Writing Interactive Stories for Video Games & Other Formats | Michael McIntyre | Skillshare

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Writing Interactive Stories for Video Games & Other Formats

teacher avatar Michael McIntyre, Prof Mac and all things writing

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

36 Lessons (6h 26m)
    • 1. Introduction

      4:31
    • 2. Introduction

      14:30
    • 3. Brief history

      11:53
    • 4. Ja watch movie

      2:23
    • 5. Journal Activity interactivity

      2:41
    • 6. Where are we going now

      2:49
    • 7. Hero's journey

      9:24
    • 8. Graphic organizers 2

      16:47
    • 9. Story structure

      8:10
    • 10. 12 stage mythic story part 1

      15:13
    • 11. 12 stage mythic story part 2

      12:14
    • 12. Conflict

      14:05
    • 13. Conflict 2

      12:11
    • 14. Journal Your story

      14:31
    • 15. Interactivity 1

      19:54
    • 16. Interactivity 2

      9:36
    • 17. Interactivity 3

      12:40
    • 18. Character

      12:02
    • 19. Hero archetypes

      29:40
    • 20. Character archetypal hero 1

      15:35
    • 21. Character archetypal hero 2

      14:05
    • 22. Journal activity character backstory

      9:29
    • 23. Journal Activity – building a character

      11:30
    • 24. Journal activity bad guy

      6:00
    • 25. Ja other characters

      4:23
    • 26. Characters other archetypal 2a

      10:35
    • 27. Chracters other archetypal 1

      13:01
    • 28. Journal Activity reflection backstory

      4:53
    • 29. Character backstory

      6:07
    • 30. Journal Activity – building a character worksheet

      15:17
    • 31. Journal Activity using the character worksheet

      3:51
    • 32. Setting

      12:36
    • 33. Journal Activity setting thought experiment

      7:09
    • 34. Journal Activity setting

      7:37
    • 35. Graduate Degree in Interactive Story Structure

      8:06
    • 36. Final stage highest level

      10:57
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About This Class

The student will be able to write a video-game type story interactive story script at the end of this course. 

A recent release of a popular video game sold more than $1 billion in one day! Video games represent a new form of storytelling in which the story creators and the story's audience collaborate to create a totally new form of fiction -- Interactive Fiction! 

In this course, you will learn how to create stories for video games, an exciting, new form of storytelling. We will explore traditional modes of story structure and character building, as well as learn what makes Interactive Fiction different and special and learn how to incorporate interactive elements into your stories. This course is appropriate for beginning and advanced writers who want to acquire skills in this lucrative new field, and for artists and programmers who wish to learn the story-telling elements of the games they are already creating. 

Nearly 6 hours of original content; 12 hours of additional entertaining, informative, and inspirational material; and focused exercises that will guide you to the creation of your own project. 

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Michael McIntyre

Prof Mac and all things writing

Teacher

My name is Michael McIntyre. I have taught at the college level for about 20 years, mostly writing- and literature related courses: literature, film, and also "freshman" composition, advanced composition and research, creative writing, and professional writing. I also teach more generalist humanities courses such as art history, music appreciation, media studies, and study-skills courses. One of my favorite courses to teach is mythology.

