Friday, 17 April 2015
A while back I gave a talk at the Groucho Club in London's Soho about creating emotional bonds in games and interactive stories. If that rings a bell, it's because I've posted it on this blog before. And yet the generations stream away and still gamebooks struggle to haul themselves out of the '80s mire of orc-infested dungeons where treasure chests come with riddles on the lid.
"You come to three doors and -- " Who cares? Interacting with a story can deliver so much more than that. So here I am again talking about the relationships that you might forge with fictional characters. The slides are a little out of sync; you'll see I start talking about Walt but his image doesn't come up on screen for a few seconds.But if you can get past that and the patchy audio (try here for the full text) hopefully it'll spark off some interesting comments for us to debate below.
Some takeaway points to get started on:
"I don't care about crystal meth distribution in Albuquerque, or even that much about crime dramas. But I am fascinated by the problem of Walter White. Character - that's what is compelling about a great story. And when we put character and interactivity together we have the ingredients of relationship."
"What kind of relationships can we put in these stories? All kinds. One example: you're not James Bond, you're his controller at MI6. You're in touch with Bond all the time, giving him orders, but a man who's licensed to kill doesn't play well with others. So you have an adversarial relationship. And conflict, of course, is the motor of drama."
"Those two land masses [stories and games] are connected now. There's going to be some evolving together, some exchange of creative DNA, some blurring of boundaries."
What do you think? What makes you connect with a story and want to come back for more? Don't say doors with riddles on them.