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VWN Resource Database: Interactive Storytelling
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Resource Database > Interactive Storytelling
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Basic Storylines | Textual Creation
 
Storytelling, more specifically good storytelling, is one of the key ingredients to a truly immersive experience. However, virtual worlds require more thqan just good storytelling, they require good, dynamic storytelling, where the stories ebb and flow as the actions of the players change them, often in ways the storyteller did not expect or anticipate. Iur resources are intended to help you to let your stories go with the flow, as well as providing you with an impressive array of material to draw from.


Sections


Mythological Tales (15)

Mythology and folklaw has much to offer the storyteller. Some of the grandest stories ever told, have been mythological in origin, and there is more variety than you could believe.

From quests to local legends, from mighty heroes, to cataclysmic battles, here is a wealth of material, ripe, and ready for youyr use, in weaving your own mythos, legends, and true backstory to your world's tale.

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Modern Myths, Part One: An Overview from Gilgamesh to Bunyan
This long, and detailed article, calalogues the history of myths, from the very first written myths, to their extinction in the 21st century. It looks at the reasons why they've become extinct, and describes some of the stepos needed to reintroduce them into your worlds.

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Modern Myths, Part Three: An Overview from Adventure to Anarchy
This short conclusion to the three-part series builds on the prior two to explain just how you can easily integrate myths, folklore, and legend into your world.

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Modern Myths, Part Two: An Overview from Citizen Kane to Spider-Man
Looks at the causes for the demise of mythology in our world, and the three factors that nailed it's coffin shut. It then goes on to show us the lesser cousins of mythology that still exist in our world, and where they may go towards in the future.

Linked resource
Myths and Legends
Encyclopedia of myths and legends

Locally Hosted resource
Norwegian folktales and myths
Whilst obviously, often referring to specific Norwegian folktales and mythologies, this outstanding work concentrates on the differing natures of folktales, and myths - how to tell one from the other, and what makes them believable.

Linked resource
The Elements of Good Mythtelling, Part Eight: Archetypical Setting
The last in this series, it looks at the setting of your myth capturing the feel of enduring myths from our world, and looking at the elements that set the tone, and trigger remvembrance.

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The Elements of Good Mythtelling, Part Five: Ritualizing Backstory
This well-written article takes a look at how ceremony and ritual, used correctly, can create the seed for mythology in the player's mind.

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The Elements of Good Mythtelling, Part Four: The Heroic Character
A good, thorough analysis of the hero's journey, and how parts of it can be used to make characters that, whilest not necessarily heroes, are respectful in aura none the less.

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The Elements of Good Mythtelling, Part One: Episodic Plot
This absorbing article discusses individual plotlines, almost as within the soap opera model - each is complete in and of itself, but each also lends not to an overarching plot, but to an interwoven thread of overarching plots. A worthy read.

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The Elements of Good Mythtelling, Part Seven: Local Setting
This looks at local myths - how they form, what they can be based upon, and the creation of something that's meaningful to your players at the time of it's creation, later growing in to something more.

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The Elements of Good Mythtelling, Part Six: Ritual Structure
This article looks at taking mythology one step further, the creation of rituals and ceremonies for your own world, and everythin involved in creating them; step by step.

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The Elements of Good Mythtelling, Part Three: Singular Plot in Practice
An interesting article written about using the hero's journey as a framework for a mini-plotline, using Star Wars as it's example.

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The Elements of Good Mythtelling, Part Two: Singular Plot in Theory
This article takes a look at the hero's journey, and dissects it quite thoroughly into it's individual sections, which are then explained in considerate detail.

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The Elements of Good ScaryTelling: The Horror Within
A short article on the subject of horror. It explains how to horrify the participant you don't have to shower monsters down upon them, true horror is tension, a sense of something wrong on the outside, clawing to get in.

Locally Hosted resource
The T?in
One of Ireland's greatest myths, the T?in is an epic struggle between provinces; great war, and strife - over cattle. This fascinating tale shows how values, different from our own - even radically so - can inspitre great tyranny and hardship within a civilisation.