I hold a Doctorate at the University of Southern California, a Master's Degree from California State University at San Francisco, and a Bachelor's Degree from the University of California, Berkeley. In a "previous lifetime" (or so it seems), I spent some years banging my head against the walls of the film industry. In this time, I wrote several s... See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: well, it might not have occurred to you, but a brand new story telling technology has arisen in the past few years. That totally changes the way that we tell stories. And we understand what the story is even, um, and it's a technology that you are very familiar with. For example, here is a basic premise of off one of these stories. Desmond Miles is kidnapped by a sinister corporation. They use the machine to send his consciousness back in time to relive the adventures of his ancestors, a secret society of assassins. So the conflict is. Can he survive and stop the evil company's plans to change? History doesn't sound like a plot for a blockbuster movie. Well, it is a blockbuster, but it's not a movie. It's a very popular game called The Assassin's Creed. And that's the new storytelling technology. And so one of things were going to do in this course is we're going to explore how story is that the base of the video games that we so love and enjoy and that how you can become a part of that brand new industry. So storytelling in video games is both an art and the business, and one of the ways to gauge just how successful a form it is is toe. Take a look at how much money it makes. In the 1st 3 days after its release, the most recent version of Grand Theft Auto made more than a $1,000,000,000 in sales. That's in three days. That's more than any entertainment vehicle in history. So people argue about whether total sales for video games is greater lesser than that of more conventional platforms for storytelling in video production, movies, television, Internet productions. But it's certainly a dynamic one, and it's one that totally changes again, the way they were telling stories and again that that's what this last is about. That's what we're gonna learn. Stories there would drive contemporary games. Increasingly, games are stories and assets the written first and then produced not the other way around. Um, and what makes a game successful more and more is a captivating story that entrances the player, the viewer of the story and somehow involves them. Now this class will not teach the production aspects of games. We won't get into the art of drawing characters or environments, know where we learn how to do computer program. These are perfectly valid things and necessary for this art form. But this is not what we're gonna be learning. We're gonna be looking at what happens at the very beginning when the pages blank or when the screen is blank. And we're gonna be looking at what it takes to fill that screen with your imagination with your dreams. What is this New world looked like this world that nobody's seen before. And how can we get people involved in your creation and keep them coming back? So in this last, you're gonna have to instructors me. I'm a professor of literature and writing at the Art Institute and Cameron, who's a dedicated young writer and a game player himself. I'll be approaching the subject and sometimes ah, mawr academic fashion. I'm a teacher. I can't help. Sorry on. And I'll be suggesting activities at the end of each segment for for you to enhance your thinking and your skills in this aspect and hopefully move towards actually creating a, uh, a story concept and and an actual game template camera will be adding his own practical takes on the subject, giving real life examples of the topics that we're covering and together will help you develop the necessary skills and create your own story in this most exciting new storytelling medium off the video game. 2. Introduction: time immemorial. We human beings support stories. We are the storytelling animal in the ancient caves such as Let's go, um, we see these magnificent tableau of off of wildlife, the wild animals of the area and we don't know exactly what those drawing for four whether to summon up spirits, magical spirits of the wild, the goddess of the of the hunter of nature. Very well might be. The drawings were accompanied by some sort of narrative. Somebody stood up in the flickering torchlight me, OGE hunt, Harry Long nose here, Harry Mammoth and for the story about the one he captured with one he, uh, killed or the one that got away. Um, but we tell stories and it's two stories that we construct the world because a lot of ways the world doesn't exist out there. It exists in here. That's what storytelling is about. And that's what this course is about in a very special way. For a vast length of time in human history. Stories were passed from mouth to ear. Ah, very often by bars, either professional or amateur, you know, the local village storyteller, sometimes by grandmothers or grandfathers. The Children gathered around them and him flat since for a classic tableau. But this is the way that the that the histories and stories and the tales of the faiths of lovers and the exploits of heroes were passed along that the that the memories of the race were retained. As a matter of fact, um, some scholars think that this is where we get our earliest literature. From that our earliest literature that we have such tales is the Ilyan, honestly, were actually oh, history's first oil tales or poetry epic poetry memorized first and then passed along a perhaps over generations until finally somebody thought to write it down to record this ancient story with the event of the printing press. The storyteller didn't have to be in the same room as the audience has the consumers of the stories. The storyteller could write down the the story in whatever form it was. If it was a play, it could be disseminated Teoh, uh, playhouses and acting companies around the world who could reproduce it for their audiences . If it was in the form of a novel again on the the press could print it up and, uh, and disseminated sell it in bookstores and people around the world could read it, read it for themselves privately, or read it to family members seated around a table. And so has That's the first mass media communication that we have. So that for was storytelling that of the printing press. That of the printed word lasted for about 500 years. And then around 1900 something changed. A new technology was developed, and that was a film. In the early days of film, people would go in two places called Nickelodeons and actually Waas the place. Go hold on Nickelodeon. You'd go in there and you watch a very short film very crude and primitive by our standards , sometimes didn't even have story. They show films such as a train coming into the station, horses running or something like that and guess how much you pay for you. Pay a nickel and you'd put your eyes up against little goggles and you'd look at at the movie and and just quite spectacular. And then, of course, from that developed the great silent classics made by and such artistas Charlie Chaplin. We had Adventures of Tom Mix in The Western Hero Find it all the way up to our time. We have very sophisticated technology, do all sorts of wonders with the creation of these visual stories and also, um, technology that disseminates the stories in many different platforms, not only in movie theaters but on television and now on the Internet, in many different platforms there. And now it well, it might not have occurred to you, but a brand new story telling technology has arisen in the past few years. That totally changes the way that we tell stories, and we understand what a story is even, um, and it's a technology that you are very familiar with. For example, here is a basic premise of off one of these stories. Desmond Miles is kidnapped by a sinister corporation. They use the machine to send his consciousness back in time to relive the adventures of his ancestors, a secret society of assassins. So the conflict is. Can he survive and stop the evil company's plans to change? History doesn't sound like a plot for a blockbuster movie. Well, it is a blockbuster, but it's not a movie. It's a very popular game called the Assassin's Creed. And that's the new storytelling technology. And so one of things were going to do in this course is we're going to explore how story is at the base off the video games that we so love and enjoy and that how you can become a part of that brand new industry. So storytelling in video games is both an art and the business, and one of the ways to gauge just how successful a form it is is toe. Take a look at how much money it makes. In the 1st 3 days after its release, the most recent version of Grand Theft Auto made more than a $1,000,000,000 in sales. That's in three days. That's more than any entertainment vehicle in history. So people argue about whether total sales for video games is greater lesser than that of more conventional platforms for storytelling in video production, movies, television, Internet productions. But it's certainly a dynamic one, and it's one that totally changes again. The way they were telling stories and again that that that's what this last is about. That's what we're gonna learn. Stories there would drive contemporary games increasingly, games are stories and assets. The written first and then produced, not the other way around. And what makes a game successful more and more is a captivating story that entrances the player, the viewer of the story and somehow involves them. Now this class will not teach the production aspects of games. We won't get into the art of drawing characters or environments. Know where we learn how to do computer program. These are perfectly valid things that necessary for this art form. But this is not what we're gonna be learning. Uh, we're gonna be looking at what happens at the very beginning when the pages blank or when the screen is blank and we're gonna be looking at what it takes to fill that screen with your imagination with your dreams. What is this New world looked like this world that nobody's seen before. And how can we get people involved in your creation and keep them coming back? So in this last, you're gonna have to instructors me. I'm a professor of literature and writing at the Art Institute and Cameron, who's a dedicated young writer and a game player himself. I'll be approaching the subject and sometimes ah mawr academic fashion. I'm a teacher. I can't help. Sorry. Ah, and I'll be suggesting activities at the end of each segment. For for you to enhance your thinking and your skills in this aspect and hopefully move towards actually creating a, uh, a story concept and and an actual game template camera will be adding his own practical takes on the subject. Giving real life examples of the topics that we're covering and together will help you develop the necessary skills and create your own story in this most exciting new storytelling medium. Off the video game, what I want to talk about very briefly and perhaps since impossible for me to talk about anything briefly but I'll try, is just to make it clear what discourse entails and what it does not look. So this course is not about creating the artwork, creating a visual environment of the of the interactive story of the computer game. The video game. Okay, Uh uh, you won't be learning drawing our art, and and and those are very important aspects of this art form of this storytelling form, but it's not we're gonna be talking about in this course. Neither will you be learning computer programming. You know, how to put together, you know, the environment. Incorporate the visuals green by the artist and sometimes by those people who are doing the production, you know, actually doing the motion capture that, uh, or the c g I. That creates the effects that we so enjoy in our interactive stories, we're not gonna be learning that what it is that we are gonna be learning is how to create the plan. The blueprint, as it were for this interactive story, this interactive novel as it were, the video game, the computer game. And it's going to be on a document on paper or a computer screen. There was something like this. Um, it looks something like a movie screenplay. And ah, And in that you're going to learn how to cover all the combinations and permutations of the story, all the different branches that are possible in this form of story off of the interactive novel. Now, who is this course value before? Who's the scores for? No. Perhaps those who are totally incompetent and drawing such as myself. I'd never get a job in the art department of a computer game company. Um uh Oh. Are those who have no desire to learn computer programming or don't care to become involved in creating C, g, ir or other production elements that are so important to, you know, putting together the visual components of this art form. This program, this course is primarily meant for those who are interested in writing the this kind of interactive story from the very beginning, putting it on paper or on a blank computer screen. And it's a document that looks something like this. Um and, uh, also it's important. It's important, too valuable for people who are artists who already have a job or perhaps want to get a job as artists with a video game company or people who already know computer program. You know how to put together those elements of the start form, but think that they'd step up their skills and their marketability, perhaps by learning about story inaudible. What is it that I'm doing when I'm putting, you know these pictures down or when I'm laying down computer code enough? What since can I make of this? So it's for all these people who want to learn how to tell the story that is, in essence, the heart of, uh, this art form. It's for those people that this course is intended. One other thing. Um, I think you can read my bio, who I am and read about me and Professor Michael McIntyre of Instructor of English and what I like to go English. He thinks he's irritating. Air quotes, um, at the Art Institute. Basic writing, you know, college writing, essays, things like that. Creative writing teach literature, even mythology sometimes. And as I said all all this year, you can read my file. One thing that I would like to issue as a disclaimer, Um, and just so nobody gets mad or gets irritated or he never told us he did this is that, um, you might have noticed already. I have a slight speech impediment, but as a kid, I had a very severe stutter. Now it's much less I like to think, anyway, but it comes out once in a while was well, some words are difficult for me to say statistic, for instance. So I try not to say that too often. ST's there sometimes difficult for me. Um, for some reason, it's always been difficult for me to say Interesting so I s So even when I say it, I have to really pounced on it. So eso that's that. I hope that won't be disturbing for you, but just just so we know. Ah, and I hope that you'll overlook it in favor of the wonderful time that we have learning together in this course. Thank you. 4. Brief history: and in the beginning, then there was palm. Now we're going to go back to the recesses of ancient history, though it's not actually that long ago. But, um, but it's almost 50 years, which might be twice the lifetime or almost ways the lifetime if some of you were watching a year, Um, but nobody could have guessed that in those early days off video games that a simple, primitive games such as Pong would mark the advent of a new form of storytelling. These games were used for passing entertainment and arcades. People needed something to do when they're drinking beer. Okay, in bars. Um uh, and then a little bit later in low power computers at home. But that was the beginning and were charged in this little lesson. The quick history, a video game playing. There was another game about this time called a colossal cave adventure. This is purely a text based game. So you'd enter a cave and you type your commands as you encountered dwarves or bears or various types of other creatures that would, um, uh either help you or hinder you. Ah, try to hurt you. Try to kill you. Throw things at you and you pick up tools implements that would help you on your quest. As you wander through the maze which had to form in your head, you have to keep a picture of it in your head because there were no graphics. What whatsoever? So s so it's quite a long ways from the graphic intensive storytelling games that we know today. So it lacked all the ingredients of a full fledged story. But in Pauling and the cause will cave adventure. We see the two vital elements and, on the one hand, the graphic element. And, on the other hand, the storytelling element that will combine eventually into what we know as the as the contemporary game, the interactive story. Donkey Kong was the first, or at least one of the first multilevel games. This means that the player hero move from one challenge or Siris of challenges to successfully more difficult once so this is an important concept for writers of interactive stories. The levels correspond to chapters as it were. He's level raises the stakes, increases what's at stake and presents the player hero with increasingly more difficult problems to solve and donkey calling as I'm sure you know, Giant Monkey grounds a woman and climbs to the top of the tower. Mild gives chase, but Donkey Kong as attempts to stop him by throwing barrels down at him. The woman, originally lady but then named Pauline, cries for help, who emphasizing the urgency of her flight. Now, if Mario managed to reach her, they're reunited, but only for a moment. So they hold hands and stare into each other's eyes, and a heart appears above their heads. But that hard as soon broken as Donkey Kong reappears, steals her again and scampers up to the next and more difficult level. And finally, at the last level, Mario is able to pull all the supports out for the structure and send Donkey Kong plummeting through his doom, and Mario and Pauline are reunited for good. So although this was primitive by contemporary standards, it is the first such game to employ this kind of story structure and incorporate a back story. So it was the in essence, even though it is this kind of repetitive arcade game. It was a story, and so that's important for the development of the interactive stories, Mrs A ground breaking point and click puzzle exploration, where number years most games tended to be rescue the princess, save the world from destruction or ah, or fight the bad guys type of games. Pretty simple story construction but missed Open up the genre with other elements of the story, is primarily told through a series of notes scattered about this island, that you're transported Teoh and and so the hero player is given free rein to explore that island and solve the puzzles. A type of play scenario. The captivated audiences through many Sequels. The final fantasy. Siri's pushed the genre even further, incorporating cutting edge graphics, sweeping musical scores, noon, innovative battle systems and most importantly, I think, at least for the development of the interactive story. Deep character development, memorable characters with deep, complex storylines, for example, and final Fantasy four. We're told, the story of C solely dark knight, who's serving the Kingdom of Baron. Now the King of Baron has been behaving erratically, attacking neighboring kingdoms with flimsy reasons. When Cecil starts to ask questions, he sent on a suspicious mission with the package to a nearby village. Uh, well, it turns out to be a Ah, a mission that will end up destroying the village. So see, so finds out about this and escapes with a girl by the name of video, and they form a, uh, a friendship. And they combined with other companions to fight the evil king of Baron, who is now seeking to gain control off all the mineral elements on and crystals in in the kingdom. So very involving storyline, Aziz, we encounter a whole lot of adventures. Metal Gear Solid was a fantastically popular franchise. The game is known for excellent game play, with clever battles, deep twisting stories, numerous jokes and long cut scenes. The hero player is called out for one last job. The members of his old unit have gone road and taken over remote military base at a top secret weapons project. It's his job to fort the bad guys, but their machinations going on behind the scenes, not all is as it appears to be, and these complicate matters complicate his job. Make life difficult for him for us. The players, uh, deep themes in this story involved love, war, dangerous potentials of nuclear weapons and a potential massive destruction across the globe and genetic engineering. This makes for a complex, almost novelistic story, and it's a real advance and interactive storytelling. Where would we be without Grand Theft Auto? How could we talk about anything in relationship to the history of game stories without mentioning this blockbuster popular game? Each game in the Siri's allows players to take on the role of a criminal. He's trying to move up through the ranks of this of the criminal organization by doing various nefarious things. Stealing cars, grand theft front, grand theft auto, sometimes killing people, sometimes fighting people, um, making alliances, friendships and breaking them. As the series goes on, the characters start to develop a backstory rationale. Sometimes the character wants to make one last big score so he can retire. But the game is not known for his complex stories. It's a sandbox or open ah, World action adventure game, which means the U, the player are allowed to roam free in the whole realm of the whole city that the game encompasses. But it's very popular and offers maximum interactivity between the player and the story. The walking dead is a raw, pure story of survival, but it's quite unlike any other game you don't have ah arsenal weapons to count on. You don't have energy levels to draw on or to replenish instead is the power of speech and reason to keep order amongst the group of survivors and keep you. Is the player alive? As the game goes on, though, becomes clear. Not everybody is going to survive. Death is everywhere. Ultimately, your priority becomes protecting the young girl Clemen time but above all, keeping her innocent in the face of this carnage that surrounds you and her and everyone else. This is the pinnacle of narrative driven interactive dramas. Recently, well, films and videos have been swarmed with zombie Apocalypse story, the last of the stands out from the hoard. It follows a bereaved father, surrogate daughter pair, Joel and Ellie, and they have to traverse a post apocalyptic America to deliver a possible cure for the virus that's ruined the nation. And the intense survival bond between them means that the player Joel you, is prepared to do anything to protect Ellie, and you start to proceed that every one else is ultimately expendable on. And that's a twisted outlook that builds up to the one of the best endings of all time. So it's well written, visually stunning. And the pacing is incredible, sometimes slowing down for extended periods of time to look, a player explore and delivers some immensely touching stories that give more context to this tragic world of the characters inhabit. So is a very satisfying game and even mawr satisfying story. So there you have it. Not a complete history, not by any stretch of the imagination, but it gives you somewhat an idea of the trajectory off the history of games, the history of interactive storytelling. And that's more to the point, because what we're about to do now is we're about to contemplate moving to the next level the next level of these types of storytelling. And that's where you come in the master you're going to do. You're going to learn how to develop complex stories originally involving that involve more than fight, fight, fight, fight, fight a good guy, bad guy fight they fight and then fight again. Title story. Give up a novel that's interactive, that spans an entire world, and that's the exciting part of this from a creative aspect from an artistic aspect that you get to create an entire world with many different possibilities. Many different points of view, many different, possibly main characters. And each one of those follows their own life trajectory, faces, their own struggles, their own dilemmas, and that's what we're going to do here. 5. Ja watch movie: for this general activity. We're going to do something fun. You're gonna watch the movie? Well, you see, you're working your learning and you're watching movies all the same time. Yes. Are we having fun? Okay, so, uh, but it's not just any old movie, okay? So don't Don't be so quick. Uh, there, um, you're gonna watch a movie, uh, made from a video game. Okay. Made from the video game scenes there called the cut scenes. This is the movie off the story that the video game writer creator has written, and then it's been produced. But you can see how that flows. So without the, um, preferably without the without the play that somebody playing the game and eso I just want you to look as he had the story of. Also, the story moves. So find one. Um, maybe of your favorite game, you can do search for it and YouTube, you know, these are posted on YouTube. Enter the name of your favorite game and then cut scenes movie or something like that. And I just try to get one without the actual play. Unless you wanna watch the play. By all means. But even then even if you want to, um, don't want it to interfere with your appreciation of the story as it was written. I'm gonna post a couple, um, suggestions. Uh, well, in case you can't think of something and you just wanna click on one of my links, by all means do that. Okay, But But watch it. And then I want you to take notes. Once you take notes how the story evolves, how the character changes. What are the conflicts? The problems that your main character, usually the player character encounters. Okay, so So take notes about that, Um, and we'll see you next time. And of course, I'm sorry. Wait. Um and of course, all of this goes into your journal. Everything is entered into your journal because that's gonna be very valuable to you as you go forward. And as you launch into the creation of this project OK, so that's it. Now, 6. Journal Activity interactivity: as we go through this course, I'm going to be giving you activities that will help you develop the skills and even some of the material for your own, um, game, your own interactive story. Um, so to that end, I want you to get a journal. This journal can be in paper. It you did old school paper, pen, pencil, parchment and quill if you want to, or it could be a ah computer document. You can open up your word processor. Whatever it is that you used are your note pad and just start taking notes and start developing it eventually, though. I mean, you want some sort of computer processor? Um, because the four manning requirements as we start to get more formal will be easier if if you have some sort of computer processing program. But I want you to do each one of these activities cause though, as I said, develop your skills and also serve as the groundwork, the foundation for your own interactive story. So, to that end, here's the 1st 1 eso do. This activity is the first entry in your ah journal. So have fun with it and I'll see you next time. So where does this bring us to? I've been talking a lot about interactivity, but I haven't given you much of a chance to be interactive. Well, that's going to change now. Now you have an exercise to perform. Um, I want you to choose like we did with the Garden of Eden in ancient myths. The story, a legend, a fairy tale and play around with it. Okay. So, for instance, if you choose Little Red Riding Hood, who are the different characters? Say the wolf, the grandmother and Little Red Riding Hood? What are the different pass that the those characters can take? What are the choices they can make? Where can they go? Okay, so chart that out. See how the story looks from the different viewpoints of the characters and see what different choices the characters can make along the way. All right, so just just play with that and, uh, write it down. You'll sketch it out, and we'll go forward from there. 7. Where are we going now: So where we going now? Well, we're gonna play interactivity. We're gonna have a little interactive feature here. Um, as to what part of our study in our learning we're going to go to next. And so it's like this you can follow in a linear fashion order that I have set the lessons up in. Okay, so I have a set up as you go to character than you go to a story. Then you go to setting. That is the world that the adventure takes place in, um, but not always Do we construct stories in that fashion? For instance, if you have a strong sense of what the story is, you don't know who the people are. The characters maybe just vaguely. Ah, and you're not quite sure about the world that they live him? But you have a strong sense of what the story is with story, our kids, that's where you go. That's where you start. If, on the other hand, you know who the people are, the characters. But you don't know what they do, what the story is, or even what the world. What? You start with the characters you start building there or if you Ah, I know what the ah world is the world of the adventure. The world of the hero's journey is you have a sense of that. That's where you go. So, for instance, you have a feel for the setting is called a setting of the world of the adventure. It's an alternative reality inhabited by giant orange monster lives in a big white house who SOS discard discord and chaos all over the place. Well, you start there, you start working with that. And then from there you can figure out well, who are the You know, who's the hero who comes into this world who encounters the monster who are the other characters and what's the story? What you know, what kind of story do we have and this encounter and adventure. So, um, so you start where you know it's simple is that you start where you know. So in this sense, ah, you can regard you know, the levels Think of these different levels. Um, this is kind of what's called a sandbox structure. They have a term we get a sandbox structure. So rather than a conventional story structure, um, we have a sandbox structure in which you just can't go anywhere you want to in the sandbox . You know, like kids playing in the sound. Right? Okay, so you have the three doors that you can choose from, um, character story or setting. So you have three doors, choose one, and I'll see you there. 8. Hero's journey: so remember stories of conflict. That's where the story is. A story is a major conflict and a bunch of little conflicts inside. You cannot have a story without conflict if there's no conflict, that is the hero struggling against something and there's different kinds of conflicts. I'll talk about those in just a moment, but the hero has to be struggling. So, uh, so just think of it this way. If the hero is going out side to go to the store and get a car in the milk and nothing happens, that's not a story. But if on the way the hero is mistaken for a spy and then is picked up by the FBI and sent on a mission that becomes the story doesn't conflict conflict between who the killer really is and who they think he is? Ivan hit Shark used to make wonderful movies based upon the premise of the wrong name. Somebody mistaken to be aspired, international criminal or something like that. You know, one of the movies. OK, you know, you just don't walk into the movies, you know, you lose your ticket, you get caught up in an immigration rate. Your deported and you have to get back into the country because your kid has cancer and you've got to get him to the doctor. And so this is conflict. Always be thinking conflict. Always be thinking. The worst thing that could happen is that's what's fun stories of conflict. So that's Lesson one. That's 10.1. Every story is a journey. It's a setting out and a return. So first not always literally returned. Sometimes what is found is a new Stasis. A new resting points, Um, but it is a journey setting out and a return. So it's a hobbit setting out from a shire to ah ah, in find the ring. Okay, detective, sit down on a journey of discovery to discover who done it. A pair of lovers setting out on a journey of love to find their one true soul mate in coming of age stories, it's ah, it's the person setting out from childhood to adulthood. So every story is a journey. Sometimes the journey is interior. In fact, for the best stories, you have both an interior journey and an external journey. Okay, but again, it doesn't literally have to be a journey, but conceive of it that way. Where is your hero? Starting. And where they have to end up for the story to be complete. We have this pattern of journey since time immoral. The epic of Gilgamesh, for instance, from ancient scenario. Uh, first underlying the whole thing is this journey of the hero Gilgamesh. From ignorance and brutality to knowledge, he ends up a wiser but better person. Wiser, better Cain himself. Mercy encounters in key toe is BFF best friend forever. Okay, so and then they have to set out on a journey a very literal journey of 1000 miles to go fight the monster that's killing people. The monster whom Bubba. And I love that Bubba. Okay, that's that. The actual name in the mid. So I fight the monster visually. After that in Kyoto dies. Uh, and Gilgamesh is bereft. He grieves, but he also worries. Well, what about me? What about when it comes my turn to time? When am I gonna do so? Then he sets out on another journey. Not a very literal journey to the land of the dead. So great motif in mythology. A journey to the land of the dead too. find out its mysteries. And then we have that story. And then he finally returns to his city, chastened and wiser. But we have the Siris of nested journeys in the whole story, and I'll tell you a couple more. I'll give you a couple more examples. Another example we have from ancient times is the epic of the Odyssey. But some of you might be familiar with from high school, maybe have read it because it was required reading or the companion piece, the idiot that you also might be familiar with because you saw the movie Troy with Brad Pitt. And right, So in The Odyssey, the hero Odysseus goddess, he is named after him, and we get the work. Odyssey in English from this epic tale has to travel many weary mile home, be sailing a ship and he encounters one adventure. After not it's not a simple journey. I'm going home now. I'm just gonna go to the airport, get on the plane and no lot of trouble encounters monsters. The Cyclops he encounters. A sorceress returns his men into pigs. He lands in the land of the Lotus years where you, uh, people are getting high all the time. And those men don't going to go any further because they're having a great time. Yeah, that's a one problem. After another, A Z gets closer and closer to home and then even finally when he gets home. It's not just a matter of walking and saying, Hi, honey, I'm home after 10 years or actually after 20 years, because he spent 10 years at the, uh, War and Troy. But there's a lot of men there who want to marry his wife and take over his kingdom. So now he's gotta fight them. I mean, so remember conflict, Conflict on conflict, conflict Never make anything easy for your hero, but that's a great story off a journey. Another example we have from more recent times, that of Lord of the Rings I mentioned That's a cup tons for talking purposely drew on ancient myths for thes story structure and the characters and and the world that he envisioned in Middle Worth on the story structure is very obviously a journey. You know, the the adventure does not take place in the Shire. The characters have to go out and then they come back. Having settled settled their challenges and they hope to return to peace and quiet in the shire. But very obviously, you know, the journey structure Titanic gives Is that yet another example of a journey? So So on the surface, it is the story of a journey as they get on the ship, right? It's avoids the ship's voyage. They got on the ship and they sail from here to there. Well, actually, only halfway there, Okay? Because they run into a time, you little obstacles along the way. Ah, but the real story is that of the main characters, Jack and Rose into the unchartered waters of love. If you could buy the corny metaphor there, that is the real journey. Okay. And so and so what is the resolution of the story that Rose comes to, you know, she experienced this great love and she's totally different from the and our from the little rich girl that she was at the beginning of the journey. She's experienced this great love with with this man whom she will never forget. So another example of a journey and how that on how that structure propels us through the story. In the last example along these lines is the video game, the last of us. So here we have very obvious journey as the hero is transporting this child, this little girl ah, out of very dangerous territory to safety. But also he's on an inner journey because he didn't want to have anything to do with the child. He he's suffering with his own inner demons. Um, he had failed before, failed somebody he loved before. And he didn't want to commit Teoh Ah, to this child to this person because subconsciously he was afraid of failing again. And so we travel with him on the external journey. But the real journey is internal. So again remember everything's attorney. Every story is a journey. And that's one of the, um, one of the reasons that sometimes it's helpful to plot out on a piece of paper on the computer. All you do it, um, brown paper bag. I don't care. Okay. Ah, the ah, the arc of your story. Because then you can see the journey, how the hero moves because there's not just plot points. It's the movement of the hero from ah, from the old World. And the challenge? Yeah, to the new home. Very important. Every story is eternity. 