I'm very open to admitting that I'm not the best storyteller in my games. I've described myself as a "nintendo" style developer, where I develop game-play and mechanics before establishing a theme. While being a very productive way to go about things, I often get trapped in a corner when it comes to story(if I even have one at all). The only games I've ever made which I feel clearly convey story were At First Glance and AVIA, both made in 24 hour spurts for GIAD and Ludum Dare. But even these have one tragic flaw:
It's really damn hard to tell a story through game mechanics rather than through dialogue.
So that's what this thread is for. I want you to share simple, modular storytelling mechanics that work well in games you've made or like.
One easy example is Undertale. The game is extremely story-driven, but it finds ways to seamlessly integrate its story with game mechanics.(You can tell the emotions of a boss enemy in Undertale just by the patterns of its attacks... which is kind of amazing, if you think about it)
But my issue is I'm not sure how I can apply this to the way I make games. While I can acknowledge the areas where Undertale succeeds, I can't confidently apply what I see to my own game development.
tl;dr: Dialogue is the easy way out of story-telling and isn't really cinematic by itself, but it's super cheap because it doesn't require new art assets. Are there other tricks/tools that can be used alongside or in the place of dialogue that don't eat away the art budget?
Mar 29 2016, 2:46 am