Board Game is always interesting, at least for me. This time I would ask you a question, “Who are you when you play games?”.
Many Games has its story developed by its theme or mechanics. Some don’t have a story because it is an abstract strategy game like Chess, and Othello. You can create your own story while playing games. If you ask how? Then the answer is like become a commentator of a football match. They tell you what happen on the field, who has the ball right now, or who tackled who. You can create the story by game piece and its game board.
I’ll give you a brief example, put a custom theme and story before play chess. I like fantasy so the story is about me, controlling Humans (white) versus my friend with his Orcs (black).
“Once upon a time there was a King Orcs who wants to conquer the human lands. King Orc begins his plan, he send the a goblin (Black Pawn) to attack. The Knight moved into a trap, so he got slayed by the Berseker Orc(Black Rook). Humans are in pinch after the Queen is taken by the Orc Archer (Black Bishop). Humans are then fallen to the Orc because the kingdom is surrounded by Orc Warrior (Black Knight), Orc Archer and the King Orc itself.”
Yes, I lose and I don’t really clever playing chess, but it was fun. It is like I just made my own Lord of the Ring story.
So, back again to my question earlier “Who are you when you play a game?”. I would answer I am the game itself. Create story while playing may also enhance your play. When teaching a game to your friend don’t forget to mention them to be character on game. Tell them that they are the one of the lords of the waterdeep, city of splendor if you’re gonna teach and play Lords of Waterdeep board game.
What is the role of storyline in a Game?
A storyline or specific theme is an important element of a game. It bring “path” or “channel” for players get into the game much easier. Like every other path/channel its also has function as filter for our target players. For example if we put horror or violent theme/story, then we should exclude children as the target players. Another important function of storyline/theme in a game is its role as guideline for the whole environment that we create in the game. Once we have the storyline fix it will be much easier to bring the visual and art concept for the game. The next important role of storyline and sometime the most forgotten one, is that a storyline is an effective channel to deliver any message/value.
Does every game need a storyline?
No! But once you create of long hour or a complex game, providing an interesting storyline can make your players enjoying the game.
Can we conclude that a game designer needs to be a great story teller?
A game designer with great story telling capability will become one favorable combination. But most important aspect of being game designer is a capability to see from many points of view and bring those points of view into the game.
What’s the benefit of designing game with a specific storyline?
Once we decide to create game with specific storyline than we will have opportunity to learn many aspect to support that storyline. Of course we will have more challenges to provide the optimal game play to support the storyline (in case the game was creating from the storyline approach) – but some how it will also bring more focus in developing the game.