Game Dissonance (2): The Aesthetic Flaws of Videogames

Game Dissonance (3): Elegant Narrative Design

Over on ihobo today, the final part of the Game Dissonance serial. Here's an extract:

Remember that dissonance will manifest whenever any part of the game fails to align with the player's experience and expectations; this means the game systems themselves need to avoid clashing with each other, and also with the story materials. For instance, if you have a fantasy game in which an ancient sword of great power is a key plot device in the story, players will experience dissonance (or at least grumpiness) when acquiring the sword does not give them a new weapon! Avoid this, where necessary, either by making the plot device something the player can carry but not use (e.g. an orb only a sorcerer can use, but the player character is a warrior), or by adding a limitation to the weapon such that despite its power, the player can use it only sparingly (for instance, because it drains their life force while they are wielding it).

You can read the entirety of Elegant Narrative Design over on ihobo.com.

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