Notes on Procedural Narrative


If you've ever played the key inspiration behind Annwn - Geoff Crammond's The Sentinel - then you'll see a lot of similarities in our game. That game is so simple and elegant that it's hard to riff on the core gameplay. However, back in 1986 that core loop was sufficient to keep players engaged...whereas nowadays there is a constant barrage of other games competing for players' attention. I felt that we needed to give the overall experience a tighter structure.

Therefore, the island gameplay is wrappered with some simple stats levelling to impart a sense of progress, a campaign map to give players strategic choices, and a narrative framework to provide motivation and reward exploration. I was hoping to show a glimpse of it at the PC Gamer Weekender, but I've had to focus on making sure the core gameplay is as polished as possible.

It made sense, given the procedural nature of the gameworld, that the story should be somewhat procedural too. And the abstract style really lends itself to uncovering a backstory that happens mostly off-camera. So it was an ideal opportunity to play with some of the procedural narrative ideas I've been toying with for years. Every player will get a unique story, and I'm experimenting with two or three ways that the player can shape that story.

I may have got carried away. But I can't wait to show it off...which will have to wait until EGX Rezzed in April now!

Comments

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(+1)

Thanks for releasing the demo of this.  The Sentinel was one of my most favourite games in the 8-bit era. Top stuff