Front Page

Content

Authors

Game Index

Forums

Site Tools

Submissions

About

O
oliverkinne
June 11, 2021
249 0

Luzon Rails

Board Game Reviews
B
BradHB
June 11, 2021
249 0
MB
Michael Barnes
June 10, 2021
376 0
O
oliverkinne
June 08, 2021
342 0
D
DavidNorris
June 08, 2021
729 0
A
adamr
June 08, 2021
629 0
J
Jackwraith
June 07, 2021
786 0
G
GrantLyon
June 07, 2021
358 0
T
TabletopIsland
June 05, 2021
372 0
B
BradHB
June 04, 2021
417 0

Star Wars: Legion Gameplay

Podcasts & Videos
O
oliverkinne
June 04, 2021
525 0

Dokojong Review

Board Game Reviews
T
TerryONeill
June 03, 2021
424 0
W
whowhatwhycast
June 02, 2021
392 0
O
oliverkinne
June 01, 2021
547 0
T
thegiantbrain
June 01, 2021
354 0
T
thegiantbrain
June 01, 2021
287 0

Episode 73 - Double Time

Podcasts & Videos
×
Bugs: Recent Topics Paging, Uploading Images & Preview (11 Dec 2020)

Recent Topics paging, uploading images and preview bugs require a patch which has not yet been released.

The Concept of Story

More
07 Jun 2021 00:00 #323766 by Jackwraith
What's often lauded as "The Difference" between what are nominally...

Do your favorite games produce a story and does it matter?

Read more...
The following user(s) said Thank You: Whoshim, Ah_Pook

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
07 Jun 2021 08:16 #323767 by Whoshim
Replied by Whoshim on topic The Concept of Story
Nice article! I was actually thinking about the same thing the other day and was going to submit a post about it (not to the depth of this article). I think that games can give us enjoyment during three times: before (MtG, Warhammer), during (most, but not all - for example, the games about the slave ships and Nazi death camp trains), and after (as mentioned in your article).

Games that offer enjoyment before are the ones that build up communities (and this includes abstracts like Shogi, Chess, and Go, which can be studied before/after playing). You covered games that offer enjoyment afterward in your article.

I personally like games that have communities and those that allow for stories that are remembered long afterward. I was typing my post as I was thinking about Warmaster, the old Games Workshop game that Mezike gave me. I will still submit my post on that in the near future, but you have saved me a lot of effort in writing it, as I can just reference this article. :) It is a game that provides nearly all of its enjoyment in the post-game time period.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Jackwraith, mezike, sornars

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
07 Jun 2021 08:36 #323768 by Jackwraith
Replied by Jackwraith on topic The Concept of Story
Thanks! That's a great point. I agree that GW games can give the 'before' (planning, strategizing) impact, but you're right that the majority of their impact comes from the story you can look back on afterwards. Although I played a lot of tournaments with 40K and Fantasy, my best experiences with GW were the campaigns we played, as that really wove us into the epic tale that GW has built around their properties.

That's a great pickup with Warmaster. My all-time favorite game from GW is Epic Armageddon, but Warmaster isn't far behind.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
07 Jun 2021 10:49 #323772 by jason10mm
Replied by jason10mm on topic The Concept of Story
Story games, to me, are the ones designed to generate a narrative by putting the player into a specific character or small set of identified characters, to force empathy and projection onto the game. RPGs are the ultimate manifestation of this, a total abstract like Go the other extreme.

Sure, you can recite in game events into some sort of linear account, but it's the personification of the game that sells it for me. -I- took the hammer of the gods and smote the bad guy, not my blue pawns moved to all the red spaces which slid the threat indicator low enough to trigger the end game score tally.

I see this in video games as well. My kid plays a lot of roblox and fortnite. You can see some effort by the devs to insert story into these games, but it is rudimentary at best. The focus is all on the PLAYER, their skills, their loot inventory; not the CHARACTER and their abilities and earned equipment or in game relationships.

I think a really strong mechanic (be it video game platforming or tight intense board war game rules for 2 players) can definitely elevate a game above the need for story because then it becomes all about the player skill or interplayer struggle, but otherwise a good story producing theme/set dressing can elevate so-so mechanics into a synergistic experience that rises far above the rule set.

I'd almost argue that overly complex mechanics or "sterile" number crunching works AGAINST story telling, something like Mage Knight compared to Runebound.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Shellhead, Jackwraith, sornars

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
07 Jun 2021 10:56 #323774 by hotseatgames
Replied by hotseatgames on topic The Concept of Story
Excellent article. For me, the "stories" that get remembered are entirely player driven, not dictated by paragraphs on a card or in a book.

The time my buddy Clint continually rained fire down on all of us, including himself, in Lords of Hellas, just because he could.

The first time my group played the production copy of SEAL Team Flix, and I accidentally shot the hostage we were about to rescue.