9. Graphic organizers 2: in this video and the next one, we're going to be taking a look at the shape in the organization of your story. And one of the ways that we're gonna be doing this is we're going to be looking at, um, graphic organizer is that is weighs two. Graphically describe the arc of your story. So first to be looking at the traditional story structure and you'll see that these arcs are pretty simple. They show a rising action rising conflict on, then a fall off as the story resolves itself. And in the next video, we'll look at, um, the more complicated format of your interactive story, your video game story. Okay, so but first we'll take a look traditional story structure and from that will launch into, you know, the alternative ways to graph the interactive fiction. This is perhaps the simplest graph of the story structure. Um, it's not kind of it is a traditional illustration of the story from the they call the Stasis that is the status quo that is things at rest in terms of, you know, the characters in the story. And then the rising action things get more complicated. And then you have the climax, which is the, you know, sometimes called The Turning Point in the story where the hero faces some sort of maximal conflict, some sort of ordeals and sort of life or death, says situation. And then you call, have what's called the falling action okay into the resolution. So very simple story structure illustration and others are somewhat based upon this, So we'll see. As we take, take a look at a few others. This organizer offers us a little bit more elaboration on the one that we saw before. Still, it has this very simple structure, though you'll see a few explanations of the exposition is the setting up of the story. And there's an arrow that indicates some, um, where the conflict begins, where the hero launches into the you know and into his journey. Ah, and a little explanation is to the rising action that is increasing difficulty. So in terms of a game on, if the hero encounters, you know, one opponent, and at one level at the next level year she will encounter two or three or four or five, but will be bigger than the you know ah stronger or they'll have more powers. So until the very climax, until the hero encounters the most dangerous challenge of all. And then, of course, you wrap up the story. Okay, So, uh, so still a very simple construction, very simple diagram gives you an idea of how the story should be constructed. This is yet another variation on what we've seen before. And in this we actually have a story arc. That is a very typical phrase that people use Teoh describe the throw, Another phrase, the throw of a story, the, uh the progress of a story. It's called an ark. But before, we didn't really have a narc had sort of a triangle or ah to side of triangle, whatever it is that you want to call it. But this actual art one of the virtues of this graph is it shows you the different plot points as called on the graph in this in the rising action portion that indicate the various challenges that the hero or heroes must face as they go on their adventures that go on there journey. So this gives you an indication that the that this section is replete with a number of different incidences that challenged the hero and keep in mind that each one should be successively, uh, greater be successively of greater challenge of greater difficulty. So if you're thinking about levels in terms of games, if in one adventure, uh, the hero encounters one bad guy and the next one he encounters five and so on and so forth . So they're bigger, they're stronger, they're faster. They're they're more difficult to overcome until finally you have the crisis and the Crisis section has significantly fewer challenges. But there are truly life threatening for the hero as he goes towards his goal. One of the things that I like about this organizer is it's highly individualized. It's highly personalized down to the little drawings of the characters, a little stick figures of you know, the character and the setting, which is a little house. And then even the open door. The inciting incident that reminds us that the inciting incident, sometimes gold to call to action to call to adventure is three opening of the door, like the door in Narnia that opens up into the strange new worlds. Uh, the strange new world of the adventure to come. Okay, so. So it's highly personalized. And so, if you would like to draw your own organizer with your own little reminders that help you as you charge your story, this is a model for you. And then we see the rising action, the struggles, the conflicts, the problems, the risks, the dangers and finally, the crisis, along with a drawing with the little drawing. Help help You know all those lost or is all lost or something like that reminds us that this is the moment that the character almost dies. It's the ordeal, okay? And then, finally, the clock climax in the agency or the rescues. The agency means that the character takes charge and defeats the dragon or whatever conflict there is or is rescued. Maybe. And then finally, little note. That's very helpful. The reminder that you should tie up loose ends. Nothing's worse than have your your audience, your player characters, the people who are enjoying your story in your game. Wonder what the hell was that all about? What about that guy? There s O tie up your loose ends. Nothing's worse than people go onto YouTube to find an explanation for the ending of your story. But and then one other little reminder is the character, the hero. The heroine, uh, returns home changed. So now sometimes home is a different home. Sometimes it's the same home, but but the character has changed. The character has learned something, so always remember that there's an outer journey and an inner journey. Um, so anyway, so if if you want to personalize your story structure, this might be a model for you to fall this organizer. This graphic of the story structure brings out another point, something that's useful to remember and whether you want to conceptualize it all in one graph, all in one piece of paper, as it were, or if you'll make several of them. Well, what it brings out is your story is actually sometimes a composite of many different stories. You have subplots. You have sub stories on also as well. Your secondary characters have their own stories go by the maximum. Even the villain is a hero in his own story, while the secondary characters are heroes in their stories as well. And so uh so, just as the hero has his or her own main story that travels the entire length of your your interactive fiction, your game story. So there's subplots. There's other, smaller stories, little interim goals that your hero in the other characters have to achieve. And this illustrates this and, um, reminds us of it. So you might find this useful or some element of this useful in designing your story. This illustrates another kind of structure for a story, and this is based upon the mythological structure of the story rather than more dramatic structure. Uh, and this is also incorporates voters. Christopher voters ideas about the mythic journey that were based upon the writings of Joseph Campbell. But you see here, you know, the you know the story, as it were, the story world divided into the ordinary world and then the special world, or were just sometimes called the other world. There's did different terms for for all of these and, uh, and the hero moving out of the ordinary world and the meeting the mentor and encountering the call to adventure and then dipping down into the other world and and finally at the nadir at the very lowest point, encountering death, uh, on in your deal and then a kind of rebirth, and they returned with a sword with a reward of some sort. You know, the sword being on the mythological element that enables the hero to slay the dragon finally and then finally to return. And the return in the mythological terminology with the election, the magic potion based on some ancient myths and fairytales, which the hero goes out to find the magic elixir. The potion that will save the princess is life. And so then finally, he returns with that and is able to save the princess his life. Marry the princess, live in the castle. Lived happily ever after. But it also reminds us that in one way or another, you know, the the journey of the hero is a kind of a circle. And the hero does return even if he doesn't return to the same place. It's returning to a position of Stasis, of stability. You know, the the disruption of the world has been quieted and, um, and the hero has restored things are have seen things restored in one way or all right or another. Okay, so one Right. So another conception of the story structure here. If this graph has anything to recommend it. And I think it does, if for no other reason than it provides us with different names that thes stages in the story are known by because different people over different times have applied different names to see stages and the ideas air essentially the same. But what we call them are different. So, uh, so you also see, you know, the various you know, the three act structure here, Act one the beginning of the set up. The incitement, which is the call to adventure in the ordinary world act ooze the middle which is crossing the threshold of the call to adventure and so on and so forth and build and meeting the allies and the enemies and receiving the test. And finally act three. And then also you'll see the various names, for instance, the ordinary world is also known as the set up. Um, the, um in most cave is also known as you know, the act to climax the ordeal. Okay. And we even have the midpoint known as the either the energetic marker or the mind fuck moments. You have all these different names. And so, uh, so you cross reference. You know, if you ever confused about what somebody is talking about in terms of you know where in the story. Uh uh, the, uh uh, action is you know, you can cross use this graph to cross reference. Um, and you can also use terminology that's more suited to you. You know, maybe one term doesn't make any sense to you, but another one goes, Well, ask the one. That's the one that really rings a bell. So here you have. I don't know what you have. Just this All these lines. Well, I'm just joking, of course, but well, sort of, but no. But what you have is you have illustration off. Not only the main arcs, but of all the little tiny stories that are inside the main story. Um, because as I talked about before, not only do you have subplots, but sometimes, uh, all the time you have, uh, stories that take only a scene or two. So, for instance, if the hero has to get from zombie infested land of the safety of the of the encampment that's able to establish itself in a defense against zombies, Well, that's the main story, right? as the main story arc. But in the process, the heroes truck broke down. And so the hero has to get from, you know, from the roadside through the forest to someplace else. Maybe the river where he can jump on a boat. And he knows that's the river there, right? And so you have to get to the river. So that's a little story. It might take, you know, 23 scenes to three levels or just the rest of this level, and then he'll encounter another type of problem. And so this type of illustration gives you the opportunity to chart those mid level and, you know, in seen level conflicts. And sometimes I Asai said, seen level sometimes even inside the scene. Remember, stories, conflict. You don't want the hero to just be able to walk into the other room. Okay, so, um, if the hero is set to walk out of the room, what stops him from walking out of the room? Uh, maybe there's a table. May be on the table is a giant cobra. So what is the hero do? How does that hero um uh, get out of the room so, so boring storytelling is the hero, just, you know, just walking into the other room. But interesting storytelling gives the hero challenge. And, of course, that gives your player characters, um, opportunity to engage right on go So they get to decide what to do. Do the Cobra Do they fight the cobra? Do they get bitten and then have to find and an antidote? Do they pick up a flute and charm the cobra? You know, so there's all sorts of different opportunities that your player characters, um, can make choices about and engage in the game. So, uh, so for our journal activity, I'm gonna ask you to chart out your story, and I'm going to leave for you. Ah, a copy of these illustrations that that you can have and and you can design your own story . And I'm going to do a couple other things in terms of story structure as well. I'm going to go into a a mawr detailed explanation off a type of story structure that I found particularly compelling. Uh uh uh, and that's based upon Christopher Vogue, Lear's and Joseph Campbell's ideas about you know, the mythological story structure. And so we'll look at that and as well, I'm gonna look at some of the, um, in some of the very particular elements that go into the interactive story that go into the video game story and how the video games story is different from all of these. It's the same, but yet it's different. So I'm gonna be talking about those two things in, uh, the videos that immediately follow. 10. Story structure: in this lecture, I'm going to be drawing from the the ideas about the levels of the stages of the mythic story as developed by the great mythologies. Two Great American mythology ist student of mythology, of ancient stories Joseph Campbell Joseph Campbell just very briefly looked at universal elements in mythologies, and he was able to discern or thought he was. You know, that's his theory that their universal elements in mythologies from all over the world, Um and so from this modern storytellers have developed ideas about how best to structure a story for maximal effect. This is used by novel writers, by film writers and by story developers. Nowadays, many story developers tell you that they will refer to, uh, thes stages or elements of the classic story in the development of their games. So and a lot of this has to do with what I have talked about before. The hero sets off into the unknown in one way or another. Okay, meets with various dangerous and helpful characters of the trickster characters, sometimes shape shifters, always some sort of antagonistic character or force, and does battle in one way or another, struggles against the challenge and then somehow returns home. Okay, So whether that home is literally back to the shire, as in the Hobbit or or some watery grave as in Titanic. So I'm gonna be going over these elements because necessary, I think for us to understand what the story structure is before we can start to develop our own story and adapt from these ideas and create something truly entertaining and captivating four our own audience for our own player characters, every story is a journey, a setting out in a return. And this is true whether it's a hobbit setting out from his shire in search of the ring or detective setting out on a journey of discovery of who done it or a pair of lovers setting out on a journey of love. Now, granted, the journey is not always to a new home. So the return is not always to a new home, but it is to a new place of Stasis, a new resting point. And so we see this in one of the earliest stories, at least in Western civilization, that we have on hand that of Gilgamesh. Uh, the King Gilgamesh is a bit of a tyrant at the beginning. You Ah, he oppresses his people. He as the story says, he, uh uh uh He takes the young man, and he sends them off to war. He hey, takes the young women, and he has his way with him. And then he encounters a countervailing force. Ah, uh, somebody who becomes his BFF best friend. They go off on an adventure, they fight, kill a monster, and then they fight another terrible beast, The Great Bull of Heaven and his friend and key. Do dies, Bill. Then Gilgamesh at that point encounters death. Then he travels to the land of the death in an attempt to find immortality. Well, he doesn't, but he comes back to his kingdom. Sadder but wiser and implicitly a better king. So he has a journey out, and then a return. The Odyssey is another ancient story of often referred to as a myth, even though it's also counted amongst literature. Um, and it is very literally a journey. It tells the story of the hero, uh, Odysseus, traveling from the city of Troy, where he has been engaged in the 10 year long war. That you might be familiar with If you've seen the movie Troy with Brad Pitt, uh, and going home and encounters all sorts of adventures on his way home. Eso eso that travel is from from the city of Troy to his home in Ithaca, where he encounters yet another adventure because he has to fight. Uh uh, um the the men who have gathered there who would want to take his wife and take his kingdom . And I won't tell you anymore. About that. You go read the book yourself, OK, anyway, but, um, but a classic structure, you might be more familiar with a story such as Lord of the Rings, which again is literally a journey the hero sets out from the shire, Uh, in his quest. Um, now you see from this well, from the various examples I'm giving you that the journey itself is a very convenient, very efficient stories telling structure. Okay, so the hero doesn't just stay in one place that that's possible. You could have a story in which he was days one place, but but the journey provides us with movement is we have a sense as as either the audience or the player characters that This is the end goal. We have an end goal whether it's reaching in on the desired location in case of Odysseus in the Odyssey, you want to reach Ithaca, his home. In the case of photo and Lord of the Rings, Hey, wants to dispose of the ring. Okay, He wants to solve that. That problem. Eso eso You have a definite story structure that is formed and shaped around a movement through space. So we have movement through time in a movement through space and at the same time, we have always an inner movement because always the character, as I've said before, or will say if you're viewing this lecture first the character undergoes change in himself or herself, and we should not get too hung up on the literal journey structure. And I'll tell you why. Here we have an example of Titanic. Um, and now granted, there is a journey. There's a journey from here to there are actually only halfway to their because something happens. That's I won't spoil it for you if you haven't seen it, OK, But if something happens to interrupt that physical journey But the real journey is the journey of the two main characters, the young lovers. The boy from the wrong side of the tracks is that used to say, You know, from the poor kid and the rich girl and they fall in love. So that's the real journey, This journey through the uncharted waters of love. Forgive me, I couldn't resist upon, but, uh, but the same kinds of structures hold whether it's a physical journey, whether it's an adventure in one place or whether it's an interior journey. In the next lecture, I will be going over the, uh, story structure that will help give your story your game, your game story, a a dramatic arc that keeps your audience and your player characters captivated, interested and engaged. 11. 12 stage mythic story part 1: here we have a depiction of the mythical story structure, mythical story format. Um, now, these air developed from Joseph Campbell through a writer by the name of Christopher Voelcker, a more contemporary writer used develop this structure from the writings of Joseph Campbell and then fitted to a classic arc classic rising action Falling Action story arc. Um, so and there's 12 stages and I'm gonna be going through these 12 stages and in a way that I hope will make sense, Teoh. And in order to do this, I'm going to apply them to a story that you should be very familiar with. Um, I'm going to show how Star Wars theme, First Star Wars. Uh, well, for me, the first and only Star Wars, Uh uh, that came out many years ago and that I stood in line to see. I was very excited to see it fits this model. And I think that in going through not only talking in the abstract about these terms but also applying it to a an example that you're very familiar with, you'll you'll understand it a little bit better. So now, now, one of the reasons that I'm able to do this is because George Lucas, of course, the creator of the whole Star Wars empire, um, was very conscious in his modeling his story structures after the ideas of Joseph Campbell . So George Lucas did it, And we can draw from, you know, the you know, the story structure of George Lucas in the development of our own stories and our own games . One thing to remember before we go any further this story structure, though, right here I'm explaining it in terms of Star Wars through the medium of linking it to a story that we should all be very familiar with. But this story structure can fit any story because, as I said, every story is a journey. Whether the character is sitting alone in his or her room, fighting off an invading army of cockroaches or whether they're traveling to the farthest reaches of the galaxy. Every story is a journey, and every story follows. And one way or another, this structure. So let's take a look at at what George Lucas did S o. Uh, First, the story starts off in the ordinary world. This is the world. Ah, before the story begins and we don't have a story. If the main character, the hero, just continues be bopping along something has to come and change that and I'll talk about that for a moment. But here in the, uh, the Star Wars universe, uh, Luke is working on his uncle's farm. He doesn't know who he is. He doesn't know what his heritage is. He doesn't know what his fate is. He doesn't know what is challenge, and his adventure is going to be just working on his uncle's farm. And he's getting ready to go to college. Any is having all the, you know, you know, all the typical angst of of the kid rebelling against his parental guidance, and and so you know, so so we can feel it. We've all been right. Okay, so that's the ordinary world. I make one little important note about the concept of the ordinary world. Remember, it does not have to be ordinary by our standards, by the standards of the audience or the player characters. In fact, sometimes you know them or unordinary it is, the better, the more intriguing it is more fun. It is for the for the audience of the player characters to be discovering, you know, the rules of this new universe, but it is ordinary by the lights of the characters inside the story. So here we have Luke doing his strange kind of farming on this desert planet. And for the life of me, I wasn't able to figure out for the longest time. What the heck was it that they're farming? I don't see any crops were they talking about, um, on? They have the capacity to travel to the farthest reaches of the galaxy. They have talking robots, though that's not so strange nowadays. Better but have all these elements that are very strange by our standards, but it ordinary to them. And that's the key to the ordinary world after you've established the ordinary world. Not too far after, um, we have what's called the call to adventure. The stage is called the Call to Adventure in literature. Very often, that's called the inciting incident. This is the thing that happens that launches the hero into the story. So, uh, so just a little note. You want this to happen relatively quickly. You want these ordinary world stage to be relatively short, so we get an idea of what's happening, but it doesn't drag on. Like for 40 minutes. I was watching movie ones and the, um uh, and it had looked real interesting at that. Oh, well, I wouldn't want to see this. This is looks good. And 40 minutes into the movie, I'm going. This is not at all what was described. And then something happened and launched the hero into the adventure. Wow, that's too much of a build up. We don't want a 40 minute buildup. Ah, a couple quick episodes, A quick exposition and into the story which happens in the call to adventure. Now it's called the Coal to Adventure. Doesn't always have to be a literal Cole, you know, like, Oh, when you go on an adventure or as in mission impossible. Your mission should you choose to accept It's not always literal. Okay, sometimes something happens. Sometimes the heroes best buddy gets shocked her His girl was kidnapped or something like this. But something happens. Doesn't even have to happen directly to him. The zombies could invade. You know, the asteroid could be slamming towards the earth. But something does come to happen that changes irrevocably the ordinary world. And such is the case in Star Wars. And now it happens Star Wars, that Luke gets a literal message, you know, he gets the hologram message from Princess Leia. Help and save the rebellion. Okay, So call to adventure and the story is launched. Now, typically, in the story, you have the stage known as or Let's that we know it as the refusal of the call. This is some sort of, um, refusal on the part of the hero or some sort of impediment to the heroes going on the adventure. Sometimes it's a downright refusal. As in Star Wars. Luke doesn't want to go on the adventure. He doesn't want to save the Republic. He wants to go to college or whatever it is that he wants to do. But he doesn't want to do it. Okay? He's reluctant. He's reluctant hero. Ah, sometimes there's another kind of impediment. The heroes Mother hides his guns. You know you can't go off and fight the bad guys. You have to clean your room. Okay? Something like that. There's some sort of impediment. How the hell could break his leg so he can't do it. You can't go fight bad guys or go on the adventure. Um, in detective movies assist. One time there was a typical refusal stage where the hero is kind of a loose gun. Didn't follow the rules type of guy who went after the criminals. Eso his sergeant or his captain would come in. You're off the case. I'm taking you off the case core Pawelski. You handle this. You know, you're just a loose cannon. So a refusal. Not always literally refusal on the part of the hero, but some sort of impediment. And this is the first challenge that the hero faces the, uh, something that gets in his way of achieving the end goal. Many stories have a mentor. Your store doesn't have to have a mentor, but you won't be surprised. What functions the mentor place and and what kind of character can be the mental first classically mentor is an older, wiser person who hands off to the hero. Some tools from implements, a bit of wisdom that the hero can employ on his adventure or her adventure. So, in Star Wars, it's obviously I guess, obviously, Obi Wan Kenobi, um who who teaches Luke the way of the jet. I, um King Arthur, it's Ah, Merlin. Who? Ah, who engineers. The passing of the sword to the A boy who will be king very does is a very godmother now, not always Does theme mentor have to be an older person? Sometimes. Well, if you're familiar with the film of The Sixth Sense, it's a little boy. The little boy eyes mentor to the Bruce Willis character. Um, in some classic fairy tales, it's an animal who lends advice or help. Sometimes the mentor, the mentor, is a memory, a memory of somebody that the hero is once known or a memory of a, uh, a principle or an ideal that serves as inspiration is grounding an inspiration for the euro . And one additional thing about the mentor. Very often, it's the mentor that gets the hero past the first home that gets the hero past the refusal of the call. So so the hero reaches an impediment. Either his or her own reluctance to go on the adventure or something stops the hero. But the mentor is there to help propel the hero into the world of adventure. Crossing the threshold is an important concept, an important level in your story. It's the point where or when your hero enters the other world what we call the other world . It's the world of adventure, and this is a world that, in one way or another, the rules are changed. So it could be a world of adventure. Will in a love story could be boy meets girl next door and enter the new ruled of love, Okay, or, uh, in a crime story. It's where the detective encounters murder, then enters the seedy underworld of of crime and murder in terms of Star Wars. It's the point a to which Luke enters the cantina and he encounters all these strange creatures and strange doings that he's never encountered before. So it's the crossing over from the, uh, from the ordinary world into the world of adventure, and it's here that the hero starts to learn. The new rules are the rules of the new World. Uh uh, that, uh, he will have to live by live and die by On the course of his journey in this section, which we call test allies and enemies, the hero encounters many different kinds of challenges that threatened to stop his or her advancement to the final goal. Um, the hero finds forces and characters who will be his friends and allies who will help him. Ah, he also finds obstacles, challenges antagonists, though most often not the big bad guy, you know, not the main force that opposes him but other forces. Now this. If you remember, they're ramping up of the of the story arc. This is where things start getting Maura, Maura tents. And so you should scale your challenges to the hero of the obstacles your hero faces to be . Mawr and Mawr and Mawr Challenging Mawr Difficult This world difficulty level really starts rising. And so as your heroes amounts one challenge here, she encounters another that's even more difficult, and then another. That's even harder. Okay, so but here is where your hero is, is challenged and tested. Also, where your hero learns something. So here is where, especially your hero can accumulate whatever it is. Points, tools, weapons, uh, to arm them against, you know, the the final conflict. It's here that we're going to encounter the ultimate enemy, the ultimate bad guy, the big batty. Okay, as in star wars, we we become most familiar. Who Darth Vader is becomes clear who he is, what he represents. Now we don't do battle with them. We don't have the final conflict with him. But be aware of him that somehow between us and the goal towards the goal, You know, towards the end of our journey, we're going to have to face this force, this person, this character. Okay, so, uh oh, now, do you know it's a little, um, uh, resemblance there. Okay. Oh, here. We're about halfway through our, uh, examination of the stages of the story because of time constraints were splitting this lecture into two parts and in the next section will take a look at what is yet to come. So the hero has already launched upon the adventure. But there many miles to travel, many challenges to overcome many perils to survive before your hero attains his or her ultimate goal. And we will be examining those in part two of this lecture 12. 12 stage mythic story part 2: Welcome back to recap. What we've covered so far are the various elements that comprise the first half roughly of your story. And these, of course, are your exposition of the ordinary world. And then the introduction of that incident that comes and changes that ordinary world that shakes up the world of the hero and launches him or her on to the adventure, onto the journey onto the hero's journey. To use Joseph Campbell's famous phrase. And we've met the mentor and seeing the hero's first challenge even before he launches into the adventure. And then we've met the various allies and enemies and gotten a firm grip on who or what it is that is the heroes Ultimate Challenge. Ultimate goal. In this second half of this lecture of the stages of the story, we will encounter the death dealing challenges that the hero faces those challenges which threatened to defeat him or her in an ultimate sense. And we'll send your player character as you're designing your game back to the beginning point. So, um, eso be prepared. Um, strap on your battle helmets and, uh, let's go. So the next stage will be looking at will be that of the approach that in most cape, um, this scene, this sequence, the stage is a trend somewhat of a transitional stage and a couple different things happen here. One, the hero could just take a rest. And so, in conventional storytelling, very often, this is an interlude between the action that's happened before in this whole run up of of conflicts of tests, allies and enemies and a major midpoint climax. Also, the hero can be getting ready. Oh, uh, preparing tools preparing plans. And we see this in Star Wars. Okay, the example that we're looking at our heroes are preparing to approach the death star. And then they entered the death star. And so So we have this whole sequence there, and then they encounter what's called the threshold Guardians. Thes are the henchman of the big bad guy. Okay of the chief antagonised. And here they're the the Storm troopers. But not yet Darth Vader. Darth Vader doesn't make his appearance just yet. Almost so. The heroes are preparing to encounter the dragon, and, um uh, and this leads to a major climax in the mid point of the story in which the hero faces death, and I'll talk about that next. The ordeal stage is central to your story. This is where the hero faces death for the first time in the story. Not just a challenge, not just in obstacle, but the hero is actually at risk of dying now in different kinds of stories. Probably not a lot of our interactive stories, but in different kinds of stories you have different kinds of death. Sometimes it's death, and sometimes it's death. So in a romantic love story, it would be the death of a relationship, for instance. But even types of stories that were largely dealing with that is an interactive fiction that your characters are very active. Uh, the hero faces death or at least a great defeat or the ultimate defeat in his request for the goal. So now, in the story that we're looking at in terms of Star Wars, as I said, the approach in most cave takes us inside the Death star. And so our heroes encounter death in a couple different ways. Well, one, there's the famous trash compactor scene in which we actually think that they might be squashed, and, um, we have the trash, snake or whatever that thing is, come up from the depths and drag Luke down. So it's highly symbolic, of course, dragging him down into the depths. And and so there's this feel off biblical mythical proportions of Luke subsumed in the belly of the beast eso he's pulled underwater. And then finally he, um, escapes. And then they face death in another way. And very often this is where the the cohorts the an ally, an important ally of the hero, um, dies in certain kinds of stories. Of course, in action ventures type type stories. So we see the battle between Obi Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader. And, of course, we see Obi Wan Kenobi die. Now, of course, you know, with all the elements of the magical powers of the force, everything like that, he doesn't really die and you know where he just dies. And but But still, that's the effect on us. And that's the effect on the heroes. So there were a deal is the stage where the hero faces the greatest challenge yet, and, uh, but as we shall see, he also gained something from this. If your hero survives the ordeal now, this could be a place in your interactive fiction where you throw a huge obstacle at the hero. And maybe many of your player characters will not get past this stage because everything else has been obstacles. But now you have this death dealing challenge for the hero. And so maybe your player characters, the people who are, um, constructing the story with you will not make it past the ordeal stage. But if they do, you have to give him something. So, uh, the great poet literary critic Samuel Coleridge wrote of the objective Carella tive. This means Ah, the hero should have a thing. A weapon, a tool, a door should open for the hero. So, in terms of Star Wars, what does Luke come away with while he comes away with Princess Leia? Right. And the plans to the death star. So you see these air two objectives that signify he is now graduated to another level and that he could go face, you know, the you know, the dragon himself or herself, and face the final challenge. So this is the reward stage on. It's very important that you structure your story. So the hero wins something when something very important, very tangible, in essence. In a more ephemeral sense, Um, outside of the actual weapon or tour, sword or gun or um or the plans to the Death star, as it were that the hero wins. He wins something else. And in a sense, it's a newfound confidence because now he knows he has faced the worst and he can go to the final confrontation. This next stage it's called the Road back and in a sense, is the road back home. Okay, so it's ah, preparatory stage. It's got this kind of parallel to the approach that in most cave stage and so here you can have an interlude. Or you can have preparation for the final battle the final assault on the enemy on the chief enemy. So here we see the the rebels, uh, planning the assault on the death star. So? So it is the road. It's a road to the final confrontation. In this stage, the death and resurrection stage. The hero faces death yet again. And this is the ultimate crisis that the hero faces. But there's something different about this. And so he faces death in the same way that will say friends, since Luke and all his allies did in the death Star in the ordeal stage. But it's different and is different. In this sense. The hero is armed with something else. He's armed with the with the reward that he came away from the ordeal stage with, uh, but he's different, so you can see that in the ordeal stage, Luke entered that still a boy, but now he's a man. Now he's fully mature and confident in his strength, and now now he's able to meet his ultimate enemy the ultimate challenge, which he would not have been able to do before. So it's a very important stage now. Of course, this is where your player characters can make it or break it. And this another place where they encounter an ultimate challenge. And it's up to you to design the structure of the story so that they achieve what the ancient Greeks used to call catharsis. They will feel your player characters. Your audience will feel that they have truly lived through this life, changing, uh, experience of your story. In this last stage, he returned with the elixir, and this is a name drawn from an ancient myth in which the prince goes off on an adventure to find the magic elixir. Magic potion, No, save the life of the princess. And so victorious and successful he returns home. Gives her the elixir, saves a life. And, of course, Mary's air gains the kingdom. Uh, well, metaphorically. That's what happens at this stage. Okay, So if your hero is not successful, if your hero dies, then this is one of your interactive fiction elements. Then you have the kind of the equivalent of the Viking ship drifting out to sea, flaming and burning into the waves. If your hero is successful on the hand, then you have a scene like we have at the end of Star Wars, in which, with trumpets blaring and and, uh, our heroes all laughing and giggling, you have that that scene in which they are fated as heroes and are indeed triumphant. One last thing and this is a general warning. Um, as the sign indicates, bad thinking. If you think that this is a lock step formula, it's not thes air general guidelines. In the construction of your story, you might find that, um something is best moved here or there. Or you can do without this element. However you want to change it, it's up to you. It's your story. But these are general guidelines, and they're very useful now in the general activity that follows. You will find that, um ah, the template calls for you to construct the story in this order in this way. And that's perfectly all right to nothing wrong with that. So, um, have fun with it. And until we meet again next lecture. 