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Levine Thinking About How To Make A Narrative "Replayable"

It's definitely a thorny problem, especially in the age of open-world freedom.

Bioshock creator Ken Levine has been thinking about new ways to approach interactive storytelling. In speaking to Digital Spy, the Irrational Games co-founder said that in the new generation, he will attempt to make a highly "replayable" narrative:

"It's sort of, you play it and have that experience, and I've been thinking about how you make narrative replayable. And that's not a simple problem. It's fairly complex. The combination of content and technology - I've been thinking about that."

Levine is only in the "super-early" stages of thinking about Irrational's next game, but he will have a GDC talk in which he'll address this story-related conundrum. The Bioshock games have always thrived on intricate, engaging stories; this focus set them apart from other shooters. Well, that, and the RPG elements of the gameplay.

For my part, I'll replay a campaign if I loved the story and I loved the gameplay. Given all the games out there these days, that's the only way I'll feel enticed into another play-through. How about you?

Tags: ken levine, video game stories, gaming industry

11/1/2013 11:43:14 AM Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (7 posts)

Friday, November 01, 2013 @ 12:07:50 PM

One thing is the choices and endings, it was a shame he struck other endings from Infinite. Good vs Evil plays do an okay job but I assume he means to do something innovative.

I look forward to seeing whatever he comes up with and I hope Bioshock keeps going strong. He probably wants to try something else, but I can't get enough Bioshock.

A good story means the game stays in my collection, great multiplayer means the game will be worthless within a year.

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Friday, November 01, 2013 @ 4:39:34 PM

Well, not sure this would go over well with gamers but what if a game was more modular. Not saying DLC which adds say a new chapter, but open up other areas in a games world storline that were not accessible before, but ties in to the overall storyline. Its simple enough to say, but how it would tie in to a storyline would be, to my thinking, not only the complex part but the fun part of design. :)

Its got me thinking about it. :/

Keep playing!

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Friday, November 01, 2013 @ 6:51:02 PM

They need not look any further than Planescape: Torment. Give us a mature, well-crafted narrative wherein story elements change and diverge depending on player decisions and actions. There's a reason I keep coming back to that game every year or so.

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Friday, November 01, 2013 @ 11:03:31 PM

Has anybody here reread a book just for fun? I don't see how it's a complex problem. If the narrative is good, we'll feel like playing through it again. There's no special trick to it.

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Saturday, November 02, 2013 @ 12:26:43 AM

well i'm glad to here some one is thinking about replayable narative for once other than rachet and clank cos thats what rachet is with the whole restarts system i'd like to see how bioshock or some game like that cud utilize that kind of system for replayablity

happy gaming =)

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Saturday, November 02, 2013 @ 3:36:56 AM

quite easy really, have different paths people can take.
and proper different paths, not heavy rain style and say ok you got caught heres a extra cut scene, ok now your back on the same path.

why do games have to be repayable though?
you loose all the magic once someones finished the game, they have already experienced the story you wanted to tell.
ok there could be different outcomes but the plot what you get out of it will be the same.
just make games much much bigger and longer.
allot of the times you feel sad when you finish a game simply because you know you can replay it, but you know you will never experience the sense of wonder and excitement again.
i had that with TLoU once i finished the game i started it again and its just not the same, i wish i could wipe my memory of it and start all over again.
stuff replayability, lets work on making games much much longer, and much much more engaging and memorable!

o, and please, please, enough with the stereotypical BS overused cliches!?
come on, nothing hurts a games story more than when you can see the ending coming from a mile away!
plot twists and surprises are so undervalued these days.
i cant remember the last time i said wow i dident see that coming in a game, i really cant.
and thats just pathetic!

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Saturday, November 02, 2013 @ 1:06:22 PM

Borderlands 2 did it right.

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