Focal Press Book: Interactive Storytelling for Video Games: A Player-Centered Approach to Creating Memorable Characters and Stories (Paperback)

BH #FOISTVG • MFR #9780240817170
Focal Press
Focal Press Book: Interactive Storytelling for Video Games: A Player-Centered Approach to Creating Memorable Characters and Stories (Paperback)
Key Features
  • Authors: Josiah Lebowitz and Chris Klug
  • Paperback, 332 Pages
  • 100 B&W Illustrations
  • Publisher: Focal Press
Authored by Josiah Lebowitz and Chris Klug, the paperback book Interactive Storytelling for Video Games from Focal Press is a player-centered approach to creating memorable characters and stories. The book examines questions such as what really makes a video game story interactive, what's the best way to create an interactive story, how much control should players be given, do they really want that control in the first place, and do they even know what they want or are their stated desires at odds with the unconscious preferences.
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Focal Press 9780240817170 Overview

Authored by Josiah Lebowitz and Chris Klug, the paperback book Interactive Storytelling for Video Games from Focal Press is a player-centered approach to creating memorable characters and stories. The book examines questions such as what really makes a video game story interactive, what's the best way to create an interactive story, how much control should players be given, do they really want that control in the first place, and do they even know what they want or are their stated desires at odds with the unconscious preferences.
This book features detailed descriptions of all major types of interactive stories, case studies of popular games (including BioShock, Fallout 3, Final Fantasy XIII, Heavy Rain, and Metal Gear Solid) and how players interact with them, and an in-depth analysis of the results of a national survey on player storytelling preferences in games. It also gives advice about generating compelling and original game concepts and narratives.

Content:

Chapter 1: Game Stories, Interactivity, and What Players Want

The Importance of Stories
Stories in Video Games
Interactive Stories vs. Traditional Stories: The Great Debate
Summary
Things to Consider

Chapter 2: A Brief History of Storytelling in Games

The Early Days
The Beginnings of Game Stories
Text Adventures and Interactive Fiction
RPGs, Adventure Games, and the Growing Importance of Stories
The Cinematic Evolution of Game Stories
Game Stories Today
The Limits of Storytelling in Games
Summary
Things to Consider

Chapter 3: The Hero's Journey and the Structure of Game Stories

Types of Stories Best Suited for Games
The "Best" Story Types
Using Non-Ideal Stories
The Hero's Journey
What is the Hero's Journey?
Structure of the Hero's Journey
Stage 1: The Ordinary World
Stage 2: The Call to Adventure
Stage 3: Refusing the Call
Stage 4: The Mentor
Stage 5: The First Threshold
Stage 6: The Journey
Stage 7: The "Final Dungeon"
Stage 8: The Great Ordeal
Stage 9: The Prize
Stage 10: The Road Home
Stage 11: The Return
Modifying the Structure
Stage 1: The Ordinary World
Stage 2: The Call to Adventures
Stage 3: Refusing the Call
Stage 4: The Mentor
Stage 5: The First Threshold
Stage 6: The Journey
Stage 7: The "Final Dungeon"
Stage 8: The Great Ordeal
Stage 9: The Prize
Stage 10: The Road Home
Stage 11: The Return
Common Themes and Clichés in Game Storytelling
Common Clichés and Themes
The Amnesiac Hero
The Evil Vizier/Minister/Aide/Etc.
No One Noticing the Evil Vizier/Minister/Aide/Etc.
The Last of His Race
I am Your Father
A Party of Clichés
Saving the World from Evil
The Ancient Civilization
Why Clichés are Used
When to Use and When to Avoid Story Clichés
Rule 1
Rule 2
Rule 3
Rule 4
Summary
Things to Consider

Chapter 4: The Story and the Characters

Story Flow and Progression
The Importance of Proper Flow and Pacing
Don't Neglect the Little Things
Keeping the Player Engaged
Character Development
Common Character Archetypes
The Young Hero
The Reluctant Hero
The Best Friend
The Special Person
The Mentor
The Veteran
The Gambler
The Seductress
The Hardened Criminal
The Cold Calculating Villain
Advantages of Using Archetypes
Disadvantages of Using Archetypes
Making Characters Believable
Character Actions and Decisions
Character Dialogue
How Much to Tell and Not Tell Players
The Importance of Backstory
How to Tell the Backstory
Earth and Beyond, the MMO
Deciding What to Tell
Sometimes a Mystery is Best
Summary
Things to Consider

