Creating storylines for epic tales, with interactive, dynamic environments can be really hard. To offest this, we offer help in the form of tutorials, examples and advice on how to create plots that interact with the audience.
A good, strong, and interactive plotline is a wonderous thing. If done well, it really hooks the players intoto the world, binding their desires into the threads of the place. On the other hand, a badly crafted, or poorly thought-out plotline will have the opposite effect; severing bonds, and driving a wedge between the players and the world. Whatever form your plotlines take, is your business. Just be sure you run them well.
Don't Tell Me a Story, Mommy
A comparison between worlds without storylines, worlds which offer linear plots, and worlds which allow the players to make up, and run their own plots. Three guesses which comes out worst?
Show Me the Path
Linear plotlines are no good for interactive environments. Players need choices, they need different paths to follow, and they may even make their own. What are your options? How do you go about creating multiple paths, for the players to follow?
The traditional model for entertainment-based virtual worlds, calls for action-based play. Most such worlds are based around the experience-by-killing paradigm. But is there another way?
Period Blogs for Backstory
There can be a great deal of confusion about the backstory for a world. Plonking a world down whole and expecting a backstory to fill itself in later, is an approach too often taken.
This Blessed Plot, Part One
An interesting article from Skotos, describing the basics of their ''grand theatres'' - worlds which lack the experience paradigm, but are totally based on plot and sub-plot.
This Blessed Plot, Part Three
Looks at the most powerful of all plots - those which force a permanant change to something within the world, and what you have to bear in mind to achieve this.
This Blessed Plot, Part Two
This article, continues some time after the first, and discusses some actual problems encountered within one of the ''grand theatres'', and some more points to consider when creating worlds based totally around plots.
This Blessed Plot: TV Episodics
Creating story arcs and mini-plots for a virtual environment has a lot in common with the episodic plots of TV shows. This article deals with integrating those into your world, and lessons where TV plots go badly wrong; why they go wrong and how to avoid that yourself.
Transcreation: taking an existing plotline, and radically changing it, twisting and combining to create something all your own. Its been done by the religions for thousands of years, you can use this wonderful too, but use it with care.
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Dealing with Disappointment
Player disappointment can be an insidious threat to your world. Disappointed or spurned players are going to look for other ways to have their fun. At best they will just shrug it off. At worst, they won't leave the world, but will mess it up for other players.
Disappointment is inevitable in any world. You just have to be able to handle it, and turn a bad situation around,
It's the End of the World as we Know It
Dealing with disappointed players is one of the most important skills for a storyteller. No matter what you do, somebody will be disappointed with the result, and may leave, or worse. This short article covers several real example problems, and the steps that can be taken to lessen their effect.