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Default Next Gen - Ken Levine on Game Stories

February 20th, 2008, 22:49
A keynote speech from Ken Levine at GDC on the secrets of game story has been covered at Next Gen. Bioshock is the oft-used example and here's a snip:
“You have to accept that some gamers are not going to care too much and are going to miss elements of the story. That’s fine.” He explained that gamers relate to story in three ways. “There are gamers who just want to know where to go and what to kill. Then there are some who understand who it is they are killing and what relationship they have with the world. And then there are some who cannot get enough detail and want to know everything. We have to create games that engage all those types of gamers.”

He added, “The best narrative in games is not cut-scenes, but the worlds themselves. That is what we render best. That is what the player is engaged in and what he sees all the time.” Levine said that Bioshock’s world represented the game’s story and that he had attempted to offer as much as possible through Rapture, Bioshock’s underwater city.

“All the warehouses and sewers that are created in games are wasted opportunities,” he said. “Worlds give the player narrative.”

Levine said that many game designers pull the player out of the fantasy by trying to do too much. “It happens most in open worlds where the player realizes that some doors cannot be opened, or that some characters aren’t interactive. With naturally constrained, believable worlds like underwater cities or spaceships, you can avoid that.”
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February 20th, 2008, 22:50
More fun quotes on joystic:
http://www.joystiq.com/2008/02/20/ze…opening-video/
http://www.joystiq.com/2008/02/20/gd…-story-simple/

"If you want people to follow your story it's gotta be really f***ing stupid."

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February 20th, 2008, 23:59
Respect your audience? Sure. Gimme the machine gun AI, and I'll be satisfied. Just introduce me, and I'll be emotionally vested. That's what I call respect! Thanks, Ken!

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