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December 8th, 2011, 12:30
With the Rampant Coyote off in Thailand working, his blog has a guest post from Paul Spooner who argues "traditional storytelling has no place in games":
The story is what happens. The game is also what happens. The writer decides action in the story, but the player decides action in the game. Most games allow these to overlap. This is difficult because the story must encompass all possible player actions and motivations. This is important!
The story must encompass all possible player actions and motivations!
The player and the story must always be in complete harmony. The problem occurs when the game developer writes a story in conflict with the player. If they conflict then either the story wins or the player wins. If the story wins the player is no longer playing. Its not a game anymore, just a movie, or even a book. If the player wins, then the story makes no sense. Its not a story anymore, just a stupid sequence of disconnected actions. When they disagree the player either derails the story, or the story derails the play.
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December 8th, 2011, 12:30
The story must encompass all possible player actions and motivations!
He seemingly hasn't heard about terms like "railroading" and others from pen & paper roleplaying theory.

Because "railroading" ist the direct opposite to that. To this "… must encompass all players' actions and motivations".

My personal prime example to railroading are Blizzard's action-RPGs. No choice, a funnelled pathway, the story progresses in exactly ONE direction … ven the character stats are outlines so NO other possibility of solving quests is even ALLOWED … Social interaction ? No way !

There are several theories of how role-playing could be performed, which mechanisms support that or distract from that … One, for example is that of "player empowerment". A mechenism (ora set of it) which enables players to change the story. An example would be that in a round of players every player gets the chance to be the game master for a certain amount of time.
And of course this isn't viable on the PC.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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December 8th, 2011, 14:56
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
He seemingly hasn't heard about terms like "railroading" and others from pen & paper roleplaying theory.
Yeah, but lots of people consider railroading a Very Bad Thing(tm). Back when I ran PnP games I let players do pretty much whatever they wanted and adapted my stories on the fly to fit their actions. Everyone I knew hated being forced down a certain path, but this was in the days before RPG meant CRPG. People may be more open to that sort of thing now, since they're used to video games doing it to them.

"Story" is the hip thing in games now, and it doesn't take a genius to see that the big companies are trying to make games into slightly interactive movies. That's a big part of why I'm buying fewer and fewer mainstream games and giving more of my meagre earnings to the indies who make games with a greater element of freedom to them.

To me games are toys, and I when I play a game I want to do what I want at my own pace on my terms. It's my game, and my story I'm interested in. If the designers can write something that interests me enough for my story to parallel theirs, then it's a win-win, but that doesn't happen very often.

Other people want to be shown a story and be allowed the illusion of controlling one of the characters for a while. It's down to personal taste. They can play their games that way, but they'd better not try to force that crap into mine.
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December 8th, 2011, 15:01
If the story entertains the gamer, then the story has a place in the game for that gamer - regardless of style.

End of story.
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