13. Conflict: the heart of every story is conflict without conflict. You don't really have a story. You might have something else. You might have a poem. Might have a song. Might have a painting. I don't know. Um, but you don't have a story. And conflict is the driving force. The beating heart as it were, a Z You can see right there in the little animated GIF, um, of a story. And so in this lesson, we're going to learn what the various kinds of conflict are. One thing to keep in mind is you can have more than one conflict in a story. Usually those story has one central driving conflict. And if there are other conflicts, they surrounded their subsidiary there. Subplots. Right. So let's get started. Perhaps the simplest form of conflict is that of character versus character. Sometimes you will see this is man versus man. Um, which is, of course, highly sexist. So we are now days you something like person versus person or character versus character. And, um, this where you have your protagonist, your hero, go up against a very particular person. So we see it Well, we've been looking at Star Wars we see it sometimes in Star Wars, where Luke goes directly up against Darth Vader. We also see it in the movies like The Wizard of Oz, in which Dorothy directly confronts the wicked witch. Also see it in something like Rocky, where you have Ah, the two boxers duking it out. Now, of course, in each one of these movies, there are elements of, um, character versus self. The character has to overcome his or her own difficulties first, but But at least from the outside, we have character versus character. So this is one type of conflict for us to keep in mind and that you can structure your story around. I'm gonna be supplying you with examples of the various kinds of conflicts. Um, and the 1st 1 comes from the film Batman. Um, which Bruce Wayne otherwise known as Batman. Don't tell anyone. Um uh confronts his arch nemesis formally, his mentor. Um And, uh, So we get an illustration of that kind of conflict in a dramatic situation I'm using, but pointless. None of these people have long to live. Your antics at the asylum have forced my hand. No one can save Gotham Forest grows to wild purging. Fire is inevitable. Tomorrow the world will watch in horror as its greatest city destroys itself. The movement back to harmony will be unstoppable This time. You would take off before, of course, over the ages our weapons have grown more sophisticated with Gotham. We tried a new one economics, but we underestimated certain of Gotham citizens, such as your parents guns done by one of the very people they were trying to help create enough hunger and everyone their deaths denies the city into saving itself in. Gotham has limped on ever since. We're back to finish the job this time. No misguided idealists will get in the way. Like your father, you like the courage to dual. That is necessary. If someone stands in the way of true justice, you simply walk up behind him and stabbed him in the heart. I am gonna stop. We never did learn to mind your ceramics justice's tablets. You burned my house and left me for dead. Considerate. Even character versus nature is a particular conflict. Um, and here we have several different examples. We have a plethora of different examples from the film. 2012 based upon the idea of the world's gonna come to an end, uh, predicted by the Mayan calendar. So there's that conflict. Is Robinson Crusoe the the lone man cast up up on a desert island? There's jaws, the you know, the shark attacking all the tourists on our ah classic American literature novel, Moby Dick. We're in which the great white whale symbolizes the forces of nature. So in the top two fellows, you'll see an illustration of from the story of pie in which a, uh, boy young man, um, faces off against a Bengal tiger and and so he's facing against the Bengal tiger, and he's in the middle of the ocean. So it's a real struggle against nature. Some people interpret the movie metaphorically, and so it's a struggle against self. But we haven't gotten to that point yet. So, um, let's take a look. - Uh , yeah. Uh, no. Good. Yeah. Gordon Tobacco gold going home and leave you alone. I respect that promise. Okay. Cool. Come on. Uh, yes. Your protagonist could also find themselves pitted against the society in which he or she lives. We see an example of this in the Childrens story of The Little Mermaid, in which the mur Beed defies her father, the rules of our society and falling in love with a human. George Orwell's 1984. The classic story of totalitarian ism, which the characters, the man and the woman defy their society and are crushed by the totalitarian state. The dictatorship of the future, which is now the path. But, um, but we get the idea. The Hunger Games is another example in which the characters and so here we see an example very obvious example of dual levels of conflict. Of course, the characters who are involved in the games themselves are pitted against each other, so that's character versus character, right? But the main conflict that comes out at the end is the struggle against the cruel society that condemns it to this, Uh um uh, to this barbarous practice of murdering each other and and so therefore the ultimate conflict would be against society. We will see two examples of this one from the Little Mermaid and one from the Hunger Games . To give you an idea of what this kind of conflict looks like, I consider myself a reasonable moment. I set certain rules and they expect those rules. Toby Obey. But is it true you rescued our human from drowning? Daddy, I have contact between the human world and the world is strictly forbidden. Aerial. You know that Everyone knows that he would have died unless human toe worry about you. Don't even know him. Know him. I don't have to know him. They're all the same. Spineless, savage, harpooning fish eaters Incapable of any feeling? No. If you lost your senses completely, he's a human. You're a mermaid. I don't care. O, help me Area. I am going to get through to you. And if this is the only way so way there will be rolling change. The previous revision allowing for two victors from the same district has bean revoked. Only one victor may be crowned. Good luck, Beyonce. Be ever in your favour. Go ahead. More One of us should go home. What was has to die. They have to have their victor. No, If they don't, why should they? No, Trust me. Trust me together. Okay. One to three. Stop. Ladies and gentlemen, present the winners the 74th annual Hunger Games because of time constraints and because I see some of you are starting. Teoh, get a little tired. The smoke is rising from your ears. Too much information. Oh, no. Okay, um, we're gonna pause here, and we'll pick up the rest of the, uh, lesson on conflict in conflict. Part two. There's a sequel. Okay, so, um, I'll see in a moment. 14. Conflict 2: The character against itself is particularly modern type of conflict, though we see examples of it that date back to back in the day. One example. Being Pinocchio. Classic Children's Story, in which Pinocchio struggles against parts of himself to become a real boy. So he struggles. Teoh follow his conscience to tell the truth, to do the right thing. Okay, against, um, basic instincts. Baked base for desires. Girl Interrupted is more contemporary time Historic, which a young woman struggles against her own mental illness. In the example that immediately follows, we see Simba in The Lion King, struggling against itself against the self doubt to assume the mantle of kingship and to be like his father, doubting that he could ever be like his father. That's a struggle against the self. So that's another type of conflict. To keep in mind is the driving impetus for your story. He's alive and I'll show him to you from Old Rafiki. He knows the way. Come on. Wait. Would you slow down? - That's not my father. It's just my reflection. No, look, you're seeing he lives in bother. Do you have for gotten me? No. How could I? You have for Gotten who you are. So forgot me Look inside yourself. Silly you that what you have become you must take your place in the circle of life. How can I go back? I'm not used to be. You are my son. The truth. No, please don't leave me. Father, don't leave. Yes, Pinocchio. I've given you life because tonight Gepetto wished for a real boy. Diarrhea boy. No, Pinocchio to make up Eto's wish come true would be entirely up to you up to me. Prove yourself brave, truthful and unselfish. And someday you will be a real boy. You boy. That would be easy. You must learn to choose between right and wrong, right? But how will I know, Holly? No. Your conscience will tell you. Water, conscience, water, conscience. Conscience is that still small voice that people won't listen to? That's just the trouble with the world today. Oh, may would you like to be Pinocchio's conscience? Well, but I moved. Uh huh. Very well. What is your name? Oh, uh, crickets. The name Jiminy Cricket. Neil. Mr. Cricket, huh? No tricks now. I don't new Pinocchio's conscience, Lord High Keeper. The knowledge of right and wrong counsellor in moments of temptation and guide along the straight and narrow arise. So Jiminy Cricket. Mm. Say, that's pretty. But don't get a badge or something. Well, we'll see. You mean maybe a Well, I shouldn't wonder. Make it a goldman. Maybe. Now, remember, Pinocchio, be a good boy and always let your conscience in. Your guy. Mm. Character against technology is another very modern type of story. Um uh, as technology becomes more and more sophisticated, more, more people feel threatened by the technology that we have, how it's changing our lives in the technology that we might have in the near future or distant future. Um, and we see this in film examples such as the Terminator, the Matrix or I Robot, in which technology threatens to destroy humanity. Now, for the example, I'm gonna go back in film history and show us on example from Charlie Chaplin's modern times. See, so even close to 100 years ago, people were worried about how technology was making us all mechanical mechanical things, making us humans as it were robots. So, uh, so take a look at the little clip that I give you and, uh, enjoy way the conflict of character against fate, or God is not one that's used very much in our present day, largely because we live in a society at least those that live in the West Dio, in which we don't believe that destiny rules our lives. We believe that we have free will and free choice, uh, to take any path that we want him in our lives. Such is not always the case. The example I draw from is that of Oedipus Rex edifice, the king who was destined as it was given by a prophecy upon his birth to, um, murders father and commit incest with his mother. And he makes choices throughout his adult life to avoid that fate. But every choice said he makes, instead of taking them further and further away from that destiny brings them closer and closer. And so at the end of the story, he gouges out his eyes most terribly. As I said, we don't have very many examples in the present day, but there's a sub story subplot in the movie Forrest Gump. Captain Dan is fated by the tradition of his family to die in war, and when his friend Forrest Gump saves his life. He's very bitter. He saved his life but lost his legs. And so we see the scene where he's out on the sea and a storm on the shrimp fishing boat with his friend Forrest Gump. And he's up in the high mast and raging against the storm, which is really God raging against God, raging against his fate. Um and so we see the example here. Now, the good news is, and in the subplot, in the sub theme of the overall movie Forest Gump Captain Dan, um comes to accept what has happened to him and doesn't try to impose his will upon his fate. Maybe that's what he was fated to do, so but watch and enjoy no trail. Where the hell is this God of yours? It's funny, Lieutenant Diane said because right then God showed. Now May. I was scared, Lieutenant Dan. He was mad. So here we have a quick run down of various kinds of conflict that you can use in your story to drive your story to be the beating heart of your story. Um, so think about it and make a decision, because we're going to get to the point that we're going to start putting the story together, we're going to start constructing our story. So who is your characters? Main opponent is that another character is that society? Is that nature? Is it themselves? So think about it. There's gonna be a journal activity attached to this and and, um, we'll see you next time. 15. Journal Your story: Okay, So you've decided on the conflict of your story with the major conflict is character versus character, character versus society. Character versus nature. Care traverses God. Character vers himself, whatever that conflict is. And maybe even some systems subsidiary conflicts. Yeah. You know who your characters You've drawn your character. You know, their back story. You know, their challenges. You know, their struggles, you know their talents. Okay, so you've got that. Now, after you have some sort of sketch of idea off what your story is now we're going toe outline it. Now we're going to diagram it. We're going to get very precise and exacting a Sfar as this goes. We're just about one step away from actually putting this into final form. So this is very exciting. So in this general activity, that's what we're going to dio. We're going to outline your story. So then you can begin to write it now. They were before we begin. Unlike in physics, where for every action, there's an equal and opposite reaction in interactive storytelling. For every action, there are many possible reactions. No. The example I gave you at the beginning of this course. The lady and the tiger. That's what we're dealing with. And so now we're dealing with how do we write this down? Um uh, So look at the little example Diagram that I have right here. You see that, Um, you follow if you follow one line, that's a traditional story, and you come up with one outcome. But in the interactive story in the game story, just in three levels, you see already have four different outcomes for different possible outcomes. And that's why we need something like what I've designed. I believe, though, if you come up with a better one, that's quite a right. I don't mind, but you have an outline form as you'll see and a graphic or organizer. So now you construct your game in a couple different ways. One you can just go completely off into totally different directions. For instance, even at the beginning of the story, if your character, uh, your player character, um, has a choice whether to go by land or sea, those could be two different games that you have a story at sea in a story on lamb. Uh huh, um, uh, an example might be in grand theft Auto three. Um uh, the player character set up to be a small time crook on his way to fame and notoriety is he takes over the whole criminal enterprise. But if the player wants to, he can't or she can, ah, hijacked a taxi and spend the whole game being a taxi driver, picking up passengers and dropping them off. So the whole parallel structure is possible there. So So this all depends. And and, of course, there's a couple different ways you get infinitely complex. Why? Every choice leads Teoh to three other choices and then keeps on branching. So you have these multiple branches or you can bring the all the choices back to a major center. You know, a major nodule so you can go off and then come back to touch points. And and that might help you keep more, more control over the whole thing. But, um, now, let's get started. I'm going to introduce the forms that I've uploaded for you that you'll find attached to the course and discuss briefly how you might use. So here you see a, uh, an image of the first document that I've uploaded the outline four your game story. Um, now a couple things about it, it's It has the stages according to Vote Lear's 12 stage elements of the story of the mythic story, um, the ordinary world, a call to adventure, the refusal to call the mentor crossing the threshold into the other world in the beginning of the adventure. Um, one of the things that you might find limiting about this is the, um, uh, the linear structure. It seems to suggest that there's only one possible path, even though it's got in a room force basis for more than one result for each challenge that the player character, um undertakes. So, uh, but it might be a good place for you to start, because then you can start to see how the various elements lay out. Okay, so maybe the first thing that we need to do is lay them out in a linear fashion. Then we can go to um, or graphic organizer that you see an image of next. So here's a a new image from the graphic organizer, as I call it, um, at the top, you'll see the ordinary world, and that's not actionable. That's that just exposition that sets up where we are. And then, almost immediately below it, you'll find the call to adventure. That's the inciting incident. That's the thing that comes and changes the world of the hero, the world of the player character. Now there are two possible choices, as they call them, leading from the call to adventure, and those two choices lead to four different possible results. So this starts to enable you to see in a slightly different form in a graphic form how the story is starting to map out, and we'll go further in just a moment. Here is a diagram of one way that this graphic organizer can be used. So you see that even though at the previous stage in this case it was the call to adventure , you have two choices and four results. They all dovetail into the same single next level, which in this case would be the refusal of the call. And then they spread out, and so you can continue that pattern. So a a continual, diverging and converging, you know, going back to the main line. Um, it is possible if you want that each one of the green boxes leads off to a totally different story. Uh, thing to keep in mind, though, uh, is that if you do that, if each say the green box leads to, you know, a different uh uh, a different next level. Um, if you have two choices for each one and each one of those two choices leads to different possible results even that limited type of bifurcation you very quickly run up into the hundreds of the thousands of different scenarios do the math two times two times, two times two its its considerable and ways to keep your sanity. You might want to work on something like this that that you diverge and then come back to the main line and then diverge again, you know? So then you retain some sort of control over the over the main storyline. However, it might be that you want your game story to provide actually many different stories, depending on where the main character or the player character wants to go Here, you see a diagram of what I'm talking about now, one of things that you'll see just very quickly. And when you get the actual forms printed out or you're working with them on your computer . You can see it more clearly, but just from the but from all the docks, all of the green green dots are represent the results of the various challenges, and so quickly they multiply. But some sort of control can be obtained by bringing him back to various nodule points. And so eso level three and four. You see, they converge. And then at Level five, they diverge again. They spread out, and you have 16 different possible results. But that's one of the exciting things about a game, so eso So it's a lot of creativity goes into this and, you know, fortunately or unfortunately, a lot of work, but it makes it quite a challenge. Ah, for the game writer and infinitely entertaining for the game player. Which is why, as I said at the very beginning, this is one of the most popular, if not the most popular ah entertainment genres in the world today. And in some cases, though, people have arguments about this outsell mawr conventional formats. So, um, but that's one of the ways that you could do it. And of course, in order to do this, you can print up multiple copies of the graphic organizer and the outlining and manipulated . However you feel like so you should be ready to begin outlining your story. Okay, So remember, you can do it. Linear fashion, Just a linear typing on a page. You know this thing that in that type of outline, more conventional linear outline, or you can use a graphic outline that illustrates the flow. Now, what you might find helpful is to use a flow chart software full charts feature in a software package. So this right here that I did is an open office suite. It's a free software. You'll find it online. Are there other free or low cost Softwares? And I posted a document that, uh that will describe briefly what the's Softwares are and where to find them. Yone has links, and so eso if you like this, uh, this style bio means make use of one of these free or low cost software. I don't make anything from us. Uh, the diagrams I did earlier in in this particular lecture. I did inward and and word allows you to do that. But it's not. It's handy. The open office has very handy drag and drop, but but, uh, circles and squares you can easily type in them. It has linking lines that are very easy. Teoh Insert. So So, Some sort of software that that easily adapts to a flow chart is what I'd recommend. And one of the reasons that this might be very useful for you is because, unlike a traditional story that's not interactive but more of a straight line, people sometimes wing it, you know, they just kind of say, Okay, I think that's what happens next. Have a general idea what the through line is. But in this, as you can see, you have so many different branches that branch out and half a dozen or a dozen different directions and then come back to a single point and then branch out again. You remember each one of these circles, or squares is an episode that has its own action and dialogue, and so it gets very complicated. So ah, you might find this style about lining very useful. Good. So, um, you're just about ready to go. Just one last word, and then, um then that's just about it. So here you are, that your journal activity. That's your assignment. Do this and you'll be just one step away from finishing the project, which will be to put it into final form. What will be a game script? So Ah, and that's what we'll touch on next. That's what we'll look at next. How to do that? That will be our last journal activity. Now, one thing to remember, as you're designing this outline, everything in the story is conflict. The hero always has to be, um, slaying dragons. Okay, so here we have ST George and the Dragon. There always has to be a dragon to slay. It could be simple. Okay, um, the heroes trying to get into their own home, they've lost the key there, walking down the road. Um, zombies emerge, if that's your kind of story. Okay, um, they're in a maze. They can't find their way out. OK? The hero has to be solving puzzles, overcoming challenges. Okay, that's what keeps the player character, the player involved in the story. And that's what is so attractive about this format because the player character is interacting with the story and in some ways guiding the story. So that's what we've been devising. That's one thing to always. Remember that your hero cannot walk across the room without there being some sort of challenge for the player character to solve or overcome. Okay, so do this, and the next stage will be to lay it out into game script format, and then you'll have accomplished something quite extraordinary. 16. Interactivity 1: in this lesson. I'm gonna be talking about interactivity in this kind of storytelling and games story telling, um, interactivity is a fancy word for choice. The viewer, the player, the participant in the game is actually a participant in the creation. The story. Okay, so now one of things ah, that we can do to imagine what it is that I'm talking about is, um the old form of story is that of a single pathway that the writer, the creator of the story could be, goes back to ancient times. The bard who's singing the epic poem Ah, the novel writer, The screenwriter The playwright takes the reader the reader of the story, the viewer of the story down a single path and controls all the choices of the characters make. Now that path can be straight. It can be curlicue IQ and ah, zig zag and do any number of things. But the writers in complete control. Ah, with the interactive story that we have now possible before us and that we're going to be discussing in this whole course that changes instead of the single path that the writer controls. We have a path that opens to other paths. And so, rather than single path or pass on the side or another metaphor might be, it's a corridor with doors that open up to other choices, other possibilities in the construction of the story. Additionally, the audience for this kind of story is just as much a co creator of the story as you the writer. And actually, that's one of the exciting things. Because not only do you get to use the creator of the whole scenario, get to imagine different possibilities, but so does the the participants, your co creator, the audience member. Every audience member can actually experience a different story, depending on the choices that they help make in the course of the telling. So so again, as opposed to the traditional story, which every member of the audience views this exactly the same sequence of events in the interactive story that changes Everybody can watch a different story and the same Ah, the audience member of the same view of the same reader can actually ah come back to the story and experience it in a totally different way from a total but making the same character, making different choices, choosing to go in different directions or from the viewpoint of different characters. I mean, maybe that's one of things that you program into your ah story creation that it could be played or viewed from the East viewpoint of different characters. So that's generally what we're talking about. The choices that are available to the ah, the the readers of your game. As a point of reference, I'm going to contrast traditional storytelling with the new interactive storytelling. And here I'm afraid I'm going to get a bit professorial on you. Um, but, um, there with it Because because this gives us a valuable context, I think what it is that we're doing. Traditionally, the story followed a single path to the conclusion. Okay, so and as you see in the little graph over here, if I'm pointing in the right direction, I hope I am. Um uh, the story goes something like this. Okay, You mean to do that's the hero. Okay. Ah, something that is about to happen. Um, so the hero attempts to solve the problem, things get worse and finally gets a chance to solve the problem. And the bad thing is defeated. Or maybe not Maybe it's a sad ending, Okay, And then a very end. We have a glimpse of the new world that is created on the ruins of the old something changes. Either the problem is defeated or the problem defeats the hero. Okay, but it's a single path up above. You see the story structure that we're going to be engaging in, and in the interactive story you have the same beginning. But then the path FIFA case, which is a fancy word for saying it splits in two or more and each level the hero makes the choice as to which direction the story goes into. And so you don't have a single path to the conclusion you have multiple paths and you, as a matter of fact, you have multiple conclusions. And so you can see from these two diagrams just how different these two forms of storytelling are. It's interesting to note that this new storytelling technology comes along at the same place that our view of the situation of human beings in the universe, in fact, of the universe itself, has changed. It used to be that our view of our lifes are Our fate was guided by the metaphor of the faiths in ancient Greek mythology. So you had three. Sister close, though lock assists and propose one spun the thread of life. One drew it out and the 3rd 1 cut it and there's no changing that. Um So you had classic Greek tragedies such as edifice Rex. Now Oedipus Rex was born and when he was born was prophesized that he would kill his father in Mary's mother. His parents didn't like that idea, so they sent him out. Teoh die. And he was found by a sympathetic shepherd who took him to a neighboring king. And, uh, they didn't have any kids. Ah, the king and his wife, the Queen, didn't have any kids. And so they adopted edifice raised him as their own. I never told him know where he came from When he grew up, he learned his Ah, he learned his fate. You learn his prophecy any. And he figured out I'm going to defeat this. I I will leave my home. I've never seen my parents again. As much as I love them out. Never see them again. So he hits the road on the road. He gets involved in the ancient Greek version of road rage, um, and kills a man. Then he continues on. He encounters a monster. He kills the monster. Well, so he has a little issue with killing things. But anyway, so it's it's ancient Greeks, and, uh then he goes on to the city. Now this city happens to be missing a king. Some some hooligan killed him on the road. Eso But you know, But you help save us by killing the monster that was eating all of us. So why don't you be our king? And by the way, to be the king, you have to marry the Queen. So I think you know where this story's going, Right? So at the end of the story, ah, he discovers what has happened to him and in remorse, grief Guilty gouges out his eyes and then wanders out in the wilderness. Considerably sadder. But one hopes wiser. 