Gdc 2014 Competitive Storytelling

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    21-Aug-2014

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Why would you want to develop narrative in a multiplayer competitive game? In this talk, Christina Norman will show how establishing characters, setting and world can increase player engagement and enjoyment in PvP games. Drawing on examples from League of Legends and other multiplayer competitive games, she will describe effective techniques for communicating narrative without disrupting gameplay. She will also share insights gained from narrative development in League of Legends. Takeaway Attendees will gain an understanding of how narrative development can improve player enjoyment in PvP games. Techniques for developing narrative will be discussed that are effective in PvP, co-op and single-player games. Intended Audience This talk is directed at narrative designers and all game developers with an interest in player experience. While all examples are drawn from PvP games, the techniques discussed and insights shared are relevant to both co-op and single-player game development.

Transcript

<ul><li> COMPETITIVE MULTIPLAYER PRESENTED BY CHRISTINA NORMAN Twitter: @truffle League of Legends: kitaeLink to full slides at end of presentation STORYTELLING </li> <li> THANKS FOR VIEWING THIS Want the full version? Ask @megganpez (GDC chair) to make this one of the free talks viewable on the GDC vault. This version is just the slides, its missing the presentation and thus full context. Hope you nd the presentation useful! ON THE INTERNETS </li> <li> INTRODUCTION WHO AM I? Game Designer &amp; Writer @ Riot Games Previously Game Designer &amp; Programmer @ BioWare Worked on League of Legends &amp; Mass Eect 1, 2, 3 </li> <li> AGENDA WHY HOW NEXTWHY TLDR; Familiar techniques, its all about how you use them </li> <li> STORY INSPIRES PLAYERS AND HELPS THEM IMMERSE </li> <li> SETTING </li> <li> CHARACTER </li> <li> NARRATIVE Its what shed want. And you know it. </li> <li> CHARACTERSETTING NARRATIVE STORY ALIGNS DEVELOPERS SO WE CAN CREATE AN AUTHENTIC EXPERIENCE </li> <li> COMPETITIVE MULTIPLAYER GAMES HAVE STORIES TOO </li> <li> SINGLE PLAYER CAMPAIGN IS A POWERFUL TECHNIQUE </li> <li> MULTIPLAYER ONLY GAMES ARE BECOMING MORE COMMON </li> <li> THEIR STORIES ARE HARDER TO TELL </li> <li> TRANSMEDIA CAN WORK BUT ISNT PART OF PLAY VIDEOS COMICS BOOKS </li> <li> WHAT IF STORY COULD BE PART OF COMPETITIVE PLAY? COMMON CONCERNS Story disrupts gameplay Players dont want or care about stories IT CAN - LETS TALK ABOUT HOW It doesnt have to They will if you tell the right stories LEAGUE OF LEGENDS COMPETITIVE GAMEPLAY &gt; Imagine awesome #LCS gameplay or just watch the #LCS. Its awesome. www.lolesports.com </li> <li> AGENDA WHY HOW NEXT </li> <li> 1. NEVER IRRITATING 2. NO PAUSING OR DELAYS 3. NO DISTRACTIONS 4. NO CONFLICTING GOALS GROUND RULES FOR COMPETITIVE STORYTELLING MULTIPLAYER FIRST DISTRACTIONS CAN KILL SUPPORT TEAMPLAY PLAYERS OPT IN </li> <li> 4 TECHNIQUES Ambient NPC Voice-over PC Voice-over Story Objectives Story Events </li> <li> TECHNIQUE: AMBIENT NPC VOICE-OVER Can the reapers be stopped, Shepard? GOOD FOR Tone SeOng Character NarraQve OVERVIEW </li> <li> TECHNIQUE: