We live in the age of the story. Mankind, since the dawn of human civilisation, has been host to an ever evolving and changing form of make believe, the narrative. Over hundreds of thousands of years we have refined and perfected our story telling ability to what is now considered an art form. We evolve and change and adapt our art, as it is now considered to fit into different forms; written medium, mass printed medium, dramatic medium, visual medium, audiovisual medium, visual printed medium and most recently interactive medium.
To write a decent, if not original story is not difficult, it just takes time. You have to understand that there are essentially three parts to a story; a beginning, a middle and an end. The beginning sets up the conflict and emotional connections for the players. The middle heightens the conflict, danger and panic and ends on a critical moment. The end uses the critical moment to drive the player towards the source of the situation and deal with it directly. The plot should have a logical flow of one event to the other utilising the basic and unastounding concept of cause and effect. Donít randomly introduce characters objects or events that conveniently appear to solve the situation or save the day when their existence and place in the plot makes no sense. Also, itís ok if the story doesnít have a happy ending. Dialogue should sound exactly as how regular people should talk and emote and utilise uncommon phrases and patterns of speech to heighten the mood. Most of the time, people tend to speak candidly about something but often have a double meaning. The second meaning often is inconsequential or innocent rather than devious, secretive or malicious, but itís still a double meaning nonetheless. Attempting to make a character edgy, dark, badass, or deliberately cool immediately results in something that just sounds stupid. Example, Nathan Drake works so well as a character because he is a likable, relatable human being, albeit in an extraordinary situation and profession. Heís cool because he is weathered and accustomed to his profession and not some icy dark anti hero like Lara Croft or forced superfly guy from the most recent Prince of Persia (the most offensively whitewashed QTE game ever made).
But for all my complaining and attempting to reason away my and hopefully many othersí dissatisfaction with terrible game narratives, I know that this will never make a difference. People unquestioningly buy whatís popular and poorly written, the morons keep making money and the cycle of submediocrity inevitably starts again. I can beat and scream and even attempt to defy them by modding and becoming a writer myself. Nobody pays for their ineptitude and nobody ever learns. People may argue with this statement but this is just how I feel about games nowadays.
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