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March 29, 2020, 03:58:21 PM

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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperDesignAn improved design for stories?
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Author Topic: An improved design for stories?  (Read 925 times)
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« on: October 23, 2018, 06:24:54 AM »

There's a tldr conclusion at the end, enjoy.

I think all the information I've been researching about hidden tutorials in games has become a fundamental form of pedagogy, separate but not too different from the basic intro, body, conclusion formulae of a school textbook.

The four step story design is just a fundamental, and I've done much writing to describe the progress of a game after relearning this.

The teaching sequence of the story format described for games in various media are : introduce, explore, test, conclude.
The primary sequence of school textbook examples is : introduce the lesson, introduce the chapter, segment the chapter into sections, conclude, review... a few days later you get a test... a few days later you get a grade.
The primary sequence of a written document we're trained to be comfortable with writing in school are: intro, body, conclusion

Here are some notes I took while watching videos:
4 [] design? Looks like it's the way people naturally learn, determine information is useful, and feel good they remembered. - paraphrased from Mark Brown

STEP 0.8 - courtesy of the hero's journey

passive unmotivated character development
1 do what you're told...
2 avoid danger
3 live within your means

1 become aware  
2 informed
3 introduced directly to a change
4 explore
1 gather information
2 gather things
3 get better
4 practice
5 granted many tries in quick succession
6 escalation

1 show you understand
2 knowledge of the world, system, mechanics
3 exploit
4 a twist
5 another change
6 all prior knowledge required now
7 extend step 2

1 final
2 exterminate a danger
3 back to rest
4 extend step 3

expansion - gather... things or information
understanding - interact, defend
execution - kill quests

concept / hook
challenge iteration
test understanding with a twist

4 RTS (ok this came from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6luOrhlzvrc?)

make difficult

4 ?
bring together

info courtesy of:
a bunch of 1-1 mario videos like this:

Mark Brown: His channel has... much related info

(edit1)the 4x rts reference came from another video I couldn't find right away.

redundant school textbooks (Huh?)

tldr; The four step design is similar to textbook examples. But utilizes interaction and testing and feedback deliberately with accute directness and accuracy not available to schools, causing game pedagogy to heighten the natural learning rate, with almost no human failure rate.  This also makes it pretty damn obvious games teach players, and they teach them versatility.

I went on to learn more resources describing escalating mechanics, versatility, etc. But I think I actually reached the point I can't learn anything more, and I've taken the four steps and molded them like 4X gameplay from my notes several times. If anyone has a question or some interesting info about the four step design, please comment.

please feel free to comment or criticize, I don't have anything to add atm... so you'll give me an excuse to respond
« Last Edit: November 17, 2019, 07:58:26 AM by Pfotegeist » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2019, 07:55:34 AM »

Learning methods! A highly opinionated take on art science and the media condensed into a somewhat persuasive outline, read at your own risk.

Hey so I thought I'd add something I thought of recently. I was starting to use flash cards and acknowledge the rote practice quickly drained me after not studying for a long time. Although this post I don't talk about video games nearly enough I'm getting back into trying to understand how learning creates a bottleneck slowing progress, other stimuli may as well, but the subject here is learning. Ultimately how can I use it as a means of enhancing the player's perception? One day that could be answered.  This is more like a brainstorm session

I only have two answers,
1 media introduces someone to a subject, and they decide if they like it based on That Media. It's pure psychological warfare, devoid of reality, until they decide if they want to take a risk and look into it.

2 Dilemma: there's this new thing my brain can't recognize. I can't stand it longer than 2 minutes without a break. My life depends on it, and it changes nothing. Solution: Pacing and common ground is crucial, common ground is simple as stopping to rest or more complex like flow state.

Now for a bunch of details for anyone interested in my self reflection that brought me to the above statement.

learning - psychology. a semi-permanent change in behavior.
...your body or brain changes, so you learned something, and you can change it back or temporarily lose any evidence of change, that is the hidden meaning.

There are only two halves of learning I will address, Introductory and various methods that'll inevitably improve mastery

Methods of learning?

