Who read adventure books as a kid where you chose your own path and changed the story? Ever read a book and wished the author had gone in a different direction? And what about that old man sitting on the side of the road who told the protagonist to go left at the intersection instead of right, what’s his story? If these are things you think about when reading a story or writing your own, maybe you need a different outlet.
Aristotle defined storytelling as an imitation of an action … with incidents of pity and fear, wherewith to accomplish its catharsis of such emotions, and paved the way for story structure for novels and even the movies industry.
Now it’s the gaming industry’s turn.
If you love reading stories and watching movies, maybe this is the perfect time to have a look at taking up your son, daughter, niece or nephew’s Xbox or Playstation controller.
Game designers have had to think outside the box because of the countless intricacies and uncertainties associated with game timeline. For example, players can take infinite variables in time to complete a game. Players lacking skill or the game difficulty is too high can halt their progress. Level or quest based games having numerous tasks and puzzles can pull the attention of the player in conflicting directions; and non-linear games allow player’s to take control of the path and pacing of the story.
Skyrim, a game from the Elder Scrolls series, allows you to move throughout the world and discover different locations, people and stories. The main storyline is linear like a novel, however you have the ability to explore the Skyrim world and experience other storylines before returning to the main story whenever you wish.
Life is Strange, is an episodic graphic adventure game, which was released as five episodes periodically throughout 2015. This video game uses a branching narrative model and completely revolves around the choices made by you. These choices affect the outcome of the game and can produce a variety of endings. Imagine trying to write a hundred different choices, obstacles and endings. Now that’s a challenge.
Narrative has evolved so much in the last few decades of video games. Game developers like those who created Skyrim and Life is Strange, even the action adventure game, Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, have brought the complexities and emotional, real-life decision making into gameplay through storytelling and narrative.
I’ve always thought a movie based on one of my novels would be cool, but a game? Now that would be epic!
K.A. Hart is a born and bred Territorian who moved to Queensland and had no choice but to stay after her assimilation into Toowoomba's infamous, collective known as Quirky Quills.
Since then, K.A. Hart has had two short stories published. Stone Bearer appears in Glimpses of Light and Tedious Tresses, in the As Time Goes By anthology. She is currently working on a fantasy novel.