Story-Telling with Games

The best idea generator for you as a writer: your friends, your colleagues, random people you find on the street…

I recently went to PAX, and although this is a video game convention, there’s a lot of story telling in video games.

As background, I’m the type of player that goes for active-interaction stories, survival games. I just can’t survive any other type of game because when you insert me in a game with shooters or actual violence (or real-live players rather than NPC’s), I die. Figuratively – in the game. Not in real life.

For example, I just got one called, This War is Mine. I’ve enjoyed it. It has a lot of strategy to plan how your civilians will survive the war, and although the setting is great, the story isn’t really in depth. You basically get a bio on each of your characters. But I guess since you play the story, you determine the course of the game. Other story games have included State of Decay, Transistor, Bioshock Series

There’s also a card game I tried. Somewhat similar to Cards Against Humanity, and yet more similar to something like Story Cubes. It’s called Skip Trace Game.

This game has 4 sets of cards, and they’re divided between the player and boss. The boss gets 3 sets: location, target, and method while the players get 1 set: item cards. Basically, the boss draws one card from each of the three decks and frames a story, in which the player must act out the method, using the item they draw. For example, I think our mission was to wreck a bro at the airport, i.e. method to target at location. The winning player played a hangover with an air horn (two items being the max to play during one turn). The idea of this game is to BS your entire story. The boss BS’s the mission. The player makes up a story that fits the items to the story.

This whole game is about story telling.

I’m not saying these stories were anything good enough to integrate within a short story, novel, etc. But it certainly sets yourself up for creativity and originality since the originality is determined by the randomness of the cards, and the creativity is up to your “team.”

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