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Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Games Design: Storytelling in Games

Top Story Games

Task One:

1. Until Dawn

On 2 February 2014, seven friends: Sam , Mike , Chris ), Ashley, Emily,Jessica, and Matt are celebrating their annual winter getaway at the Blackwood Pines lodge, owned by their mutual friends, Josh Washington and his twin sisters, Hannah and Beth, located near Blackwood Mountain in Alberta, Canada. The five of them (minus Chris, Josh, Sam and Beth) prank Hannah, who flees into the forest in humiliation. When Beth discovers her, the two are hunted by a creature who corners them into a cliff, where they fall and are presumed dead. The chapter is followed by a therapy session with Dr. Hill, who poses a question to his patient; these sessions will come up in following chapters and will affect what contents of the game that will be shown. His patient is concealed with the first person view at first, but is later revealed to be Josh.

A year later, the seven are invited by Josh to attend another getaway at the Blackwood Pines. As they arrive, Emily and Matt decide to go back to retrieve Emily's bag. Jessica is taken by an unknown creature while she and Mike are heading to the guest cabin, and depending on his choices Mike either finds Jessica dead or badly injured before the mine elevator collapses and takes her into the mines. Mike continues through the area, following a stranger who was lurking in the shadows, and enters a sanatorium, where he learns about an incident in 1952 where several workers were trapped in a cave-in. Meanwhile, Chris and Ashley are attacked by a figure in a mask who kidnaps Ashley and forces her and Josh into a sawblade trap, forcing Chris to choose which one to save. Regardless of Chris' decision, Josh is presumably killed. Sam is stalked through the lodge by the figure and is either knocked unconscious or escapes into the killer's workshop. Returning to the cabin to search for Sam, Chris and Ashley are once again attacked and strapped to chairs. The figure forces Chris to decide whether to shoot himself or Ashley. This is stopped by Sam and Mike, who has returned, and the two discover that the guns are loaded with blanks. The figure is revealed to be a mentally unhinged Josh, who blames his friends for causing his sisters' disappearances. Josh explains that he had used a fake body to fake his death back In the saw trap. While he confirms having set up the traps, he denies having a role in Jessica's presumed demise. He is then captured and left tied up in a shed by the others.

Meanwhile, having met with Chris and Ashley before, Emily suggests to Matt that they should head to a radio tower for help. However, the tower collapses into an abandoned mine when she and Matt are attacked by unidentified creatures. Matt either escapes and ventures deeper into the mines, is killed by the creature, or falls off of a cliff during an earlier encounter with a herd of deer. Emily explores the mines, finding Beth's head and Hannah's personal effects, and learns that Hannah had survived her fall. She encounters the stranger that Mike previously met, who helps her escape from the creatures. In her escape, Emily can be killed or manages to get back to the lodge. She can also be bitten by the creature in her escape. If she survives, she tells the others of the creature and her discovery of Beth's head.

At the lodge, the stranger reveals himself and explains that the creatures are wendigos: former humans who, after eating human flesh, are possessed by evil spirits and will hunt down the humans until dawn. Chris and the stranger attempt to free Josh in the shed, but find him gone, and the stranger is decapitated by the wendigos. Chris heads for the cabin, and is either killed by the wendigo, gets back to the lodge, or is left to die by Ashley if he shot at her in the trap. If Emily is bitten by a wendigo, the group also debate on leaving her alone or to shoot her dead, fearing the wendigo bites are infectious. Either way, Mike goes to the sanatorium to find Josh, who has the key for the cable cars to get away from the lodge. After the wendigos attack, and Mike is forced to burn the sanatorium, he is joined by Sam, who has learned more about the wendigos. Meanwhile, Ashley and Chris can be lured to their deaths by a wendigo. Sam and Mike learn that Hannah was turned into a wendigo when she resorted to eating Beth's flesh to survive. Mike and Sam find Josh, who is suffering from extreme hallucinations of his sisters. Mike and Josh are ambushed by Hannah and if the player found enough clues about Hannah's transformation, Josh recognizes Hannah and is dragged off. If not, Josh is killed.

Meanwhile, if Jessica and/or Matt are still alive they regroup and attempt to flee the mountain. Mike and Sam return to the cabin to meet with the other survivors, only to find Hannah inside. The survivors freeze, knowing the wendigos can only see movement. More wendigos arrive and start fighting with Hannah, as the only source of movement they can see. While the creatures are distracted, Mike and Sam jam the lodge's gas-supply open. Sam races out of the cabin before it explodes, pursued by a wendigo, but Hannah grabs the creature before it can get to her, killing both the wendigo and herself in the process. The lodge blows up and the remaining survivors regroup as a helicopter locates them.

Over the credits, those that did not survive the play-through have their death scenes replayed, followed by interviews with scenes of the police interrogation of the survivors. The police are warned by the survivors that there is something dangerous in the mines. If Josh survived, he is discovered by the police. However, he has now turned into a wendigo, and attacks them as the screen cuts to black.

2. The Last of Us

In 2013, an outbreak of a mutant Cordyceps fungus ravages the United States, transforming its human hosts into cannibalistic monsters. In the suburbs of Austin, Joel flees the chaos with his brother Tommy and daughter Sarah. As they flee, Sarah is shot by a soldier and dies in Joel's arms. In the twenty years that follow, most of civilization is destroyed by the infection. Survivors live in heavily policed quarantine zones, independent settlements and nomadic groups. Joel works as a smuggler with his partner Tess in the Boston quarantine zone. They hunt down Robert, a black market dealer, to recover a stolen weapons cache. Before Tess kills him, Robert reveals that he traded the goods to the Fireflies, a rebel group opposing the quarantine zone authorities.

The leader of the Fireflies, Marlene, promises to double their stolen cache in return for smuggling a teenage girl, Ellie, to Fireflies hiding in the Boston capitol building, outside of the quarantine. Joel, Tess, and Ellie sneak out in the night, but after an encounter with a patrol, they discover Ellie is infected. Full infection normally occurs in under two days, but Ellie claims she was infected three weeks ago and that her immunity may lead to a cure. The trio make their way to their destination through hordes of infected, but find that the Fireflies there have been killed. Tess reveals she has been bitten by an infected; believing in Ellie's importance, Tess sacrifices herself against pursuing soldiers so Joel and Ellie can escape. Joel decides to find Tommy, a former Firefly, in the hope that he can locate the remaining Fireflies. With the help of Bill, a smuggler who owes Joel a favor, they acquire a working vehicle. Driving into Pittsburgh, they are ambushed by bandits and their car is wrecked. They ally with two brothers, Henry and Sam; after they escape the city, Sam is bitten by an infected but hides it from the group. As his infection takes hold, Sam attacks Ellie, but Henry shoots him and then commits suicide out of grief.

In the fall, Joel and Ellie finally find Tommy in Wyoming, where he has assembled a fortified settlement near a hydroelectric dam with his wife Maria. Joel contemplates leaving Ellie with Tommy, but after she confronts him about Sarah, he decides to stay with her. Tommy directs them to a Fireflies enclave at the University of Eastern Colorado. There, they find the university abandoned, but learn that the Fireflies have moved to a hospital in Salt Lake City. As they leave, they are attacked by bandits and Joel is severely wounded. During the winter, Ellie and Joel shelter in the mountains. Joel is on the brink of death and relies on Ellie to care for him. Hunting for food, Ellie encounters David and James, scavengers willing to trade medicine for food; David reveals that the university bandits Ellie and Joel killed were part of his group. Ellie manages to lead David's group away from Joel, but is eventually captured; David intends to recruit her into his cannibal group. She escapes after killing James but David corners her in a burning restaurant. Meanwhile, Joel recovers from his wounds and sets out to find Ellie. He reaches Ellie as she kills David; Joel consoles her before they flee.

In the spring, Joel and Ellie arrive in Salt Lake City and are captured by a Firefly patrol. In the hospital, Marlene tells Joel that Ellie is being prepared for surgery: in hope of producing a vaccine for the infection, the Fireflies must remove the infected portion of Ellie's brain, which will kill her. Joel battles his way to the operating room and carries the unconscious Ellie to the parking garage. There he confronts and kills Marlene to prevent the Fireflies from pursuing them. On the drive out of the city, Joel tells Ellie that the Fireflies had found many other people who are immune, but lies that they were unable to create a cure and have stopped trying. The pair arrive on the outskirts of Tommy's settlement. Ellie expresses her survivor guilt and asks Joel to swear that his story is true; he does.

