Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Introductions: Make Them Care

Just played the Kingdoms of Alamur demo, seems like a pretty ordinary Fantasy RPG of the modern age. It's clean and pretty, and probably better than Dragon Age. It's made by EA, so you know it's going to be obnoxious on several levels.

One complaint: The game opens by telling you about the evil king that started a war decades ago or whatever. DO NOT DO THIS. People don't care about a story until they care about the people in it. Introduce a character, not even necessarily the main character, then tell us the story by showing how it impacts that character.

It's odd; after showing the bad opening video, the game immediately moves into what the intro should be. It introduces your character as the generic blank slate of Fantasy RPGs, and leads you through a dramatic escape from a dungeon. By the character finding out what's going on in the world, we also find out what's going on. There are other ways to tell a story, but the good ones tell a story with characters, not just describing world events.

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