Thoughts on Storytelling in Gaming

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To me a story is linear and definite and in order to enjoy it to his fullest, you should be paying your full attention to it while the story is being told to you. If a game has multiple endings or choices that change the story I wonder which path was the real story and feel the story is weaker for it.

Games with a story are more ‘deep’

I can agree with that. It’s not easy to come up with a good story. Having a story means there’s more to the game than just playing it. At the very least it’s more memorable because they’re easier to remember especially if the characters are relate-able.

Storytelling + game-play = ?

People and developers seem to want to merge storytelling and game-play into one and in an ideal world that would be perfect but to me, they’re complete opposites. Game-play is player choice and interactions that effect things around them or ‘creating their own stories’ where as I see storytelling as a well constructed thought out linear path that has a set point/meaning/moral to it.


Even a simple combination like another character talking to you as you’re traveling to the next area takes away from the both experiences. You’re distracted by everything around you and not paying full attention to the story. Some games make you unable to run or do other actions during these scenes which takes from the game-play.


Most games separate the 2 with sections of game-play and cut-scenes and that’s fine with me. Experimentation is great but I do believe they are opposites so each should have their own space. One thing to consider is that cut scenes should have an option to skip it (especially if it’s been played once already) for people who are less patient or are more into game play than story.

As for me

None of my games at the moment really have a story. I’m more about focusing on the game-play.. since it’s a game I’m making. I think that’s more important to me. Still, I want to make a game with a story in the future for it’s benefits of being more memorable and meaningful.

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About me

Mark Wong is a front end developer with 10+ years experience. Most of his knowledge of HTML5, CSS and Js is self taught.


June 2024