Chalk Talk - The Art of Storytelling

This weeks Chalk Talk assignment focused on the art of storytelling

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This weeks Chalk Talk assignment focused on the art of storytelling. We asked GameSpot members to discus video game literature as well as its effects on the games mythos and hisotry. We asked them to consider whether or not gamers had a postitive or negative impact on the game in question as well as to consider if games needed the explination or if it was better to leave story telling to the gameplay.


DraugenCP: Literature, is much more than mere entertainment. It is not just the core structure of a novel that makes it interesting, but especially its ability to transmit complex ideas, themes and topics. When a novel is set in a world with many predetermined characteristics, it is already much harder for an author to approach whatever theme he has in mind in a natural way. read more.


adam1808: The problem I have with videogame fiction is much the same to my issues with "books of the films" or the Star Wars Expanded Universe, namely that it can at most be complementary to the original story. The idea of a videogame-based novel is that it fills in aspects of the game's fiction that were left out of said game because it by its very nature, it had to be a game.read more.


vguy555: Avid fans of certain video game franchises can definitely appreciate some of these novels, as some actually provide an insightful look into the game's universe. Yet, some of the information in these books should also be taken with a grain of salt.read more.


WTA2k5: Video game literature, at its pinnacle, reaches a middling level of significance, at best able to be deemed throwaway fun or solid-but-needless filler. It can get much worse from there, however. A number of books have infamously contradicted the narratives of the video games they're based on read more.


zinoalex: Do video games enhance the overall gaming experience or do they deter from it. I find the prequels to be most interesting because they tell the back-story of the game. They can provide the reader, the gamer, background info that the game does not have time to delve into. read more.

Extra Credit

Sometimes a good blog is simply a good blog, and these GameSpot members deserve recognition for their efforts and contributions:
- Storytelling in Video Games By: lim_ak
- Favorite game Original Soundtracks By: Witchblade13
- Impressions: Sleeping Dogs By: Uesugi-dono.

Next Week's Assignment: The Digital Devil in the Details:

"Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower" - Steve Jobs

When gamers hear "digital distribution" we as a community have varying responses. Some feel that the ability to digitally collect games that they may have missed out on in the past to be a great gift from the past, while others may feel that the lack of a tangible item makes for a hollow experience. This weeks chalk talk assignment is about Digital Distribution and the impact that it has on the gaming community. Need some inspiration? Consider the following: Has digital distribution increased or decreased your personal interested in getting a game, the impact that it has on the indie community, or possibly reflections on DLC of additional gaming content that was not available before. Post a link to your blog in this week's roll call topic.

← Check here for more editions of Chalk Talk.

Discussion

42 comments
DraugenCP
DraugenCP

Tic tac toe, two in a row. :)

Vojtass
Vojtass

If you really want to read great novels, pick the books written by Andrzej Sapkowski - he's the guy who created The Witcher world. CD Projekt RED's games are so great, because they are based on the books. Unfortunately only 'The Last Wish' and 'Blood of Elves' were officialy published in English. But hey, there are fan translations. :)

Witchblade13
Witchblade13

@Synthia Thank you so much for the mention! 

ydnarrewop
ydnarrewop

Funny: Back in 2006 Backbone told me they didn't hire dedicated story tellers. I guess that why they're still sitting at the kiddie table :)

swantn5
swantn5

mgs to me is a great exsample of good storytelling there are also other games that have told great storys but alot get lost in poor gameplay 

Kyrylo
Kyrylo

I would like to hear something on good japanese games also. Like MGS for example. 

nintendo-naut
nintendo-naut

Congrats to all who were mentioned! ^_^ But...Where is the next assignment? 

lim_ak
lim_ak

Yay I got a mention! Awesome feature and keep it up guys that actually stay on topic :P.

-Saigo-
-Saigo-

Well done everyone! Great entries for an excellent feature. 

best_Alchemist
best_Alchemist

Excellent, thorough discussions. A number of original and important points were raised in these entries.

 

Good job to those who were featured!

Musambani
Musambani

ITT: Pretentious young boys/posers acting like they know how things work when they don't.

g1rldraco7
g1rldraco7

I need to taking typing classes it seems :/

evil_m3nace
evil_m3nace

I dunno, but I read a lot and have worked my way through almost the entire dvd of the Gutenburg Project. I like to read. I have read my way though almost all of the Halo books except one that I couldn't find. I found them to be very interesting. also forget not, that the books came out after the first game and before all the other games. It's not that they are plot fillers but they add more to the universe then the games do. For example, Halo: fall of reach gives a wonderful prequel to master chief himself. It's about the spartan training and going through their early training. I have never played halo: reach so I don't know anything about it. Neither have I played halo 3. Why? Because xbox. 

o0_L0st_B0y_0o
o0_L0st_B0y_0o

Decent... Whats the picture on the homepage from? (Linking to this article)

NeonNinja
NeonNinja

I already read these..... Is that bad?

