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What's in a Video Game? (Story)

What's missing in your game design? The best games, are the perfect balance of elements 1 to 9.




#1: The Story Element


At the centre of every great narrative is a character with a captivating backstory. In acting this is called the 'bones' of the character and it is comprised of your character's past relationships, memorable events, and inner most thoughts. From there actors shape their characters' movements, mannerisms, reactions, and voices.


These same techniques can assist you in building your protagonists, anti-heroes, supporting characters, and villains, placing them in a fascinating setting that drives the action.


How did where you grow up shape you? What does your home town feel like? Game designers ask similar questions as they create a character within a detailed setting. Gaming settings can be nearly anything: rural, urban, interior, exterior, international, extra-terrestrial, stylised, or microscopic. What fuels a gaming environment is imagination and explore-ability of its physical spaces.


A rule we like to use at Playcanics is creating an environment that feels 70% familiar and 30% unfamiliar, this prevents players from feeling too disoriented, while also being in awe of their gaming environment(s).