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  • Writer's pictureMike

Console Game Prototype: Narrative Focused Project

Welcome to the first 2021 blog and the start of a brand new project! Hope everyone had a good Christmas and New Year.

Unfortunately, mine was delayed, due to my family coming into contact with covid-19. It has been in the house now since mid-December and has done the rounds in the family and it looks like it might be my turn next, but we keep on going (slowly) while isolating!

With that said, I'll jump into some details about this brand new prototype I will be working on over the coming months!


New Project Breakdown

Target Platform

This new project will be built for consoles, although the very strong likelihood is development on Windows and possibly Mac since we cannot access the PS4 developer kits that are stored in the university. After some discussion, the game developed may be a 2.5D styled game in a similar vein to franchises like Diablo, but this has not yet been confirmed.

Primary Focus

This new prototype will be focusing on the narrative design behind games, as opposed to designing and testing multiple levels for a game mechanic and investigating game loops in mobile games. We will be developing a fleshed out story, characters and settings following the structure of "the hero's journey", which is based on Joseph Cambell's "The Hero with a Thousand Faces".

Regarding the game development, we will be creating particular key scenes / moments in the story which can be played, such as the moment of the inciting incident that forces the story to unfold and progress. More details on what we will work on will be explained in future posts once I know more.

Team Structure & Roles

The team will continue to operate as a 3-man band, but we have changed one member out for someone new this time. I'll be taking the role of narrative designer for this new project, which unsurprisingly means I'll likely be team leader again since the narrative designer needs to convey the vision to all team members and guide everyone through the project.

This pretty much covers the main points for the new prototype we will be working on. I'll now move on to explain a bit more about the situation for our chosen narrative direction.


Narrative Design

As I will be taking charge of the narrative, I've been trying to come up with a variety of story ideas that would offer realistically achievable, programmable gameplay and achievable art styles for my teammates. In total, I came up with 6 different concepts for us to consider and, after discussions with the team and lecturer, we decided on which idea to go forward with last week.

Therefore, our chosen narrative will be a take on the legend of King Arthur and his journey from rags to riches!

There's a lot of details to flesh out, but the general gist will be that England has lost its last known monarch which causes all the local lords to fall into disarray. During this time, the number of attacks from raiders, thieves and bandits drastically rises, forcing many people to not venture too far from their homes.

Arthur lives in a small village in the countryside and eventually embarks on a journey through England to locate the legendary sword Excalibur and prove his birth right as the next King of England. The sword will be guarded by the Welsh dragon, Ddraig (full name Y Ddraig Goch, Welsh for "the red dragon"), more commonly recognised as the symbolic red dragon on the Welsh flag. In English and Welsh mythology, a red and white dragon are associated with the Welsh and Anglo-Saxon forces respectively, and both battle each other as a metaphor for the English fighting the Welsh in the 5th Century. The ending of the story sees Arthur acquiring Excalibur and returning to Camelot to become the next King of England. Characters including the Knights of the Round Table, the wizard Merlin, and the Lady of the Lake Guinevere may make appearances in this story.


Closing Thoughts

As you may have gathered, this story will be a blend of myth and history to create a unique take on the Arthurian legend. There are still a lot of things to write out, but hopefully this gives an insightful taster into what you can expect to see in the game!

As the narrative lead, I am not yet sure what is expected within these posts, possibly detailed insights into the story's world and inhabitants, although this would risk creating text-heavy posts which will be difficult to read through. I'll work this out over the coming weeks!

So, thanks for reading, and welcome to a new adventure in 2021!

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