Chapter 5: Making Stories Emotional

Connecting with the Characters
The Fine Line between Drama and Melodrama
Making the Player Cry
Summary
Things to Consider

Chapter 6: Defining Interactive and Player-Driven Storytelling

What Makes a Story Interactive?
What Makes a Story Player-Driven?
Interactive Storytelling as a Spectrum
Fully Traditional Stories
Interactive Traditional Stories
Multiple-Ending Stories
Branching Path Stories
Open-Ended Stories
Fully Player-Driven Stories
How Stories are Classified
Games without Stories
Summary
Things to Consider

Chapter 7: Fully Traditional and Interactive Traditional Stories

Fully Traditional Stories
Fully Traditional Stories, Video Games, and Why They Don't Mix
Interactive Traditional Stories
Creating Interactive Traditional Stories
Player's Characters Speaking Dialogue
The Strengths of Interactive Traditional Stories
The Weaknesses of Interactive Traditional Stories
Summary
Things to Consider

Chapter 8: Multiple-Ending Stories

Creating Multiple-Ending Stories
What Types of Endings Should a Game Have?
Choosing Where to End the Game
How Many Endings Does a Game Need?
Determining Which Ending the Player Sees
Multiple-Ending Stories and Sequels
The Strengths of Multiple-Ending Stories
The Weaknesses of Multiple-Ending Stories
Summary
Things to Consider

Chapter 9: Branching Path Stories

Creating Branching Path Stories
Types of Branches
Minor Branches
Moderate Branches
Major Branches
Deciding Where to Place Branches
How Many Branches Should a Story Have?
Japanese Visual Novel Games
The Strengths of Branching Path Stories
The Weaknesses of Branching Path Stories
Summary
Things to Consider

Chapter 10: Open-Ended Stories

Creating Open-Ended Stories
The Main Plot
The Branches
The "Distractions"
The Strengths of Open-Ended Stories
The Weaknesses of Open-Ended Stories
Summary
Things to Consider

Chapter 11: Fully Player-Driven Stories

Creating Fully Player-Driven Stories
Creating a Setting
Creating Rules of Interaction
The Problem with Fully Player-Driven Stories in Video Games
MMOs
The Strengths of Fully Player-Driven Stories
The Weaknesses of Fully Player-Driven Stories
Summary
Things to Consider

Chapter 12: The Argument for the Supremacy of Player-Driven Storytelling

The Evolution of the Art Form
Giving the Writer Greater Freedom
Strengthening the Player - Character Bond
Giving the Player What He Wants
Summary
Things to Consider

Chapter 13: The Argument Against the Supremacy of Player-Driven Storytelling

The Fine Art of Storytelling
Time, Money, and Player Interest
The Added Time and Expense of Creating Player-Driven Stories
Adding Interaction at the Expense of Other Elements
Who Is Going to See It All?
Keeping the Story Interesting
Story Structure and the "Ideal" Chain of Events
The Problem with How We Think
Trying to Correct a Mistake
Loss of Impact
The Illusion of Control
Giving the Player What He Wants
Summary
Things to Consider

Chapter 14: What Players Really Want: The Most Important Issue

Do Players Know What They Really Want?
The Survey
How Important are Game Stories to Players?
What Players Say They Want
Story Preferences by the Numbers
What Players Really Want
The Best Game Stories
Further Analysis
Do Stories Sell Games?
Buying Habits by the Numbers
Further Analysis
Summary
Things to Consider

Chapter 15: The Future of Storytelling in Games

Stories Then and Now
The Key Arguments
What Players Want
Looking Towards the Future
The Most Popular Types of Storytelling
A Future for Everyone
Things to Consider

Focal Press 9780240817170 Specs

SubjectStorytelling for Video Games
AuthorJosiah Lebowitz and Chris Klug
Edition1st Edition
Hard/Soft CoverPaperback
Pages332
Illustrations100 B&W
ISBN Number9780240817170
PublisherFocal Press
Date PublishedMarch 2011
Packaging Info
Package Weight1.285 lb
Box Dimensions (LxWxH)9.1 x 7.4 x 0.8"
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