700 years later Ah, 1000 years later, uh, we we get the story of Romeo and Juliet, Same single art. So if you remember that arc, that story arc, it's a straight line goes up and down and it never changes and always end up in the same place. So Romeo and Juliet, uh, are are fated to come to an unhappy ending. Romeo himself says, I defy these stars. So there's this concept of of this fated ending. And if you remember the story, um, they come from warring families or families or having a feud, and it's forbidden that they get together. But they being crazy, kids that they are, uh, figure. Oh, what's the feud when young love intervenes? Unfortunately, all that they try to do in all that the people around them try to do to help them save them , doesn't and they end up always dead at the end of the flight. And in in fact, no matter how many versions of Romeo and Juliet, did you see how many plays you go to? It always ends the same. It always ends up in the same place. So that's the old view off how faith works in our lives. There is one ending, So what we do now is removed from this view of an extra ble fate, unchangeable fate to something quite a bit different, something really theoretical, really riel and really modern. And that is of as you see in the graph of multiple possibilities even multiple universes, which is something that modern scientists are actually seriously considering. And it does go back. Teoh quite a number of years ago. There's a physicist by the neighbor and Schrodinger If I've got the pronunciation correct. And he had the start experiment but a cat in a box with the nuclear particle now. These particles, he observed, seemed to blink in and out of existence as if they're going into alternate universes. So his thought experiment was You put the cat in the box of nuclear particle and nuclear particle would need to kill the cat, or it doesn't. But it's not a simple is that because in one universe it would kill the cat and the other universe. It wouldn't so he got this idea. Maybe there are alternative universes, and this is an idea, as they said, that that physicists are now playing with and quite a few science fiction writers are playing with as well this idea of alternative you universes. So it's possible for us now with interactive storytelling technology, to imagine a story of edifice wrecks in which edifice I'm doesn't kill his father and Mary's mother in which other things happened to him. Maybe he gets eaten by the monster. Maybe his father kills him in the road rage accident. Um, maybe he meets the girl that he likes better than his mother. And he marries her, you know, So there's all different kinds of possibilities, but but it's most interesting to think that this view of the universe is coincide int with the new technology that allows us to express this this view of the possibility off, multiple outcomes to historic. Let's take a break. Now, I want you to pause the video away. We not quite yet. Wait till you hear what I have to say. But I have been doing a lot of talking, so I would like you to do something to try to get a feel for what it is that we've been talking about. So, um, I would like you to think of your favorite story. Could be a fairy tale a, um, a book, A movie. Now, kind of like the ending. How does it end now? What you do is you think of alternative endings, other possible ways the story could have ended. All right, so think of that. And just those down. Um, and they could be ways that it would end better or worse. You don't have to like the ending, just different possibilities. So play with that. And after you've done that for a little bit and shouldn't take you too long, maybe five minutes or something like that to kind of play with that that longer if necessary, you can start us back up again. Okay. So go ahead, pause the video now and then. I'll see you when you get back. Okay? So each audience member views this game, the story through a personal filter. The first let's just go to the term I'm How do we refer to this person? I mean, actually, and how should you think of this person? They're a, well, their a game player. I mean, we're designing these stories to be played and, you know, in a game scenario, but they're more than that. And they're more than a audience member in the sense of the old fashioned passive recipient of the story. In a sense, they're the co creator, the co writer of your story. So now whatever they are or they're all three of these things. Each has a different emotional response because they helped create a game that's in some ways unique to them. And this one of the exciting things about this. So, uh, these members of the audience, these co game creators, thes the's co storytellers. These co game creators have two qualities. Teoh attributes that audiences of more traditional passive entertainment don't have one to have choice control. They have the ability to make choices that make a difference on this is totally new. This has not happened before. Now there's an old maxim in In media. Um ah, noted by, ah, the Canadian media critic Marshall McLuhan. The medium is the message. So in older forms of storytelling, there wasn't the medium for interactivity. There wasn't the technology for interactivity. If you had a Bard strumming all heart and chanting the epic poem Ah, he didn't get fi feedback from the audience. If in the great age of the novel Charles Dickens was writing a novel, there wasn't much ability for the reader of the novel to give Charles feedback and say, Well, no, I want this to happen to Pip or, um, Dick Worthington or whatever character. It it was that that Thea that the novelist was writing about when ah, somebody's watching a movie, you know, we can't determine the outcome of the movie. I mean eso whether we agree with the outcome or not, we think it's believable or not. We we haven't been there. We can't make those choices. And we can't make the choices for for the various characters in the film. Um, how many times have I sat in a movie and watching a horror movie? And ah, and the kids were about to go into the haunted mansion? You know where the serial killer is and people in the theatre of going Don't go in there now you're idiots. Don't go in there. Well, that doesn't determine outcome that could still go into the haunted mansion, and they still get slaughtered by the serial killer. Um, but now, in a game you have the ability or the co player creator storyteller has the ability to make choices. Now, one of things to note about these choices this interactivity is the choices must be meaningful. The choices have to make sense, and they have to be meaningful in the sense that they have to somehow affect the outcome off what follows. So if there's a choice that the that the original creator you the writer of the story offers to the, uh to your participants say, for the character to have it last milk or a glass of water and that doesn't make any difference, Well, then you don't put that kind of choice before them on Lee. If you know that makes a difference, that changes the course of the story that shakes the world in a sense. So, uh, uh, because readers, your readers, your viewers, your co creators, your players become dissatisfied with empty interactivity. Interactivity doesn't exist by itself. It exists because it's meaningful. It makes a difference, you know. So there are a couple of requirements in this new kind of storytelling. One, the writer has to give up absolute control. You, as the creator of this new kind of story, no longer have the absolute control that writers once did. So we're all kinds of stories about writers who rewrite their past. They go back to a tragic incident in the past, and they rewrite it. They give it a happy ending or, you know, they go back to the great love lost and they write it so they get the girl or the girl. If it's a female writers, she gets the guy or she they figure out what went wrong. Uh, that kind of power no longer exists because you're you're actually giving your co creators your game players the option to make the same mistakes that you is the writer made in real life. Or that you're imagine character made in, you know, real I ever would've made in in real life. But in X, in return for giving up that power to determine the outcome of those kinds of stories, um, you is the creator. Have the opportunity to work on a far vaster canvas than you ever did before. For instance, you can now imagine and include into your story five different possible scenarios. You know, what are the different ways that this could have turned out that the story can turn out on these air story Truls that were never before available? Accepted? Maybe you know, the most far out experimental fiction. I mean, can you think of five different ways that you know the classic story of Romeo and Juliet could have turned out. Of course, we know the way that Shakespeare wrote it, but maybe it turned out another way in different scenarios. Maybe somebody else would be playing that game and decide that Juliet should really married the guy that her parents wanted her to marry. Then how does that look? Or maybe it turns out that Romeo and Juliet didn't commit suicide, and so their parents allowed them to get married. And then they become a middle aged custom couple with their own kids with the same problems . Okay, but you is the story writer have the opportunity to create a brand new narrative. Now you still have authorial control. Ah, we still create, Ah, projects, narrative rolled and all the possibilities. We just have a wider canvas. And so, if we're doing a little portrait of the great writer Henry James once wrote a novel called Portrait of a Lady. Now we're doing mural of the entire world that the lady lives. So that's what we gain. We give up a little bit of control over the narrow pathway, but we open up scope for an entire world 17. Interactivity 2: one of the ways to understand just how involving this kind of interactivity is is a look back into pre tech days, maybe. Ah, v c. That is before computer. Um, when I was a kid, we would play things like Toy soldiers or go outside. We play war, or it is pre political correctness days. And so we play cowboys and Indians. I don't know if you can say that nowadays, but if we did that, that's what we call this. So just historical record. Um, and this was very involving. The girls, of course, have played dolls. Uh, sometimes there'd be a little confusion because, um, for instance, I try to get my little sister to play with the our toys, soldiers, my toy soldiers, and she'd want to include her little animals. And so it was very frustrating for me because I wanted to go to war and fight, and then she should move a little animal up to me and go. Hi. How are you doing? Oh, you're nice. Would you like to have tea with me? Yeah, you know, and I don't do that. We're supposed to be fighting a war. You can't invite me to t anyway, so but the point is, it was terribly involving on dumb. And if you've ever and if you remember back to when your child or if you've ever taken care of Children, you don't know that there's a story being told and maybe even the Children themselves don't realize it. But, um um, But if you try to move the child away from the game, does it? No, I'm not done yet. I'm not done playing goals yet. And so there's there's a conclusion of the story. They're constructing stories that's interactive story making, and and and it's so involving that, you know, we his Children ah, believe it. We become immersed in the story, and that's what happens with the modern technology. Now that we can bring that interactivity to the storytelling, I'm going to give us another example of how powerful this form is. And it involves the the festival, uh, Christmas Festival of lost massages, and I ask forgiveness from my Spanish students who, uh, I have heard me mangle the word. But it's a Christmas festival central around Mary and Joseph, seeking a place at the end and rather than, um, Christmas festivals. that Ah, lot of us might be more used to in which we view in a play type format. Three. The Christmas drama or we receive a sermon from a minister or priest. This actually involves people going out into the street. Ah, a couple of whom are dressed as Mary and Joseph very, very often writing a funeral or a donkey and, um and going from place to place, location, location that's designated isn't in and asking for admission, asking for a place to stay and then being refused and turned away and then after travel further down the street. And And this is accompanied by the people in the community or either dressed up as town folks. Ah, you know, um, in Thea appropriate garb the first century garb bars, Roman soldiers and they walk along and they sing songs of the Children, break pinatas and have treats. And on great time was had by all. And finally, they receive admission to a place that is designated is an in very often a church. And so thus concludes the festivities. If you haven't had a chance, uh, check one of these out bio means attended. But for our purposes. This demonstrates again now the power of interactivity. These people aren't receiving the story passively there, partaking in it. There are part of it. They are immersed in it. And and that's what this type of, ah games, these types of stories that we're talking about has the power to offer your readers, your readers, your game players. Another look at interactivity, at least historically, in the days before the the technological media allowed us Teoh create the interactive stories that we are today might be to look at the film from the 19 fifties Rush Inman, created by the great Japanese film director Akira Kurosawa. And in this story, the basic framework of the story is that the, um, there's a summer I nobleman and his wife traveling through the force and the percent by abandoned. And at the end of the day this summer I is killed and the wife is disgraced, and, uh, the bandit is captured. Well, what's interesting is that Kurosawa presents us with several different points of view. What could have happened and force in a story framework. These would be passed that the that the character or characters the players could traverse But what happens here is that they're laid out sequentially. So at first, the bandit tells the story about he, uh, came upon this couple. He tricked the some right on, captured him, and ah, and then seduced the wife afterwards. The wife is so ashamed that she wants the two men to fight and, uh and, uh and so they dio. So the bandit unties the samurai and they duel the summarize victorious. And then the bride runs away in shame. So that's one version of the story. But next we get the wife's version of the story. Her story is that the bandit did indeed capture the husband and rape her and then left. Ah, she untied the husband and begged him to forgive her, even though she done nothing wrong. Ah, he just looked at her coldly with unforgiving, unfeeling eyes and, um, out of her despair and trauma, she fainted with his dagger in her hand and, um doesn't remember anything else, except she tried to kill herself afterwards. But she woke up and the dagger was planted in the husband's chest so she doesn't know what happened. So that's her story. So now the summer I tells his story, which is a bit of a shocker, right, because he's dead, Okay, but he comes back as a ghost. And so he says that what really happened was that after the banded raped the wife, the bandit evidently so smith it so much in love with wife now that he begged the wife to run away with him, and she agreed. But she said, the summer I had to die first. So the bandit had to kill the samurai because the evidence, because evidently should be disgraced or should be ashamed, I don't know, running away with abandon, wasn't that not so. But now it's the bandits room to be shocked, and he refuses. So the wife runs away and the ah abandoned, uh, freeze. The summaryon leaves, and then the samurai kills himself with the dagger. Thank you. Know you know the dagger that's been left lying about. So that's the sunrise story. So we have yet another version of what really happened. What did really happen? And so now we get yet another story. There was a woodcutter, you know, a guy out in the woods chopping wood. Um, who witnessed the whole story but he didn't want to get involved at the trial. But now we get his story and he said, You know, there was a rape and the summer I was tied up. Um, and the banded did back the woman to run away with him. She refused, and she cut, cut the ropes that summer I was tied up with, and then he she wanted the some right to defend her honor to kill the a bandit. But the summer I refused, saying that she was spoiled. She's a spoiled woman and, ah, but then she gets mad and she starts taking them both on and then the band it in the summer . I do end up having a fight, but it's not this brave confrontation between warriors that they told about they were falling over each other. They were tripping. They're both afraid they, you know, and then accidentally, the bandit kills the some right when the room is so disgusted by the whole thing that she runs away and that's what happened. Maybe we don't know. We have four different stories, and in a sense it's interactive because we can choose which one we prefer 18. Interactivity 3: There's another form of old form interactivity that I'll touch on, and it's demonstrated by a story called The Lady or the Tiger. And this was written about 100 years ago. Or more, Um, and and the premises. Something like this. It's a a common or just a regular guy falls in love with the princess. The king, the princess's father doesn't like that idea. I mean, how dare you rise above your station? And so he imprisons Thea lover. You know, the princess's a loved one and said some. His challenge you to be put into an arena facing two doors behind one door is a lady, but not the princess. And the other door is the tiger man eating tiger who will attack him and eat him. So now the princess knows which door has the lady which store has the tiger. And so she sends word to her lover, which door he should choose. And that's where the story ends. And so the readers of the story, a little form interactivity, were involved in this conversations of the arguments about which door the woman the princess would have directed her lover to open to see so And it's complicated, you say, because does she direct him towards the door with the other woman? So So then he gets to marry the other woman who's rich, and she'll have to live with them being in the royal court. She'll have toe see them every day. Or that she loved the man so much that you can't bear to give him up and she direction to the door with a tiger. That's the kind of interactivity that used to exist we didn't get to choose except in our imaginations actor. Worse But of course, with modern storytelling technology, we can explore all the possibilities, both these possibilities and others. And I'll talk about that in the next few slides. So bring us forward to the present time, and we have today's storytelling technology, interactive technology. So your hero, who is the player your coast storyteller chooses 12 or another. So let's say, for argument sake, the first door he or she chooses is the door with the lady. So they entered the door. They go inside the room, and what do they find? They find this beautiful woman, But who is she? And she asks something of your hero. Okay, so one you've chosen the lady rather than Tiger and you don't. And you're player doesn't know which stores which. So that's accidental. But then you have this interchange and the lady wants something. What is you walk. Well, that's the crux. Do you the player give it to her or do you refuse? If you refuse, what happens? Does she cry? Does she turned into a fierce ninja where you've got a battle? Her or it does. You want you to go on an adventure with her? Go help save her brothers. Maybe you see, So you have all these choices and that's interactivity. So you is the player. Get to choose what path you take. Conversely, you your hero, your player, your co story writer choose to the door of the tiger. Then what happens? Do you is the player co storyteller and I know it's getting the whole but ever, uh, choose to fight the tiger. Kill the tiger where it is. Maybe the tigers chained up and it's choking, you know? Can't G do you release the tiger? Do you help the tiger? Do you give the tiger some meat? Do you feed it. And and then in doing that, you said in motion the rest of the game. Is it tiger on the enemy? I mean, maybe you fight the tiger, the tiger escape. So the tigers, always after you, maybe you make friends the tiger, you free it. So it's not choking and more than you feed it. So it's your faithful ally and its stands by your side through all dangers. So you have these choices to make. See. So this is the crux of interactivity. The story enjoy, er the story audience member becomes a co writer with you and creates very much more exciting prospects for use the storyteller and and and the story that you've laid out so and that's what we're going to be exploring. And that's what we're gonna learn how to do. In this course, there's another form of interactive storytelling from the days of B C. E. Now, normally, BC means before the common era in our contacts, that means before the computer era, So what? My son calls a dad joke. Sorry. Um, but, um, these were types of books that were in print, but as the reader went through it, they were able Teoh choose which path to take my my son. I started to my son about this project, and, uh, and he said, Oh, I used to gobble those up when I was a kid. Okay, so, uh, so they're kind of popular. The one I have here, an illustration that I have here is Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island. So it's an adaptation of the famous novel Treasure Island. And a lot of these were drive from myths or, uh, Children's novels and works like that. So this one and I have, you know, actually have the copyright here. So this one, you know, you get to the end of a short chapter and you read something like that to agree to help the captain, Um, go to page 47 to say no, go to page 46 to see so and have these marked up now. Now, the technology was a little clump, you know? So they had to page back, and Okay, so say I want to help the captain's. I go to pay for his and on page 47. So, you know, some kind marching? Um, you tell the captain I will help you were kind of. So after all, business has been slow and Admiral Ben Bow, any amount of money will benefit you and your mother. Okay? All right. So and then you follow that line of ah, of thought, that story line or to say no, Go to page 26 of them. You have to page through. Go to page 26. Where you read, You worry it could be dangerous Getting involved in the captain's affairs. Eso you tell him? No, I don't think I can help you. Alright, so but one of things that's fascinating about this, I think is that before we even had the technology that we have today for interactive storytelling, um, we were starting to see the possibilities, and writers were starting to put them into print even. And and and even more serious, writers or writers for adults were beginning to experiment with alternative endings, alternative paths in print stories. But of course, now we have the theme the technology available to us to really bring that format to fruition. And as I said, that's what we're gonna be doing in this class is very exciting, so I can hardly wait. So we should remember the maximum. The medium is the message. And in this case, the medium is interactivity, and that affects content that affects the message. So eso we'll do a little thought. Experiment. Um, you remember the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, right? We should all remember that at least have a big knowledge of it. So Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, Herod, ice and, uh, God said, Have the run of the place. Make yourselves at home. You can do anything you want to accept. Don't eat the fruit of the tree in the center of the garden. Well, you know, there's old thing, miss fairy tales about the one forbidden thing, and one thing leads to another. And there's a serpent cork. Wow. I know it's not so bad. And I myself, they eat the fruit and then God gets pissed at him. And since the mother out of the garden Okay, so that's the set up. That's the traditional story, and it's not been changed, except we can change it. We can tell a different story. So one of the points of this is to this experiment with a traditional story and see what can happen if we change it up. So who are you? Who are you in the story? Are you Eve? Then what do you do? You look at the apples. They look yummy. But no God told you not to. So you don't. Maybe the story goes a in addictive direction. Then maybe the Adam character is is to blame. Um, do you play the serpent? If you're the serpent, then what do you do? How do you convince these two characters, these two other characters, to eat the apple? You want them to eat the apple? Why do you want them to eat the apple? Maybe you think it's good for um Or if you're Adam, what do you do when you comes at you? If that character comes at you, okay to eat the apple, Do you refuse? Do you eat yet? Won't do you fight the serpent? Do you tell ive? No, I won't. Because because in the original story, Adam gives up, you see? So the story gets very complicated, very convoluted. Eso and and again go back to choice. Now, sometimes in some of these stories, the player co writer co storyteller has the choices. Which character they're playing s So we have a choice here. Are you Adam? Are you Eve? Are serpent or is somebody else? There's one more thing about interactivity and actually one of the most surprising things about it. The developers of the walking dead games discovered to their surprise as they logged and surveyed thousands hundreds of thousands, millions of choices that their players made in the course of playing the game that most of the time players were choose the right thing to do. That is the moral thing. So they will not not choose the easy thing, the thing that gets them fullest along in the game of the logical thing to do from a purely selfish to standpoint, they'll choose the right thing to do. So, uh, in a sense, this clues us into something else that's going on in the game. Because storytellers throughout the ages have always been concerned with exploring right and wrong. What is the right thing to do in a particular situation? And what is the wrong thing to do? And apparently oh, are the interactive game format, the interactive story format that video games offer, Um, froze all that open. So So you is the game writer don't have any control or over developing the moral of the short, the moral of the story of the theme of the story. But actually you do, and in a much more subtle in powerful ways, because you get to shape the choices that the players make or the choices that they have, and then, by implication, the choices that they make. And so this is fascinating. So perhaps these interactive stories are not as open ended as they might appear to be, but, um ah, but that you can direct your players to be thinking about the choices, the moral choices that are involved in these scenarios in a much more subtle way than storytellers and previous ages. 19. Character: in this level, we're gonna be talking about character and building a character. Enough characters are the people. Okay? Ah, who inhabit the world of your story of your game. And they're very important you actually, you don't have a story without I character without characters that, in one way or another, the magical ways that storytellers have of investing these figments of our imagination with the semblance of real live human beings. And what's more that we care about, listen to people talk about their favorite programs, their favorite movies, their favorite video games. And inevitably, it'll come down to the characters, the people that inhabit those, uh, of those formats. Right now a game of Thrones is very popular. And so, uh, so people talk about what's gonna happen in the next Siri's. Why did what's gonna happen in Jon Snow? What is dinner is going to do what is teary in going to dio, you know, um, so we invest these characters with with humanity in the States, and that's what this section is going to be about it and what's more, not just talking about it, but we're going to learn some fundamental skills and actually building a character that will be alive and living for your players, for your player characters. The ancient Greeks said that character is destiny, and this means a couple different things. One, it means that, um, who we are defines who we will become, who we end up being. So who we are determines the choices that we make. And those choices determine our destiny. Determine our ultimate fate. Yeah. Um, also, they revealed to the world they reveal to us as you know, the observers of the story of the re the player characters. Okay, who the character is. So the choices that the character makes determines who the character is. Um, this has a couple of dramatic implications. One is so your player character has a choice in running a nuclear plant on, and he or she can dump nuclear waste into the local river. So make a bunch of money if they dumped the nuclear waste into the river. Of course not kill a lot of people in the city, but who cares? They're smart. Say they they they know how to make a lot of money. Um, but what does the world look like after that? you know, after that choice or what happens if the person is running the nuclear plant decides not to dump the nuclear waste into the river. Okay, Uh, what kind of world do I create then? And what kind of enemies do I ah, created in in either case, Um okay, uh, so you're player character defines in some part who the character is, who the hero is and say that your player character to make each one of those choices, they create allies and enemies in the very choice that they make. So now, sometimes the choices that we make become very interesting and define us in and kind of odd ways. Say you have a fireman driving home Hard day on the job. He's driving home passes by a burning home. A house right in the house is burning. Family lives in there. So he stops the car, he jumps out runs and he saves the family, pulls the family out. Guy. So, um, marvelous thing for him to do that. Not Teoh this fireman at all. What kind of his job? I mean, we are surprised by this. Okay, Another day on the job just works a little over time, maybe for free, but wonderful thing to do. But but not surprising. Another. And what do you have? A burglar coming home from the job? Yeah, driving home in the morning after a hard night at work, stealing from people's homes. And he's driving down the road and he sees a burning house. And, you know, there's kids screaming from Never window or Mom screaming from the upper window out of the law and saying, Help, help! I combined my baby and the burglar stops his car runs into the house. That's weird, right? Yeah, that's we learned something totally unusual about that person from that kind of choice is not programmatic. Not programmed into him to do that. We see something about his. His character, Right? Okay, So what if it's a politician who runs into a burning house and saves the family? And actually, ah, that's the question is prompted by something that actually happened. There is a politician from New Jersey, a man by the name of Cory Booker, but did justice. He saved an entire family of this when he was mayor of of a city in New Jersey. Now the senator from New Jersey. But he ran into a burning house and saved the entire family. And rightly so, he became a kind of hero. I mean, how many politicians would do this? You know, uh um, I hate to say this, but somebody like Hillary Clinton might set up a a listening tour to get a You know, I feel for the opinions of the people in the neighborhood as to what should be done in such a circumstance. Donald Trump would no doubt wait until the House had burned down by it real cheap and then build a luxury condo development for billionaires. Because he's smart, he knows how to make money. So it all right. So the choice is defined character, and that's one of things that we're gonna be talking about. It's in the realm of the character choices that that we see the development of the story and the final outcome of this story. So, for instance, and fallout three, you, the vault dweller, have to make choices. Ah, within the town that's built around the unexploded nuclear bomb and each choice that you makes helps define the outcome of the game, um, and fable to the Villagers remember the non player characters, Village jurors remember how you treated them and when you come back to the town, those choices that use the player character have made will impact their reaction to you. Ah, mass effect literally logs thousands of possible variations according to the choices that you've made. So every choice that you the player character has made will be logged by the game, and it will affect the outcome. So building, um, the depth of character into your player characters character into the, um, helps us the players theater, active storytellers. The Coast storytellers connected the game. I am, the more connection that ah, we the player viewers audience of the game have with the characters, the more we will be. Ah ah, drawn into the game, the more will be motivated to play and continue to play the game Now. Richard Vincent, president of Atocha Interactive, said games really end up being about character, and people don't end identify with the character in the game. They won't play the game. Okay, so your job, one of your first jobs, is to make characters that come alive in the imagination of your players. We need characters that we can identify within this identification with the character is vitally important. Um, but oddly enough, we identify with characters are very specific, so we don't have generic general characters. We we identify with characters who have very unique traits. Friendships, uh, 20 soprano. A hero is not a good guy. He's Ah ah. He's far from perfect. He's brutal, murderous and not even good looking. But he captivated us for years. Um, so character trade should be very specific force. Come, for instance, is not a general generic character. There's nothing general about him at all. He's one of a kind, yet we all identified with him with his honesty, his emotional openness, his bravery and his courage. So let that be, you know, a ah hallmark for building your character. Make your character unique, and we will fall in love with him. Yeah, make your characters real in the situations that they're in real, your players will not want to give them up. And what's mawr not want to give your game up? So Princess Final Fantasy seven. Crisis Corps. Ah, the PC's the player characters already know a lot about the fate of Zach. Um But gradually, over the course of the game, um, he's revealed not to be just another soldier, but a carrying young man determined to help other, specifically his friend Cloud um, he rises through the ranks closer to obtaining his dream, even though he faces from time to time, discouragement and betrayal even as the game nears its end. And Zack and Cloud or On the Run Cloud is in a near vegetative state. Um, but Zach refuses to abandon him and describes his plan to support both of them until Cloud recovers. But then Zach is stressed in the final determinative battle. Uh, and the PC the player characters control Zach in this last hopeless fight. This involvement in in Zach's final battle increases the immersion and the personal investment on the part of the player characters. The combination of Zac's fate and his desperate will to survive makes the ending of this game one of the most involving an emotional moments in interactive storytelling. So that's what we're about in this section on character in our general activities, I'm going to be prompting you to build your characters, Uh, first your hero and as many other characters as are important to your story, and I'll be giving you different tools to that end so you can look at the construction of your characters from different angles. Um, as you actually write your story Scripture game story script, you can choose one roll your choice in the spirit of interactivity. Okay, you get to choose, um on. There's nothing wrong with using just one. Maybe one does it for you. Um however, sometimes a full fledged, three dimensional in depth character will emerge from using all of the tools in one way. Yeah, or another to one degree or another. Again, it's your choice. So I'm going to be talking about other methods in this section and then finally will take a look at journal activities that will aid you in the construction of your characters. 