41 PM PST
I just started sleeping Dogs and the plot and story is way better than the Russell Crow martial arts movie out now.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 5, 2012 7:53:18 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 5, 2012 7:59:29 PM PST
DVvM says:
To be fair, RZA is trying to make a genre piece and there's a specific formula for classic kung fu (think Shaw Bros.) movies. Deviating from the formula would undermine what he's trying to do. The point of this kind of movie is not to tell a great story, just like the point of, say, Street Fighter IV is not to tell a great story.

It's also important to note that you can fit a lot more story in a 20 hour game than you can in a 90 minute movie. We should try to distinguish between "better story" and "a story in which more things happen" as more is not necessarily better.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 5, 2012 7:54:35 PM PST
That's exactly what the problem is, though. You're doing something apart from the story instead of experiencing the story.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 5, 2012 9:33:09 PM PST
I understand that. What I'm saying is that I don't view this as a problem. In my personal narrative of a game, those things don't factor in as part of the story. I walked around admiring the scenery and lighting, but Gordon Freeman did not, because that wouldn't make sense for him to do so within the narrative. That is part of the experience of the game, and that particular part of my experience while playing is separate from my experience of the story.

I understand that, for some people, that may detract from the storytelling. For me, it doesn't. The experience of the game is more than just the story of the game, and that can be part of the enjoyment that I derive from this medium.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 5, 2012 11:25:55 PM PST
Think of it this way: it's like reading a book with a monkey flinging poo at other monkeys just in front of you. Every time you stop to look at the monkeys, the story has to stop. If the monkeys are an inherent part of reading that book, that's a flaw with that book as a storytelling medium because you're constantly being ripped out of the story. You can go back in any time you like, but you're going to be taken out again if for no other reason that you want to make sure the monkey isn't going to start flinging poo at you.

Or if you want a more familiar example, it's like watching live television. You're forced to stop every seven minutes to watch commercials. Maybe they're good commercials! They still interrupt the story, however, and are thus a flaw with live television as a storytelling medium.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 5, 2012 11:30:46 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 5, 2012 11:31:03 PM PST
DVvM says:
To be fair, it is possible to continue the story via the gameplay, it's just that this is exceptionally rare as most actual gameplay contributes nothing to the story beyond "some dudes killed some other dudes" which is given meaning and context by things that are not gameplay.

Journey, for example, does a good job of telling its story through the actual gameplay. It just doesn't have much of a story to tell, so that's easier.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 10:44:30 AM PST
The RZA movie, we know what it is trying to do. The end result is a bad story.

Sleeping Dogs story is pretty good

Posted on Nov 6, 2012 10:51:46 AM PST
Shanghaied says:
Stories in video games basically piss me off half the time.

It's like the annoying static proof wrapper that you can't remove quickly enough on some games.

If it's not fun enough to play without a story then it's still not fun enough to play with one.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 11:25:23 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 6, 2012 11:26:59 AM PST
Frankenzubaz says:
Witcher 2 has lots of story. And boobs

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 11:29:01 AM PST
That game has an excellent story.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 11:31:11 AM PST
but no gameplay

Posted on Nov 6, 2012 11:34:14 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 6, 2012 2:43:06 PM PST
"A real problem is that video games are largely commercial products/Books, on the otherhand, are frequently written simply because the author has a story he or she would wish to tell and for the actual joy of putting that story on the page."

I couldn't agree with that less. I've never known you to overgeneralize like that, DVvM, shame on you! Walk into any bookstore and head over to a display of bestsellers or "must reads" and you'll find a good number of books that are commercial ventures first and foremost. For every Call of Duty there is a Planescape: Torment and for every "American Gods" there is a "50 Shades of Gray."

Whether the book or game is meant to be a commercial success is irrevelant anyway. A story is well-told or it is not. You can write a book from the heart that is a product of decades of soul-searching, but if you lack skill as a storyteller it may be worse than the latest mass-marketed fantasy novel.

I would say that games are the best form of storytelling, but that's a deceptive claim. They are only the best because a game can display a story in text like a book, they can play music like a symphony or an opera, and they can play movies to deliver the same experience as a theater. The video game is an all-inclusive medium. Now as far as whether interacting with a story is the best way to tell it...that's debatable. I'd say there're stories that are better told without a player interacting with them.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 11:38:28 AM PST
Frankenzubaz says:
Would you consider making this your profile pic?

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_I2uQkGxIykM/SQlQcJGMWeI/AAAAAAAAAqI/iyExbiiV4WY/s400/online-predator.jpg

Posted on Nov 6, 2012 11:47:00 AM PST
ICO story b gud

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 11:54:14 AM PST
DVvM says:
A real bookstore or the sort of big corporate book chain that Amazon is going to put out of business?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 11:55:40 AM PST
LOL.

NES was lacking good stories.

It is nostalgia.

Posted on Nov 6, 2012 11:59:06 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 6, 2012 11:59:20 AM PST
Benpachi says:
It's no secret that I'm a complete nostalgia whore, but many modern games have fantastic stories.

Granted, I do miss the days when an ending was "Congratulations!".

Posted on Nov 6, 2012 1:26:43 PM PST
Super Mario had a good story.... PSYCH! That crack smoking ho b in another burned out building.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 1:58:28 PM PST
Does Barnes&Noble sell fake books?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 2:02:07 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 6, 2012 2:02:38 PM PST
"Books, on the otherhand, are frequently written simply because the author has a story he or she would wish to tell and for the actual joy of putting that story on the page. You're never going to be able to take creative risks in games like you can with books."

Plenty of books are written for profit, and plenty of game are made because the creator wants to make them to tell a story. Indie games have proven that you can, in fact, take risks. The implication of your argument is that the two mediums are diametrically opposed, and that simply is not the case.

Posted on Nov 6, 2012 2:15:21 PM PST
All harry potter books were written for money, and they all have terrible stories and the entire thing is a rip off of Books of Magic comic.

50 Shades of Grey was written for cash only. The story is fan fiction nonsense. Twighlight series, the list goes on and on. Books, movies, TV have just as bad of a story as games do most of the time.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2012 2:16:45 PM PST
Not really. Literature and film have more history to them, so there are naturally more works in both mediums.

As for TV, I don't watch it.
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This discussion

Discussion in:  Video Games forum
Participants:  43
Total posts:  135
Initial post:  Oct 31, 2012
Latest post:  Nov 8, 2012

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