Tracy Hickman of Dragonlance fame came and did a presentation on plot structure (some of it seemed straight from this Dramatica theory). We came a little late; Greg describes his lecture in a little more detail. It was interesting, but his complaints about games not doing anything new with narrative in the past 20 years did not seem accurate. Specifically, he said that games lack "impact characters" that players have an emotional connection (and story) with. I think ICO has a pretty clear impact character that you have to drag along and that many players felt emotional attachment to. From the little I've played of Dragon Age: Origins, it seemed like my party members were constantly feeding me their opinions of the choices I made. I agree that games could use some work on narrative, but I disagree with Hickman's complaint.
Afterwards we talked and played games people are working on. There were lots of games! The room looked a lot like this:
|Playing Vazor's experimental text-based game, Cardwood|