This is an online E-Zine article that I wrote explaining how a storyline can enhance the gameplay of a game, also 2 reviews on 2 different platformed games.
One of the important foundations to a good game is the storyline. The storyline lets the player immerse themselves within the game and makes them feel as though they are a part of it, a good story can be key to a successful game because some of today’s bestselling games have some of the best story’s to keep the player interested and to keep the game moving so it doesn’t get boring, Assassin’s Creed is a good example, it’s based on true events and teaches history a lot better than most history teachers but it has one of the most diverse story’s ever as you move between the past and present within the characters mind.
The writer of any story uses different writing styles and techniques to try and enhance the games story and the game and gameplay itself, in doing so they open up a number of possibilities in what they can do, it mainly depends all on the genre of the game, in a horror game the writer would use suspense to enhance the gameplay as it would make the player either scared and carry on playing for the thrills or because the player wants to find out what happens next in the game, the writer could also use romance in their favour, the use of a couple madly in love with each other could get the player emotionally attached or bound to the game as they want to see what happens to the lovers also if anyone of them were to die in the game the player would feel emotion towards that and that would strive them to kill or exact revenge on the character who killed such person also maybe making them buy the next game to feel those emotions again.
There are also many ways to tell a story, be it by the traditional chronological order or using a more elaborate means using flashbacks and not in the right order, they could use an interactive story where the characters decisions in the game can affect how other characters act towards them, can affect how the story take them and affects the ending of the game, usually by issuing commands or choosing dialogue options, also certain things in the game could trigger certain things as well.. Being in a certain area at a specific time could trigger a specific cut scene or another part of the story, having certain members on your team or member types depending on the game could have an adverse effect on what can or can’t happen in the game, like in Fallout: New Vegas depending on which faction you were with, only certain groups of enemies would attack you, you can do only certain missions with a faction, people will act according to your faction and morality level and certain things while out roaming will only happen if you have done or obtained something or an object/weapon.
There’s also a few other ways to enhance the gameplay using the story, these are called Diegetic, Spatial and Meta components, Diegetic components are things that replace the generic HUD and are visualised by the character of the game and also by the player themselves, the 2nd is spatial, spatial is something that can be seen by the player but not by the character like the emotions that appear above the characters head in Sims and a selection reticule around a character, the 3rd is Meta which is something that happens to the camera that only the player can see like the blood type fog when you take damage in Call Of Duty or when you’re in last stand on Borderlands 2.
So there’s all the many ways that the storyline can enhance the gameplay.