Archive for the ‘Plot’ Category

☞ Should racing games have stories? Why? Shouldn’t they be storyless and plotless instead? As this blogger explains, there are advantages to having narratives in racing games… not merely narratives, one should add, but well-told (or well-designed?) ones.


“Why are there no racing games with stories? No, wait, scratch that, why are there no racing games with good stories? Or at the very least well-told stories?

It is surely not a difficult thing to do. You take the basic game structure from Wing Commander and replace all the space combat with racing cars around tracks and/or city streets. Then you profit. Why has no-one done this?

The few racing games out there that do have storylines of sort are generally half-assed efforts where all the plot is delivered through badly-written text put into the game as an afterthought, or they simply don’t carry their potential through far enough.

I can think of a few recent examples. Motorstorm Apocalypse, though I didn’t play it, reportedly had a plot of sorts, but it fell into the former category above. Motorstorm Apocalypse, lest you’re unfamiliar, had you racing around a city that was blowing up and falling to pieces — surely an ideal situation for a rudimentary Michael Bay-style plot with some characters and shouting. It wouldn’t have to be a complex plot, just something to break up the racing with some motivational scenes that gave it some meaning.”

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Hidetaka Miyazaki on plot and narrative

Posted: March 6, 2013 in Plot, Quotation
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☞ Giving more details of one’s narrative is always a tricky issue. In any narrative, details must be minimal: one must give only as much as is needed for the narrative, and no more. Too many details would bog down the narrative, and make it slow and meandering (at least for those parts of the narrative where the details were given). But too few details may leave the narrative hanging in the air, and the respondent would not be able to fully understand what is going on in the narrative. As Holly Robinson says in this article, the novelist is presenting a world in his or her novel. One of the ways to adequately present this world is to resort to a back-story (or back-stories). But how much of this should be given?

‟Most of us become novelists because we don’t envision moments. We envision worlds.

Novelists must fully inhabit those worlds to write about them. We don’t just need to know what our characters are doing right now. We must understand who these people were before facing the conflicts we throw their way. But that doesn’t mean our readers have to suffer through reams of back story or flashbacks (the events that happened before your novel opens). In fact, the less back story you have, the better your novel will flow.

This doesn’t mean skimping on character development. Even if you’re writing a plot-driven mystery or an engineer’s wet dream of a science fiction book, you want your characters to develop beyond the paper doll stage. You know their eye colors, the way they walk, the slang they use, and their favorite cocktails. If you’re clever, you’ll even give your bad guys a few good qualities and your heroes some flaws to keep things real and 3D.”

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by Holly Robinson in The Huffington Post 
Author of Sleeping Tigers and
The Gerbil Farmer’s Daughter: A Memoir