How stories are told, and worlds are created in video games

 “How stories are told, and worlds are created in video games” was the topic of the fourth guest lecture in the club of interests “Video Game development”. The lecturer was Kalina Panayotova – a writer, teacher/professor in ARC Academy, and founder of the Wodborn platform.

 “If you are interested in game design, you will heavily participate in world creation and storytelling”, she says. She gave a task to the students – to imagine that a famous studio wants to make a game about their life and to describe what it would be like.

Kalina says that even in imaginary worlds in games human feelings and states of mind do not change and we cannot be game designers without diving into the topics that grab our attention and touch us and try to understand the mind of the player.

“To develop the storyline, it is necessary to define the conflict and let it happen”, says Kalina.

She divided the conflicts into six types:

  •       The character against himself (moral dilemma)
  •       The character against another character
  •       The character against nature (the weather, natural disasters)
  •       The character against the supernatural (ghosts, gods, etc.)
  •       The character against the technology
  •       The character against the society (the government, cultural traditions, norms, etc.)

“When we are talking about the creation of the imaginary world, we have to keep in mind two things, accordingly – the reality in which we are all living, and all other worlds that could be existing. In the meantime, every new world that we create has to be at least partially based on things that we are already familiar with. Even when we are changing the situation/play, human emotions stay”, says Panayotova.

Every story, regardless of the media that it will publish – games, movies, or books has four basic elements:

  •       Turns
  •       Findings
  •       Complications
  •       Resolution

The story aims to reach a satisfactory conclusion.

Kalina asked the students why they like playing video games. They answered that games help them to run away from reality and dive into a completely different world.

Watch the whole lecture “Storytelling in video games” in this video: