My Narrative Game Outline

Recently I experienced narrative games for the first time in a very long time. Armed with a little experience with online narrative games I set out to create my own. While playing several online narrative games I voiced my concerns in regards to the genre and how problematic it can get. I introduced the concept of  the educate and engage spectrum to the table and how you want your game to fall somewhere in the middle. Also I explained why being on any one end of the spectrum is problematic, if you lean too much on the educational side things tend to get a bit to boring and players are less engaged as a result. On the other hand if you find yourself on the other end you tend to get no satisfaction out of playing the game, you reach the end and find yourself asking “well, what now? am I done?” I’ve found it’s important to maintain a balance between being factual, engaging and informative. I also found that it is important to set a clear end game and audience for your game.

So as a result I plan on creating a game that targets people in their late teens and early twenties. The topic has to do with substance abuse on some level (how deep I decide to get into it is still unclear). This game draws inspiration from two other games I played recently, Spent and the Depression Quest. In that it has a relatively clear goal and deals with a serious matter that doesn’t get much thought.

In my game I plan on having the player take on the role of a character who’s in his early twenties, the player takes hold of all the dissuasion making in the character’s life using a series of multiple choice questions. Right from the start the player gets to choose whether or not his character gets hook by navigating through social gatherings and dealing with traumatic experiences. As I pointed out previously it’s important to have an end game and so far I’ve come up with three possibilities.

1) You refuse getting sucked in

2) You get sucked in and get help

3) You get sucked in and inevitably die

This is how I see the game playing out.

Screen Shot 2017-10-09 at 7.07.44 PMI am still unclear on a lot of the details but have a general idea on the path I want to take. I am currently thinking of ways to approach the subject but this is what I have so far. I’m using this blog as a checkpoint in my process, I’ve found that sometimes finding words for your ideas helps in forming a clearer picture of what you want to do. Any feedback on the matter would be very useful, tell me what do you want to see in this game? Whether you would be interested in playing it at some point (possibly beta testing it) post it in comments below.


9 thoughts on “My Narrative Game Outline

Add yours

  1. I actually admire ur idea and how it describes social life in general ; however , i feel the game should have more options than just being getting hooked but of course thats ur perspective and I’m really interested.


  2. I really really like the idea of this game. It sounds also a little bit like the Responsible Partying game – but not the format (the format of that one is way more educational than entertaining). I’m trying to figure out from your diagram what happens to the person who refuses the drugs…
    I was wondering if the person who refuses drugs keeps getting put into situations where he might be offered drugs again and/or might be tricked into trying them once or something? That might be an interesting thing to learn – like how might someone who actually does not intend to do drugs get tricked into it either inadvertently (like they don’t actually know what they’re taking) or because of a girlfriend or close friend or traumatic situation as you said… just thinking aloud here…


  3. Great idea! I think it will be very interesting to play and at the same time, it will spread awareness about an important topic. I’m just looking forward to more details about the storyline.


  4. I really like the idea, as now a days the issue that you are addressing had increased and is still growing, as people want to fit in, and they have the decision whether to take any substance, whether in a social gathering or somewhere else. I’m interested in seeing how your game will go through.


  5. I think this is a very important topic, because many people nowadays are actually going through the same scenarios, therefore this can help various people through looking at the situation from an ‘outsiders’ perspective. I think that if you add situations with positive outcomes, this can really change an individual’s perspective regarding this topic.


  6. I find your topic very interesting considering the fact that drugs are now more openly and widely used in Egypt (even though some deny its common existence nowadays). This topic has always and i think will always remain a taboo in our culture even though alcohol is much more widely accepted. So i like that you chose this topic so maybe people would be less judgmental when it comes to those who use drugs, because you never actually know what the person is going through. I think what you could add maybe is the how the parents would react if their child asked to go to rehab (if they asked for help) because in Egypt most parents would rather hide their child’s addiction to avoid “social shame” instead of giving them the help they need. Good luck 🙂


  7. Great idea. One that interests me a lot because I am a very outgoing person, have some friends who might be bad influences, but never give in to any temptations to substance usage. I hope this game could teach people that self control is an important aspect and that there’s no such thing as “what can I do, everyone’s doing it”. Also admire how you present it as it may or may not be the first game I don’t get lost while reading it’s steps. Good luck


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