Introductory (or freeform): getting handed a mnemonic landmark you build off later

meme (aka random)- references scattered around media, can be iconic phrases, or styles, or various plot devices and themes of a story without a coherent linearity (I'm thinking of that hare* video).  A meme is like pasting someone's head on different bodies and seeing how fast one person's opinion will change.

art - 1 intentionally non-pragmatic, or unintuitive uses of a subject, resulting in imperfect models and tools. 2 the individual's expression of a subject master or not.

story (like, a movie or book) - influential, mnemonic, or emotional context of a subject is derived passively
... active participation like talking or playing a game involves mastery, it's even challenging for the people to participate in group activities this way, but I'm thinking it's a good introduction method

Mastery: as a goal oriented process, it involves gathering information of a subject, studying, playing, and practicing until the only challenge that remains is finding new information often succeeded by art

experienced learning - multiple introductions, information gathering, and exploitation of what you found (this is also )

practice method - there is a predetermined goal, reach said goal, rest, and repeat for a brief time (recommended limit max 40 minutes session, 240 minutes per day)

group (aka academic) - involves other participants with adequate preparation

science - develop or discover tools to accomplish a goal with greater ease, or fewer steps. may art

*hare video, hare of Inaba. I was thinking about if this could be a storied learning, and I concluded that in a patchwork pattern like this lacking coherence, it is essentially a modern meme.  Random elements of a story resembles real life more closely, memes trigger iconic memory, it's an anti-story.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2019, 08:01:57 AM by Pfotegeist » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2019, 07:26:17 AM »

Fun. This is sort of an induced state of mind. Dopamine is the main culprit.

Here's my recent example: I'm doing rote practice to memorize vocabulary.
day 1
 I can currently tell if that faculty while practicing runs out of energy, my thoughts slow like a climber resting, and begin slipping back down a hill. There's no sensation in my mind, only a lack of motion.

day 5
 After repetition and resting without being too forceful I've built up mental fortitude. It feels like during, my energy increases, this must be a dopamine hit, and for a brief moment I had a sense of accomplishment that could be called fun. The desire to continue was there but I am forming a pattern of rest to help coax out more energy.

Theory: a rather large amount of dopamine could press beyond fun to a compulsive behavior.

So I don't recall much experience in this, but this is the type of pacing that a healthier mind will self-regulate, gaining/losing interest, preparing for another dopamine hit. A younger person's mind on alpha waves is restful until they're alerted. Adult beta waves are more awake, and if they can go on and on without rest or thankless during success, there's a significant benefit to positive external factors, like a coach, or personal experience regulating the pace.

In the early games, famous examples are 'too easy' and it's closer to this truth than anyone but an expert designer will realize. When player loses all lives and continues in the old arcade-like games, no new input can be acquired, even if the player ran full speed the next new thing is minutes away after complete failure.  During early levels the challenge is bare bones, most pragmatic approaches are only concerned with the new, meaning hidden secrets aren't even a blip on the radar, or how the game's inner workings are less than realistic.

The experience is altered from... experience, and the inner working of our mind.

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« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2020, 01:03:41 PM »

Rote gets boring. Mnemonics alone lacks a concrete purpose. Obvious solution, use them both. Less obvious solution, use them both every time there's an important thing to remember.


Vocabulary Lesson Example

This is a simplified explanation.

I test, rote engage memory, add at least one detail
II mnemonics, code long-term memory
III discovery, creativity, mastery, self-directed learning surpassing those initial steps
IV redundancy, rest, try again

I erase this story because the longest I've gone starved is only a few months. The hell do I know?

I keep breaking down the early study so this is less and less appealing as I go on.

I. Basic Adequacy
   1. Test long term memory, providing incomplete information. Should be quick and easy to pass.
   2. Gather the forgotten or new info to short term memory. Short delays, rote imitations, until it can be nearly repeated without source.

   3. Skill factoring. Recognize nuance, context, or minutiae involved that is bordering a student's nevus. Break impossible lessons down into easier pieces.

II. Use Mnemonics, Code to Long Term Memory

   1. Structure (Story Structure) is a user friendly service/mnemonic device, easy predictions are emotionally fertile.

   2. Establish context, reference the new by detailed definition, indication when tangible, location, observation, anything that differentiates it from current knowledge.

   3. Use metaphors, use of well-known to add context to an unknown, especially the intangible, anything that integrates current knowledge.

   4. Broken down into small easy steps, a big complex thing is only a matter of time to learn.
   5. Apply the interests of the learner, as many points that can be hit at once, to spread a deep seeded connection.

III. Exploration, Self Reflection

   1. Discovery stems comes from the desire to explore.
   2. Creativity. Theories. Hypothesis. Manipulate minutiae, recognize and subvert patterns, seek unexplored avenues to reach the new new.
   3. Display pragmatism, an ability to deliberately reach a specific outcome. A demanding test, or a challenge without foreseeable end will require this.
   4. Masters speak of a daemon guiding their actions. Consider what was learned recently, and take a momentary rest.

IV. Redundancy
   At a future time continue building from this foundation challenging the longer term memory.
   Start from 'I.'


For every word I want to learn I go through all this in about 10 seconds. Or I recognize it is difficult and come back later.

Part I: basic

1. Test by definition

2. Rote memorize new words
   multiple syllable words are particularly hard to remember
3. Challenge memory (no hints or cheats)
   I try to remember each difficult word I pass until the memory fades. I will encounter them again soon.