 

I mean, I even read Uesugi's Sleeping Dogs impressions which got me excited for it too.  But yeah, what's the next topic?

maderrin
maderrin

Since there was a lot of time and space between each of Gears of War games, I'd say novels, or at least some additional backstory, was obligatory. And to my surprise, the books came out quite well, actually, some characters are depicted better than in the actual game, where they had little or no part at all. Hoffman and Prescott recieved so much depth in the books that it's almost confusing to remember how they behaved in the games.

mellow09
mellow09

Do written works expand? Yes, the written word is more honest, and that makes it more layered. That was easy.

 

Are these written works written well? Hahaha, no. I can find more in three pages of literary fiction vs. a 400 page halo novel.

 

Does that mean they shouldn't exists? Eh, no. The avg. High schooler in the US reads at a fifth grade level . . . let that sink in. Avg. adult, eighth grade. And even though those books and games pander to that audience/are from that audience at least they let them read something.

 

Is this kinda depressing? Yes, but this is the US! Slightly less than mediocre Ho!

dapman418
dapman418

I'll have to check some of these out later. I assume there'll also be an update of sorts to assign the next topic? 

Deadly_Nemesis
Deadly_Nemesis

And article titled the art of storytelling and it features a picture of Gears of War *facepalm*

DigitalDame
DigitalDame moderator moderatorstaff

 @g1rldraco7 It's less about your style and more about the manner that it's presented. If you have any questions on how you could increase your chances on getting featured I'd be happy to share them with you :D

JodyR
JodyR moderator

 @dapman418 Yes  we'll update this feature with the next assignment today. 

NeonNinja
NeonNinja

 @Deadly_Nemesis 

Gears of War's story summed up by me.

 

Game's story "We've been fighting this war forever and now entire cities are sinking!"

 

Gamers, "Man!  This is gonna be sick!  The war's gonna blow up and we'll be chainsawing things all day in coop, brah!"

 

Game's story "IT'S A GIANT WORM!?"

 

Gamers, "What the....."

 

Game's story "DO YOU COPY!? IT'S A GIANT WORM!  A GIANT WORM IS SINKING THE CITIES!!!"

 

Gamers, "it's a f*cking... worm.....?"

 

Game's story "OMG THE WORM JUST ATE US!!!!"

 

And that's the point where I turned the game off.

Vojtass
Vojtass

@JodyR

You're welcome. Almost every book was translated by fans. The last novel is being translated - more than half at the moment. These translations are very good, and I strongly recommend it to every fan of fantasy literature. Sapkowski's works about Geralt are cult claassic in Poland, Russia and Czech Republic.

 

Correct order:

 

1. The Last Wish (officialy published)

2. The Sword of Destiny (fan translation)

3. Blood of Elves (officialy published)

4. Times of Contempt (fan translation)

5. Baptism of Fire (fan translation)

6. The Tower of the Swallow (fan translation)

7. The Lady of the Lake (fan translation in progress)

 

As you see English publisher skipped second book just like that. :/

First two books are collections of short stories, which were printed in Fantastyka (Polish fantasy and sci-fi magazine) in the years 1986-1990 - these anthologies are very important prologue for the next 5 novels

 

JodyR
JodyR moderator

 @nintendo-naut This week's assignment has been added to the feature. Thanks for your patience! 

Kyrylo
Kyrylo

 @nintendo-naut I would hope so:( I don't mean they must do it, but it would have been nice:D 

JodyR
JodyR moderator

This week's assignment is about digital distribution. 

Legolas_Katarn
Legolas_Katarn

 @NeonNinja But that was one of the greatest line reads of all time, the voice actor actually sounds like he can't imagine he is saying something so stupid. They probably just turned the recorder on while he was yelling at them about the script and kept it in the game.

Deadly_Nemesis
Deadly_Nemesis

 @NeonNinja

Hm not sure I agree with you

I think it goes more like this.

 

Game's story "We're men with big muscles and big guns who like to kill no questions asked bitches! Dom stop crying like a little girl!"

The end.