Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
October 19, 2018
arrowPress Releases
  • Editor-In-Chief:
    Kris Graft
  • Editor:
    Alex Wawro
  • Contributors:
    Chris Kerr
    Alissa McAloon
    Emma Kidwell
    Bryant Francis
    Katherine Cross
  • Advertising:
    Libby Kruse






If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:


To write better games, Chris Avellone takes lessons from Dr. Who

To write better games, Chris Avellone takes lessons from Dr. Who

March 24, 2017 | By Alex Wawro

March 24, 2017 | By Alex Wawro
Comments
    Post A Comment
More: Console/PC, Design



"I found a Dr. Who method of storytelling that actually works pretty well. You throw the players into an environment with a lot of visual mysteries, where they're like, 'I'm not sure what's going on here.' Then you let them explore the environment, and try and solve those mysteries."

- Veteran game designer Chris Avellone, speaking to Glixel about narrative techniques in game design.

A year and change after leaving Obsidian (a studio he helped cofound) to go freelance, game designer Chris Avellone is putting in work on everything from Subset Games' Into the Breach to Arkane's Prey to Night Dive Studios' upcoming System Shock remake.

It's a broad project list for someone best known for working on prose-laden RPGs, and in a conversation with Glixel Avellone opens up about why he went freelance ("I wanted to go see what else was out there") and how he learned to tell effective stories in games -- even when they aren't narrative-driven, text-heavy RPGs.

"I found a Dr. Who method of storytelling that actually works pretty well. You throw the players into an environment with a lot of visual mysteries, where they're like, 'I'm not sure what's going on here.' Then you let them explore the environment, and try and solve those mysteries," Avellone told Glixel. 

"That curiosity leads them on. I found some of the best adventures, either pen and paper or computer games, involved presenting that question to players. They're so curious about it that it actually motivates them to go and find the answer. I think that ends up being better than, 'You must go to point B, and then go to point C. Then at point D, you'll achieve your resolution.'"

The full Glixel interview with Avellone is well worth reading, as he goes on to share some notable lessons learned in the over two decades he's spent designing and writing (and playing) games.



Related Jobs

Heart Machine
Heart Machine — Culver City, California, United States
[10.18.18]

Gameplay Engineer
Deep Silver Volition
Deep Silver Volition — Champaign, Illinois, United States
[10.18.18]

Mid/Senior Multiplayer Programmer
Schell Games
Schell Games — Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
[10.17.18]

Senior Designer
University of Wisconsin- Stout
University of Wisconsin- Stout — Menomonie, Wisconsin, United States
[10.17.18]

Assistant Professor / Professor of Practice: Animation









Loading Comments

loader image