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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 144
# 54
11-16-2012, 07:03 PM
Originally Posted by broadnax View Post
Some Foundry authors, however, seem to focus too much on the textual side and really drag the flow to a screeching halt. Most MMO players -- including those of us who play primarily for story content -- are not looking to read a novel in game. If the author stops us dead with multiple screens of long, scrolling text to fit in all the backstory you would find *over time* in a good novel, they're going to lose the player.

What constitutes good novel writing does not necessarily translate into good MMO writing. For the game, text and player activity should be well-balanced. Immersion is not just about reading the story, it's about *participating* in it. The characters should be an active part of the story.
Purely theoretical on part, as I've yet to publish a foundry mission myself, but I feel like this is the sort of a good example of where the old "show, don't tell" adage comes into play.

Any time you have something that involves a large text dump, IMO it's best to take a step back and think about how you could communicate much of the same info through direct player experience. Even if it means substantially lengthening the mission by adding maps and/or objectives, or even splitting the mission into parts, it's generally going to be more engaging for the player to learn that stuff in the course of doing stuff than by reading a big block of text.

Have the player discover things themselves instead of be briefed on them by NPCs whenever at all possible. If an NPC has a backstory that's too large, consider separating that story out and developing it into a mission in its own right. If the big backstory is too relevant to the original mission, then set the original mission aside so you can focus and publish the backstory mission first.

Last edited by connectamabob; 11-16-2012 at 07:08 PM.