How Linear Narratives In Video Games Can Work

There is an ongoing debate in the courtyard of the feasibility of linear narrative games as vehicles appropriate stories. It’s hard to argue the relevance of video games are taking players. Over a measured distance with little room for choice and parenthood when games Mass Effect and Alpha Protocol provide narrative experiences that are designed as per the player in fact, the unique selling point of the game as a tool is its interactivity, and expanding additional opportunities for the player’s choice can be a good thing, right?

Do not be so sure. The beauty of a good story is that it stimulates different people in different ways, and that is in all media, video games, not true – it is not impossible to enter a world of fiction, even if you do not control. The fact that video games allow branching narrative driven by the player’s actions does not necessarily mean they should. At least not all the time.

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (2008) is a perfect example of how a linear narrative really enjoy playing a game and recently opened my eyes to the energy and excitement of a job well done, can give specific scenario, even if it her and turns as a passenger instead of the driver are drawn.

U2 is a master of it, as a game (and could not work) works designed as a linear experience. He nailed all the elements that drive this type of experience, and does so with brilliance and talent that rises above almost all rivals. With this game as a starting point, let’s take a look at some of these elements, as presented in various forums, and why they are so successful.

At the beginning of the most important aspect of a good story is the power invested emotionally to us. When a game characterization and structure to the choice and preference is removed, it is only with the tools that we in other media such as film or literature. It must satisfy our need for conflict, drama and development with unique properties presented. If you do not have the benefit of the author, who have real substance of what we have added.

Let’s break it down into two broad categories:


If the story is only a single default route, you must convince enough support for progression. If you do not care what happens, we have no desire to move, so that the formulas of the scenarios and stale.

While it is true that linearity gives the creator a much greater degree of control over what players are and how they work, it is also true that such a structure easily loses interest us’ outside, if not well designed. Well written and, of course, useful, but it is equally (if not more) important that they are well trained.

When Jason Killingsworth recently wrote about Dead Space 2, spoke about the use of dynamic contrast, and as a wonderful counter the intensity of the fight. It’s an excellent point, and use of these technologies is also a key element in maintaining our goal. DS2 is a game being linear, is an excellent example of a good suggestion. Balls-to-the-wall action is one thing, but in moments of silence and contemplation that we connect with our avatar more. Chaos is not a favorable environment for characterization or narrative development, and leaves the connection quieter sectors to fill these gaps.

It is a common misconception that video games constant action, the best way to get people talking. For people with low attention span or those who seek only the catharsis that comes with blasting legions of evil minions, this may be true. But for those of us who want a deeper, more rewarding experience, it is imperative that the action sequences in the style of Hollywood blockbuster moments slowly, compared with less intense.

Think Call of Duty: Black Ops, the game’s most successful in terms of sales but remains an exciting multiplayer experience without question, the campaign is not delivering something that is really compelling. It would be shocking violence and constant bombs, bullets, death and destruction, without the player the opportunity to meet and take a break. Original Modern warfare, on the other hand, has several missions around stealth and deception has introduced so much required for a player of the components.

The speed and the basics like writing and acting are equally important in providing a good story. None of these things exist in a vacuum, however. Drama and conflict not reach a single narrative principle. She’s just …


If you give several scenarios, you must provide us with characters who are strong enough to offer to justify this decision. Again, the writing and acting are important, but we also need to develop arches. We have to see our characters grow and show actual human emotions – no matter if they are bad, in fact, it is important they are. If not Nathan Drake and his companions to worry about risking his own life for them would not be so interesting character. How jeopardizes his relationship with Chloe for security reasons Elena is a particularly vivid example of his humanity.

One of my favorite examples of strong characterization is in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. When I first met the prince, he is a boy father uncertainty, stock catalyze the entire trilogy, and curb the continued approval of his father. His flaws as a human being really be defined as a character, and at the end of the game, which is a completely different person to the arrogant, confident asshole as it began. There’s a scene in the middle where he realizes that Farah may have emotional feelings for him, and he decides that the best way would be to continue to force her to marry a sense of absolute right n. is simply the end of the story

If characters have a complex background and motivations report, are interesting to follow by default. Being able to him / her, no matter good or bad.

History is important, but why go when you have to worry about anyone?

Linear games are not only successful but not interactive. The player’s role in the development of the story, which has all the elements and how they affect progress. His perception of the whole package

Bioshock is perhaps the most poignant example of imitating the fantastic design (audio, visual and mechanical) can be a good story in the levels of immersion and depth that other media can’t accumulate. Its passage through the crack was leaking underwater Rapture the same as mine. You saved the Little Sisters or harvested is not important. Its distribution ADAM and plasmids have invested are arbitrary. We explore the same places with the same character, and in the end we were shocked by the revelation overwhelmed. The brilliance of the game is that even if we are given the freedom to explore and fight, but we wanted to get to this wonderful world in different ways, the story was nailing all the same for you as for me and for all, is played. Extending linear narrative game.

As players, we have no objection to a world that cannot influence them to explore much. We do not mind out on a particular channel in a particular scene. That’s perfect. We know what happened. Rather than promote, guide our way, and we encourage the scenarios, but less investment than us. Let’s walk around and explore. If there is only one way to go, we will find. If we pulled out of a tank, do not tell us where is the rocket launcher. We’ll find him. Especially not beat us over the head with meaning and context and theater. If you’ve done your job well enough, we can find all these things.

There is still a place in this linear game industry. Moral choices and branching narratives are not the only ways to tell a good story. For my part, I really think and you know what?