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December 10, 2019
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Indies should not underestimate story in games 

by oguz ak on 12/03/19 10:35:00 am

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

Gaming industry is really crazy. Billions of dollars are spending for almost real games and even for the basic 2D casuals. Although almost all component of game has an impact on games success, some seems to have a bigger impact. In this case I will talk about “the story” or “perceived game story by the developer”. 

I choose the term “perceived” because I believe that; in many mobile games, story comes before the gameplay. Maybe lots of game developers may think reverse, but I think that the story makes game accessible. Later we can talk about whether game will survive or not, it heavily depend on game play.  Without being visible we cannot talk about living. So story is fundamental especially for indie developers who has limited budget. Of course, some popular games are not released with some game story but they have usually high budgets for advertising. 

How a great story could open to the door of success? 

Actually in order to be successful in gaming industry your game need to collect users interest. This interest would work in various ways: 

1- An interesting story will increase conversion rates and -if the story take interest alive, in long term - retention rates as well.  

2- An interesting story could spread virally by the users. 

3- An interesting story may grab attention of journals, blogs and influencers and it helps back links of the game. 

Think that your game is really a good gameplay, you could take organic downloads in the 3 way that I described in this article as well, but possibly it will be more limited because there are already lots of games that has good gameplay. People are looking for something interesting. So a good gameplay plus good story -even if it is only on the showcase- could perform much better. 

2 examples

As an example of this, i will give a word connect type word travel game

Word Travel is a word game and there are already many similar word connect type games in the stores. But this game provide a very simple reason in the story: you will travel the world by solving the word puzzles. Because it has a good gameplay as well, the success is much possible. 

A similar game is word story. Actually in this game there is almost no ongoing story but in the showcase it is given that you will escape from a prison, there is an interesting story! So this seems to work as well. 

To sum up, a game designer need to select a good story if the team wants to have organic installs. Taking players’ interest is an important step on the success of games. 


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