AMBIENT NPC VOICE-OVER MULTIPLAYER CHALLENGES Tone mismatch Relevance to gameplay DistracQons can kill CHALLENGES </li> <li> CASE STUDY: LOL SHOPKEEPER GOALS Establish world Establish champions Lighten tone EXAMPLE LEAGUE OF LEGENDS HAS 118 PLAYABLE CHARACTERS EACH HAS RELATIONSHIPS AND BACKSTORY </li> <li> CASE STUDY: LOL SHOPKEEPER MULTIPLAYER CHALLENGES Tone mismatch Relevance to gameplay DistracQons can kill KEY TAKEAWAYPriceless! Now, hand over the gold. APPROACH Suppor8ve humorous tone Speaks in response to player shopping ac8vi8es, crea8ng ceremony Non-combat area Create characters that work with exis8ng gameplay and pacing </li> <li> CASE STUDY: LOL SHOPKEEPER You look just like your sister wait Im not supposed to talk about that. RESULTS </li> <li> ONE LINE Tons of engagement </li> <li> 4 TECHNIQUES Ambient NPC Voice-over PC Voice-over Story Objectives Story Events </li> <li> PC VOICE-OVER Ive got to keep moving. GOOD FOR Conrming player acQon DirecQng player SeOng Main Character OVERVIEW </li> <li> PC VOICE-OVER MULTIPLAYER CHALLENGES Tone mismatch Relevance to gameplay DistracQons can kill CHALLENGES Iden8cal to NPC voice-over </li> <li> CASE STUDY: ROCHELLE EXAMPLE </li> <li> CASE STUDY: ROCHELLE Oh, sweet Jesus, look at all these guns! SCRIPTED APPROACH </li> <li> CASE STUDY: ROCHELLE Can somebody help me? Damsel in distress over here. GAMEPLAY ALERT APPROACH </li> <li> CASE STUDY: ROCHELLE Oh shit! Look at ya. Let me help you up. GAMEPLAY CEREMONY APPROACH </li> <li> CASE STUDY: ROCHELLE MULTIPLAYER CHALLENGES Tone mismatch Relevance to gameplay DistracQons can kill KEY TAKEAWAY APPROACH Wrote to gameplay tone Characters and players have the same goals Lines draw aEen8on to relevant gameplay Observe gameplay, write lines in character to highlight relevant informa8on </li> <li> CASE STUDY: ROCHELLE RESULTS Players learn about characters naturally through play Players develop character preferences despite no gameplay impact RESULTS </li> <li> 4 TECHNIQUES Ambient NPC Voice-over PC Voice-over Narrative Objectives Story Events </li> <li> TECHNIQUE: NARRATIVE OBJECTIVE OVERVIEW GOOD FOR MoQvaQng players SeOng up gameplay Moving the story forward Lol! Another EZ delivery quest NEW QUEST! Take the ring to Mt. Doom </li> <li> TECHNIQUE: NARRATIVE OBJECTIVE MULTIPLAYER CHALLENGES Goals can feel repeQQve Team goals can feel impersonal Individual goals can disrupt teamplay CHALLENGES </li> <li> CASE STUDY: THE HUNT IS ON GOALS Experience narraQve resoluQon through gameplay PosiQve experience for both teams EXAMPLE </li> <li> CHARACTER MOTIVATION EXPRESSED IN GAME HUNT TO GET TROPHIES APPROACH HUNT TO EVOLVE </li> <li> INTERSECTING BACKSTORY APPROACH FIGHT WITHOUT A CLEAR VICTOR </li> <li> NARRATIVE RESOLUTION KILL QUEST TRIGGERED LATE GAME APPROACH The Hunt Is On! Khazix must kill Rengar rst to become the ulQmate predator (assists count). I have grown and adapted since I took his eye. Now I will have feast on him. Khazix The Hunt Is On! Rengar must kill Khazix to become the ulQmate hunter (assists count). He is my greatest prize. The one beast who escaped me. I must have his head. - Rengar </li> <li> THEMATIC REWARD FULL EVOLUTION APPROACH ULTIMATE TROPHY </li> <li> CASE STUDY: THE HUNT IS ON MULTIPLAYER CHALLENGES Goals can feel repeQQve Team goals can feel impersonal Individual goals can disrupt teamplay KEY TAKEAWAYS APPROACH Rare (probably too rare) Specic to Khazix and Rengar Trigger during team ght phase of game Rewards must impact gameplay Theme increases value of gameplay rewards </li> <li> FEW PLAYERS WILL EXPERIENCE THIS RESULTS BUT SOCIAL MEDIA INCREASES REACH </li> <li> 4 TECHNIQUES Ambient NPC Voice-over PC Voice-over Story Objectives Story Events </li> <li> TECHNIQUE: STORY EVENT GOOD FOR Player parQcipaQon in narraQve progress OVERVIEW </li> <li> TECHNIQUE: STORY EVENT MULTIPLAYER CHALLENGES Goal changes can disrupt compeQQve play Not all team members may want to parQcipate CHALLENGES </li> <li> GOALS Establish Freljord region High player parQcipaQon Increase understanding of facQonal aliaQon Measure results CHOOSE YOUR TRIBE EXAMPLE </li> <li> TRANSMEDIA APPROACH PROSE AND ILLUSTRATION </li> <li> TRANSMEDIA APPROACH WEBSITE </li> <li> TRANSMEDIA APPROACH NARRATIVE VIDEO </li> <li> EARN ONE ICON BY WINNING TEN GAMES CHALLENGE ALIGNED WITH FRELJORD THEMES PROVISIONAL ICON PERMANENT ICON EVENT THEMATIC ALIGNMENT Players pick tribes MulQple victories required Failure is possible FRELJORD THEMES Champions picking tribes War spans many bafles Harsh, brutal, environment APPROACH </li> <li> CASE STUDY: CHOOSE YOUR TRIBE MULTIPLAYER CHALLENGES Goal changes can disrupt compeQQve play Not all team members may want to parQcipate KEY TAKEAWAY APPROACH Layer meta-progression on exis8ng goals Par8cipa8on is op8onal and gameplay is unchanged Preserved compe88ve play but event didnt feel truly in-game. Opportunity to improve through in-game ceremony. </li> <li> PLAYER PARTICIPATION HIGH LEVEL OF PARTICIPATION PARTICIPATION METRIC Measured all players who won ten games during the event RESULTS </li> <li> PLAYER COMPREHENSION COMPREHENSION INCREASED AND WAS RETAINED COMPREHENSION METRIC Survey of random players to measure knowledge of champion facQonal aliaQon Measured before event, ager event, and six months ager even Comprehension increased and was retained RESULTS </li> <li> AGENDA WHY HOW NEXT </li> <li> 1. NEVER IRRITATING 2. NO PAUSING 3. NO DISTRACTIONS 4. NO CONFLICTING GOALS WEVE TALKED ABOUT GROUND RULES FOR COMPETITIVE STORYTELLING MULTIPLAYER FIRST DISTRACTIONS KILL SUPPORT TEAMPLAY PLAYERS OPT IN </li> <li> WEVE EXPLORED TECHNIQUES AMBIENT VOICE-OVER PLAYER VOICE-OVER STORY OBJECTIVES STORY EVENTS AND BEST PRACTICES </li> <li> NEXT STEPS ARE A CHALLENGE </li> <li> TELL STORIES IN GAME YOU KNOW PLAYERS WILL LOVE </li> <li> MY FAVORITE CHARACTER HAS A SISTER? I HAVE TO PLAY HER! </li> <li> LET PLAYERS PROGRESS NARRATIVE THROUGH GAMEPLAY </li> <li> I KILLED RENGAR AND GOT MY 4th EVOLUTION POINT! </li> <li> LET PLAYERS EXPRESS THEMSELVES THROUGH STORY </li> <li> IVE ALWAYS HAD A SOFT SPOT FOR VILLAINS. FROSTGUARD ALL THE WAY. </li> <li> BRING NEW TECHNIQUES ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? TO COMPETITIVE PLAY </li> <li> WHAT STORIES WILL YOUR GAMEPLAY INSPIRE? </li> <li> COMPETITIVE MULTIPLAYER PRESENTED BY CHRISTINA NORMAN Twitter: @truffle League of Legends: kitae STORYTELLING hfp://www.riotgames.com/careers Help us tell stories: Full Slides: hfp://bit.ly/CompeQQveStorytelling </li> </ul>