Plot Is Highly Overrated In Games – League Of Legends Designer
Okay wait, let’s do the non-internet thing here and here the guy out.
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“Plot is highly overrated,” League of Legends developer Riot Games narrative lead Tom Abernathy said today during a Game Developers Conference presentation at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Abernathy has previously worked at Microsoft on Halo: Reach and cited internal and external research which “proves that out.”
Now, this doesn’t mean what you think it means. Abernathy is advocating for a focus on strong characters to build a plot around rather than a strong plot to drag characters through. There is a difference.
“Users don’t remember plot; what the do remember is they remember characters,” Abernathy said. Players become “hooked” in a game if they care about its characters, he explained.
“Focus on the things that they will retain, that are going to be most important to them in the long-run,” Abernathy said to a room of developers and press. “Focus on character.”
But to create believable and compelling characters, developers should make sure that characters’ motivations are aligned appropriately with the motivations that they are leading the player to experience as well,” Abernathy said.
This is in fact very true, Yes, a great plot can have you hooked but not as much as engrossing characters that absorb you because at the end of the day you are that character so you want them to pull you in.
You can have a great narrative experience built using a generic or non-character. Half-Life is a prime example but then you’ve got games that are invariably more memorable for their characters such as Far Cry 3, Portal, The Last of Us and so on.