Sunday, March 27, 2011

Video Game Plot Development

This is one of my old opinion pieces that I recently came upon, and thought it interesting enough to bring back to this blog. Please read and, if you feel the need to do so, comment.
I believe different mediums have different ways of telling stories, and with games, it should feel like your affecting how the story flows and goes; you shouldn't have to be placed on a set path that the writer has set up for a story. 'cause no matter how twisty it may be, no matter how realistic the dialogue may be, and no matter how complex and wrinkled the plot is, if you don't affect how it goes or how it progresses, its not gonna be a good game plot. 

I think developers and writers are barely getting a grasp on how the video game medium can truly make a story that much more emotional and that much more personal of a gaming experience. Say you're about to go into a big boss battle, and the first things the boss infect your best friend in the party with a vicious poison that destroys him/her from the inside out, and then he/she/it starts to run off to become even stronger and acquire more forces and more power. 

Do you try and treat your friends wounds and let the boss run off to become stronger than he already is, or do try and encourage your friend to stand and fight alongside you as you stop the boss in his tracks, hopefully killing him in time to get your friend the treatment (s)he need after the fight? 

And say someone in your party told you before hand told you that (s)he saw someone that looks very similar to your best friend supplying the boss with info on your teams strengths and weaknesses, and that (s)he plans to betray you at the very near end of the battle, siding with the boss and using the very skills you taught him against you. 

Do you trust in the informer and let him/her die right then and there? Or do you try and save him/her, hoping that the informer got the wrong person in their sights? And you have about, oh say, 30 seconds and falling before the boss gets away to make up your mind and 30 minutes before the poison courses through him/her and kills him/her, and the nearest medical center is about 2 minutes away from your 20-30 minute long boss fight.(The more effective you more, the quicker you can get your friend to the center, obviously. And remember, this is all in real time.)

Yeah, very tough and very complex choice you have to make, and that's the kind of choice you should have in a video game plot. One that affects where the story goes, one that dramatically impacts how your character develop externally and internally, and one that you make, not the games writer. Or perhaps I'm wrong...

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