20. Hero archetypes: we could do a whole course on mythology or on storytelling based on ancient myths. Um, we're not gonna do that now, Um, but we will touch on a few aspects of ancient mythology because they provide you with some very valuable tools and the creation of your story. And as I'm going to talk about in this segment on the creation of your hero Now, some of this drives from thinking by modern mythology ist Joseph Campbell, who wrote Hero 1000 Faces and from whom we get the phrase the hero's journey. Um, Christopher Vogeler Ah, whom I include in the works cited, pays works, consulted page and and you can resort to that list Teoh, get additional reading for the scores. Uh, has written about how those principles of ah, Joseph Campbell and ancient mythology applied a modern stories, particularly to movies. George Lucas very famously used some of these principles in the designing of, especially his first Star Wars movie, which I've got to tell you for me is always the first Star wars, but but I think the number four in the Siri's, which is always very confusing to me, but but I saw when it first came out, so but that's it for me and right, So, um but ah, in this segment, we're going to talk about the hero and make reference to the hero's journey. Now, of course, we'll come back to the hero's journey when we talk about this story. But right now we're gonna talk about the hero in particular. So who is the hero? Generally speaking, the hero is what in literature is called the protagonist of your story, the main character of your story, the character around whom your story develops. Um, does the hero have any special attributes? Well, uh, yes and no off. The word itself comes from an ancient Greek word that means to protect, to serve, to defend. And this is very much, um, the conception that we have about a hero that the hero doesn't doesn't try to get something for himself or herself, but is, um ah, benefactor for the community or for others around himself or herself? Not always the case. Uh, we do have stories about hero, especially from Greek mythology. For ancient Greeks. A lot of the heroes were simply people who did extraordinary deeds. Hercules, for instance, despite what we see in the Disney version, Ah undertook his 12 labor. Labour's is famous 12 labors his 12 adventures to atone for a great crime. He had been driven mad by Hera, the wife of Zeus, the king of the gods, and murdered his family. And so there, for the ah, his labors that he undertook was to atone for that crime. You know? So, uh, so not really a model for behavior there, But But in our day and age, we very often think of the hero as somebody who either willingly or reluctantly, and so that's an important just the position there. And I'll talk about that in a moment. Does something undertakes risk for himself or herself could benefit the community as an example of a story of the hero who's willing Teoh risk himself on behalf of his community on behalf of his people. We have the story of David and Goliath from the Old Testament in the Bible. And as the story goes, Ah, the issue lights and the, um, Phyllis teens were at war, and ah, David offers to enter into single combat with the giant champion Goliath. Uh, everybody thinks this is very funny because David is just a a young lad. A, um, a boy, though. Would as we can see well, in this painting by by Rubens. Anyway, uh, you know, uh, um, an order boy, but still young, but no match for the giant Goliath, the champion of the army away. But ah, but David manages to ah, slay Goliath. He hits him in the forehead with a ah ah, with a stone from a sling. And then is Goliath is, ah, prone on the ground. David rushes up, picks up Goliath. So sword and cuts off his head, the saving the day. So he put himself at risk for his own people. That's the hallmark of a hero, at least in our modern conceptions. The dramatic purpose of the hero is to give the audience a window into the story. And this is true whether the audience is reading a book or watching a movie or playing a game. The hero is the vehicle through which we, the audience or the player characters become invested in this story in the emotional life off the story. So now they're two different aspects to building this character. One are the individual qualities that we will build into your hero. On the other are the universal qualities, and that's we're gonna be talking about in this segment e the universal qualities. And so, ah, these heroes have aspects or qualities that we could all recognize there the, um the need to be free, the need to get revenge, the need to be loved, the need to survive the need to right wrongs to seek self expression. All these are universal qualities, um, that are heroes are invested with so right. But that's what we're gonna be doing here. And in this sequence I'm gonna be talking about the different kinds of heroes that we can use in our interactive stories. Heroes invite us to invest part of our personal identity in them. In a sense, we become the hero for a while for the duration of the experience of the the story of the game. Now, later, we'll talk about the individual characteristics that we can invest our hero with, You know, the qualities and the traits that make our hero human very often a weakness of flaw, a wound of one kind or another that makes us fuel for them. Um But now we're going to talk about some of the universal aspects of the hero, how the hero is situated in the story, what kind of role the hero is playing in this story. And this what we consider the archetypal characteristics. One function of the hero in the story is that the hero grows here. I has to experience some sort of growth, and so you should be thinking about this when you, um, creates your your story, your interactive story, your game. In fact, that's one of the ways that we can tell who is the main character who's the hero in this story. The hero is one who changes. So the hero always changes in relationship to the mentor, the friend, lover or even the villain. So it's a hero who learned something is we experience the hero's journey. And so, in order to take that journey of the hero, just can't end up in the same place that they were at the beginning of the story. The villains sometimes does. Okay, the villain sometimes doesn't learn anything, Uh, and that's one of the reason that the villain is defeated. But the hero does the hero learn something and very often a to least in many of the stories that we tell in one way or another triumphs. But the hero doesn't always have to try. So don't make a mistake about this presence in the ancient Greek tragedy of edifice Rex uh , which sometimes could be read as kind of a mystery kind of a murder mystery Who killed the King? Will turns out that it's the lead character edifice, but he has set and determined upon actually finding out who killed the king. And then he finds out, to his chagrin, that it was he himself who killed the king. And so at the end, he's ruined by this knowledge by this tragic knowledge of the fate that he is fulfilled, as was foretold at his birth. So he's destroyed. But he learned something, so even then he changes. Uh, so the hero doesn't always have to try, so your hero can win or lose. But somehow, in the end, the hero should change. Another attribute of the hero is the hero acts. The hero takes action. This is very important Now. You don't want a hero whose passive you just sits back, lets everybody else make the decisions, and then somebody else is the hero of the story. Andi, the hero, must at least try to control his or her fate. And sometimes the story is someone like a tragedy. Or is a tragedy like, you know, the story of edifice Rex that I mentioned earlier in which the hero struggles against his fate or her fate, Even if you know it's set in advance, what is going to happen? Um, the hero still struggles and acts and makes decisions. So this is very important, especially in in terms of games, because you don't want a character that that then, no matter what the players do, um can't do anything you know just does. Nothing just sits on the couch. No. Yeah, the hero has to be able to make choices and at least attempt to control their feet. It might be wishful thinking. It might be over investment in the hero, but we always have a choice, even when the odds or most dire against us, your audience, your player characters want to know that they have a choice, no matter what. This is exemplified in the scene from the 2004 movie theater alum Ah, Davy Crockett And the rest of his, um uh, compatriots is comrades at the Alamo facing off against the, uh, the Mexican Army, uh, face certain defeat there, surrounded, they refused to surrender, and so one would think that they don't have any choice, but they do. And Davy Crockett gets up on the battlements on the walls of the this little building in Texas and he plays the fiddle, and in that he triumphs and that he wins. It's his ability to choose. Maybe if nothing else is ability to choose how to die, that gives him victory. That makes him triumphant on this is very important. This and it all goes together with the with the need of the hero to be able to act. And that's why he's a hero because he acts, he makes choices at the heart of every story. Is death doesn't have to be literal death, at least as far as the characters are going. Well, we're you know where the audience with the player characters and so we don't face death. But the characters dio uh, but it doesn't have to be literal, doesn't have to be actual here in this, uh, in this game call of duty. You know, the characters are facing death on the battlefield, but in other kinds of stories, it could be kind of a symbolic. And a love story could be the death of the relationship in a film noir detective, uh, game or story in which the hero, the player character, is trying to figure out who done it. Could you be just failure to find out who the killer is in a sports game or sports story? The death could be losing the game, losing a big game. So but at any rate, there has to be something at risk, whether it's death or death. And and then, Secondly, the hero has to put something on the line. The hero has to be at risk not just for himself or herself, but for the group, For the team here has to take one for the team or let's be willing to. So we see a story like this, something like this in Star Wars for Star Wars. I think it's Episode four, which Hans Solo moves from being very selfish, mercenary type character to becoming a hero. Do being willing to sacrifice himself for the good of the group. So we don't always have that kind of movement because not all heroes start off is being selfish. But a 21 point or another. The hero has to be willing to risk himself or herself, for the group has to be willing to face death. Heroes come in many varieties, willing, unwilling, so no zero doesn't want to go on the adventure. Sometimes zero just wants to stay home. You have group granted heroes and you have loner heroes, you know that. Just leave me alone. Type of here you have an anti hero, somebody who doesn't fall into, you know, the category of having admirable qualities. They could be a bum, the criminal, because they can be antisocial in one way or another. So, you know, anti heroes. You can have a catalyst, Hero may be the hero is not somebody who actually takes action but inspires others to take action. And you can mix heroes with other archives. Well, you have a trickster hero, A shadow here, or you can have a mentor hero. So there many different varieties that the hero can take, eh? So what? We're gonna do here is take a look at some of the larger categories into which your hero can fall, and then you can kind of find out. Figure out which one fits your story, and as you go forward, you know you'll be applying individual characteristics to make that hero truly unique. First, in our consideration of different types of heroes is the willing hero this the hero who steps forward on their own accord to confront the evil, the danger that threatens the community. These are characters like Batman and Superman, who willingly take on the challenge of defeating the criminal elements that destroyed threatened to destroy the community. This is Katniss Evergreen, who who steps forward to sacrifice yourself for her sister. Ah and, um, in classic literature, a story you may have had to suffer through in high school. They will. They will willingly goes to fight Grendel and Grendel's mother and then the dragon. You know, this is a willing hero, their own daily lives. It's very often people like soldiers who volunteer, you know, to go fight somebody who's attacked their country. It's firemen and policemen and put themselves on the line thes air willing heroes. These were people who willingly take on the challengers and the dangers, Uh, that that threaten the rest of us. The next type of hero that will encounter is the reluctant hero or the unwilling hero. This is a you know who does not want to go fight the dragon this year. Oh, wants to stay home for one reason or another. They don't believe that they have the capability to to undertake the challenge or they know they have the capability. But for one reason or another, they don't want to be bothered. They could be afraid they could be discouraged. So whatever the reason, the hero is reluctant. They're full of hesitations, their passive. They need to be motivated by outside forces. So now sometimes this reluctant hero is a ordinary man with very realistic false and capabilities and is not a great hero. Ah, but they undertake the challenge eventually and maybe maybe they need it. Um, the other type is the person who is capable, but for some reason is reluctant to undertake the the challenge. An example of this last is Ah, Achilles in the Iliad, um of whom it was told that he did not want to go to war with the other Greeks, you know, go to war against Troy. And you might remember seeing this in the movie, Troy, if you saw that. So he I don't think the scene was was shown that any. But this is part of the legend around Achilles. So Achilles hit out amongst the women and Odysseus wildly. Oh, Odysseus were sent Teoh Fair Achilles out when amongst the women and drew his sword is if he was going to start killing them on. And that's when a killer Achille stepped forward to protect him. And so he was outed as it were. And, um, Odysseus grabbed him and said, You're gonna war, buddy. Okay, so, um, another type of unwilling, reluctant hero is photo Baggins. If you remember at the beginning of Lord of the Rings, he wanted to stay in the shire. He didn't want to go on this adventure. What? What's going on with this thing? He's just a hobbit. He's not a hero. And a reluctant hero makes for a very interesting character. The anti hero is another type of hero that you might consider for your main character. So first Teoh eliminate any confusion. The anti hero is not against your hero. The anti hero eyes, not the antagonised, is not the bad guys, not the villain. The anti hero is a character who is the hero of the story but is floored. Is anti in the sensitive. They don't have the typical characteristics of the hero. They are vulnerable. They might be greedy. They might be a moral that might be cynical. They might be weak. They might want to be a loner. Eso so here, I mean, so you might have a combination of the unwilling hero and the anti hero that as well. Um, anti hero is very identifiable to your audience to your player characters. What? Because we're all anti heroes. We're all flawed. We're all subject to temptations and take new, easy, easy way out. And so we kind of identify with that. Examples of anti heroes could be Tony Soprano in the Godfathers. Batman is an anti hero. I mean, he's deeply wounded. He's full of rage and anger over the, you know, over the murder of his parents. Funny Montagna in Scarface. If you remember that movie, Dexter Morgan in the TV program Dexter, a serial killer that we come to identify with, um, in, um, in video games, you have solid snake in middle gear or Duke Nuke, Um, in the video game series of the same name. These are all anti heroes and their flawed in one way or another. But again, because they're flawed, they make for fascinating heroes for your story. Another consideration to make when designing your hero is our orientation towards the group . First, the group oriented heroes, these air heroes who arise out of the group, uh, go off on an adventure on their journey and then return to the group Proto bagginses again . A great example of this. He wants nothing more than to return to the shire. Um, the film ah, trip from which I'm gonna show you in just a moment from Braveheart of the Braveheart characters of William Wallace is a group hero. Not only does he lead the group, but he aspires nothing more than to return to the group. Okay, so this is a group oriented hero. Somebody who, um after the country is attacked, joins the military, goes off the fight, goes off on the adventure, and then comes back and wants to re reintegrate into society. That's a group hero on quite a bit different as we'll see in just a moment from the loner here, Scotland. I will walk you well. It's a seven feet tall, kills men, but 100. And if you were here, it consume the English with fireballs from his eyes, bolts of lightning. I'm William Wallace, and I see a whole army of my countrymen You in defiance of agility. You have come to fight a three man, three men. You are. What will you do without freedom? Will you fight? No, we will. Right. People live, fight, and you may die. Run. No love at least a while and dying in your beds many years from now, would you say, Well, the tree fallen do from this day so that for one chance just one chance to come back here, that they may take our lives. Well, don't never take. When I was a kid, I used to like to watch the Lone Ranger. Of course, I had no idea that this was a type of hero, but it is. And it's very, um, archetypal e Americans. And what the lone hero does. Invisible was the Lone Ranger lives outside of the community. This has got to the flip side or the opposite of the group oriented hero. The group or ended hero, if you remember lives inside, the group goes outside to have the adventure and then comes back. The ah lone hero, the loner hero, lives outside the group and so very typically depicted in westerns, is living out in the wilderness, riding the high Plains, High Plains drifter type of character. You know the loan writer and then comes into the group to rescue the group and then very often leaves again. This is very popular in Western depictions, but even today it's Ah, it's a popular theme. It's Ah, it's a popular American character, popular American conceit that that we live outside and isolated from the community. So even people who live inside the city very often depicted as a loner heroes they get along on their own. They don't have relationships, but then they appear to to save the group in some way or another fight crime, perhaps, or to save the save the people from the zombies. But then their struggle, you know, their conflict at the end is, Do they return to the wilderness? Do they return to being alone? Or do they finally integrate with the group? Not very often in American stories, the the loner hero does We returned to the wilderness doesn't stay with the group, but of course that's up to you. And that's up to your player characters, the people who direct the action of the story of the choices that the character makes. But that's a but that's not a possibility. Where does your hero come from? Does here will come arise from inside the group? Or does the hero come from outside the group and come to help on and and and and save the people? Okay, so we've discussed the archetypal patterns that exists for heroes, and this is just for heroes. Eso You see, there's a lot of, ah, and be very helpful for you to situate your your hero into one of these archetypes, which is not states stereotypes because you don't want what's called a stereotype. That's a cardboard cutout of a personality. Your hero should have unique characteristics. Um, um, your hero can sometimes have contradictory characteristics. For instance, your hero can be strong and body but weak in spirit or vice versa. Ah, weak in body of strong in in spirit, your hero get have conflicting impulses as we all do. Your hero might be kind, but also selfish. You know So But this is for you to figure out, Aziz. We go forward into individualizing your character. And remember, this is just one character that we're talking about. This just a hero. But the most important character, all your other characters, will be given the same kind of attention that we're talking about here. But so what you do is you will choose one of these templates one of these archetypes that will fit your hero, and then we'll go on and we'll ascribe individual characteristics for your hero to make your hero truly an individual person that we can identify with and follow and cheer and personally, um, become invested in 21. Character archetypal hero 1: we could do a whole course on mythology or on storytelling based on ancient myths. Um, we're not gonna do that now, Um, but we will touch on a few aspects of ancient mythology because they provide you with some very valuable tools and the creation of your story. And as I'm going to talk about in this segment on the creation of your hero Now, some of this drives from thinking by modern mythology ist Joseph Campbell, who wrote Hero 1000 Faces and from whom we get the phrase the hero's journey. Um, Christopher Vogeler Ah, whom I include in the works cited, pays works, consulted page and and you can resort to that list Teoh, get additional reading for the scores. Uh, has written about how those principles of ah, Joseph Campbell and ancient mythology applied a modern stories, particularly to movies. George Lucas very famously used some of these principles in the designing of, especially his first Star Wars movie, which I've got to tell you for me is always the first Star wars, but but I think the number four in the Siri's, which is always very confusing to me, but but I saw when it first came out, so but that's it for me and right, So, um but ah, in this segment, we're going to talk about the hero and make reference to the hero's journey. Now, of course, we'll come back to the hero's journey when we talk about this story. But right now we're gonna talk about the hero in particular. So who is the hero? Generally speaking, the hero is what in literature is called the protagonist of your story, the main character of your story, the character around whom your story develops. Um, does the hero have any special attributes? Well, uh, yes and no off. The word itself comes from an ancient Greek word that means to protect, to serve, to defend. And this is very much, um, the conception that we have about a hero that the hero doesn't doesn't try to get something for himself or herself, but is, um ah, benefactor for the community or for others around himself or herself? Not always the case. Uh, we do have stories about hero, especially from Greek mythology. For ancient Greeks. A lot of the heroes were simply people who did extraordinary deeds. Hercules, for instance, despite what we see in the Disney version, Ah undertook his 12 labor. Labour's is famous 12 labors his 12 adventures to atone for a great crime. He had been driven mad by Hera, the wife of Zeus, the king of the gods, and murdered his family. And so there, for the ah, his labors that he undertook was to atone for that crime. You know? So, uh, so not really a model for behavior there, But But in our day and age, we very often think of the hero as somebody who either willingly or reluctantly, and so that's an important just the position there. And I'll talk about that in a moment. Does something undertakes risk for himself or herself could benefit the community as an example of a story of the hero who's willing Teoh risk himself on behalf of his community on behalf of his people. We have the story of David and Goliath from the Old Testament in the Bible. And as the story goes, Ah, the issue lights and the, um, Phyllis teens were at war, and ah, David offers to enter into single combat with the giant champion Goliath. Uh, everybody thinks this is very funny because David is just a a young lad. A, um, a boy, though. Would as we can see well, in this painting by by Rubens. Anyway, uh, you know, uh, um, an order boy, but still young, but no match for the giant Goliath, the champion of the army away. But ah, but David manages to ah, slay Goliath. He hits him in the forehead with a ah ah, with a stone from a sling. And then is Goliath is, ah, prone on the ground. David rushes up, picks up Goliath. So sword and cuts off his head, the saving the day. So he put himself at risk for his own people. That's the hallmark of a hero, at least in our modern conceptions. The dramatic purpose of the hero is to give the audience a window into the story. And this is true whether the audience is reading a book or watching a movie or playing a game. The hero is the vehicle through which we, the audience or the player characters become invested in this story in the emotional life off the story. So now they're two different aspects to building this character. One are the individual qualities that we will build into your hero. On the other are the universal qualities, and that's we're gonna be talking about in this segment e the universal qualities. And so, ah, these heroes have aspects or qualities that we could all recognize there the, um the need to be free, the need to get revenge, the need to be loved, the need to survive the need to right wrongs to seek self expression. All these are universal qualities, um, that are heroes are invested with so right. But that's what we're gonna be doing here. And in this sequence I'm gonna be talking about the different kinds of heroes that we can use in our interactive stories. Heroes invite us to invest part of our personal identity in them. In a sense, we become the hero for a while for the duration of the experience of the the story of the game. Now, later, we'll talk about the individual characteristics that we can invest our hero with, You know, the qualities and the traits that make our hero human very often a weakness of flaw, a wound of one kind or another that makes us fuel for them. Um But now we're going to talk about some of the universal aspects of the hero, how the hero is situated in the story, what kind of role the hero is playing in this story. And this what we consider the archetypal characteristics. One function of the hero in the story is that the hero grows here. I has to experience some sort of growth, and so you should be thinking about this when you, um, creates your your story, your interactive story, your game. In fact, that's one of the ways that we can tell who is the main character who's the hero in this story. The hero is one who changes. So the hero always changes in relationship to the mentor, the friend, lover or even the villain. So it's a hero who learned something is we experience the hero's journey. And so, in order to take that journey of the hero, just can't end up in the same place that they were at the beginning of the story. The villains sometimes does. Okay, the villain sometimes doesn't learn anything, Uh, and that's one of the reason that the villain is defeated. But the hero does the hero learn something and very often a to least in many of the stories that we tell in one way or another triumphs. But the hero doesn't always have to try. So don't make a mistake about this presence in the ancient Greek tragedy of edifice Rex uh , which sometimes could be read as kind of a mystery kind of a murder mystery Who killed the King? Will turns out that it's the lead character edifice, but he has set and determined upon actually finding out who killed the king. And then he finds out, to his chagrin, that it was he himself who killed the king. And so at the end, he's ruined by this knowledge by this tragic knowledge of the fate that he is fulfilled, as was foretold at his birth. So he's destroyed. But he learned something, so even then he changes. Uh, so the hero doesn't always have to try, so your hero can win or lose. But somehow, in the end, the hero should change. Another attribute of the hero is the hero acts. The hero takes action. This is very important Now. You don't want a hero whose passive you just sits back, lets everybody else make the decisions, and then somebody else is the hero of the story. Andi, the hero, must at least try to control his or her fate. And sometimes the story is someone like a tragedy. Or is a tragedy like, you know, the story of edifice Rex that I mentioned earlier in which the hero struggles against his fate or her fate, Even if you know it's set in advance, what is going to happen? Um, the hero still struggles and acts and makes decisions. So this is very important, especially in in terms of games, because you don't want a character that that then, no matter what the players do, um can't do anything you know just does. Nothing just sits on the couch. No. Yeah, the hero has to be able to make choices and at least attempt to control their feet. It might be wishful thinking. It might be over investment in the hero, but we always have a choice, even when the odds or most dire against us, your audience, your player characters want to know that they have a choice, no matter what. This is exemplified in the scene from the 2004 movie theater alum Ah, Davy Crockett And the rest of his, um uh, compatriots is comrades at the Alamo facing off against the, uh, the Mexican Army, uh, face certain defeat there, surrounded, they refused to surrender, and so one would think that they don't have any choice, but they do. And Davy Crockett gets up on the battlements on the walls of the this little building in Texas and he plays the fiddle, and in that he triumphs and that he wins. It's his ability to choose. Maybe if nothing else is ability to choose how to die, that gives him victory. That makes him triumphant on this is very important. This and it all goes together with the with the need of the hero to be able to act. And that's why he's a hero because he acts, he makes choices at the heart of every story. Is death doesn't have to be literal death, at least as far as the characters are going. Well, we're you know where the audience with the player characters and so we don't face death. But the characters dio uh, but it doesn't have to be literal, doesn't have to be actual here in this, uh, in this game call of duty. You know, the characters are facing death on the battlefield, but in other kinds of stories, it could be kind of a symbolic. And a love story could be the death of the relationship in a film noir detective, uh, game or story in which the hero, the player character, is trying to figure out who done it. Could you be just failure to find out who the killer is in a sports game or sports story? The death could be losing the game, losing a big game. So but at any rate, there has to be something at risk, whether it's death or death. And and then, Secondly, the hero has to put something on the line. The hero has to be at risk not just for himself or herself, but for the group, For the team here has to take one for the team or let's be willing to. So we see a story like this, something like this in Star Wars for Star Wars. I think it's Episode four, which Hans Solo moves from being very selfish, mercenary type character to becoming a hero. Do being willing to sacrifice himself for the good of the group. So we don't always have that kind of movement because not all heroes start off is being selfish. But a 21 point or another. The hero has to be willing to risk himself or herself, for the group has to be willing to face death. 22. Character archetypal hero 2: heroes come in many varieties. Willing, unwilling, So no zero doesn't want to go on the adventure. Sometimes zero just wants to stay home. You have group granted heroes and you have loner heroes, You know that. Just leave me alone. Type of here. You have an anti hero, somebody who doesn't fall into, you know, the category of having, ah, admirable qualities. They could be a bomb, the criminal, Because they can be antisocial in one way or another. So you gonna anti heroes, you can have a catalyst, Hero may be the hero is not somebody who actually takes action but inspires others to take action. And you can mix heroes with other architects. Well, you have a trickster hero, a shadow hero. You could have a mentor hero. So there many different varieties that the hero can take. S. So what we're gonna do here is take a look at some of the larger categories into which your hero can fall, and then you can kind of find out. Figure out which one fits your story, and as you go forward, you know you'll be applying individual characteristics to make that hero truly unique. First, in our consideration of different types of heroes is the willing hero. This the hero who steps forward on their own accord to confront the evil, the danger that threatens the community. These are characters like Batman and Superman, who willingly take on the challenge of defeating the criminal elements that destroyed threatened to destroy the community. This is Katniss Evergreen, who who steps forward to sacrifice yourself for her sister. Ah and, um, in classic literature, a story you may have had to suffer through in high school. They will. They will willingly goes to fight Grendel and Grendel's mother and then the dragon. You know, this is a willing hero in our own daily lives. It's very often people like soldiers who've all in here, you know, to go fight somebody who's attacked their country. It's firemen and policemen and put themselves on the line thes air willing heroes. These were people who willingly take on the challengers and the dangers that threaten the rest of us. The next type of hero that will encounter is the reluctant hero or the unwilling hero. This is a you know who does not want to go fight the dragon this year. Oh, wants to stay home for one reason or another. They don't believe that they have the capability to to undertake the challenge or they know they have the capability. But for one reason or another, they don't want to be bothered. They could be afraid they could be discouraged. So whatever the reason, the hero is reluctant. They're full of hesitations, their passive. They need to be motivated by outside forces. So now sometimes this reluctant hero is a ordinary man with very realistic false and capabilities and is not a great hero. Ah, but they undertake the challenge eventually and maybe maybe they need it. Um, the other type is the person who is capable, but for some reason is reluctant to undertake the the challenge. An example of this last is Ah, Achilles in the Iliad, um of whom it was told that he did not want to go to war with the other Greeks, you know, go to war against Troy. And you might remember seeing this in the movie, Troy, if you saw that. So he I don't think the scene was was shown that any. But this is part of the legend around Achilles, so Achilles hit out amongst the women and Odysseus Wiley. Oh, Odysseus were sent Teoh Fair Achilles out when amongst the women and drew his sword is if he was going to start killing them on. And that's when a killer Achille stepped forward to protect him. And so he was outed as it were. And, um, Odysseus grabbed him and said, You're gonna war, buddy. Okay, so, um, another type of unwilling, reluctant hero is photo Baggins. If you remember at the beginning of Lord of the Rings, Uh, he wanted to stay in the shire. He didn't want to go on this adventure. What? What's going on with this thing? He's just a hobbit. He's not a hero. And a reluctant hero makes for a very interesting character. The anti hero is another type of hero that you might consider for your main character. So first Teoh eliminate any confusion. The anti hero is not against your hero. The anti hero eyes, not the antagonised, is not the bad guys, not the villain. The anti hero is a character who is the hero of the story but is floored is anti in the sensitive. They don't have the typical characteristics of the hero. They are vulnerable. They might be greedy. They might be a moral that might be cynical. They might be weak. Um, they might want to be a loner. Um, eso so here. I mean, so you might have a combination of the unwilling hero and the anti hero that as well. Um, anti hero is very identifiable to your audience to your player characters. What? Because we're all anti heroes. We're all flawed. We're all subject to temptations and take new, easy, easy way out. And so we kind of identify with that Examples of anti heroes could be Tony Soprano in the Godfathers. Batman is an anti hero. I mean, he's deeply wounded. He's full of rage and anger over the, you know, over the murder of his parents, Tony Montana in Scarface. If you remember that movie. Dexter Morgan in the TV program Dexter, a serial killer that we come to identify with in in video games, you have Solid snake in Middle Gear or Duke New come in the video game series of the same name. These are all anti heroes, and they're flawed in one way or another, but again because they're flawed. They make for fascinating heroes for your story. Another consideration to make when designing your hero is our orientation towards the group . First, the group oriented heroes these air heroes who arise out of the group Ah, go off on an adventure on their journey and then return to the group Proto Bagginses again . A great example of this. He wants nothing more than to return to the Shire. The film A clip from which I'm gonna show you in just a moment from Braveheart The Braveheart characters of William Wallace is a group hero. Not only does he lead the group, but he aspires nothing more, then to return to the group. Okay, so this is a group oriented hero. Somebody who, um after the country is attacked, joins the military, goes off the fight, goes off on the adventure and then comes back and wants to re reintegrate into society. That's a group hero on quite a bit different as we'll see in just a moment from the loner here of Scotland. I will walls, you wallets a seven feet tall, killed men but hundreds. And if you were here, it consume the English with fire falls from his eyes, bolts of lightning from his house. I'm William Wallace, and I see the whole army of my countrymen You in defiance of tyranny. You have come to fight a three man, three men. You are. What will you do without freedom? Will you fight? No, we will. Right. We will live. All right. Fight the new maid. Run No love at least a while and dying in your beds Many years from now, would you say, Well, tree fallen do from this day so that for one chance just one chance to come back here that they may take But they never take. When I was a kid, I used to like to watch the Lone Ranger. Of course, I had no idea that this was a type of hero, but it is. And it's very, um, archetypal E Americans. And what the lone hero does Invisible is the Lone Ranger lives outside of the community. This has gotta the flip side or the opposite of the group oriented hero. The group branded hero. If you remember, lives inside, the group goes outside, you have the adventure and then comes back the ah lone hero, the loner hero lives outside the group and so very typically depicted in westerns, is living out in the wilderness, riding the high Plains High Plains drifter type of character. You know the loan writer and then comes into the group to rescue the group and then very often leaves again. This is very popular in Western depictions, but even today it's Ah, it's a popular theme. It's Ah, it's a popular American character, popular American conceit that that we live outside and isolated from the community. So even people who live inside the city very often depicted as a loner heroes. They get along on their own. They don't have relationships, but then they appear to to save the group in some way or another fight crime, perhaps, or to save the save the people from the zombies. But then their struggle, you know their conflict at the end is, Do they return to the wilderness? Do they return to being alone? Or do they finally integrate with the group? Not very often in American