Mar 1, 2023Liked by JB Oger

Really love this piece. Great work.

Now as designer how do you weave an engaging gameplay that serves the game narration and the different beats?

The sequences help serve the actual storytelling but how can it serve gameplay and vice versa?

Would love to have your opinion on this.

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That's a great question, got me seriously thinking :) I think with The Last of Us, they didn't really try to influence the gameplay based on story evolution: sure, you get some upgraded tools at specific story points, or you can feel some of the characters emotions (feeling weak, injured, etc.) but it doesn't go that far. The general context of scarcity & hostile world is conveyed through gameplay though and it certainly helps the narrative as it matches with what the characters say. To go beyond, they could have introduced new allies mechanics (that would feel painful to lose), or change enemies based on the environement (different opportunities arise), but that would probably be hurt the immersion & rhythm to introduce new mechanics often.

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Allies mechanic that you lose, well Final Fantasy 7 did it with Arys. It sucks losing an important character so the emotional impact is there for the player for sure.

You might not necessarily need to introduce a new mechanic at every story beat otherwise throughout a whole campaign you might never be able to fully enjoy or explore the depth of the whole gamut of these mechanics. I know you didn’t say this it’s me thinking out loud :).

You can repurpose mechanics in some every 3-4 beats to keep players on edge for instance.

Anyhow enjoying greatly your pots. Thank you

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