History Main / SlidingScaleOfGameplayAndStoryIntegration

28th Jul '16 7:17:07 AM Koveras
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Another definition would be that the gameplay ultimately revolves around numbers and is governed by mathematical rules, while the story revolves around words and symbols and is governed by the rules of emotional narrative. Either way, it is highly rare for a video game [[NoPlotNoProblem not to have any story whatsoever]] (think ''VideoGame/{{Pong}}'' level of storylessness) and, even more so, to not have any gameplay (though this depends on whether you count {{Kinetic Novel}}s as games), and these two aspects are usually integrated at least a little -- after all, you can hardly put pony-breeding gameplay against the backdrop of a galaxy-spanning war story. Similarly, it is often impossible to extricate the "gameplay" part from the "story" part for some game elements: for example, level design serves a practical function for gameplay, but also conveys information about the game's setting to the player -- and attempting to avoid this by setting one's gameplay in an environment comprised entirely of featureless white cubes would still tell the player ''something'' about the game's setting. Additionally, while it is virtually impossible for a game to have ''no'' story at all, story is not the only aspect that evokes an emotional reaction in the players, and "raw" gameplay can have the same effect in its own right, independent of the context it is placed in.

Since a gap between gameplay and story exists, despite the medium's relative youth, video games have already developed a rather standardized set of general and genre-specific [[VideoGameTropes gameplay-only conventions]]. While definitely not as old as storytelling conventions, [[TropesAreTools they are not fundamentally different and game designers borrow from them]] without considering how they fit InUniverse. Indeed, very few players [[FridgeLogic stop to ponder why]] the PlayerCharacter's well-being seems to be [[HitPoints divided into numbered chunks]] but [[CriticalExistenceFailure the only one that matters is the last]], because it's an established gameplay convention and most developers no longer feel the need to {{justif|iedTrope}}y it. This becomes even more obvious when the game's gameplay rules are adapted from an external source, such as TabletopGames.

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Another definition would be that the gameplay ultimately revolves around numbers and is governed by mathematical rules, while the story revolves around words and symbols and is governed by the rules of emotional narrative. Either way, it is highly very rare for a video game [[NoPlotNoProblem not to have any story whatsoever]] (think (i.e. the ''VideoGame/{{Pong}}'' level of storylessness) and, even more so, to not have any gameplay (though this depends on whether you count {{Kinetic Novel}}s as games), and these two aspects are usually integrated at least a little -- after all, you can hardly put introduce pony-breeding gameplay against the backdrop of a galaxy-spanning war story. Similarly, it is often impossible to extricate the "gameplay" part from the "story" part for some game elements: for example, level design serves a practical function for gameplay, but also conveys information about the game's setting to the player -- and attempting to avoid this by setting one's gameplay in an environment comprised entirely of featureless white cubes would still tell the player ''something'' about the game's setting. Additionally, while it is virtually impossible for a game to have ''no'' story at all, story is not the only aspect that evokes an emotional reaction in the players, and "raw" gameplay can have the same effect in its own right, independent of the context it is placed in.

Since a gap between gameplay and story exists, exists and despite the medium's relative youth, video games have already developed a rather standardized set of general and genre-specific [[VideoGameTropes gameplay-only gameplay conventions]]. While definitely not as old as storytelling conventions, [[TropesAreTools they are not fundamentally different and game designers often borrow from them]] without considering how they fit InUniverse. Indeed, very few players [[FridgeLogic stop to ponder why]] the PlayerCharacter's well-being seems to be [[HitPoints divided into numbered chunks]] but [[CriticalExistenceFailure the only one that matters is the last]], because it's an established gameplay convention and most developers no longer feel the need to {{justif|iedTrope}}y it. This becomes even more obvious when the game's gameplay rules are adapted from an external source, such as TabletopGames.



The degree of story and gameplay integration in a particular game is always relative to the "mean level" of it in its genre. Story-driven genres like {{adventure|Game}}s and {{Role Playing Game}}s, for instance, traditionally feature a much higher level of integration than {{Racing|Game}} and {{Fighting Game}}s. Note, however, that a particular game's StoryToGameplayRatio does not imply anything about the extent to which its gameplay is integrated with its story. Ultimately, deliberate gameplay and story integration is all about recognizing a [[StrictlyFormula particular genre's gameplay or story formulas]] and interlocking them in a way that is not expected in that genre. Off the above scale lie the aforementioned games that lack [[NoPlotNoProblem either a story]] or gameplay of any kind, as well as the phenomenon known as "Emergent Storytelling" -- the metaphorical Holy Grail for some developers, wherein the game's generic ruleset facilitates the players inventing and enjoying stories all on their own. Some would argue that this is what the Perfect Integration sector of the scale is all about, but then again, so are non-kinetic VisualNovels.