stories, the the loner hero does We returned to the wilderness doesn't stay with the group, but of course that's up to you, and that's up to your player characters, the people who direct the action of the story of the choices that the character makes. But that's a but that's not a possibility. Where does your hero come from? Does here will come arise from inside the group? Or does the hero come from outside the group and come to help on and and and and save the people? Okay, so we've discussed the archetypal patterns that exists for heroes, and this is just for heroes. Eso You see, there's a lot of, ah, and be very helpful for you to situate your your hero into one of these archetypes, which is not stays stereotypes because you don't want what's called a stereotype. That's a cardboard cutout of a personality. Your hero should have unique characteristics. Um, um, your hero can sometimes have contradictory characteristics. For instance, your hero can be strong and body, but weak in spirit or vice versa. Ah, week Ah, and body of strong In in spirit, your hero can have conflicting impulses as we all do. Your hero might be kind, but also selfish s o. But this is for you to figure out as we go forward into individualizing your character. And remember, this is just one character that we're talking about. This just your hero. But the most important character, all your other characters, will be given the same kind of attention that we're talking about here. But so what you do is you will choose one of these templates. One of these archetypes, uh, that will fit your hero, and then we'll go on and we'll ascribe individual characteristics for your hero to make your hero truly an individual person that we can identify with and follow and cheer and personally, um, become invested in. 23. Journal activity character backstory: It's very important for you to consider what's called the back story that is the history of your characters. These stories, thes histories, shaped who your character is, even if sometimes they're not essential to the main plot. But they shape who the character is, who your hero is, sometimes in very important ways. Well, so, for instance, in them the modern myth in the mythologies say of Superman and Batman, Superman would not be Superman unless for the back story of his escape from the dying planet of Krypton. Batman would not be Batman, except for the tragedy of seeing his parents killed by a criminal on the streets of Gotham . So these back stories, these histories shaped with the characters, are and who they become. So that's why it's very important for you to consider these in the development of your character because they give your character kind of a three d depth that that only acting in the present doesn't. Um, So in this section, we're gonna be looking at creating that back story for your characters, who they are in kind of a three dimensional phase, perhaps who they were his Children or what the formative experience for them was what shapes of human beings now in the present. Here's an example from gaming for you, um, in metal gear solid three Naked Snake is sent into a remote part of the Russian wilderness to extricate a defecting Russian. So he finds out that his longtime mentor of the boss is defective. And over the game, we, the PC's the player characters, uh, learned of the depth of their relationship. And there's an ongoing debate, as it were, between loyalty to the comrade in arms and loyalty to country. And so we learned MAWR more until finally, we learned that the real reasons why the boss is apparently defecting, and and it leads to a very emotional final moments of the game. And so that. But it is the back story that history of the relationship that makes this game and its resolution so powerful. So here's an activity for you. I want you to think of the back story off a game, a movie, a book that you've enjoyed on and think about how it's conveyed, how the story is told, how that back story is told. Is it a kind of prequel? Before the beginning of the main story that it's all told at the very beginning. Um, is it sprinkled throughout? So it continually piques our interest as you learn little by little more and mawr about our main character about our hero, Um Or is it just hinted at Is it not told completely, but just hinted at here and there? Or do we come to a point in the story where the whole back story is told because, like, a major chapter, So you have a number of different ways in which your back story can be told some. Now you thinking about that? Now we're not to the point yet that we're gonna be structuring our story. But you can keep that in mind that there are different ways to tell that backstory to tell the history off our hero. One of the ways that this back story this history plays out is they provide motivations for the character, such as with Batman for development earlier. His need to defeat the criminals in Gotham stems from this traumatic experience that he had as a child. Uh, these sorts of motivations are very powerful and that they bleed into the minds of your player characters of the players of your games. We your audience, feel those motivations. We understand them. We understand Batman's needs in a film. The Hunger Games, Katniss evergreens. Primal motivation is to protect and save her sister. This is a primal motivation. It's It's, it's, it's It's not periphery. It's not. Well, I'd really like to go to the movies. No, it's it's It's something that's central to her being as a character. And then we as the player characters, we is your audience. Understand these. And as I said, one of the things that happens when we play games when we listen to stories is we start to partake of the emotions of the characters that we identified. And that's what makes these so powerful, so always remember, created powerful backstory. You'll create a powerful character way, as the old song says. Well, not old for me, for me yesterday, but for you, you can't always get what you want, but sometimes you get what you need. This is a very important concept in our building, the back story of our character, especially our hero, and has to do with the lie that the character tells himself or herself. Andi. This is one of the powerful dynamics in the movement of the character, because dynamic character should change, should learn something should become a better self. And that's one of the ways that they managed to surmount. The difficulties that they face on example is in the last of us. Joel fuels that the chance to be a father has passed him. He's failed, and, um, he doesn't wanna do that anymore because he doesn't want to go through the painting. And but then he's tasked with protecting Ellie, and he doesn't want to do it. But in the end, ah, the lie that he's told himself that he doesn't want to be a father is revealed to be just not a line because he eventually becomes, in essence, her father for texture and saves her. And that becomes a very powerful dynamic in the movement of the character. Because, remember, the hero's journey is not just an hour journey from here to there. It's not just going to the store, it's an inner journey, and that's what makes your character is so powerful. So here's what we're going to do now. I want you to write the seminal moment of your character's development. This is the moment that made them what they are today. As we encounter them, we use player characters, encountered them in your video games story. So, for example, is a little Bruce Wayne. Seeing his parents being gunned down in front of him is that Superman is escape from Krypton. Is it Dexter and the TV program Dexter being present while his mother is brutally murdered in front of him and chopped up in the blood all over the place that he's sitting, crying and pools of blood, whatever it is, right? That and and I want you to write it as at least a paragraph should be at least a paragraph . It could be a page, or it could be a whole chapter. Write it in details. Much detail is you can muster because remember, you're gonna have to write this so somebody can transfer it to the screen. So every word that's said every action that's taken right in and and as much detail as you possibly can, right, So so right. That scene that that crucial seen the turning point in our lives that made them who they are today. And then I want you to develop from that. The lie that they told themselves. What did they tell themselves or what is the conclusion that they drew from this? Who they are? So talk about that. Talk about what they think that they want. And then what do they really need? So this is the secret of the character that's not revealed until the very end. What do they really so right about that? Okay, so right, all those things down. Put this in your journal. Of course, this goes into your journal, and we're getting to the point that we're starting to build this journal and then finally will start to build. You know, the entire layout, the entire script, the blueprint for your video games. 24. Journal Activity – building a character: this journal activity, actually, a number of journal activities, so you might be pausing as you go through. Have to come back to this, but But I'm going to give you a few things to do to help you build your character and characters in your game story. So a couple of the first ones are gonna have to do if you're going Ah, and doing some study. So pick a game you played recently and figure out what archetype each main character fits. So the hero, what kind of hero is he is your reluctant hero is the a willing hero. Is he an anti hero? You know, So you might want to go back to our discussion about you know, the archetypal hero and, uh, and do this for the other characters. Is there a mentor? Uh, and remember, a mentor can either be, you know, the, you know, the Obi Wan Kenobi type of character. You know, the classic mentor or the the Good witch. You know, the fairy godmother for a woman, or it could be some other type of character. You know who's doesn't fit. The stereotype of the mentor could even sometimes be an idea or a memory. And do these archetypes, um, stay the same throughout whole story? Or do they change? Are the shape shifters something else you can Dio is? Think about your favorite characters in stories or games. Why do you like them? Is it what they do is at particular traits. What makes you like them? Think about it. Think what is really cool about them? Is that the way they dress? Is that their mannerisms? Is it something? Ah ah, about their personality that you like. So Ah, And alongside of that, why do you think that they behaved in a believable way? Why do you believe them? So be thinking about that. So jot down some ideas focused on your favorite character or a couple of your favorite characters on, Then write down what it is that you like about okay, And then, uh, why are they believable? And do they behave in a believable way? Why do you believe what they dio as we start to conceptualize who are characters are and will be, focusing mostly on the hero. That's the main character, though Everything that we say pertains to all the other characters as well in them or real life characters you can insert into your story, the stronger your story is. But we want to be a specific as we possibly can. You don't want to say something like why all my here will be a bad ass fireman. Okay, First, don't use work that ass, OK, because it's not specific. What do you mean by that? You mean somebody beats everybody up? Do you mean somebody who's not afraid of fires just charges in? You mean somebody who's drunk all the time? So it's very unspecific type term, and it doesn't really mean anything, even though you might have some sort of ideas what it really means. But it doesn't help you in constructing your character. I would also be wary off starting your hero out with all the skills necessary to be the hero. Because game players player characters delight in learning skills, picking up attributes, picking up, um, on Aled the strengths that they will need in order to achieve the goal of the game of the story. Besides that, where's the conflict? If your hero can already kill the dragon? Well, where's the story? He just goes out, kills the dragon, But another day at the office. Ok, well, OK, then. It's just another day day at the office. Not very interesting. Uh, there's a movie called The Accountant that I think falls into this trap. It's a about a, um Ah. And an autistic man who is kind of a savant when it comes to numbers. Okay. He can multiply 10 digit numbers in his head and come up with an answer immediately. Um, he also happens to be a ah, an international hit man. Okay, so not only is he a whiz with numbers, but he's a whiz with killing people. Okay, So and then he's thrown into this conflict in which he is called upon to, you know, go get the bad guys. Okay? But not very interesting, ultimately because very interesting about his character, you know. Ah, but but he's already hit man, so he doesn't have to learn anything. You know, I personally I I think the story would be much more involving if you had this accountant who had to learn how to be a hit, guys. So as he has thrown into this the story of of entry, So be careful about that give your characters of floor always give you characters a flaw, maybe something they have to prove. So rather than saying he's a bad ass fireman, what if he's an arrogant fireman, always trying to prove something? Okay, well, you know, then we can empathize with them because we recognize Ah, and sympathize with insecurity. Those that becomes interesting, doesn't it? He's afraid off. Maybe he's a fireman who's afraid of fires, but he has to prove that he's brave. So they have a very interesting character dynamics. So jot down some notes. This is journal I activity. So jot down some notes about, um, how you might complicate your character and we're gonna be going through these exercises, and you have a number of things to do to start drawing the shape of your character. One of the ways that we come to get a handle on who somebody is, um, is through what they do, what they dio. Okay, um, the teacher there fireman, are they, uh, a plumber? Eso now the queue for this, uh, a little talk I'm giving right now for this exercise is the poem that I have over here, the nursery rhyme rich man. Poor man, beggar man thief, doctor, lawyer, Indian Chief Tinker Tailor. Every mother's son, Butcher baker shouldering. I got so might be Children. Your gunner. Maybe not, but that's not the point. The point is, you want to try to get a handle on who your character is, who your hero is and all the other characters through what they do. So So here's what we're going to do for this activity if you don't already have an idea, uh, pick 10 or 20 if you're ambitious, different ordinary occupations, just regular jobs, and you want to write them on, get some three by five cards like this. If you don't have three by five cards, just kind of a piece of paper, a couple pieces of paper and the little slips of paper, and we're going to do something with this. That's right down the jobs on the cards. If you want Teoh through a little spice into the mix, I've attached or uploaded a list of unusual jobs. Okay, so s so you can take a look at those things that we don't normally think of in in terms of jobs perfume, smeller, dog walker and some even Mawr. Unusual jobs, Porta potty collector things like this to make. So things that might be kind of cool to play with in the creation of your character. So but financial cards thought your three by five cards and and we'll add to this activity and then I'll show you how it works. Okay, so now what I want you to do is I want you to write down on these cars on the famous soon to be famous three by five cards. Um, character archetypes. Now, this is gonna be, in a way, the outer layer, this shell of your character. It is not the end on the old definition of your character, but but it starts to give us something Teoh build within. So you could choose Mars or Zeus or Aphrodite from from ancient mythology or made of American mythology. The trickster character Coyote. You could choose something from, ah, popular American film or television history, the lone Ranger type of archetype. Or are the John Wayne archetype or a fem fatale? Tha the no, the dark woman who lures the hero into into the dark paths. But choose some archetypes 10 or 20 of working with 20 uh, and write them down on your flashcards, and then we'll go on to the next portion of this exercise, and then I'll show you how this all works. So now I want you to go back to your three by five cards get, you know, pull off the stack. We're still dealing with these. Go back and, uh, right, uh, personality traits. Um, And you see some samples right here. I have posted a document that has a lot. I don't know the account, but there's a lot. 100. 200? I don't know. Um, seven personality traits just pulls him out. That seemed interesting to you again. I could be 10 2030 40 50. Pulled out, OK, And then write him on your cards. So we're getting close to the time that we're actually going to start putting this all together, so you'll you'll see what it is that we're going to do with this. So what are we gonna do with all of this? Well, I have 37 stacks, right? Three different stacks of cards. One give you your, um, capture archetype. Your your framework character, the other gives you the job You know what kind of job this person have? Ah, plumber a porta potty and hear a dog whisperer, okay. Or and the other gives you some personality traits. And so say, for instance, you get a an Aphrodite e archetype who is a dog whisperer who is polite, shy and courageous s. So now you're starting to feel the character. Now you see the character. Okay, So keep shuffling these until you get a combination that you like. And you can do this for all your characters You don't have to do just for the hero. You should certainly do it for the hero if for nobody else but but you can do it for all the characters and starts to give you a framework for uh huh, who the people are, who inhabit this world that you're in the process of creating 25. Journal activity bad guy: don't tell him. You see, he thinks the stories about him. He thinks he's the good guy. There's a secret and building a great bill, and that's what I'm going to impart to you right now. And this secret is well worth the price of admission I could charge just for this secret. Okay, just for this alone. How toe Make your story come alive. And it's not in how you depict the hero. It's not in any of the other characters, not a plot pointing. It's this. Every bad guy is a hero in his own story. It's that simple. I just mentioned Darth Vader. It just made reference to him, kind of jokingly, Um, he's not a bad guy. As far as he's concerned. He's a hero of the empire. He's protecting the empire's revolutionaries. It's the rebels who are terrorists. They're trying to destroy this wonderful edifice of the empire. There's a plastic story, Uh, that comes from the Bible. Satan, the Devil Rebels against God and the Archangel Michael leaves the armies of God to throw him out of heaven to throw Satan out of heaven. No, John Milton a few 100 years ago wrote this wonderful at the Coal Paradise Lost and in it Satan is a major character, and he and he thinks of himself as a rebel who would rather be free in hell than a slave in heaven. You see, that's his mindset, and he's a fascinating character, and he almost takes over the whole story. That's really AH meant to, as Milton himself, rights justify the ways of God to man. But Satan takes over because he's such a fascinating villain. Uh, the night ah goes out to fight the dragon, right? What is the dragon Think? You know, the night thinks that he's the good guy, but the dragon thinks that he's the good guy. That dragon has his own story. He's protecting his home. His forced his, you know, maybe his woman. Oh, he stole a woman. You know she has there chained up on the rocks, but he's protecting what's Hiss. He's the good guy in the story, and that's what you need to know. So that's why you need to build a a full fledged bad guy with his own backstory or her own backstory, her own rationale for being and acting just like you did for the hero and I go through a couple of steps. This won't be is long. A a, um, a lesson as long a segment as some of the other ones, because you've already done a lot of the groundwork in building your hero. But now we're going to apply the same tools in building the bed. Here's an example of how the back story for the villain works. Very famous villain in our day and age is the Joker, right? We all know the Joker, um, recently played in ah, brilliant manner by Heath Ledger Tragically left us some some time ago. Um, a za back story in the story of the killing joke the Joker was before he was the Joker. He was a failed comic trying to make ends meet and support his wife and and the baby, the baby that just about to be born. So So it gets involved in this gang, the Red Hood game, and, um, his wife and child die in a tragic accident right on the eve of their staging, a major robbery in and the Joker character is forced to go through with the Robert. Uh uh. They're confronted by the Batman and the Joker ends up tumbling into a that of chemicals that that's Sears them and burns that you know that comical face on him and also drives him crazy. And so it's a traumatic set of incidents that that changes him. So not only does he want to get back at the world, which is so unfair and unjust, but but because of his background as a comic, he sees everything as being tragically, cruelly funny. That's his backstory so and it drives the character throughout the whole sequence of, ah, of episodes in which he appears in Batman. That's very powerful and makes for a dynamic character. Okay, so now I want you to do the same for the bad guy as you did for the hero. Okay, so what's the bad guys story? What's his backstory? What's his history? What motivates him? OK, so think of the the crucial incident that made him what he is today. That that invested him in the lie that ah ah, that drives him. What is he? What does he want? And what does he really need? So think about those things. Now you can use the same worksheet that you use for the hero, you can shortcut it. You don't have to develop the villain as completely as the hero, but as full as you can develop him. Um, the better the stronger character he will be. OK, so So that's what you're going to do now. So think of a the bad guys back story. Um, what the lie is that he developed from that and what he wants, what he needs, and then fill out that sheet, figure out what some of his traits are. Okay, so go ahead and do that, and you will have a very strong villain for your story. 26. Ja other characters: Okay, so now I've done my Italy. I've done talking. Now it's your turn. Okay, so I want you to open up your journal. However you have it, it could be like I said, uh, a a document word processing document. It could be a an actual journal book. You have a fancy leather bound journal. You can have a spiral notebook, or you can have pieces of scrap paper that you tied together way with rubber band however you want to do. But I want you to jot down, uh, your characters who are the characters who feel these roles that I've just discussed. So, do you have a mental Who's your mentor? Now remember, the mentor is kind of important. Gives the euro information feedback points the way Teoh, uh, to his or her objective sometimes gives a magical gift. You know, such as the sword that Arthur gets in King Arthur. No, but very often passes something on to the hero who, with shadow characters whose thes shadow Okay, now, in another journal activity, we will work specifically on the villa. But be thinking about that were the guardians that is the allies of the main bad guy, the main villain. Uh, remember these important? These are necessary because these are the ones who provide the step by step opposition to the hero. So as the hero advances through various levels, it's the threshold guardians who worked to prevent him. And who are the heroes? Allies Who are the characters on the hero? Same side. Do you have a trickster character? Eso answer that question. Do you have a trickster character? Uh, member tricksters could be fun tricks. That could be the main villain. Okay, Trickster could be an ally of the main villain, or or of the hero. You could even have a hero trickster character. But but think about that. Think about whether you want to incorporate a trickster care into your interactive story. And finally, who is the Herald? Who brings the information that the adventure is about to begin on? The hero must launch into the adventure so the hero, O. R. Can be prodded by a herald who makes one time appearance. Just comes in, says, you know, the the ship is sinking. You'd better get out there or, um, as in Star Wars and I showed you the little clip from Princess Leia. Uh uh. You have a character who does double duty. OK, Eso Princess Leia is both main ally of the hero, but also acts as the hero. So figure out which characters you have that fit into these roles. And then as we go forward, we will look at how we individuated how we make them people. All right, You know, we're going to continue this exercise, um, in another journal activity. But start to get an idea of who your characters are, who these are type of characters are and whether ways that you could do this is just sketch out very briefly. Okay? What? Their backgrounds are where they come from. What their motivations. What is each character want, Which is her desire and goal? Okay, One of their desires and goals. So, uh, so start to sketch out who they are, where they come from, maybe what their job is, You know, if they, you know, they don't have a job of being on the official payroll of the villain. Um uh what they want out of life. Okay, Because remember, as I said, the even the most minor character has a complete life outside of your story. And if you could just jot down some notes as to what that life might be, you're on the way to creating full fledged human beings as characters in your interactive story. 27. Characters other archetypal 2a: one very important, archetypal character that you might have in your story. In fact, many stories have have this character is that of the mentor. Now classically, typically, the mentor is an older person who who guides and instructs and in a sense, passes on, you know, the knowledge of times gone past to the to the hero. Classically, you can think of this as Merlin guiding King Arthur, especially as King Arthur's a Boy. And you know, uh, uh, draws the sword from the stone. Gandalf, in Lord of the Ranks is a mentor character. So is the very godmother in In stories like Cinderella, Uh, you know, these are older characters and, classically of the same gender as the A zero or or heroin on provides some sort of assistance very often in story form. That assistance is not just intangible knowledge, but it's It's a it's an implement. It's a tool. It's a the sign or symbol of their coming into mastery coming into adulthood. So Arthur gets the stone. Cinderella gets the three, the ball gown and the pumpkin coach in modern stories. It's you know, it's the coach, the guys young athletic hero in ah very interesting reversal of the archetypal character in a film like Sixth Sense. If you remember it, it's a little boy who's the men for because they have the older man. And at first we think that the older man, the Bruce Willis character who's the psychologist, is supposed to know everything. We think that he is the mentor of the little boy but actually is the other way around. It's a little boy who is the mentor and guides the and guides the hero. Uh uh, Teoh, uh, to his knowledge of his condition and his fate in Greek myths. Sometimes the mentor was an actual God. In the Odyssey, for instance, Uh ah, FINA takes the form of a character called Mentor. You know, that's where we get the name and and gives advice and guidance to both Telemachus, uh, this season, Sun and Odysseus, the hero himself. So So it could be a mythical character or a real character, and very often it provides a sounding board for the hero, a some sort of character who, ah, who provides the the the hero with advice, wider perspective and some sort of sign posted as to where the hero should go much like say , for instance, Obi Wan Kenobi does in Star Wars, provides a historical perspective and and eventually leads Luke into his final heroic deed of blowing up the death star. So that's the mentor. Very important. Um, mythological archetype and one you should consider for your story. The trickster character is one of the most fascinating characters we have in this toolbox off characters. For one thing, the trickster character doesn't fit into a particular story category. The trickster character can be a hero or a villain or a sidekick. I mean, the others any range of of categories of rules that the trickster care complaint first. What is the trickster character? Well, like the name implies, the trickster character likes to play tricks. Eso fixed. A character, uh, comes from mythology and is typically a character that hates to work love shortcuts. Um, loves, uh, have a good time. Um, essential sexual. Um, and, um can't be pinned down. Okay. Uh, think, um uh, characters such as, um, the Joker and Batman. Ah. Ah, very recent representation of a trickster character. And of course, here he's playing the villain. The trickster character can also be good and positive if you're familiar with the movie. One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest. They miss a movie with Jack Jack Nicholson there, uh, the trickster character is the hero s. So now, in classic mythology, you have characters like Nancy from African mythology and Breyer Rabbit, who are always trying to get other characters, other people, to do their work for them. In Norse mythology, Loki is a famous trickster character, and and and he's a true shapeshifter and that he shift sides. Sometimes he works in favor of the God, sometimes against the gods, ultimately against the guts, because the introduce the fall of rack in Iraq. But but in between that, uh uh, he works against the gods, he tricks the gods. And then he's forced to ally with him and and help them so flipping back and forth. And the one thing that marks the trickster character is that he doesn't like to be bored. Sometimes the trickster character will just stir things up because things were getting too boring. Okay, so he's a fascinating character. A lot of fun. Think of them is that you know they, your friends, who is the party animal just always gets things going, gets things interesting even though sometimes he gets into a little bit of trouble. The shapeshifter is a character that were not always totally sure off and that he or she does exactly what the name implies. Shifts shape. Not always literally so not always like of the or in the Hobbit. Uh uh. Who shape shifts from bear to human and vice versa. Uh, sometimes it's not always literal, like Han Solo in Star Wars. Who, uh, who shifts from being a selfish mercenary to being a dedicated hero of the rebellion. So, um uh, and sometimes it can be a villain or a threshold guardian, for instance, who becomes an ally of the hero. So, um, very important character. If you choose to have it, you don't have to, but but they can make your story very interesting. And And so, for instance, as your hero progresses through various levels, what if you have a threshold guardians of sort of guardian who has the possibility, at least off shifting and becoming an ally of your heroes? That makes for very interesting story structure there. So just keep this character in mind. The Herald is not a terribly important character in and of himself or herself. Um, the Herald. It is important, however, in that is the hair older Harold force that visceral dynamic by which the hero is propelled into the story. The Herald brings news, and one way or another that that something has happened provides the, you know, the initiating incident, the instigation for hero to be propelled into the world of the adventure. So, um, it doesn't have to be a character. Could be a newspaper story or email even. But here, in the slip from Star Wars, we see that the that the, uh uh, hologram of Princess Leia access the Herald. This how the, you know the hero begins to become aware of, You know, the major conflict that he's going to be taking part of. So keep that in mind. Something has to happen that brings news of the of the of the conflict, the beginning of the story to the hero, and that role is played by the Herald. So there you have the major archetypal characters, questing heroes, heralds who call them to adventure, a wise old man and women who give the magical gifts and advise them threshold guardians who blocked their way to the attainment of their final goal shape shifting federal travelers, uh, who confused him and dazzle them, Um, shadowy villains, you trying to destroy them and tricksters to upset the status quo sometime, provide comic relief. So So remember these are not your end. All and be all, uh, characters. We're gonna come to a point very briefly in which we will look at individuated these figuring out who they are as human beings. But what we've done now is taking a look at how they fit into this story. What rules they play. So, for instance, perhaps a sports analogy, you have a quarterback. The quarterback is a quarterback, no matter who he is. Okay, But then each person who becomes the quarterback plays the game in his own particular way. Okay, so what we've been talking about is the positions on the ball field. But now we're going to look at how to individuated those characters into really live human beings, or at least this militant of real life human beings that will create a bond with your audience with your player characters. That is the people who play your game and create your interactive story. 