Monday, September 10, 2012

The power of a good story (aka New Game project I'm working on)

Please check for more details. You can red this blog post here.

A very good friend of mine once told me that I am a good storyteller. I was surprised at first and when I asked him to elaborate, he told me that I had everything it takes to be a good storyteller: very good attention to include detail on my descriptions (sometimes too much), the ability to involve and make a connection with the listener/reader and some really crazy ideas! I didn't give it that much thought back then but quite recently I started thinking of what makes a good story and if I was really able to tell a good one.

Now, you might wonder, why this now? What is going through my twisted mind? Well, the thing is: I joined a venture with a few people interested in developing a new game and I am responsible for the game design. At first, all we had was a game concept, a starting idea on how the game should be and how could people play it. But I felt that developing a game without a story behind it would just make the game seem innocuous. Wouldn't it? I mean, what if games like "The Legend of Zelda" or "Metal Gear Solid" had no story behind it? Would the game feel as good as it is? I mean even games like Counter-strike or Team Fortress have a story! A small one but they do!

I believe stories connects the players to the game, makes them feel that they are part of it, taking responsibility for the way things will turn out in the future. And not only role-playing games have that, I remember Pac-Man and Arkanoid had a background story! It may be a grandiose narrative in which the player has to take part of the fight between good and evil or just a simple background story to contextualize what is going on in the game when we play it, but the story is always there.

Therefore, since we are starting on this new game and there is room to add new elements, I decided to create a background story for it. The game is a RTS survival of the fittest type of game who takes place in the future so I decided to go for a interplanetary story. The action takes place in another planet and Humans battle against themselves and that planet's natives in order to control the planet's resources. Controlling the planet's resources will grant them advantage over the competition and more chances to win every battle. The words "Whoever controls the Spice, controls the Universe." comes to mind? Good, it's exactly in that direction that I'm going, with due differences of course! :)

I have four factions, for now, but I will eventually create eight of them. All of them allegedly have honest interests in controlling the planet and made sure they made that public. But in my story, I left a dark-side-of-the-force aspect to their legitimate interests because I prefer having 8 factions of bad guys than 4 of good guys and 4 of bad guys. And sometimes who is good and who is bad is just a matter of perspective. I have put some effort in choosing the names for each faction as well as their acronyms beacuse I wanted it to be someone players remember and refer to easily. I also created a leader for each faction who should work as the image of that faction, making it clear for the player to understand what type of faction he is we looking at. While I was at it, with my creativity flowing, I even added some curiosity easter-eggs-kinda facts into the story just for the fun of it and to see if, later on, some players will find them out!

Unfortunately, I can't reveal much more of this project for now so I'll have to leave it here but please stay tuned for news in a near future. Thanks for reading.


wookie said...

Hello Pedro, hope everything is going well with the Irish experience!

For this new game, if you ever need a game tester, with also some input, let me know. Back in Portugal we are all being strangled by the Orange boys!

Pedro Honório Silva said...

All is going fine, thanks!
I'll keep that in mind when we need testers! :)