Is the Story part of the Design or its own separate thing?

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by Neroware, Feb 2, 2019.

  1. Neroware

    Neroware New Member

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    Aloha!
    I usually end up in the role as Game Engineer instead of Designer so this question really interests me: For me, there are three main columns during a game's development:
    Design, Engineering and Art

    Now I started to wonder: Is a game's Story part of its Design or is it a completely/slightly/mostly separate part? This would really interest me, because I'm working with a storywriter and another game engineer at a project for university. Extra Credits explained you should design the mechanics first and then come up with a story or at least mix both processes. But our storywriter believes, the story is completely separated from the design aspects. I don't really agree with this, so again: Story as part of game design, yes, no, maybe to a certain extent?

    Oh, and here's the Extra Credits video. During our project, exactly what they warn about happened to us:
     
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  2. João Vítor Marcenes

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    the Story and Design are two different things that can talk to each other
    the design is how the mechanics and levels and progression is layed out and pressented to the player
    while the story is an overall plot to explain why the player is doing what he is doing

    there are mainly 2 ways of developing a game, thinking about a story you want to tell, and them making a game that fits it, or making a fun mechanic and them developing a story that fits that mechanic, I like the latter better

    Nintendo, for instance, develops a concept they want to explore, and they make the game fit around it, for instance: they had a fun idea of letting mario control others entities and then made Mario Odissey, they thought of the design first

    However, in other games like Detroit: Become Human, the developers wanted to tell a story, and the design of multiple choices fitted the story ad they wanted to tell multiple stories

    When developing I usually think of a mechanic first, then think of a story where that mechanic makes sense
     
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  3. Neroware

    Neroware New Member

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    I think I understand...
    But starting with a story makes everything much harder in my opinion. From what I've experienced, Designers and Story Writers have to exchange their plans and ideas and must not stick too much to one they think is right. Because if they do one side will either lose interest in the project or won't come up with any ideas to fit both parts together.

    Anyways, thanks for the feedback!;)
     
    João Vítor Marcenes likes this.
  4. Joon

    Joon New Member

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    Not only that, it has to have a lot of communication between one another otherwise you will have what its called ludonarrative dissonance.
     
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  5. TravelerSF

    TravelerSF New Member

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    As it has been pointed out, this varies between games. But, it is certainly possible to have the story intertwined with the design. It can be something as simple as the writer coming up with multiple playable characters, and then the designers having to express those characters through their game mechanics and visual design.
     
    Neroware likes this.

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