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Narrative Control

Apr 29, 2009

Justin and I heard an episode of HGWT:FAFGM (#34) about structuring stories in RPGs and thought “Huh”.  Here’s the 25 minutes that followed our monosyllabic revelation.

Hosts: Sean Nittner and Justin Evans

Length: 25:35

[00:28] Introduction to the show.  Talking about story structure. Hippies vs. Engineers.
[00:57] Survey:
[01:19] Have Games Will Travel: For a Few Games More: #34.  Story structures.
[01:56] Dirty Hippies and Stinking Engineers
[02:11] Story Structure: A pattern that we fall into or actively follow when telling stories.
[02:47] Hippies: The original gamers playing moment to moment and allowing story to follow from their actions.   Allowing for more surprises, creativity, and immersion.
[05:07] Engineers:  A gamer who wants to structure their game and drive towards specific goals in each game.
[07:02] Games with known ends: Grey Ranks, Roanake, Polaris.  These games are one step closer to being engineered.
[07:36] Montsegur 1244 is very structured.  A story told in four acts.
[09:50] Distinction between Hippie Indie Gamers and Story structures Hippies
[10:29] Dungeons and Dragons:  A total hippie game.
[12:07] Patterns that we can draw on: Plays, TV shows, playing published adventures.
[15:15] Another engineered game: Dirty Secrets.  We all know when it will end but now how it will end.
[18:00] Zombie Cinema : Also engineered, also without a GM, also uses a board.  Hmmm… are we noticing a trend.
[19:49] Did the mechanics restrict the game?  Yes, in a good way.
[22:00] A negative experience engineering a game.  Some players really groove the hippie experience.

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