This is the first in a series of posts in which I will be going through time and writing about the evolution of game narrative, from storytelling devices, to changes in plot and gameplay to influence the narrative and the use of mechanics to further develop the narrative of games.

This is the first in a series of posts in which I will be going through time and writing about the evolution of game narrative, from storytelling devices, to changes in plot and gameplay to influence the narrative and the use of mechanics to further develop the narrative of games.
First of, as this is only a preliminary post, I will just give you the details as to what I will be writing about. The articles that I will be writing about in the future will be about ‘Exploring Game Narrative – Past, Present and Future (Past, Present and Future being three separate articles, naturally).

 If we look at game design from the past, the when I was only a little baby, I can remember such games as ‘Earthworm Jim’, ‘Street Fighter 2′ or more developed games ‘Doom’. These games had all been released a few years before I had been born, yet they were among the first I had played, (among some other, more important games that will come into the next post).

Therefore, this post is not going to be included in the main article for ‘Past’ as it describes games that had been released before I had been born, and I had only played them in the early 2000’s, but game narrative had evolved at that time, and more story driven games were being released at that time (Deus Ex, Half Life, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time). 

Thinking about how games were made when ‘Street Fighter 2′ had been released, most games had just come out of the period of games being designed for people with little time to spare, developers began to move away from making ‘arcade’ style games, and had moved into the beginning of a more story driven era of gaming design. Games were beginning to have stories, although not very well fleshed out ones, but this was the beginning of a new age of games. 

However most of the main examples of game narrative in the past come after I had been born in 1996, with the release of the beloved Nintendo 64 and games like ‘Ocarina of Time’, or ‘Star Fox 64′, ‘Perfect Dark’ or ‘GoldenEye 007′, all of them being games which required time of the player to get into, or at least have a few minutes learning the key controls and mechanics of the game. These games, along with older ones that I seem to have forgotten about (Chrono Trigger) are the prime examples of how games have changed to what they have become today. So I ask, check back regularly for the next few articles where I look at these games specifically and a few more.

Just a side note, but while writing this, every few seconds, I glanced at the large box in my room, containing all my old SNES games and manuals, booklets, and even the box of an old Nvidia graphics card, maybe I’ll share a picture of it with y’all sometime.

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  • Jack on Jul 3, 2011

    Wow, this is realliy interesting. Very informative, thank you.

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