3. Final Fantasy X

The story begins with the main protagonist, Tidus, waiting with his allies outside the ruins of an ancient city. Tidus narrates the events that led to the present, spanning most of the game's storyline. It begins in Tidus's home city, the high-tech metropolis of Zanarkand, where he is a renowned star of the underwater sport blitzball. During a blitzball tournament, the city is attacked by an immense creature which Auron, a man not originally from Zanarkand, calls "Sin". Sin destroys Zanarkand, taking Tidus and Auron to the world of Spira.

Upon arriving in Spira, Tidus is rescued by Al Bhed salvagers in the area. Upon asking him where he is from, one of them, Rikku, tells him that Sin destroyed Zanarkand 1,000 years ago. After Sin attacks again, Tidus is separated from the divers and drifts to the tropical island of Besaid, where he meets Wakka, captain of the local blitzball team. Wakka introduces Tidus to Yuna, a young summoner about to go on a pilgrimage to obtain the Final Aeon and defeat Sin; and her guardians, Lulu and Kimahri. Meanwhile, Tidus joins to help Wakka in the upcoming blitzball tournament to find a way back home. The party travels across Spira to gather aeons, defending against attacks by Sin and its "offspring"—fiends called Sinspawn. After the tournament, they are joined by Auron, who convinces Tidus to become Yuna's guardian. He reveals to Tidus that Yuna's father, Lord Braska; Tidus's father, Jecht; and himself made the same pilgrimage to defeat Sin ten years ago.Tidus thought his father had died at sea ten years earlier. Following another attack from Sin, they are joined by Rikku, later revealed to be Yuna's cousin.

When the party arrives in the city of Guadosalam, the leader of the Guado, Seymour Guado, proposes to Yuna, saying that it will ease Spira's sorrow. At Macalania Temple, the group sees a message from Seymour's father Jyscal, who declares he was killed by his son, who now aims to destroy Spira. The group reunites with Yuna to engage Seymour in battle, killing him; soon afterward, Sin attacks, separating Yuna from the others.While searching for her on Bikanel Island, the homeland of the Al Bhed where they had surfaced,Tidus has an emotional breakdown when he learns that summoners die after summoning the Final Aeon, leading to his desire to find a way to defeat Sin while keeping Yuna alive. The group finds Yuna in Bevelle, where she is being forced to marry the unsent Seymour.They crash the wedding and escape with Yuna. The group is captured at the Bevelle temple, and are ordered to stand trial. After escaping from their sentence, the group heads towards the ruins of Zanarkand, seen in the introduction of the game.

On the way there, Tidus learns that he, Jecht, and the Zanarkand they hail from are summoned entities akin to aeons based on the original Zanarkand and its people.Long ago, the original Zanarkand battled Bevelle in a machina war, in which the former was defeated. Zanarkand's survivors became "fayth" so that they could use their memories of Zanarkand to create a new city in their image, removed from the reality of Spira. One thousand years after its creation, the fayth have become exhausted from "dreaming" their Zanarkand, but are unable to stop due to Sin's influence.

Once they reach Zanarkand, Yunalesca—the first summoner to defeat Sin and unsent ever since—tells the group that the Final Aeon is created from the fayth of one close to the summoner. After defeating Sin, the Final Aeon kills the summoner and transforms into a new Sin, which has caused its cycle of rebirth to continue. Yuna decides against using the Final Aeon, due to the futile sacrifices it carries and the fact that Sin would still be reborn. Disappointed by their resolution, Yunalesca tries to kill Tidus' group, but she is defeated and vanishes, ending hope of ever attaining the Final Aeon. After the fight, the group learns that Yu Yevon, a summoner who lost his humanity and mind, is behind Sin's cycle of rebirth. This leads the group to infiltrate Sin's body to battle Seymour and Jecht's imprisoned spirits. With Sin's hosts defeated, Tidus' group battles and defeats Yu Yevon. Sin's cycle of rebirth ends, and the spirits of Spira's fayth are freed from their imprisonment. Auron, revealed to be unsent, goes to the Farplane, having died years ago after confronting Yunalesca. Just then, Dream Zanarkand and Tidus disappear, now that the freed fayth stopped the summoning. Afterward, in a speech to the citizens of Spira, Yuna resolves to help rebuild their world now that it is free of Sin. In a post-credits scene, Tidus awakens under water. He then swims towards the ocean surface, and the screen fades to white.

4. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

The events of Ocarina of Time are set in the fictional kingdom of Hyrule, the setting of most The Legend of Zelda games. Hyrule Field serves as the central hub connected to several outlying areas with diverse topography. Most of these areas are populated by the races of Hyrule: Hylians, Kokiri, Gorons, Zoras, Gerudos, and Sheikah.

The fairy Navi awakens Link from a nightmare, in which Link witnesses a man in black armor on horseback chasing a girl on a white horse. Navi brings Link to the Great Deku Tree, who is cursed and near death. The Deku Tree tells Link a "wicked man of the desert" cursed him and seeks to conquer the land of Hyrule, and that Link must stop him. Before dying, the Great Deku Tree gives Link the Spiritual Stone of the Forest and sends him to Hyrule Castle to speak with the "princess of destiny".

At the Hyrule Castle garden, Link meets Princess Zelda, who believes Ganondorf, the Gerudo King of Thieves, is seeking the Triforce, a holy relic in the Sacred Realm that gives its holder godlike power. Zelda asks Link to obtain the three Spiritual Stones so he can enter the Sacred Realm and claim the Triforce before Ganondorf reaches it. Link collects the other two stones: the first from Darunia, leader of the Gorons, and the second from Ruto, princess of the Zoras. Link returns to Hyrule Castle, where Ganondorf is pursuing Zelda and her caretaker Impa on horseback. Link unsuccessfully attempts to stop Ganondorf, and then retrieves the Ocarina of Time. Inside the Temple of Time, he uses the Ocarina and the Spiritual Stones to open the door to the Sacred Realm and finds the Master Sword, a legendary sword forged to destroy evil. As he pulls the sword from its pedestal, Ganondorf appears and claims the Triforce for himself.

Seven years later, an older Link awakens in an area of the Sacred Realm known as the Chamber of Sages and is met by Rauru, one of the seven sages who protect the entrance to the Sacred Realm. Rauru explains that Link's spirit was sealed for seven years until he was old enough to wield the Master Sword and defeat Ganondorf, who is now the King of Evil. The seven sages can imprison Ganondorf in the Sacred Realm, but five are unaware of their identities as sages. Link is returned to the Temple of Time; there he meets the mysterious Sheik, who guides him to free five temples from Ganondorf's control, allowing each temple's sage to awaken. Link befriended all five sages as a child: Saria, the Sage of the Forest Temple; Darunia, the Sage of the Fire Temple; Ruto, the Sage of the Water Temple; Impa, the Sage of the Shadow Temple; and Nabooru, the Sage of the Spirit Temple. After the five sages awaken, Sheik reveals herself to be Zelda in disguise, and the seventh sage. She tells Link that Ganondorf's heart was unbalanced, causing the Triforce to split into three pieces. Ganondorf acquired only the Triforce of Power, while Zelda received the Triforce of Wisdom and Link the Triforce of Courage.

Ganondorf kidnaps Zelda and imprisons her in his castle. The other six sages help Link enter the castle, where he fights to Ganondorf's sanctum. Link frees Zelda and nearly defeats Ganondorf, but he destroys the castle in an attempt to kill Link and Zelda. After they escape the collapsing castle, Ganondorf emerges from the rubble and, using the Triforce of Power, transforms into a boar-like monster named Ganon and knocks the Master Sword from Link's hand. With Zelda's aid, Link retrieves the Master Sword and defeats Ganon. The seven sages seal Ganondorf in the Dark Realm. Still holding the Triforce of Power, Ganondorf vows to take revenge on their descendants. Zelda uses the Ocarina of Time to send Link back to his childhood. Navi departs and Link meets Zelda in the castle garden once more.

5.Mass Effect 2

Mass Effect 2 begins weeks after the events of the original game. While patrolling for geth resistance, the SSV Normandy is attacked by an unknown starship, forcing the crew to abandon ship. During the evacuation, Shepard tosses Joker into the Normandy's final escape pod before being blasted into space. After a suit breach, Shepard dies of asphyxiation as his/her body is pulled into the orbit of a nearby planet. Shepard's body is recovered shortly after death by Cerberus, who creates the Lazarus Project with the sole purpose of bringing Shepard back to life. After two years, Shepard awakens on an operating table to ringing alarm bells in a research station under attack by its own security mechs. Shepard teams up with Jacob Taylor and medical officer Wilson to reach the escape shuttle. However, Miranda Lawson, who was already waiting at the shuttle bay, shoots Wilson, citing him as the station's betrayer. Shepard is brought to meet with the Illusive Man, who reveals that entire populations of human colonies are disappearing all over the galaxy.

