There’s No Silver Bullet to Interactive Storytelling

After getting feedback about my mini game thing with even no name (people thanking “intro”), I got curious about building a somewhat dynamic story. I asked some help (thanks vruz and black_golem for helpful pointers) and after tens of skimmed articles, book reviews, blog posts, discussion threads and more, I’m thinking that procedural storytelling is something that game devs desperately want to work – but that there’s no breakthroughs in how to build them.

After my search is over (aka, most likely within few hours – at least for now), and if I have some sensible links to share, I shall give some resources to check. Meanwhile, it was interesting notion that storytelling & dialogue gets tricky when player character is discussing with human characters in the game. The dialogue just breaks the illusion at some point. One guy pointed out that interaction with a dog was much more natural. I started pondering that interactive dialogue could indeed work better if there’s no common language or if language is limited. For example, I could imagine that a game that takes place in caveman era might very well pull procedural stories & dialogues well together: there’s just few words to use (as everybody knows that cavemen used words such as “big”, “pointy”, “thing”). Similarly, “dialogue” between a player character and an alien might work, because you don’t get stuck on using English.

Just some food for thought.

My quick research hints to me that procedural/interactive storytelling/dialogue is still something that will evolve a lot, and that it just might change quite a bit on how future games will work.

P.S. And random does not equal procedural.

Juuso Hietalahti