Part II: I create mnemonics very quickly using whatever I can

1. Nuances; tonal, spelling, hearing
2. Reference by image, use in sentences, using the definition
3. Breaking the word down to syllables
4. Metaphors, imagining stories, references to interesting context

Part III: self reflection

1. Trying to own the word, creating more mnemonics, use multiple words.

2. Pragmatism. Sticking to proper syntax, imitating the use exactly as I've witnessed in past. Trying to think of situations it'd come up.
3. Deciding how difficult it was to reach this point. I'll take a momentary break if it's incredibly difficult. I completely stop from self imposed limitation.

Part IV: redundancy
I use a 'flash cards' program, so I'll explain how that works.

Old cards are displayed, and I grade fail or pass. A pass auto sorts old cards back longer and longer intervals. I can also edit the cards manually, at any point.

Words I think I memorized recently are sorted to show up with the old ones the next day.

An old card becomes new again manually if I have a failing score. New cards will always appear again after I read through old cards, closer to the front than any other not yet graded card.

TL;DR use rote and mnemonic practices together. Rote challenges memory, the mnemonics you learn, and create for yourself codes to long term memory.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2020, 06:47:50 AM by Pfotegeist » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2020, 06:42:27 AM »

I suppose this is a determiner that gameplay will provide ludonarrative harmony, reinforcing player actions, making the mechanics practically write the story. The method works outside of games, as well, as a structure for literature.

Want to write a better story? I didn't solve this directly. If you want to get better at something, practice.

Want to make a story memorable? It's just like I described. If you want a story to be memorable, require someone get better at remembering in order to finish it (read about sunk cost fallacy).

For example: Dragon Quest Builders 2 is fresh. In the DQB games, you rebuild the world, you learn the job of placing voxels one brick at a time. The quests are about the game mechanics, and there's the usual trope of player agency, because you're the only character solving problems directly, with reasons. I like it, it is technically what I've been writing about.

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« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2020, 01:41:33 PM »

Learning in Psychology is about manipulating animals. Just pet my nose already and get it over with. The closest it may come to agreeing with games as proper medium to this date are studies of neuroplasticity.  People will behave differently if they believe they're being manipulated, every single creature in the ocean knows you're judging it.

An AI will cheat. *

Reading from a textbook isn't good enough, I have to write it all down until I have a sore wrist, tell me a better joke, writing it down sounds like a mnemonic to me. School is a strange combination of boring and dangerous.

A religion that demands discipline flecked with colorful mythology is fun compared to (USA)school.

I'm going to call the process of intro, mnemonic, self-reflection, with redundancy a ludokinetic school of thought. People are playing games more than ever, they are playful, and it is in pursuit of craft, challenge, dominance, and community (Loosely based on Bartle's taxonomy*), their needs are met in a post-scarcity world.

* OpenAI Plays Hide and Seek…and Breaks The Game!

* Bartle's taxonomy
Extra Credits: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxpW2ltDNow?

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« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2020, 06:02:36 AM »

Ludokinesis - mastery elected through play; can be defined in four steps: intro, mnemonics, self-reflection, and redundancy. Though exact measures applied may vary due to cognitive biases.

White Bunny

Step 1 This is a real white bunny. Repeat. This is a real white bunny.

Step 2 "Hi, bunny. What long ears you have, what big eyes you have." Picture that. What a soft body, you can feel the soft fur, imagine that feeling. Bunnies don't make noise, much, maybe a house rabbit does, listen to it. Trust the bunny.

Step 3 Can I get the white bunny to sit still?

Step 4 Long term goal: lap bunny. I call this lagokinesis.

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« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2020, 10:21:58 PM »

I've been trying to determine what this topic produced. Ludokinesis is certainly something, to me.

The topic itself entered a spiral since the first post. I tried moving to the epicenter, where I discussed introduction and mastery: to designate something exists, then remember, and smaller details ad infinitum... but, then I can only move outwards, a story has a narrative, interaction makes a game (with implicit narrative). Like dimensions of reality, I can perceive there's between 2 and 4 steps inclusive. The spirals can become fractals, the minutia and the meta that will only see ludokinesis as a component.

As story-shredding mechanic. A calculated way to forget and mutate parts of an experience, false memory simulation. Ludokinesis results in accurate memory, used correctly, that's a good sign the wrong way will shred those engrams to bits.

As a human simulation. There's also potential of writing realistic characters, how well they remember things, character development. The assertion that said character has plot armor is fine. Just. Fine.

Does memory play out as a plot device much?
Are there many stories that try to go into crucial detail about memory?

Dreams are like short term memory to me, but I guess I've mixed memories up and they became broken because of the dream process. Is that common?

I don't have a lot of fractal examples. That could help. Am I going to come back to this topic one day?

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