BioWare Docs Talk Narrative Design And The Future Of Interactive Storytelling


Posted May 14, 2009 - By Jake Gaskill

BioWare Docs Talk Narrative Design And The Future Of Interactive Storytelling

Yesterday, I pointed you to part two of an interview with Ultima creator Richard Garriott in which he discussed some of his behind-the-scenes approaches to molding the player experience through thoughtful uses of narrative. Today, it’s BioWare big brains Dr. Greg Zeschuk and Dr. Ray Muzyka pushing forward the narrative on the future of, well, narrative techniques in gaming.

Gamasutra reports that the two docs recently spoke at the GDC Canada keynote about their company’s approach to narrative design and what they expect to see over the next several decades in terms of the evolution of interactive storytelling.

For instance, Zeschuk explained that in Mass Effect, the player guided conversations more like a director than an actor, since as a player, you were basically just giving Commander Shepard suggestions on what to say, unsure of what Shepard’s actual words were going to be.

So when it came time for the company’s upcoming Dragon Age: Origins, which features a voiceless main character and conversations that play out from a less third-person-ish perspective, Zeschuk explains:

"We had a big conversation about this, because halfway through development, Mass Effect came out an ad it was a big success. But no, it's a different experience. We want a broad portfolio...with different experiences for different people."

As for the future of interative storytelling, Zeschuk said:

“What [games] are going to be in the next 30 years is limited only by, we think, the imagination [of game developers.] Imagine mixing internal and external narrative seamlessly, with non-linearity. We're the creators; it's an exciting role to have. Narrative is one of the most powerful forms of expression."
So if you’re a passionate gaming-narrative advocate, you should definitely check out the full article. And then get all of your friends who ridicule you for wanting deeper, more sophisticated storytelling in your games to read it as well.
And for more Dragon Age: Origins goodness, be sure to check out TheFeed's very own  impressions of the game from earlier in the week.

BioWare Docs Talk Narrative Design And The Future Of Interactive Storytelling


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