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Laptop on coffee table --- Image by © Kate Kunz/Corbis

Image by © Kate Kunz/Corbis

Hi there! I’m back just as I promised. Yes, today is Tuesday. If you missed out on last week’s post, you can read it by clicking here .

We are going to discuss the role of the Narrative Designer today. I personally, I repeat, personally I think this is the most important role in game development. Gone are the days when we didn’t pay much attention to these guys but today they are literally there from the beginning to the end of creating a new game. Calm down, if you are a developer reading this. It’s really not that deep. But seriously, where would we all be without the story writer to give us that captivating story for us to work with? You might have the idea but it is really important how this is developed.

Stories in games take a much different route than “… and they lived happily ever after”. In an interview with Gamasutra, Tom Abernathy, narrative lead at Riot Games, and Richard Rouse III of Microsoft Game Studios reiterated that gamers often focus on particular characters instead of the whole story line. Basically traditional literary story writing or Hollywood style of story writing doesn’t really work in this instance. The interactive nature of video game doesn’t make room for this.


Let me use Leti as an example. I mean that is what I know lol. A lot of research work has gone into creating the characters for our new game Africa’s Legends Reawakening. From the tribes they belong to, their history, their clothes, food, culture, how to make the character attractive to the whole world etc. The experience of the player is taken into consideration as well since games are interactive. In video games, players must be able to take on the emotions and experiences of their characters. The mode of story telling is essential to interactivity. The narrative designer must make sure that the scenes in the games correlate and are not jumbled .

The style the narrative will take depends on the type of game. For fighting games, the narrative is not that developed because you basically have to kill or beat someone to the pulp to win. This does not apply to Role Playing games which are entirely dependent on the story. The role of the narrative designer is there to write out his thoughts in the form of actions. No matter the twists and turns of a character’s story line, it must always fit into the general plot  for the game to be enjoyable.

Authour : Abena Addai Boakye