And thus, like a speeding train, i derail off the rants, and rerail back on the rails i should have been on all along. Today i talk about narrative.
We have two types of narrative, the scripted kind, and the unscripted kind. Scripted is commonplace in gaming. You are often forced to follow a set storyline. Even in open world games such as World of Warcraft, what you do is set out. You can only become a hero. There is no range of who you become. A set hero in a mass produced world.
An unscripted story is harder to accomplish, but it can be done. Games like Wurm Online and Love give the players a world, not storyline and let them become who they want to be. It's a risk only indie companies want to take.
Thing is, when risks are taken, occanionally something dramatic will happen. Whether it's accidentally blowing up the guild house again, or managing to revolusionise the way planes are used in a war zone, it's a risk that needed to be taken. And only by taking risks can we move forwards.
Of course there is another side to an unscripted world. The idea that you don't need to give the player all the information. Give them a storybook with half the pages missing, let them make their own stories. Even though i highly doubt blizz read this blog, i'm looking at them, and the other big names to start allowing the players to make their own name in a changing world, not someone elses name in a static world.