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Feature: 'Into the Woods: A Practical Guide to the Hero's Journey'

Feature: 'Into the Woods: A Practical Guide to the Hero's Journey'

June 17, 2005 | By Simon Carless

June 17, 2005 | By Simon Carless
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In today's main feature story, Bob Bates, a veteran game designer who started his career at Infocom and is the co-founder of Unreal II: The Awakening developer Legend Entertainment, sets out to answer some deep-seated game design and story development questions, as he explores the history, archetypes, and structure of Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey.

Bates presents an enhanced and expanded write-up of concepts he presented at a lecture he presented at the 2005 Game Developers Conference, and, as he explains in the introduction to the feature:

"For the past several years I've been going to talks and reading books about the Hero's Journey, but the concept always seemed vague to me. There are all these stages that the hero may (or may not) have to go through, and all these characters whom he may encounter: the Mentor, the Threshold Guardian, the Shape Shifter, the Trickster, etc.

But then we're told that he may not have to meet them after all, or that different mythical characters can be combined into one individual, the whole thing seems so confusing that it's hard to know what to make of it. Interesting reading, but how does it help?

So our question for today is, "what practical use is the Hero's Journey to us as story tellers and game writers?"


You can now read the full Gamasutra feature on the subject (no registration required, please feel free to link to the article from external websites).


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