Most modern games contain some form of story, some even place narrative above gameplay, like classic adventure games such as Hotel Dusk (NDS) or the Phoenix Wright series (NDS), while others place almost equal emphasis on story and gameplay, such as Final Fantasy.
There is no denying that games are a viable medium in telling an involving story, some times to the effect of being even more emotionally charged than film because of the more interactive nature of games.
Whatever the case, story in games has been around since the early days of gaming (Bionic Commando, anyone?) and are definitely not only here to stay, but will continue to evolve with the medium. And as story evolves in games, storytelling techniques start to become more relevant in games.
Some samples of the backstory material I co-wrote for Troll & Armor.
History of Haelum
Destiny, the force that ensures that everything has its place and time. Mortals have long since been subjected to its control, but legend has it that there exists 12 Invitations that can allow a man to free himself from his preset fate. It is said that these books were placed in the world by a child wizard so powerful that he managed to defy his own destiny through the power of his mind; through the power of his imagination. This inspired him to provide 12 privileged souls the opportunity to escape to his world, the world of Haelum. It is said that in Haelum, dreams can be fulfilled, hopes can be rekindled and lives can be redefined.
With his profound wisdom and unsurpassed creativity, the Grand Magus was able to derive an equation that allowed him to transcend space and time; to reach into a dimension that was parallel to the world that we live in. That dimension started out as a blank canvas; a void so to speak, but the Grand Magus saw limitless potential and there he created his own world, where things were not bound by convention or natural order. What was most intriguing was that existing outside of the stream of Time itself allowed the Grand Magus to look into the Past, Present and Future. It was as though he had taken a step back and could see the picture in its entirety. But that was when he also realised that the Future was a fixed variable in the equation of Time, which meant that Man could do nothing to change His own Destiny no matter how hard he tried.
The Grand Magus longed to free mankind from his futile struggle against the inevitable, but he was afraid that too bold an approach would draw the attention of the Magic Council to his magical empire. So he wrote 12 Invitations to the world of Haelum and sent them out to Earth, a subtle and powerful solution that would allow a select few to free themselves from their Destinies.
The World of the Wizard
I set my feet upon the ground of this brand new world and gaze out into the distance. I behold an ocean of darkness, glistering with stars and all manner of heavenly bodies. I raise my head and set my sights on the space above me. It is not the sky that I see, but a massive body of water, defying the laws of gravity, suspended in mid-air. I smile to myself, for it is all good in my eyes.
This is the world that I have always dreamt of; a world of perfect chaos. In my world, nothing has to be what it was supposed to be. A world where Laws have no power, Seasons follow no order, Opposites can coexist and Systems have no place. My world exists in utter rebellion to yours. It is the anti-thesis of all you know, believe in, and hold to be true. This is the world through my eyes, the eyes of an unrestricted child, a child with no respect for boundaries or placement. This is my grand design of chaos, my world of paradoxes.
In my world, pre-conceived notions of perfection you call “expectations” will do you no good, not when you will never know what awaits at every turn. So, prepare your hearts to be amazed at the things you will soon see. Creatures that live beyond your wildest imagination wait to bewilder you. Lands that defy all manner of logic beckon your arrival, lying in wait to bend your mind and open your eyes to the truth … And the truth is … there is no such thing as an “Impossibility” in my world, the world of Haelum.
- Words of the Grand Magus
Here are some excerpts from the Troll & Armor script which I co-wrote.
Invitation to Freedom
Scene 1 --- Concept Introduction
[Intro begins with a completely black screen, with words flashing by and igniting ablaze as they scroll pass the screen]
Narration: “Destiny ... The invisible force that drives us all to become what we are meant to be, or is it just a restriction that dictates all our lives?”
[One of the Grand Invitations is seen swirling into the centre of the screen]
Narration: “If we are unable to change our fates despite all our efforts; if the course of our lives have already been pre-ordained, then does freedom truly exist?”
[The Grand Invitation lies still in the centre of the screen as chains fade in from the darkness and make a scene where the Grand Invitation is amidst an entire network of chains]
Narration: “What if ... all our fates had already been decided from the day we were born? In such a world, we would all become what we were destined to be; nothing more, nothing less, nothing else.”
[The Grand Invitation starts to glow and resonate like a heartbeat]
Narration: “A cruel world indeed that would be... but fret not ... for I can offer you an escape ... a taste of true freedom ... a world where Destiny and Order have no place.”
[The Grand Invitation opens and all the chains around it shatter. The screen fades out into white light]
Narration: “Would you like to change your destiny?”
Scene 6 --- Heart of a Hero
- Scene kicks in when all the Steampunks are defeated
- [Rusty and Troll are seen side surrounded by rubble]
- [Troll is dusting off his hands after the battle]
- [Rusty turns around and gives him a smile]
Rusty: “Seems to me like we're getting good at this.”
- [The doors of the houses start to open one by one and the inhabitants start to emerge cautiously]
Rusty: “Now that the cats are gone, the mice are coming out to play.”
- [The Hammoth and the Pengus gather round the heroes amidst mummers and mutters]
- [Azenta is looking on in wide-eyed amazement]
Azenta: “What are those things?”
- [Zoom in on the Pengus and Hammoth one after the other in sync with the dialogue]
Rusty: “Pengus, and Hammoth. Strange seeing them together though. They don't exactly make the best neighbors.”
- [The Hammoth Elder steps forth]
Elder: “Mighty warriors, the gods must have answered our prayers, for you have come in a time when we are in need of deliverance. Please, be so kind as to hear our plea and rescue us from the great misfortune that has befallen us.”
*** Note that the Hammoth all speak as though they are singing, making random tunes when they are stringing their words together.
- [Rusty just walks past the elder, ignoring his presence]
Rusty: “Nope. With all due respect, you're barking up the wrong tree, we're not here to save you guys. All we want to know is where we can find the clown that created all those robots.”
- [One of the Pengus answers in a snap]
Pengus: “He headed further north. He and his crazy jetpack.”
- [Rusty starts to walk off]
Rusty: “Why thank you. Let's go, Troll.”
- [Azenta screams at Rusty]
Azenta: “Hold it right there! You can't just leave them like this! They need our help!”
- [Rusty just continues walking]
Rusty: “You think? We don't have the time for sightseeing, Azenta. Marty's probably miles ahead of us by now.”
- [Suddenly Troll grabs Rusty from behind and looks at him sternly]
Rusty: “Don't look at me like that, I'm doing it for you too, brute. You don't want to stay like this forever do you?”
- [Troll stomps his fist into the ground and shakes his head]
- [Rusty looks around and sees all the sad faces around him]
- [Rusty gives a sigh]
Rusty: “Argh! Alright then. It's your loss anyway, brute.”
- [The Pengus and Hammoth standing around rejoice at Rusty's decision]
- [Troll and Azenta smile at Rusty]
- [The elder tells them to meet him in his house to hear more about the situation]
Used with permission by Emerging Entertainment
Copyright of Emerging Entertainment