Interactive Plotlines (11)

A good, strong, and interactive plotline is a wonderous thing. If done well, it really hooks the players intoto the world, binding their desires into the threads of the place. On the other hand, a badly crafted, or poorly thought-out plotline will have the opposite effect; severing bonds, and driving a wedge between the players and the world. Whatever form your plotlines take, is your business. Just be sure you run them well.
Applicable Dictionary Entries:  
KanseiKansei Engineering
Linked resource
Don't Tell Me a Story, Mommy
A comparison between worlds without storylines, worlds which offer linear plots, and worlds which allow the players to make up, and run their own plots. Three guesses which comes out worst?

As a game designer or new media storyteller, you know that the story is everything. However, figuring out how to tell it interactively-and in a way that keeps your audience coming back for more-can be challenging.



Linked resource
Fingerprints
?Here's a rookie mistake for a would-be Internet storyteller: Start a roleplaying, story-oriented mud, but make it all about you. Only tell the stories you want to tell, the way you want to tell them, and, no matter what, don't let your participants share in the effort of fleshing out the world you've created.?

Linked resource
Readers should get game-literate
A timely report from the guardian's staff blogs about how video gaming, rather than being the death of literature, is truly another form of it, one which is crying out for writers, and which stands a very good chance of becoming a higher art form itself.

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Show Me the Path
Linear plotlines are no good for interactive environments. Players need choices, they need different paths to follow, and they may even make their own. What are your options? How do you go about creating multiple paths, for the players to follow?

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The Taoist Storyteller
A LARP or a MUD is a very different storytelling environment to a tabletop roleplay. When it comes to storytelling, or guiding the plotline of a world whose players are often out of earshot or completely unpredictable, an entirely different approach is necessary.

This book constitutes the refereed proceedings of the first International Conference on Virtual Storytelling, ICVS 2001, held in Avignon, France, in September 2001.



This book constitutes the refereed proceedings of the second International Conference on Virtual Storytelling, ICVS 2003, held in Toulouse, France, in September 2003.



This book constitutes the refereed proceedings of the third International Conference on Virtual Storytelling, ICVS 2005, held in Strasbourg, France, in December 2005.





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Plot Basics (7)

Before you can create a good plot, you need to be sure you know what a good plot is. What are the building blocks of a plot? What do you need to consider, before you begin to sketch out a storyline?
Linked resource
Better Plots
Designed more with game genres in mind, this collection of lists is nonetheless full of commonsense advice for any budding plotline.

Written by Lee Sheldon, a professional entertainment writer, with such credits as Star Trek: The Next Generation", "Charlie's Angels", and "Edge of Night" to his name, this book is all about writing good, solid, sweeping plots for interactive entertainment.



Linked resource
Developing a Storyline
A short intro article on the basics of developing a storyline, for use in interactive fiction.

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Interview: Character Development and Storytelling for Games, with Lee Sheldon
An interview with Lee Sheldon, proponent of epic plotlines for MMORPGs, and professional scriptwriter. The interview centers around his new book, "Character Development and Storytelling for Games"which can be considered core reading material for plot development.

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Seeds of Inspiration
?For those considering embarking on the ambitious effort of building their own original story telling arena, take heart. It can be done.?

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Why writing in games matters: Part I?advancing the art of storytelling
"The problem with writing in games is that we point out when it's terrible, but we don't praise it enough when it's good."

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Why writing in games matters: Part II?challenges of interactive storytelling
A second, deeper look at creating interactive stories, branching dialogue, and trying to create a feel of player participation whilst guiding them to specific destinations.



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Alternate History (1)

Alternative history - the study of what might have happened, if... Alternate history is a great source of fodder for story plots, and for whole world plotlines.

Such alternative history samples are outstanding, meaty fodder for world plotlines based around parallel existences - a world run by Hitler, or a cold war of the far future. This outstanding collection of essays really encourages you to think outside the box, and wonder, What might have happened if....








 



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