The Narrative Potential of Videogames: How Designing Mechanics Impacts Storytelling
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This research started with the development of four preliminary videogame prototypes, these prototypes were then reflected on and synthesized into four key points used to direct the development of a final prototype focused on generating narrative play through game mechanics. This research used an action research methodology, each prototype representing one complete cycle of action research. The prototypes use an experimental game design method, and critical reflection to iterate on the design of the narrative game mechanics. The research presents a four-step approach for developing narrative play in videogames through game mechanics and shows how it has been applied to the final game prototype, it is a first step towards developing a framework for new narratives in videogames. Narrative play can potentially be manifested in the player’s mind through mechanics when a clear story structure is present. Manipulating the game’s mechanics to present situations as story beats can provide structure to narrative play.