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I've noticed that even simple games are starting to add story. Simply because it makes gameplay more compelling. If you know the motivations behind something, then you are more likely to put emotional stock into it.
I find all these "Story > Gameplay" arguments concerning because they subscribe to the fallacy that in a game these are seperate elements.
They have to be treated as Seperate, or the game ends up as an interactive movie, like, say, Plumbers Dont Wear Ties or Night Trap... do you really want to go in that Direction? Trust me, its not a Fallacy, its lessons learned from bad Experiences in the Early 1990s. i know the youth sometimes give the impresson of being willing to put up with the lable "interactive movie" as well, to them thats a certain very popular current genre, the interactive Micheal Bay Summer Blockbuster, but older gamers are less forgiving of the "interactive movie" lable, as we still remember stuff like Night Trap, and never want to see its ilk again.

Story is important, but it counts for nothing without a great gameplay core, having a great story will probably get the player to the finish, but only once, were as having great gameplay will keep the gamer coming back to the game time and again, sometimes even after a decade or more since the games release. although often only to play favourite levels again. you need really to combine both, to ensure multiple full game replays . but, that can only be acheived by doing the two elements seperatly.

my personal beleive on game creation is.. again, using my prefered "Throwback First Person Shooter" model.

1. Core Gameplay mechanics creation and balancing for the target market, wich should be chosen by the IP creator using the Hideo Kojima Principle, creating what is Your Idea of a Perfect gameplay, and then finding the market that most agrees with those gameplay elements, for if you leave it to marketing to choose a target demographic, they will go for the fastest buck, and your going to end up with making a game for the lowest common denominator, and not the game you want to make.

2. Core Gameplay Mechanics Coding.

2. Core Gameplay mechanical Demo. (make Sure the mechanics actually work as intended, the code is stable, and the core gameplay is fun, you can use graphical assets, AI, artwork and sounds from other games for this as tempory place holders until the ones unique for the game are created)

3. Storyline, who, what, were and how, in Novel Format.

4. Artwork design, (defined by story, there is no point in creating science fiction artwork and then a story that is set today, so, story first so story and artwork can match up, as concept art determines the graphical assets)

5. Designing and Balancing "special" mechanics required by the story. , say, if the story requires a chase between Fighter Jets, why make it a cutscene, QTE Fest or rail shooter section (all dead boring)? why not make a flight mechanic and make the chase playable? make the game more exiting for the player, Unique, and something more challenging compared to the usual QTE fests of today.

6. Special Gameplay Mechanics coding.

7. Special gameplay mechanicals Demo. (again, make sure they work as intended, the code is stable, and the mechanics are as fun as the core ones, so they dont feel like "afterthaughts" and feel instead as a genuine, intentional, part of the games design)

8. storyline polish, and scripting. (ensure the storyline is top qulaity, and the games dialoque script, setpeices and cutscene segments will be exiting and intriquing, and will make sense, nothing worse than a story that has more holes than a wedge of Emmantal,or a script that goes CLANG every time someone speaks)

9. Graphical Asset Creation, Design and Encoding (based off concept art, its why its so usefull)

10. level map art design (so you can work the level routes, items of interest, graphical asset positioning, etc when you come to creating and coding the levels).

11. level creation and coding, perhaps the bit you'd enjoy most as it combines gameplay (both core and special mechanics) Art (the graphical assets) and storyline (as story determines the endgoal of the level, its locations, and ocassionally, setpeices, but, try to aim for 2 setpeices at most per chapter of 3-10 levels, not a setpeice every level, or youll end up with a Micheal Bay experience, and they feel rather cheap to some gamers) .

14. Ai Creation, Coding, And Balancing.

15. Ai Testing. (ensure its challenging for the player, and does what its supposed to, and isnt just running into walls or getting stuck in doors)

16. Map Testing,. Ensure the art looks right, the assests are functioning correctly, the level is fun, complicated, and challenging, setpeices and animations are triggering correctly, and the AI is correctly following its "level paths". and see how your art peices and coding are functioning in game and if they look right.

