Storytelling is a dynamic element in games; it serves as a narrative structure or a brief background to orient players about why the game came to exists, or what’s the story behind every quests or combat against a zombie menace or a pack of destructive mechas. It takes one good game with an excellent storytelling structure to capture the player’s attention. A particular game may engage a player’s attention through its combats, explorations, and quests, yet its backstory could still be vaguely narrated at some point. So here are some basic approaches on game storytelling to serve as a guide:
1. Build relevant characters
One aspect that improve story-driven games are putting emphasis on characters. Drawing your players through characters is an impacting component that must be taken into consideration. Once players get hooked with the character, they will be interested with this character’s backstory, may he be the villain or the hero. Given how every game character plays a significant role, each has to hold a distinguished and signature trait, personality, wit, or skill where any regular audience can relate to. It’s important to let your audience experience their engagement in the game story, their sense of entitlement to complete a quest, or save the entire humanity.
2. Players deserve some credit
It may be a hard pill to swallow but game makers are dysfunctional without their audience or players. Always keep in mind to give your audience the proper credit. Don’t overdo climax scenes, or any game element that might possibly ruin the entire game content, yet don’t minimize the cunningness meter just for the sake of meeting the common factor. Every game component needs to be balanced.
3. Give your endings an extraordinary twist
Endings with a twist are pretty common in games so yours has to stand out from the rest. If your game has a continuing sequel to come sooner then create your ending where your audience has something to look forward to. As a horror game buff, one of the elements that I always look forward to is the game backstory and how it is being narrated throughout the gameplay. Multiple endings are present in some games. Among my favorite survival horror video game is Outlast 2. The development of the story leads to multiple endings depending the choices you make. This event drives players to try out the rest of the endings and play the game all over again.
There are still other game elements that should be incorporated, one of which is Player Agency which pertains to the player’s level of control over the entire game. This also involves the player’s decision depending on the level of control granted. Nevertheless, it is important to learn the main objective of gaming, and must come in a two way process— the sense of enjoyment for both the game maker and the player himself.