The time my girlfriend backstabbed her "girl power alliance" in Cosmic Encounter in order to secure a victory for herself.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Jackwraith, sornars, Ah_Pook

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
07 Jun 2021 11:25 #323775 by Jackwraith
Replied by Jackwraith on topic The Concept of Story
Sure. One of the stories that will constantly emerge whenever someone mentions Runebound to one of my groups is the time that one player (Elliott) ambushed another player (Leigh) and stole her Rage Blade, only to lose it on his very next encounter with a Blue challenge because it was his most expensive item. She's never forgiven him. I don't remember ANYTHING about the rest of that game (except that I won it, but that kinda happened a lot...) but that story sticks out and Leigh will never let anyone else forget it. That's totally player-driven.
The following user(s) said Thank You: jason10mm, hotseatgames

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
07 Jun 2021 11:25 #323776 by jason10mm
Replied by jason10mm on topic The Concept of Story
See, I say for the hostage bit that IS game driven story telling. If it was just red pawns shooting blue pawns but don't hit the yellow pawns then that tense shot flick that went horribly wrong OH NO YOU SHOT THE DAMNED HOSTAGE!! wouldn't be nearly as memorable.

Game story that isn't dependent on player action is just a novel. Game story MAKES player action worthwhile outside of just win/lose.

But Cosmic is a great example of a game design that sure has a theme or something but it's the players that make it great. Like Chess or poker, the art aesthetic of the pieces is a distant second to the direct player interaction.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Jackwraith, hotseatgames

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
07 Jun 2021 13:40 #323781 by Shellhead
Replied by Shellhead on topic The Concept of Story
I usually require at least a semblance of a narrative in a boardgame. Without a sense of story, a game can feel like merely a dry set of procedures, and I get enough of that from my accounting job. I do enjoy Acquire, but probably just out of nostalgia since my late father was such a huge Acquire fan.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Jackwraith, jason10mm

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
07 Jun 2021 14:47 - 07 Jun 2021 14:56 #323782 by Sagrilarus
Replied by Sagrilarus on topic The Concept of Story
I'm just going to throw this out there (should probably write an article on it instead) -- narrative doesn't come from thematics, doesn't come from mechanics. Rather it comes from how a game changes over the lifespan of a single play, or even the lifespan of multiple plays. A game gets story by how your goals and capabilities change as play progresses.

I've always said that good games have good post-game shows, the discussion you have as you're bagging up the pieces and grabbing the next title. A game like Chess can have one hell of a narrative because it's a game where one player can be on the offensive or defensive, can do something surprising or innovative, and can push a game from mid-game play into end-game play through the choices they make. As a package Chess is cold as a stone and static, but the way the game's state changes over time puts a narrative aspect into the play.

Talisman for all of its tchotchke gets narrative from your character's growth over the length of the play. Your ability to change your goals and approaches is what gives the game its story, not the fact that THIS time it's a werewolf.

So games like Settlers have story, while games like Through the Desert (a fine choice to illustrate the point by the way) do not. Engine builders typically have story, a changing arc of capabilities and options, and I think that's a reason why they are more popular in spite of their spartan appearance and approach to play.
Last edit: 07 Jun 2021 14:56 by Sagrilarus.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Jackwraith, jason10mm, sornars

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
07 Jun 2021 15:42 #323784 by jason10mm
Replied by jason10mm on topic The Concept of Story
That would be an awesome article, almost a required part of "how to make a (good) game".

I think theme helps tremendously in tying game events into a memorable pattern in our heads. You gotta REALLY grok chess before you can sit back after a match and discuss how that knight to queen 4 almost checked your king but you escaped it with a rook to bishop 7 followed by the Linderman defense that foiled the Putin attack and hah hah hah aren't we cultured and sophisticated!!!

I could say the same for Power Grid, I remember who won and maybe a particular bastard thief who took the 5 power solar plant I WANTED and whom I later soaked in a run over the last couple uranium barrels, but rarely does the game create a cohesive story.

Versus a game of Talisman when almost any player remembers getting curb stomped by some crappy dice rolls and dying in some awesome fashion, can probably string together 3 or 4 big moments in the game, and describe how their character evolved. The theme enhances memory and narrative.

Not to say that every game needs this, far from it, but it would be foolish to discount the value of story, even if it is just little snippets of lore or trivia in the margins of cards. I've played a LOT of games (typically euro) that would have benefitted mightily from stuff like that, even if, over time, I played the game so much that the mechanics and challenge alone were enough to sustain interest.

Who doesn't get a little sense of satisfaction placing your caveman meeples in Stone Age in the love shack or wandering out into the field to gather berries, fish, or game? Just that simple bit of art and token design tells a story and IMHO greatly enhances what would otherwise be a fairly dry dice rolling exercise. That stupid smelly leather dice cup alone triggers warm memories of that game and evokes theme.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Jackwraith

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
08 Jun 2021 08:54 #323797 by drewcula
Replied by drewcula on topic The Concept of Story
Popping in to say this post and its comments are great. Well done!
The following user(s) said Thank You: Jackwraith

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Moderators: Gary Sax
Time to create page: 0.173 seconds