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The degree of story and gameplay integration in a particular game is always relative to the "mean level" of it in its genre. Story-driven genres like {{adventure|Game}}s and {{Role Playing Game}}s, for instance, traditionally feature a much higher level of integration than the competitive {{Racing|Game}} and {{Fighting Game}}s. Note, however, that a particular game's StoryToGameplayRatio does not imply anything about the extent to which its gameplay is integrated with its story. Ultimately, deliberate gameplay and story integration is all about recognizing a [[StrictlyFormula particular genre's gameplay or story formulas]] and interlocking them in a way that is not expected in that genre. Off the above scale lie the aforementioned games that lack [[NoPlotNoProblem either a story]] or gameplay of any kind, as well as the phenomenon known as "Emergent Storytelling" -- the metaphorical Holy Grail for some developers, wherein the game's generic ruleset facilitates the players inventing and enjoying stories all on their own. Some would argue that this is what the Perfect Integration sector of the scale is all about, but then again, so are non-kinetic VisualNovels.
28th Jul '16 12:20:32 AM Kahran042
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** At a later point when the party is on route to attack the villians at their base, Virginia gets struck by a poison by the main villian during a cutscene event. She is treated for it, but her Vitality gague is drained and cannot be refilled due to the poison's lingering effects. After they beat the villians, Virginia gets time to fully recover from the poison, and as such restore her Vitality gague.

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** At a later point when the party is on route to attack the villians villains at their base, Virginia gets struck by a poison by the main villian villain during a cutscene event. She is treated for it, but her Vitality gague is drained and cannot be refilled due to the poison's lingering effects. After they beat the villians, villains, Virginia gets time to fully recover from the poison, and as such restore her Vitality gague.
29th Jun '16 3:23:33 AM Koveras
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[[folder:First-Person Shooter]]

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[[folder:First-Person [[folder:First/Third-Person Shooter]]



* SpecOpsTheLine, appropriately for being a deconstruction of pretty much everything in big-budget 7th and 8th gen video games, allows its players to face every moral choice or narrative decision in the game without at all deviating from its default third-person cover-based shooter controls and gameplay. For example, the player can choose one ending by refusing to shoot a particular target. If they choose not to do so, they will eventually be confronted by some of the toughest enemies in the game. They can surrender for one ending, fight and win for another ending, or be defeated by those enemies for a third ending. In another scene, as a mortally wounded character begs for a MercyKill, the player can use the normal controls to deliver the coup de grace, to shoot and miss, to simply walk off, or to watch the bastard die horribly. The NPC reacts appropriately to each choice.

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* SpecOpsTheLine, ''VideoGame/SpecOpsTheLine'', appropriately for being a deconstruction {{deconstruction|Game}} of pretty much everything in big-budget 7th and 8th gen video games, allows its players to face every moral choice or narrative decision in the game without at all deviating from its default third-person cover-based shooter controls and gameplay. For example, the player can choose one ending by refusing to shoot a particular target. If they choose not to do so, they will eventually be confronted by some of the toughest enemies in the game. They can surrender for one ending, fight and win for another ending, or be defeated by those enemies for a third ending. In another scene, as a mortally wounded character begs for a MercyKill, the player can use the normal controls to deliver the coup de grace, coup-de-grace, to shoot and miss, to simply walk off, or to watch the bastard die horribly. The NPC reacts appropriately to each choice.
28th Jun '16 10:06:05 PM chc232323
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Added DiffLines:

* SpecOpsTheLine, appropriately for being a deconstruction of pretty much everything in big-budget 7th and 8th gen video games, allows its players to face every moral choice or narrative decision in the game without at all deviating from its default third-person cover-based shooter controls and gameplay. For example, the player can choose one ending by refusing to shoot a particular target. If they choose not to do so, they will eventually be confronted by some of the toughest enemies in the game. They can surrender for one ending, fight and win for another ending, or be defeated by those enemies for a third ending. In another scene, as a mortally wounded character begs for a MercyKill, the player can use the normal controls to deliver the coup de grace, to shoot and miss, to simply walk off, or to watch the bastard die horribly. The NPC reacts appropriately to each choice.
26th Jun '16 11:22:30 AM PrincessGwen
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** An inversion with this happens in ''Fates'', similar to ''VideoGame/Persona4''. Arthur's RunningGag is that he has ''terrible'' luck. If you look at his stats, you'll notice that his luck stat is only one, and that his growth rate is only either 5-10%. His personal skill also ''reduces'' his chance to avoid critical hits by five.

