Saturday 13 August 2016

What makes a Story?

The timely question I’ve wondered about on a few occasions.…. What makes a good game? On the one side I have my first experiences of gaming and on the other my current gaming adventures. Throughout the years I’ve started comparing the two and have noticed that we are moving away from story driven games into a new space. This new space seems to be heavily orientated on playing with friends and creating your own stories.

Personally I enjoy games that do this, the likes of DOTA 2, CS:GO and DayZ are only a few that focus on this, but, for some reason I always come back to the first encounter I had with a PC. I remember patiently waiting for my dad to get home to see what treasure he may have gotten from work, from one of his IT friends. He would come home and I would eagerly wait for him to open his briefcase and show me what he had retrieved from work. Booting the PC up and waiting for Windows 95 to start so an evening of fun could start. The ironic thing is I never really played at that age, I found it more intriguing to watch my father play the game. This was my first experience, a game by the name of Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis. I would sit there and try solve puzzles with my dad, watch the story unfold and just have fun, even if it did get frustrating with certain puzzles.

  What I fine collection of pots you have
It was a time where we had no internet and to solve a puzzle was not easy as googling it. We would sit for weeks trying to figure out the smallest thing and the satisfaction that came with solving a puzzle was the greatest reward. My second memorable encounter was a game called The Dig. This for me not only was a stunning game but also I well driven SC-FI story which I still feel would make a great movie. It was the first game I finished on my own and to this day remains one of my favorites.

  Learning the secrets of an ancient alien race can be entertaining

What I have started noticing is that the current games don’t seem to have this challenge or at least the story is not at all on the same level. Games have moved to this area where they have become simplistic and well boring. I find myself owning 100s of games on steam yet I have hardly finished any. I find myself jumping from game to game, not because it gets boring but I follow the trend my friend take in what they play. I think developers have seen this and I can understand the trend of involving gamers in a game versus just playing on your own.

Blending in and taking the shot
Again this isn’t a negative. I have many fond memories of games of DOTA 2 and CS:GO. Playing DayZ with a group of friends and raiding was one of the most exciting social things I’ve done and also will sit firm as a top moment. I personally wish new gamers would be introduced into this type of story telling. I think this would help them appreciate where we have come from. I feel it’s important to understand where we have come from and where we may be heading..or maybe I’m just getting old. What I can suggest is if you can get a copy of any of these games to give it a go, Graphics aside the story is what sets it apart from the rest. Of course there are still games with great stories now (Witcher series) but I feel gamers these days are into fast bursts of action and then, they move on. I suppose what it boils down to is what lets you escape from real life even if it’s only for a couple of minutes.

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