Interactive Storytelling


New member
Mar 13, 2008
Yeah, Heavy rain kept the very same story, no matter what your choices were, and so left a disappointing feeling to the overacheivers. But then again, it's difficult for new games to take cues from older classics...for some reason :(
As for the enemy(ies) in your game, I'd go with either an energy field that won't let you escape, slow jump capacities (a bit like in EVE) or getting constantly shot in the engines, leaving you unable to escape from the enemy's reach


New member
Dec 10, 2009
This may not be TOTALLY relevant but....

There are totally cats with opposable thumbs. Google that shit.

As for non-linear story lines I'm not sure. It seems like more of a linguistic dispute, non-linear being a term which doesn't accurately describe the way the story progresses. I suppose even stories told out of order or from shifting perspectives can't really be called "non-linear".


New member
Mar 23, 2010
geldonyetich said:
DuLt said:
Why doesn't he add the "choice" of turning of the jet engines in FSG? So the space ship could pretend to be an asteroid?
Because adding easy "I win" buttons does not make for entertaining games.

Although I guess it depends if avoiding detection is 100% the goal or not.

Welcome to the forums, by the way. Not to be too alienating - your question was a bit more interesting than most of the stuff I see bouncing around here.
Well hello.

This wouldn't be an "I win" button.
You don't know the direction of the ship, I mean they could come your way and jumpstarting the engines would make them see you, plus you would be at the mercy of coming asteroids.
This was just a little tactic variation to add, so it wouldn't be just "hide from scanners with debries".
Heck he could even add dust clouds that helped conceal the engines for a brief period (to jump from asteroid to asteroid).


New member
Feb 9, 2009
"I mentioned that I'd gone through the game expecting the plot twist of the killer's identity to change depending on what decisions you made. Because, damn it, that's what I would've done."

That's funny - when my roommate was playing heavy rain, I suggested that as a possible way the game might play out. That the killer's identity might be entirely dependent on your own actions. In fact, I think there's a text adventure mystery game that follows that same principle. Too bad Heavy Rain didn't do it.

Overall, I liked the game once you slog past that first hour, but like you said: it's NOT truly interactive storytelling. It's a choose your own adventure that happens to have very organic adventure choices. The problem is all these games that try it - be it with "moral choices" or "good/bad endings" or full on branching story lines - all try to solve it by adding content. That's the failure. A truly interactive story can't happen unless it's procedural. And until we figure out how to break down the storytelling formula into actual, definable algorithms, it's just not going to happen.


On the subject of Space Game - I notice a lot of people are offering some very clever technical solutions to the "you can just run away" problem (and some incredibly shitty ones, but that's a given).

I submit, instead, to ignore physical restraints and go with a psychological solution. Instead of thinking of ways to reign the player in, think of ways to make the player not want to leave in the first place. I recommend looking up studies on what makes a person, say, want to risk their life (or put some large reward at risk, at least) in a given situation, rather than run to safety. You might find some interesting things science has to say about this...


New member
Mar 20, 2010
Why not just let the ship leave the boss behind? If there are multiple big ships, in an open world scenario, make the reward for killing them good enough that the player can't help but come back, once he feels he has the wherewithal to fight it.

If it's more linear, then refuse to progress the plot until he defeats it.


New member
Feb 27, 2009
As far as Fun Space Game was concerned, one could assume that the asteroid field disrupted enemy scanners, and that leaving it would leave the player vulnerable to detection/obliteration if they strayed into open space while a big bad enemy was around. The overall shape of the asteroid field could then be incorporated meaningfully into level design (or encounter design, or what have you).


New member
Sep 25, 2009
I remember one of the first PS2 titles I had was called "Shadow of Destiny" by Konami.
You could get ending A,B,C,D and E, but B had two slight variations and there were two EX endings.

I remember how amazing the second and third play throughs were because of accessing and learning the greater mystery of the town, the protagonist and the homunculus. And yes, the endings were very different depending on what you did and all played into character development and the mystery.

Honestly, I'd like to see a squeal of that game.

Edit: I just checked and it has just been ported to PSP.

Something Amyss

Aswyng and Amyss
Dec 3, 2008
Journeythroughhell said:
With the concept and the idea they've had, it would've been haaard.
The whole point of a detective story is that you're trying to figure out the killer.
If the killer is random, that won't work.
If the killer changes depending on your actions, that would totally fuck up the whole HR universe. IRL, the person responsible for JFK's assassination won't change no matter what I do.
The killer wouldn't be random, though. Based on varied actions, a different (but still pre-determined) killer would be responsible. This is little different from the other selection methods for varying endings. Whether or not that's a good thing, I'm not sure I care.

However, if you want to go real world, the real world analogy is that the kind of case a mystery would revolve around likely has many suspects who could be the killer. Adding a variable (but still pre-determined) ending could readily mimic such a reality. It plays things a little fast and loose, but that's why I don't turn to realism as an example of good storytelling. JFK is such a terrible murder mystery that people often invent things to make it more compelling. Which they could readily avoid simply by realizing there is a lot of good storytelling to be had outside of that element.