Now working for Cerberus, Shepard is sent to investigate a recently attacked colony where he/she finds clues about the validity that the Reapers are working by proxy through an insectoid species called the Collectors. The Illusive Man explains that Shepard must construct a team in order to stop the Collectors who reside beyond the Omega-4 Relay, a place from which no ship has ever returned. Shepard is also given command of a new starship, the Normandy SR-2, piloted again by Joker and equipped with an onboard AI named EDI. Shepard recruits four new squad members—Mordin Solus, Garrus Vakarian, Jack, and (optionally) Grunt—before receiving intel from the Illusive Man that another human colony is under attack. With the help of Mordin's studies on Collector biology, Shepard successfully stops the attack, but a large portion of the colony's population was captured. Shepard continues to recruit squad members, adding Tali'Zorah, Thane Krios, and Samara, until the Illusive Man contacts Shepard about a supposedly disabled Collector ship. As Shepard and the squad board the ship, they encounter no Collector resistance and learn that the Collectors were originally Protheans turned into slaves of the Reapers. With EDI's help, Shepard finds out how to bypass the Omega-4 Relay before being ambushed by the Collectors. Although Shepard and the squad manage to escape the Collector ship, relations between Shepard and the Illusive Man are strained due to the Illusive Man's knowledge of the Collector trap.

After optionally earning the loyalty of the squad, Shepard visits a derelict Reaper and acquires an IFF transponder necessary for safe travel through the Omega-4 Relay. Shepard may acquire a disabled geth that, if activated, voluntarily joins the squad and is given the name of Legion. The Normandy integrates the IFF into her systems while Shepard and the squad leave the ship in a shuttle. During their absence, the Normandy is attacked and boarded by the Collectors. Only Joker avoids capture and, with EDI's help, is able to get the Normandy away from the ambush. After Shepard's squad returns to the Normandy, the team uses the Omega-4 Relay to get to the Collector base. In the Collectors base, the team rescues any surviving members of the Normandy and fight their way to the central chamber. Squad members may survive or perish depending on their loyalty to Shepard, the upgrades made to the Normandy, and the tasks assigned for specific members to perform in the battle.

In the central chamber, Shepard discovers that the Collectors have been constructing a new Reaper made from the genetic material of the abducted humans, but EDI is unsure of its true purpose. Shepard destroys the machine powering the human Reaper and prepares to destroy the Collector base. However, before doing so, the Illusive Man contacts Shepard and gives the order to sterilize the base with a radiation pulse so that its information can be used against the Reapers. After choosing to destroy or sterilize the base, Shepard destroys the awakened human-reaper larva and, if enough squad members survived, escapes the base before the bomb detonates. If no squad members survive, Shepard will be unable to escape the Collector Base and will die. Back on the Normandy, Shepard speaks with the Illusive Man, who either praises or condemns Shepard's decision. As Shepard meets in the Normandy's cargo bay with the survivors of the mission, Joker gives the Commander schematics of a Reaper. Humanity now has the full attention of the Reapers, who awaken in dark space and descend upon the galaxy, setting the stage for Mass Effect 3.

Task Two:

Some games that don't include stories are that of Tetris, Pac-Man and Space Invaders. In general, the games that don't include a story are generally casual games that can be played for five or ten minutes and don't require much learning in order to be able to play the game. Furthermore, these games tend to be puzzle games such as Candy Crush Saga and games that are similar to that.

Task Three:

The difference between stories in games and films is that in games you are able to play out the story and be involved. Also within story games you have choices to make so this then manipulates the story. A popular manipulative story game is until dawn. The way the story plays out is due to your choice, the game uses the butterfly effect.
Many games have been developed into films; Hitman, Halo, Resident Evil, Tomb Raider, Max Payne etc. Some of these films are very successful whereas others seem to not create the same atmosphere. I believe that the Resident Evil films are very successful, they stick to the main theme of zombies and the films story is interesting. 

Task Four:

Linear stories are stories in which start right at the beginning, move slowly to the middle and then finish where it is suppose to end. It follows a straight line.
Non-Linear stories are stories where the reader/viewer/player is thrown into the middle of the story and then thrown back to the beginning or just put into different parts of the story. A book which follows a non-linear storyline is English Passengers. The chapters within the book are monologues of different characters from different time periods however their stories link with a larger story. 

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