17. Cutscene storyboard creation.

18. Cutscene coding and creation

19. Cutscene Testing (like movie rushes, make sure the scene makes sense, the camara angles are good, they immerse the player in the story, and the script makes sense and isn't overdramatic or prone to going CLANG)

20. Post Production sound effects coding and testing. (sure, for most of the game development you can get away with soundfiles cut from other games, and voice over provided by the designers, but, its not going to do for release, why have the main charachter provided by a developer when you can, if the Publisher coughs up enough cash, have him voiced by say, Adam Blackwood?, same as why settle for the COD-4 Mp5 soundfile (and risk a lawsuit from activision), when you can, if the pubisher stumps up the cash, visit eidelweiss tactical in switzerland and record the sounds of a REAL Mp5-A6 on full auto!, not using an accelerated recording of a semi auto HK94 that sounds nothing like an MP5 (due to barrel length changing the doppler effect, the HK94 has a much longer barrel than an MP5, and the sound acceleration and distortion caused by "speeding up" the sound effect to make semi auto fire sound like full auto), wich is the file in COD-4,. thats what post production sound is for, replacing the temporary "game testing" sounds with the "final launch" versions. Testing is also vital to ensure the sounds are triggering correctly, no player is going to put up with the sound of their URAL truck accelerating when in fact the player is slamming on the brakes!)

21. cutscene insertion coding and testing (ensure the cutscenes will trigger at the right moments, and are stable in game)

22. Polish, playtesting, debugging, all the quality assurance work until the game is perfectly balanced for the target market and as BUG FREE as possible on the given hardware.

23. Launch for PC. ( i dont do games for consoles, its also why there is no steps regarding multiplayer, i beleive mp is a gimmick and thus, will NEVER feature it)

by the way, thanks for reminding me how much i left out kman, i was tired and forgot some vital steps. inserted now.
I find it amusing that you totally left out art design and creation and coding in that, cause you know hose are both super minuscule easy tasks right?

Anywho I'm going to go ahead and consider any points you make invalid until you come up with a valid response to my argument.
What Argument Kman? sorry, i must have missed that particular post, please, kindly direct me to it, and i will answer it.
(02-02-2013, 04:59 PM)the dark side Wrote: [ -> ]What Argument Kman? sorry, i must have missed that particular post, please, kindly direct me to it, and i will answer it.
I miss the part in Dark sides argument in which he explains why Story is different than gameplay.

The story in a game is defined by what the player does and how they do it. The mistake is where a developer tries to super impose a fake story on the player through long-winded cutscenes.
(02-01-2013, 08:13 PM)the dark side Wrote: [ -> ]They have to be treated as Seperate, or the game ends up as an interactive movie, like, say, Plumbers Dont Wear Ties or Night Trap... do you really want to go in that Direction?

It is in fact completely the reverse. Interactive movies treat storytelling as a seperate thing and paste on minimal interaction hence their failure as games. In an interactive medium your storytelling has to take the interaction into account as a core aspect. If storytelling is one of your main goals you have to make it a game mechanic. Seperating your story and gameplay means creating a divided player experience. This approach is the reason games went so long without respect as art and the creation of ridiculous non sequitors such as finding health kits hidden in exploding barrels. Mechanics before story create Pong, story before mechanics create Fahrenheit (this is not a good thing, I despise Fahrenheit, it's a goddamned movie that keeps getting interrupted by pointless hoops to jump through).
Thunderbunk, kindly do not speak ill of the health pack system in front of me, as far as i am concerned regenerating health is only for mindless casual gamers who lack the intelligence to understand the idea of "find a medkit when your health gets low". i see no excuse, neither story nor gameplay related for it, it exits PURELY to help the game appeal to the Lowest Common Denominator!

so kindly do not insult the traditional and superior health system in front of me as that grinds my gears into a Powder, thankyou, non-sequitor it might be, but it improves the games challenge, and thus, its enjoyment, and is thus superior as a gameplay mechanic.

in fact, i do actually agree that by treating story and gameplay as one in that case, it may be possible to make the medkit look more realistic, i mean, true, you are not going to find an army specification medikit in a kitchen cabinet...but you might find a home first aid kit that can restore about a 5th of the player health, match the medikit art design and location to the location the current story section is located in. and yes, putting a medkit in a red barrel is stupid,. a miltary supply crate marked "medical supplies" in the lanquage of whatever nation the story has taken you to, would be a considerably more logical place, putting it in a red barrell,even i will agree, is brain dead level design...something i hate even more than regen, and trust me, that, is really saying something.

@Aldigheri, what the player goes through is NOT a story,. it is meerly one Facet of a Story, by focusing purely on the experience of one characheter, all you have is a Need to Know version of what is happening, this is limited and boring, and gives no reason as to why exactly you are killing "evil russian general #487...or come to think of it, who Evil Russian General #487 actually is, and thus, the final battle is little more than a depressing anti climax.

