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Tabletop Game Design for Video Game Designers by Ethan Ham

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Chapter SixStories

Introduction

Storytelling in games is different from storytelling in books, films, and theater. Games are fundamentally interactive, which creates unique challenges and opportunities when crafting a narrative. In this chapter you will explore some of the ways in which game mechanics can spawn narratives and narratives can support gameplay.

The learning objectives for the chapter are:

  1. Understand the role of fiction in games.
  2. Recognize how the terms “setting,” “game world,” “world building,” “scenario,” “backstory,” and “flavor text” apply to game narratives.
  3. Be able to use a story-oriented approach to game development.
  4. Understand the characteristics of embedded and emergent narratives.

Fiction

A game’s fiction is an ...

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