[MUD-Dev] RE: Storied Games

amanda at alfar.com amanda at alfar.com
Thu Dec 6 01:34:07 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001

Matt Mihaly <the_logos at achaea.com> wrote:

> My quote above was in the context of admin-led/written stories,
> not player-stories. Either way, however, I agree, However, most
> people cannot tell stories that are engaging to the people
> listening.

I'm not sure I'd agree.

However, in the context of admin-led/written stories... If the
stories that are provided aren't engaging enough, people *will*
write their own.  In many cases, these will be very simple stories
like "First on server!" (by now a cliche for AC quest introductions)
or the ubiquitous "u suxx0r!"

To some degree, this is unavoidable.  Some people, of course, find
real life just as unengaging, and will tell their own stories to the
annoyance of those around them.  But some do have good stories to
tell.  I'm an engineer by trade--I build stuff for a living.  In a
game, I'd often be much more interested in building stuff than
fighting stuff.  The stories I'd like to tell are closer to "I built
this castle!" than to "I killed 5000 womprats and got to level 35 in
three days!".  But if the only way players can affect the world is
killing things and earning xp and loot, the game will select for
that behavior.  If, as a designer, someone wants players to do
things besides kill stuff, the ability to tell those other sorts of
story needs to be available within the game.  Even AC, which I agree
does have excellent writing compared to most games, runs the story
as a performance for players to watch, not a milieu in which they
can act.  And this (as I noted earlier) is a break from PnP RPGs,
where the GM can react and modify the game in real time in response
to player actions.

Amanda Walker
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