Joshua Alan Doetsch is a machine, built in a secret lab, designed to inefficiently convert coffee into weird words. As a freelancer he writes fiction, video games, and tabletop RPGs. He served as Lead Writer for such MMOs as Age of Conan and The Secret World. He’s contributed writing to such tabletop game settings as Vampire: the Masquerade, Vampire: the Requiem, and The World of Darkness. He rather enjoys macabre curious and oddities
The Main Story Path: differentiating between a narrative’s trunk and its branches
(speaking with Richard Dansky)
Video game narrative takes on a number of forms (text, dialogue, environmental clues, etc.). These story elements can be sorted into two broad categories: Main Story Path (the central thread, the minimal amount of narrative every player should be expected to experience) and Side Story Path (auxiliary narrative for those inclined to explore it).
This talk will discuss how to decide which category a given story piece belongs in, how to achieve good balance between main story and side story, and crafting auxiliary narrative that rewards the diligent player without punishing the casual player.