Heavy Rain seemed to promote the choices have consequences. As Yahtzee said in his review, the choices seem pretty anvilicious. This would be a great way for the choies to have consequences.


New member
Jul 25, 2008
Yahtzee Croshaw said:
Extra Punctuation: Interactive Storytelling

Why Heavy Rain was not the interactive storytelling game it promised to be.

Read Full Article
You said something about trouble controlling the player's movement with maybe a "super hitscan weapon"?

In deep space cosmic radiation can be RIDICULOUSLY high (especially if you are in the space between galaxies) so try that perhaps exploiting that.

I appreciate that space is very empty but there is still loads of stuff out there that cause trouble, like tiny particles flying everywhere at 50% the speed of light, huge fluxes in ionising radiation, micro-meteorites. Still mostly a vacuum but lots of stuff out there that can bugger up even an advanced intergalactic space ship. Hell you can't travel at high speed through a dust cloud, you'll be torn to shreds.

The space we are familiar with (what am I saying WE are familiar with, I mean we as humanity in our limited space exploration) just beyond the earth's atmosphere is pretty calm waters, protected by the earth's magnetosphere, the "gravity sinks" like the gas giants and the sun.

I know space sims aren't supposed to be that realistic, but you have precedent to make areas out of bounds due to radiation and particles.


New member
Aug 30, 2007
I would agree entirely, there is no such thing as a non-linear story. Even (if you think about it from a certain perspective) your Fork game, despite the player being allowed to make "choices", there are only so many paths available, and only so many endings. One could trace these 64 different stories as lines, only that they all have the same beginning.
To have a truly non-linear story, the player must have near-total freedom, to be able to change course at will. The one example that I might have seen of this is The Path. Unfortunately, this all too frequently winds up in the territory of "weird".


New member
Feb 10, 2008
Journeythroughhell said:
Hubilub said:
Shame, I was hoping he would address Michael Atkinson in this issue.

Oh well, maybe he'll comment on it later
He apathetically adressed that one in Twitter.
For those who can't be bothered to look for it, I figured I'd make it easy:

"So everyone's demanding that I mention Michael Atkinson stepping down. Okay then. That was it."

Link [].

As far as the game:

sszebra said:
Why not just let the ship leave the boss behind? If there are multiple big ships, in an open world scenario, make the reward for killing them good enough that the player can't help but come back, once he feels he has the wherewithal to fight it.

If it's more linear, then refuse to progress the plot until he defeats it.
You could even force the player to fight the first one, almost let the player get killed, and then have freak circumstance destroy the giant enemy... Maybe one of the many asteroids or pieces of debris will wreck the large ship?

Then, the player can see that it is full of awesome loot and have an incentive for going after enemies who are so powerful.


New member
Jan 14, 2010
I've always wondered how a Horror game would fair with Heavy Rains controls...

I would be scared as hell!!


New member
Aug 9, 2008
"which ending you got depended on subtle differences in actions throughout the game that implied different things about the protagonist's state of mind; running around with frequently low health made it more likely to get the suicide ending, etc."

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. did the same thing if you remember. I personally got the "greedy" ending because I have a tendency to hoard money in games, especially ones where your equipment degrades at the rate of five bullets per Space Marine Power Armor suit, and of course being "prepared to replace all of your shit when it breaks" means "MONEY IS AWESOME FUCK YEAH I WANT TO HAVE MONEY RAIN FROM THE SKY ON ME"

If you're going to do that shit, you better make sure that it's something that cannot possibly be interpreted in another way by the player. Or it just makes the gameplay experience worse.


New member
Jul 19, 2009
I must dispute the claim that there's no such thing as non-linear storytelling. Case in point, Robert Coover's short story, "The Babysitter." Yeah, yeah, it's words, not a game, but still.


New member
Jan 25, 2009
coldfrog said:
With the topic of this storytelling in mind, I would like to suggest Choice of the Dragon [] as an interesting foray into this type of gameplay. It in fact sounds a lot like Fork. It's fast, which means multiple playthroughs are easily viable, and it is at least competently written. I got a big kick out of it, and if you liked the idea of Fork, you should give it a try.
Oooh, thank you.

I did want to say to Yahtzee (on the off-chance he actually has the time to read these comments) that I would love to play Fork and I know at least one friend I am certain would love it too. The flexibility of circumstance and context is a truly awesome thing to play with, as long as you can make each of the potential outcomes self-consistant. :)


Regular Member
Apr 7, 2010
Interactive Storytelling is a Holy Grail that Chris Roberts has been chasing for years. Decades. And then the creators of Dwarf Fortress, the Adams brothers, went out and done it. Their approach is a brute force one: Just Simulate F*ing Everything. And the sagas that game generates are just mind boggling.

Read up on Dwarf Fortress here: