When people who have never played Dungeons & Dragons, talk about Dungeons & Dragons, you can tell the preconception they have straight away. Most people think of the Stranger Things version – little kids in a basement acting out their imagined battles using dice. It is totally that and much more. If you lived through the ’80s, D&D was a scary cult. I cannot confirm or deny that to be the case…
The point is that D&D is lots of things to lots of people. To me, first and foremost, D&D is a series of random thoughts, ridiculous moments and brilliant storytelling, shared with friends.
When people ask me about getting into D&D, I tell them about my first ever character…
Continue reading “My First D&D Character is Still my Favourite”
We’ve all observed stories that use the ‘x days later’ device. A linear narrative can avoid weeks, months and years of bunkum by jumping to the next interesting bit. It’s a trick which allows the storyteller to stick to the good bits, providing it is used effectively. It’s a trick we can all accept and appreciate.
Now imagine you were reading a book or watching a film where the inverse happened. Instead of moving time forward ‘x weeks’ into the future, the story instead took a detour which lasted for days or weeks, only to return to the main story as if no time had passed. In most cases, we would find that very odd and a little jarring (unless it’s a dream-sequence or a peculiar plot twist). Yet open world games let this happen all the time.
Videogames can be rigidly linear in gameplay and story, or completely non-linear in either area. In many games story can be absent entirely, but sometimes I feel that the combination of linear story-telling and non-linear gameplay feels unwieldy. We as gamers are meant to follow a pattern of close-knit events whilst simultaneously spending hours on exploration and random side missions.
Continue reading “Should open world games rethink how they tell stories?”