Everlasting. Best practices for narrative design in free-to-play mobile games as a service.
There are shelf-loads of books on how to write stories for film and television, and the number of books on writing for video games is quickly catching up. But most video game narrative design how-to’s – from tumescent tomes to twerpy twitter posts – borrow heavily from the structural narrative assumptions of film, TV, AAA and premium games. If you’re working out narrative issues and caught up in the highly lucrative whirlwind of free-to-play mobile games, a good number of those structural assumptions for interactive storytelling don’t necessarily fit. What are the best practices for delivering story for a game that never ends? How do you focus sharp narrative design in free-to-play games that are delivered as a service in a way that might just have to go on forever? How do you get players who don’t want to read (and don’t play with their volume on) to fall in love with your characters, world and IP? How do you best hook players with the emotional pull that only engrossing story and captivating characters can deliver when you’re working with play patterns that are optimized to be played on the bus (or on the toilet)?