Gameplay is only a facet of the story, yes, its the most important one, but it falls as flat as a pancake without the other facets.. Imagine story as a diamond,. the player experience, via gameplay and those godawfull first person cutscenes that are so in voque today, you have One Facet of that diamond. the other facets are, Who the Villains are, what are there thaughts, where have the comefrom, what is there endgame (ie, there objective, why do they want to, say, blow up new york?) where the game is taking you, and why, and why the things that are happening in the game are happening. that is the story. that is what makes the game interesting as you can populate it with 3d charachters, and villains you can hate! not just cardboard cutouts that you know nothing about, and thus, cannot judge, meaning you only kill them because "THE NUMBERS ARE F***ING TELLING ME TOO!" (sorry, i cannot resist a pop at the laughable scripting in todays games) that is lazy storytelling, you didnt not flesh out the main villain because you didnt want to use "long winded cutscenes" but because you are Lazy and couldnt be Bothered to write him a good backstory!. "iz Russian so Iz evil" is NOT backstory. also, cutscenes are not the enemy, only cutscenes that go for too long (ie Mgs4) or cutscenes that have bad dialoque and bad camara angles.

The third person cutscene is still the finest way to tell the total game story, the "big picture" if you will, let us take No One Lives Forever, a game wich i feel perhaps has the finest cutscenes in christendom, they are long, yes, up to 10 miuites, but they do not drag, as they give us the backstories of the enemy, such as Inge wagners Abusive childhood, Magnus Armstrongs war record, Why ego meant mr smith went roque, etc. they show us why the villains are the villains! that makes the villains interesting, and makes you judge them, its how i felt bad about killing Inge Wagner, but enjoyed wringing the guts out of volkov. they even show us the villains side of the story, setting up there endgame, and why they seek it, instead of focussing on just the players endgame of stopping them. it has great camara angles, and Superb dialoque that sounds natural, is often laugh out loud Hilarious, and is sometimes even inspringly moral, Cate: "Everybody Suffers Countess, but only Cowards take it out on other people.." Baroness: "Well...Arnt you a righteous little Bitch!?" morals, and humour, it makes the script sparkle, and it is well delivered by a talented voice cast (a bad voice cast can also make cutscenes clang, even with a great script, why companies settle for people like timothy watson when Adamn Blackwood could be hired for a few extra grand is beyond me, you NEED good voice actors in a story driven game!)

A cutscene is still the story creators best freind, as it, if its third person, can show the wider universe of the game, the politics of its nations, and the endgames of its charachters, it can make an interesting, more fleshed out world, making the player want to visit it, meet its inhabitants, learn to hate them, and kill them because there sick and twisted personality has horrified and offended the player, not because of "THE NUMBERS!" the numbers are not a valid reason for murder. by not having cutscenes that reveal the charachters and reasons of the story, it shows you are using the fact you have designed the game to appeal to the lowest common denominator as an excuse to not write a good story. i mean, yes, it is still possible to create a fantastic story without ever leaving the players feild of vision, Half Life 2 is More than proof that gameplay and story can co-exist as one, but it takes a lot of talent and vision, talent and vision a lot of people, even some of the best games designers in the business, such as Hideo Kojima, do, not, have. hence there use of third person cutscenes to tell the story. Story is a Diamond, Gameplay is one Facet, and i am afraid until someone can create a better way to tell an entire story, even the enemies point of view and endgame, without cutscenes, then, cutscenes will still be a valid, and often superior, mechanic for showing us the "big picture" of the story, limituing it purely to the players point of view, only gives you the little picture, so the story feels disjointed, hollow, and lazy, and that is not acceptable, even to a gameplay first point of view, better No story at all than a Bad Story.

Also, the story has to be fake, it is called Fiction, it is make Beleive for grown ups, if you want reality, then please, watch the news, as reality in games is Soul Crushingly Boring, and strikes me as intense lazyness because the developers could not be bothered to come up with some half decent fiction and just copied this weeks Daily Mail!

PS, Kman, you use the "emotional" levels a lot in that argument, emotion, especially if its done subtly, unfortunatly, just happens to be were my brain leaves the building (remember, i suffer from mild emotional blindness) and the story tends to become a load of impenetrable grey mush for me, so, do you mind waiting a while for an answer to your argument?, its going to take a lot of drafting and redrafting for me to answer it.
(02-03-2013, 11:25 PM)the dark side Wrote: [ -> ]its going to take a lot of drafting and redrafting for me to answer it.

Niqqa dis ain't no middle school essay.
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