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** An inversion with this happens in ''Fates'', similar to ''VideoGame/Persona4''. Arthur's RunningGag is that he has ''terrible'' luck. If you look at his stats, you'll notice that his luck Luck stat is only one, and that his growth rate is only either 5-10%. His personal skill also ''reduces'' his chance to avoid critical hits by five.



** Chrom uses the titular Fire Emblem as a shield when he is promoted to Master Lord. Promote him before he gets it in the story and he won't have it on his model. Later on when it is stolen, Chrom won't actually have it on his model.

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** Chrom uses the titular Fire Emblem as a shield when he is promoted to Master Great Lord. Promote him before he gets it in the story and he won't have it on his model. Later on when it is stolen, Chrom won't actually have it on his model.



** A gameplay and plot point is that the descendents of dragons (namely you) can use dragon veins. If you fight a Nohr or Hoshido royal, they can ''also'' use the vein against you as well. This also carries over to the second generation - naturally, children of royal figures will have the ability to access Dragon Veins. This includes children of commoner fathers who married royalty.
** Personal skills in ''general'' are either tied to a unit's class and/or their character. For example, Ryoma the samurai has "Bushido" as his personal skill, whereas a former criminal Niles has "Kidnap" as his own skill. Gunter is your bodyguard figure, and his personal skill buffs him whenever he is fighting alongside the avatar.
** When one fights the royal siblings in ''Conquest'' or ''Birthright'', their behaviour and even their stats sometimes reflect their feelings towards the avatar. Such as [[spoiler:the eldest being reluctant to attack during the DuelBoss - Xander does so because he is committing SuicideByCop, whereas Ryoma is fighting with honour and flat out ''allows'' you to make the first move.]] Or Sakura intentionally not getting in the player characters' way and being a SkippableBoss.
** In the "my castle" feature, if you try to Arena-abuse to get around the limited experience in ''Conquest'', it actually won't give you any experience points. You can still Arena-abuse for food and gems though. Meanwhile in Birthright, you ''can'' arena-abuse for experience.

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** A gameplay and plot point is that the descendents of dragons (namely you) can use dragon veins.Dragon Veins. If you fight a Nohr or Hoshido royal, they can ''also'' use the vein against you as well. This also carries over to the second generation - naturally, children of royal figures will have the ability to access Dragon Veins. This includes children of commoner fathers who married royalty.
** Personal skills in ''general'' are either tied to a unit's class and/or their character. For example, Ryoma the samurai has "Bushido" as his personal skill, whereas a former criminal Niles has "Kidnap" as his own skill. Gunter is your bodyguard figure, and his personal skill buffs him whenever he is fighting alongside the avatar.
Avatar.
** When one fights the royal siblings in ''Conquest'' or ''Birthright'', their behaviour behavior and even their stats sometimes reflect their feelings towards the avatar. Avatar. Such as [[spoiler:the eldest being reluctant to attack during the DuelBoss - Xander does so because he is committing SuicideByCop, whereas Ryoma is fighting with honour honor and flat out ''allows'' you to make the first move.]] Or Sakura intentionally not getting in the player characters' Avatar's way and being a SkippableBoss.
** In the "my castle" "My Castle" feature, if you try to Arena-abuse to get around the limited experience in ''Conquest'', it actually won't give you any experience points. You can still Arena-abuse for food and gems though. Meanwhile in Birthright, you ''can'' arena-abuse for experience.
25th Jun '16 11:00:15 PM Koveras
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* Just before fighting [[VideoGame/DeadIsland Ryder White]] you have to fend off his soldiers and the infected. The helipad's he's on is clearly visible but if you try and get a good look you get shot. Someone is mouthing off about nuking the island but when confronted White is relatively composed, implying it was actually Charon as he did imitate him before.

