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Narrative Elements in Game Design
Increasingly, story is becoming an integral part of game design. Modern gamers expect a more cinematic approach to games, and as designers, we should cater to their expectations. But crafting a story for interactive entertainment requires a different approach than traditional media such as novels or films.

An excellent way to think about storytelling in game development is to imagine story as a series of bread crumbs, scattered throughout a game. As the player collects each bit, the story - as the designer envisioned it - unfolds. Some pieces may be giant chunks of bread, in plain sight along the player’s path. Others may be tiny, hidden from all but the most perceptive of gamers. These bread crumbs are narrative elements, and they take many forms. Backstories, dialogue, and cutscenes are all examples of narrative elements. Through the careful use of such components, a good game designer does not tell a story; rather, he allows players to discover it for themselves.

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© 2011 David J. Sushil.  All Rights Reserved.  For more information, e-mail davidjsushil@gmail.com.