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* ''VideoGame/DeadIsland'': Just before fighting [[VideoGame/DeadIsland Ryder White]] White, you have to fend off his soldiers and the infected. The helipad's he's on is clearly visible but if you try and get a good look you get shot. Someone is mouthing off about nuking the island but when confronted White is relatively composed, implying it was actually Charon as he did imitate him before.
25th Jun '16 5:26:47 PM tsstevens
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Added DiffLines:

* Just before fighting [[VideoGame/DeadIsland Ryder White]] you have to fend off his soldiers and the infected. The helipad's he's on is clearly visible but if you try and get a good look you get shot. Someone is mouthing off about nuking the island but when confronted White is relatively composed, implying it was actually Charon as he did imitate him before.
6th Jun '16 3:31:43 PM HiddenWindshield
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** DeathIsASlapOnTheWrist: a great of the plot revolves around around finding out why the main character comes back to life if killed. In addition, said character can gain an ability to resurrect other party members without using a spell, [[spoiler: because he has power to draw tormented souls to himself, and they all fit the bill]]. Also, Intentionally springing death traps and getting yourself killed repeatedly is required to solve one puzzle in the game [[spoiler: which was built so only that person could solve it]].

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** DeathIsASlapOnTheWrist: a great deal of the plot revolves around around finding out why the main character comes back to life if killed. In addition, said character can gain an ability to resurrect other party members without using a spell, [[spoiler: because [[spoiler:because he has power to draw tormented souls to himself, and they all fit the bill]]. Also, Intentionally intentionally springing death traps and getting yourself killed repeatedly is required to solve one puzzle in the game [[spoiler: which [[spoiler:which was built so only that person could solve it]].



*** The main character is the only one who can raise attributes and switch classes, apparently because he had these different classes and attributes in past lives and can focus on remembering them.
** KarmaMeter: True to ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' form, CharacterAlignment exists, and characters can discuss and sometimes sense it. It effects and is effected by both gameplay and story choices. [[spoiler: The character's previous incarnations are also divided by alignment, and ArcWords are "What can change the nature of a man?"]].

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*** The main character is the only one who can raise attributes and switch classes, apparently because he had these different classes and attributes in past lives and can focus on remembering them.
** KarmaMeter: True to ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' form, CharacterAlignment exists, and characters can discuss and sometimes sense it. It effects and is effected by both gameplay and story choices. [[spoiler: The [[spoiler:The character's previous incarnations are also divided by alignment, and ArcWords are "What can change the nature of a man?"]].
6th Jun '16 11:29:30 AM HiddenWindshield
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** There is a rather sneaky example early on, which becomes this in hindsight. All party members begin with 2 ATB-slots, except Vanille, who has 3. After becoming l'Cie, they all gain 1, again - except Vanille, who still has 3. [[spoiler:She's been a l'Cie for [[Really700YearsOld waaaaay longer than everyone else]]...]]

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** There is a rather sneaky example early on, which becomes this in hindsight. All party members begin with 2 ATB-slots, except Vanille, who has 3. After becoming l'Cie, they all gain 1, again - 1 -- again, except Vanille, who still has 3. [[spoiler:She's already an l'Cie, and has been a l'Cie for [[Really700YearsOld waaaaay longer than everyone else]]...]]
6th Jun '16 9:03:34 AM HiddenWindshield
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* ''VideoGame/MetroidOtherM'' decides to justify Samus' use (or lack of use) or her suit functions as her deferring to the orders of her former C.O. Adam Malkovich. Fans, particularly Western ones, thought this justification very thin from the get go, as they didn't think Samus should've been under orders from ''anyone'', and definitely not when obeying Adam's orders became actively detrimental to her survival. Eventually, Samus ''does'' ignore Adam's orders and self-authorizes suit functions, but to most fans, it was too little, too late.

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* ''VideoGame/MetroidOtherM'' decides to justify Samus' use (or lack of use) or her suit functions as her deferring to the orders of her former C.O. Adam Malkovich. Fans, particularly Western ones, thought this justification very thin from the get go, as they didn't think Samus should've been under orders from ''anyone'', and definitely not when obeying Adam's orders became [[HonorBeforeReason actively detrimental to her survival. survival]]. Eventually, Samus ''does'' ignore start ignoring Adam's orders and self-authorizes self-authorizing suit functions, but to most fans, it was too little, too late.
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