29. Chracters other archetypal 1: Now we're going to consider character archetypes or more general character archives besides just that, it here and ask yourself the hero several of in categories that your hero can fall into. So an archetype is a general class, the general category, into which characters fall on the roles they play in the story. Um, the word itself archetype comes from a word that means ancient type, and and there's many different kinds, and they could be classified in different ways. Sometimes you can look to ancient mythology. Sometimes you can look to modern storytelling are even modern psychology. There's a way to classify people, according Teoh, Let's go. That brings Meyer, um, personality, uh, assessment. But, um, thing to remember that we talk about archetypes. We're talking about the roles the characters play in your story, not personalities, because the choice of an archetype for the assignment of archetypal character or character to an archetypal role, um, is not the end of the deal. What you want to do at that point and we'll talk about that and another lecture is you want to choose the personality you want individual eight. Your character. Okay, so so we're not talking about personalities. We're talking about the rules that characters play. And as you see from the pictures around me, um uh, the many different kinds of archetypes and I don't even touch on all. Look, just an example. Uh, you have, you know, maybe the tortured artist in the heroic young man here, a picture of David slain Goliath. You have the trickster, Loki, who's over here? Um um, uh, the famous trickster character from a Norse mythology. You have Ah, wise older person. The mentor. Okay, you can have the heroic young king you're gonna have, You know, the accomplished artist. I have a picture of Shakespeare. Um, appear and you have the mother and child. So you know. So there's a lot of these archetypes. Of course. As I said, uh, the archetype, the choice, the archetype only provides a starting point. I can help you choose a character with the consistent thoughts, actions and personalities and and possibilities. But again, you have to create individual elements or insert individual elements that won't make them unique and special. Truly human. Um, Also one thing about archives, And if you're conscious about choosing, uh, an archetype, is that it can help keep the characters consistent throughout your story. Um, sometimes assigning an archetype. Can we stripped the character too much? Prevent them from growing? But you can always feel free to shift. Um, in fact, that's the archetypal character by itself. Call the shape shifter, a character that starts off, say as a villain and ends up as an ally or vice versa. So s so. There's many different possibilities. But this is one way to think of your characters, or at least to, uh, set the outer dimensions of your canon of your character categories. Right? So all right, so we're going to go on on this what we're gonna talk about, I'm going to discuss some of the major categories, uh, that these archetypal characters Phil, another archetypal character that you absolutely have to have in your story is that of the shadow or the villain. Now this doesn't have to be a personified character than have to be a person character. Sometimes it can be a force of nature. It could be a hurricane nature that your heroes air struggling against. It could be, um, in human forces Zombies, dragons theme. The alien mother in Alien eso so it doesn't always have to be human, but it does show the dark side whatever it is that your hero is struggling against, um uh, in ancient stories, very often it was a dragon. And we have the phrase today still, you know, go and slay your dragons in more modern stories. Very often, the the the the opponent, the villain the antagonised takes on characteristics, uh, as a sort of evil twin of the hero. Um, and this is exemplified very well in the classic story by the Scottish our author, Robert Louis Stevenson and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, where Mr Hyde, the evil character and Dr Jekyll you know the good character than you know, the, you know, the beneficent doctor are actually one of the same character. They're just different signs. They're mirror images of each other. Um, now, sometimes you'll have a a, uh, a shadow at villain, an antagonist, uh, who is not necessarily evil in and of them, himself or herself. Sometimes you might have a story which you have two characters, you know, your hero, and then the antagonised are, you know, the shadow who actually want the same thing and both want the same good thing, but they struggle over how to do it. Okay, so maybe just hypothetically, um, uh, your hero wants to go about, you know, winning the winning the battle in a moral way. But you're but you're antagonised wants to slaughter all the Villagers that he thinks that's a a way to win the battle very efficiently. Just kill everybody, you know. So which your hero seizes being immoral. So that's the struggle. So they both want the same thing. They both want to win the battle, but they struggle over how to do it, you know? So that's so that's a possibility. Your your your hero doesn't always have to be a Darth Vader. Face off against the Darth Vader type villain. All right, so But that's the antagonised, the person or force that goes against your hero. It's a shadow, and you have to have one. You know, something to keep in mind about your villains about your shadow characters. Your antagonist is that every character, even the bad guys, are heroes in their own story. And we talk more about this in the journal activity in creating a a villain. But remember in the movie aliens, the alien queen wants her offspring to thrive. You know the little baby aliens, right? Okay. In monsters, Henry Water News wants to save his company from bankruptcy in Star Trek. The first contact, the board want to integrate other cultures and strive for perfection in games infamous to the beast wants to save super humanly power conduits from a deadly plague and injustice. Gods Among this alternative reality, Superman wants to keep everyone safe, even though the way he goes about it is Teoh attempt to install a terrible dictatorship. So the key phrase is that every villain is a hero in his or her own story. Uh, no character intends to do that. They all think they're working for some sort of good, no matter how terrible it might seem to us, or do the other characters in the story or in the game. All right, So, um uh, and if you remember this, you create more realistic, more fascinating mawr captivating, antagonistic characters, the archetypal character or characters known as threshold guardians. Um provides a special opportunity for the game story designer, the interactive story designer to build levels in the Games Ah, the threshold guardians our allies in the sense of the main antagonistic course of the main bad guy, the main villain of the main shadow character. These are lesser characters. Sometimes we'll, in fact, all the time, they're lesser characters. They present less of a challenge. But they provide a way for your hero to test himself or herself in a graduated way. So, um, uh, special attention should be paid to, uh, these characters because this is how your your hero advances through the story by meeting increasingly dangerous, increasingly challenging guardians that's tried to prevent him or her from advancing to the final goal. So and, of course, the hero has a range of options. They can attack, they can run away. They can used craft and deceit to trick the guardian. They can bribe or somehow appease the guardian. You know it's a tiger, you know, throw the guardian a piece of meat, or they can make an ally of the Guardian in one way or another. Eso so the guardian will turn around and faces former master, for instance. So these are very important characters, and so you have to consider at the various levels that your story will arrange through Who are the threshold guardians that stand in the way of the hero. So very seldom does anybody do something by himself. So even our heroes, even our heroes, even Robinson Crusoe had his man Friday on the island, all by himself in the middle of the ocean. There was Friday. But, um, even in the more recent version of that story, castaway Tom Hanks, the Tom Hanks character, had Wilson, you know, the valuable. So we're never alone. So anyway, so the our hero has allies who are the heroes, friends and allies. Now, these allies might be, ah, characters of equal status. Might be another hero. I mean, you think the Avengers you go heroes. Now they're all alive that we might focus on one. As you know, our central character. Um, the King Arthur had his nights. Superman has subordinate characters. Lois Lane and Jimmy. Um, Batman has Robin so that he, the heroes allies could be equal characters. Or they could be subordinate to hear just perhaps, characters that that gives a sounding board to the here, that itself now, something to keep in mind when you're deciding on who your allies are who you're here for. His allies are remember that they could shape shift. Okay, so this is a very common trope in something like detective movies are released classic detective movies from the forties and fifties called Film Noir, in which the hero, um, gets tangled up with a thin fatale, a dark woman, a fatal woman. And at first he thinks that she's his love interest. But then it turns out that she has ideas of her own, and, um, and she changes from a heat hero or an ally to a villain to an opponent. Stuff eso your allies could do that. Or, as I talked about before, they could be guardians working on the side of the theater, agonist the villain and then changed through one mechanism or another to become allies. So, um, very important characters. And you have to consider who are your heroes. Allies in your story 30. Journal Activity reflection backstory: So here's an activity for you. I want you to think of the back story off a game, a movie, a book that you've enjoyed. Ah, and think about how it's conveyed, how the story is told, how that back story is told. Is it a kind of prequel before the beginning of the main story that it's all told at the very beginning? Um, is it sprinkled throughout? So it continually piques our interest as you learn little by little more and mawr about our main character about our hero, Um Or is it just hinted at Is it not told completely, but just hinted at here and there? Or do we come to a point in the story where the whole back story is told because, like a major chapter, So you have a number of different ways in which your back story can be told. Now be thinking about that. We're not to the point yet that we're gonna be structuring our story, but you can keep that in mind that there are different ways to tell that backstory to tell the history off our hero. So here's what I want you to do. I want you to go to your favorite video game. Um, movie novel, comic book. I don't care what it iss kardian. Um, and look at the hero. Look at the main character, and I want you to study their backstory. Write it down, figure out what their back story is, and then look at and write down how that back story, how that history helps create who they are today. So I mean, Batman. Okay. What makes Batman Batman? Well, obviously it's his backstory. It's the tragedy. That horrendous incident of seeing his parents gunned down by a street criminal right in front of him. That's what makes Batman Batman. What makes Superman Superman? Now they escape from the planet Krypton. OK, so I want you to look at your favorite stories and write down what the characters back stories are. Okay, so do that and do that as many times as you want to. You can do it once or do it half a dozen times. Do it a dozen times until you start to get a feel for how the backstory works. Now you're going to do a journal activity about your own hero. Who are they? Who are they? in terms off where they have been, what they have gone through. So were they kidnapped by elves? Were they abducted by aliens? Did they see well, like Dexter in the TV series Dexter, a zey child. Do they see their mother horribly murdered? The whatever it was that happened to them in the past, that crucial incident that made them what they are today. That's what I want you to write down. Now, Uh, you should fill fill at least one page doing this many pages, Possibly. Okay, so describe the backstory. Now, you'll decide later whether this story, all of it or part of it ends up in your, um, your story, your video game story on whether it does or doesn't, it's still important. Have it's still it's still vital piece of the construction of your character. All right, so that's your journal activity. Okay, So you had your previous one to study how backstories air created from, um uh from other pieces pieces that you admire, OK, stories that you admire. But now you create your own, write the history, the back story of your own character. And then once you've done that, once you've done that maybe not done yet. You can do the same thing for your minor characters who are your minor characters. And, of course, don't forget the bad guy. What's his backstory or her back story? All right, so all right, didn't work. See you later. And to do this exercise I've attached a document that's called Character worksheet has various elements for you to fill out so you can go through and you can fill out little questions and prompts and choose items. Perhaps that will help you. Alright, so I'm looking forward to seeing some fully fleshed out characters with real histories with real backstories. 31. Character backstory: It's very important for you to consider what's called the back story that is the history of your characters. These stories, thes histories, shaped who your character is, even if sometimes they're not essential to the main plot. But they shape who the character is, who your hero is, sometimes in very important ways. Well, so, for instance, in them the modern myth in the mythologies say of Superman and Batman, Superman would not be Superman unless for the back story of his escape from the dying planet of Krypton. Batman would not be Batman, except for the tragedy of seeing his parents killed by a criminal on the streets of Gotham . So these back stories, these histories shaped with the characters, are and who they become. So that's why it's very important for you to consider these in the development of your character because they give your character kind of a three d depth that that only acting in the present doesn't. Um, So in this section, we're gonna be looking at creating that back story for your characters, who they are in kind of a three dimensional phase, perhaps who they were his Children or what the formative experience for them was what shapes of human beings now in the present. Here's an example from gaming for you, um, in metal gear solid three Naked Snake is sent into a remote part of the Russian wilderness to extricate a defecting Russian. So he finds out that his longtime mentor of the boss is defective. And over the game, we, the PC's the player characters, uh, learned of the depth of their relationship. And there's an ongoing debate, as it were, between loyalty to the comrade in arms and loyalty to country. And so we learned MAWR more until finally, we learned that the real reasons why the boss is apparently defecting, and and it leads to a very emotional final moments of the game. And so that. But it is the back story that history of the relationship that makes this game and its resolution so powerful. One of the ways that this back story this history plays out is they provide motivations for the character, such as with Batman I for development earlier. His need to defeat the criminals in Gotham stems from this traumatic experience that he had as a child. Uh, these sorts of motivations are very powerful and that they bleed into the minds of your player characters of the players of your games. We your audience feel those motivations. We understand them. We understand Batman's needs in a in the film, The Hunger Games, Katniss Evergreens. Primal motivation is to protect and save her sister. This is a primal motivation. It's It's, it's, it's It's not periphery. It's not. Well, I'd really like to go to the movies. No, it's it's It's something that's central to her being as a character. And then we as the player characters, we is your audience. Understand these. And as I said, one of the things that happens when we play games when we listen to stories is Wiest start to partake of the emotions of the characters that we identify with. And that's what makes these so powerful, so always remember, create a powerful backstory. You'll create a powerful character, as the old song says. Well, not all for May for me yesterday, but for you you can't always get what you want, but sometimes you get what you need. This is a very important concept in our building. The back story of our character, especially our hero and has to do with the lie that the character tells himself for herself . Andi, This is one of the powerful dynamics in the movement of the character, because dynamic character should change, should learn something should become a better self. And that's one of the ways that they managed to surmount. The difficulties that they face on example is in the last of us. Joel fuels that the chance to be a father has passed him. He's failed, and, um, he doesn't wanna do that anymore because he doesn't want to go through the painting. And but then he's tasked with protecting Ellie, and he doesn't want to do it. But in the end, the lie that he's told himself that he doesn't want to be a father is revealed to be just not a line because he eventually becomes, in essence, her father for texture and saves her. And that becomes a very powerful dynamic in the movement of the character. Because, remember, the hero's journey is not just an hour journey from here to there. It's not just going to the store, it's an inner journey, and that's what makes your character so park 32. Journal Activity – building a character worksheet: this journal activity, actually, a number of journal activities, so you might be pausing as you go through. Have to come back to this, but But I'm going to give you a few things to do to help you build your character and characters in your game story. So a couple of the first ones are gonna have to do if you're going Ah, and doing some study. So pick a game you played recently and figure out what archetype each main character fits. So the hero, what kind of hero is he is your reluctant hero is the a willing hero. Is he an anti hero? You know, So you might want to go back to our discussion about you know, the archetypal hero and, uh, and do this for the other characters. Is there a mentor? Uh, and remember, a mentor can either be, you know, the, you know, the Obi Wan Kenobi type of character. You know, the classic mentor or the the Good witch. You know, the fairy godmother for a woman, or it could be some other type of character. You know who's doesn't fit. The stereotype of the mentor could even sometimes be an idea or a memory. And do these archetypes, um, stay the same throughout whole story? Or do they change? Are the shape shifters something else you can Dio is? Think about your favorite characters in stories or games. Why do you like them? Is it what they do is at particular traits. What makes you like them? Think about it. Think what is really cool about them? Is that the way they dress? Is that their mannerisms? Is it something? Ah ah, about their personality that you like. So Ah, And alongside of that, why do you think that they behaved in a believable way? Why do you believe them? So be thinking about that. So jot down some ideas focused on your favorite character or a couple of your favorite characters on, Then write down what it is that you like about okay, And then, uh, why are they believable? And do they behave in a believable way? Why do you believe what they dio as we start to conceptualize who are characters are and will be, focusing mostly on the hero. That's the main character, though Everything that we say pertains to all the other characters as well in them or real life characters you can insert into your story, the stronger your story is. But we want to be a specific as we possibly can. You don't want to say something like why all my here will be a bad ass fireman. Okay, First, don't use work that ass, OK, because it's not specific. What do you mean by that? You mean somebody beats everybody up? Do you mean somebody who's not afraid of fires just charges in? You mean somebody who's drunk all the time? So it's very unspecific type term, and it doesn't really mean anything, even though you might have some sort of ideas what it really means. But it doesn't help you in constructing your character. I would also be wary off starting your hero out with all the skills necessary to be the hero. Because game players player characters delight in learning skills, picking up attributes, picking up, um, on Aled the strengths that they will need in order to achieve the goal of the game of the story. Besides that, where's the conflict? If your hero can already kill the dragon? Well, where's the story? He just goes out, kills the dragon, But another day at the office. Ok, well, OK, then. It's just another day day at the office. Not very interesting. Uh, there's a movie called The Accountant that I think falls into this trap. It's a about a, um Ah. And an autistic man who is kind of a savant when it comes to numbers. Okay. He can multiply 10 digit numbers in his head and come up with an answer immediately. Um, he also happens to be a ah, an international hit man. Okay, so not only is he a whiz with numbers, but he's a whiz with killing people. Okay, So and then he's thrown into this conflict in which he is called upon to, you know, go get the bad guys. Okay? But not very interesting, ultimately because very interesting about his character, you know. Ah, but but he's already hit man, so he doesn't have to learn anything. You know, I personally I I think the story would be much more involving if you had this accountant who had to learn how to be a hit, guys. So as he has thrown into this the story of of entry, So be careful about that give your characters of floor always give you characters a flaw, maybe something they have to prove. So rather than saying he's a bad ass fireman, what if he's an arrogant fireman, always trying to prove something? Okay, well, you know, then we can empathize with them because we recognize Ah, and sympathize with insecurity. Those that becomes interesting, doesn't it? He's afraid off. Maybe he's a fireman who's afraid of fires, but he has to prove that he's brave. So they have a very interesting character dynamics. So jot down some notes. This is journal I activity. So jot down some notes about, um, how you might complicate your character and we're gonna be going through these exercises, and you have a number of things to do to start drawing the shape of your character. One of the ways that we come to get a handle on who somebody is, um, is through what they do, what they dio. Okay, um, the teacher there fireman, are they, uh, a plumber? Eso now the queue for this, uh, a little talk I'm giving right now for this exercise is the poem that I have over here, the nursery rhyme rich man. Poor man, beggar man thief, doctor, lawyer, Indian Chief Tinker Tailor. Every mother's son, Butcher baker shouldering. I got so might be Children. Your gunner. Maybe not, but that's not the point. The point is, you want to try to get a handle on who your character is, who your hero is and all the other characters through what they do. So So here's what we're going to do for this activity if you don't already have an idea, uh, pick 10 or 20 if you're ambitious, different ordinary occupations, just regular jobs, and you want to write them on, get some three by five cards like this. If you don't have three by five cards, just kind of a piece of paper, a couple pieces of paper and the little slips of paper, and we're going to do something with this. That's right down the jobs on the cards. If you want Teoh through a little spice into the mix, I've attached or uploaded a list of unusual jobs. Okay, so s so you can take a look at those things that we don't normally think of in in terms of jobs perfume, smeller, dog walker and some even Mawr. Unusual jobs, Porta potty collector things like this to make. So things that might be kind of cool to play with in the creation of your character. So but financial cards thought your three by five cards and and we'll add to this activity and then I'll show you how it works. Okay, so now what I want you to do is I want you to write down on these cars on the famous soon to be famous three by five cards. Um, character archetypes. Now, this is gonna be, in a way, the outer layer, this shell of your character. It is not the end on the old definition of your character, but but it starts to give us something Teoh build within. So you could choose Mars or Zeus or Aphrodite from from ancient mythology or made of American mythology. The trickster character Coyote. You could choose something from, ah, popular American film or television history, the lone Ranger type of archetype. Or are the John Wayne archetype or a fem fatale? Tha the no, the dark woman who lures the hero into into the dark paths. But choose some archetypes 10 or 20 of working with 20 uh, and write them down on your flashcards, and then we'll go on to the next portion of this exercise, and then I'll show you how this all works. So now I want you to go back to your three by five cards get, you know, pull off the stack. We're still dealing with these. Go back and, uh, right, uh, personality traits. Um, And you see some samples right here. I have posted a document that has a lot. I don't know the account, but there's a lot. 100. 200? I don't know. Um, seven personality traits just pulls him out. That seemed interesting to you again. I could be 10 2030 40 50. Pulled out, OK, And then write him on your cards. So we're getting close to the time that we're actually going to start putting this all together, so you'll you'll see what it is that we're going to do with this. So what are we gonna do with all of this? Well, I have 37 stacks, right? Three different stacks of cards. One give you your, um, capture archetype. Your your framework character, the other gives you the job you know what kind of job this person have? Ah, plumber a porta potty and hear a dog whisperer, okay. Or and the other gives you some personality traits. And so say, for instance, you get a an Aphrodite e archetype who is a dog whisperer who is polite, shy and courageous s. So now you're starting to feel the character. Now you see the character. Okay, So keep shuffling these until you get a combination that you like And you can do this for all your characters You don't have to do just for the hero. You should certainly do it for the hero if for nobody else but but you can do it for all the characters and starts to give you a framework for Uh huh, who the people are, who inhabit this world that you're in the process of creating. Also attached to this lesson. Do this journal activity you'll find a character worksheet, and this provides you with a number of questions that will prompt your thinking in your creation of your character of your main character. In fact, you can use it for all your characters or however many that you want tohave Morfogen body than just a cardboard cutout. So say, on the first page, you just asked basic questions how old your character is, what their name is, what they looked like. Hair color, room, their eyes or they dream year sharp and piercing. So so basic statistics and, uh, of your characters description. And then also, as we go on, you'll find that the work shed also prompts you to mawr internal aspects of your character , what their personality and character is like. So here you see an example of some of the questions that prompt you to think about mawr internal aspects of their character, who they are, because thes things that really tell us who a person is not just their hair color, but but what do they think about important issues the day So So depending on the world that you're constructing, it could be issues of our day. It could be issues of 100 years ago, or it could be issues in the foreign distant future. Or, um, does your character think that zombies are people too? Okay. And have rights. Okay, So So, uh, so what do they think about things? Little things like that um, How does your character feel about himself or herself? You know, what's their self esteem, boy, what would they change about themselves? So, you know. So go through an answer as many of these questions as you possibly can, because they will help you in fleshing out a full bodied person for your story. And here we see an example off, ah, list of traits that's included in the in the character worksheet. And here you'll see that there's a bunch your many, however, many actually haven't really counted them, but, uh, traits that you can apply to your character. Are they lighthearted or they jolly Are these serious with a sincere? Are they deceptive? Uh, the kleptomaniac there are stealing things, they awkward or self assured. So you know. So these will help you apply labels if you will, or traits to your main character. And, uh, and these are things that will stay with your character and informed the decisions that they make. It might also be something that, um, uh, that your character needs to change for. So, for instance, if your character is a kleptomaniac at the beginning of the story, maybe what they need to learn is keep their hands hot spots with people's belongings. I don't know, uh, but you see, But this will get us and to the territory That's very important, which I've talked about before, which is the lie that your character tells themselves. And then this innocence becomes the most important, uh, aspect off your character's development, Um, because it points to the all important inner struggle that your character might have. 33. Journal Activity using the character worksheet: also attached to this lesson. Um, do this journal activity, you'll find a character worksheet, and this provides you with a number of questions that will prompt your thinking in your creation of your character of your main character. In fact, you can use it for all your characters or however many that you want tohave mawr full body than just a cardboard cutout. So say on the first page, you just asked basic questions how old your character is, what their name is, what they looked like. Hair color, room, their eyes. Or they dream year sharp and piercing. So so basic statistics and, uh, of your characters description. And then also, as we go on, you'll find that the work shed also prompts you to mawr internal aspects of your character , what their personality and character is. So here you see an example some of the questions that prompt you to think about mawr internal aspects of the character who they are, because thes things that really tell us who a person is not just their hair color, but but what do they think about important issues the day so So depending on the world that you're constructing it could be issues of our day. It could be issues of 100 years ago, or it could be issues in the far distant future. Or, um, does your character think that zombies are people too? Okay. And have rights. Okay, so So, uh, so what do they think about things? Little things like that. Um, how does your character feel about himself or herself? You know, what's their self esteem, boy, what would they change about themselves? So, you know, So go through an answer as many of these questions as you possibly can, because they will help you in fleshing out a full bodied person for your story. And here we see an example off. Ah, list of traits that's included in the in the character worksheet. Um, and here you'll see that there's a bunch. Your many, however, many actually haven't really counted them, but, uh, traits that you can apply to your character. Are they lighthearted? Are they jolly? Are these serious with a sincere? Are they deceptive? Uh, the kleptomaniac there are stealing things. They awkward or self assured. So you know. So these will help you apply labels if you will, or traits to your main character, and, uh, and these are things that will stay with your character and informed the decisions that they make. It might also be something that, um, uh, that your character needs to change for. So, for instance, if your character is a kleptomaniac at the beginning of the story, maybe what they need to learn is keep their hands. Have spots with people's belongings. I don't know, uh, but you see, But this will get isn't to the territory. That's very important, which I've talked about before, which is the lie that your character tells themselves. And then this innocence becomes the most important, uh, aspect off your character's development, Um, because it points to the all important inner struggle that your character might have. 34. Setting: There's a saying in sports that the fans in the stand and the 12th man on the field, this relates Teoh American style football. Was there 11 Um, usually men or boys on the field? It's not a game that females usually play, but the but the fans who are rooting give a home team advantage to the effect of being 1/12 man on the field. Um, in the same way. Well, I'm using this analogy to illustrate in the same way you're setting is a character, so to speak, to 12th character in your story, Um, assuming heavy 11 other characters. But But I think you see the point and that the setting it adds an unseen element to your story, and hence is very, very important. A. So we will take a look at in this lesson, the famous Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson, author of such classics as Treasure Island Kidnapped Dr Jekyll. Mr Hyde once wrote that the author must know his countryside the country side of a story, um, as well as he knows the back of his hand. What he means by this is a couple different things. Your characters move around in this universe and we as ah as the audience. We, as the player characters, you know, understand the characters in relationship to the universe in which they're moving around to we perceive, Ah, the story partly in terms of our expectations of what's going to take place in this story according to our expectations about how the location effects the characters. Now, location in this sense refers to time, whether it's in the days of the ancient pharaohs or in the far flung future when we have colonized the planets of the distant stars. Eso location is a time and place, so also social status. It's also era eso, as the little graphic here illustrates. The, you know is the story and located within the civil rights of the 1960 ISAT located within an Amish community, for instance, ISAT located within in a Chinese immigrant community where the traditions What's the perspective? What country would century all these, uh, elements, um, effect your story because they affect the expectations the audience brings to your story. First, there is location, the actual physical location. So we talk about setting very often. We think in terms of this, So where does your story take place where actually, physically does your story take place? Is that the imagined world that we see in films such as Avatar? Is it a, uh, relatively sparsely populated countryside or a very densely packed city? Is it, um, is it in some post apocalyptic desert, or is it, um, on a, uh, floating coffins such as the Titanic? All these effect, Um, the nature and the course of your stories. We have to make this decision. Where does your story take place? Actually, physically. Where does it take place? Along with location comes consideration of climate now, sometimes that's a given them. So if you are setting your story in Alaska, you have a given climate as opposed to if you said it in Hawaii. Um, but of course, when in Alaska, nowadays you have ice melting, global warming taking over, and it's quite a bit different from maybe Alaska 100 years ago. So but whoever it is, uh, the climate effects, how people behave, what they do sometimes what their social, uh, mores are, uh, their habits of behavior. Uh, if we're in a very cold climate, it's snowing and it's you've got 20 hours of darkness. Uh, perhaps people don't go outside to Sunday, you know, they don't go to the beach and just lounge around on the beach. If it's in Hawaii, maybe they don't stay inside a lot there outside at the beach. So, uh, climate effects how people behave. And, uh, not only how they behave in terms of the environment, but sometimes even their social behaviour. So you've got to consider climate. What's the climate of your location? The time of year effects, the mood and the atmosphere of your story? Ah, it effects the characters. It also affects how we perceive the characters. So, um, is it the dead of winter? Is it summer? So also human events that happened within these thes parameters. If it's summer people going on vacation, if it's winter, are the going skiing? Ah, if it's winter, is it Ah, Hanukkah or Christmas? Uh, if it's, um, Spring is that spring break? So these things affect us. There's a, uh, great movie, a classic movie called Chinatown with Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway that takes place in Los Angeles when the Santa ANAs a blowing. And if you're not familiar with seven California climate. It's Santa Anna's or winds that come off the desert and raised the temperature to a very uncomfortable levels. The whole story takes place with this hot, compacted, closed in atmosphere of the weather, affecting everything that happens sort of like a dog day afternoon. So consider what time of year your story takes place, the era or period in which your story takes place. Let's another aspect to setting that we cannot ignore, because that determines in some parts what your story is or what the environment of your stories. So, for instance, through the movie Gladiator, I cannot really take place in any other era except the days of ancient Rome. 12 years. A slave cannot take place, uh, any other place or time other than, um, the pre Civil War American South. I see. So a lot of times, the air or period is highly crucial to the telling of your story into the atmosphere that it lends to story and even the possible stories that evolved out of, um, that's setting. You might consider the social, political and cultural environment of the world of your characters, because these effect, uh, what your characters are able to do what their expectations are the, you know, the limits of their world. Okay, so is it a world of a, uh, a school room? Uh, is that native Americans during the 18 hundreds? Is that soldiers at the front? What is this world? Is it Ah, loungers and a grassy beach beside a lake? Um, what is the world in which these people inhabit? What are the expectations? Are they expected to follow the dictates of their parents? For instance, eso This kind of world gave rise to Shakespeare's great play Romeo and Juliet, both of whom were expected to obey their parents and not marry the, uh uh, the a partner from the rival family. Okay, so what are your social cultural political expectations? Is it a world? See, such as 1984 in which the world is ruled by three dictatorial, tyrannical regimes that keep eye on everybody? Big brother is watching you. OK, so is that the cultural world? Okay, where you have to figure this out because that two effects in some ways determines your story and what kind of story that evolves out of this setting. So what time of day does your story take place. Um, now, stories can range across both day and night. There are stories that do that. They're some stories that are kind of special to a time of day. The classic film High Noon, for instance. What time of day do you think that takes place in or, um, if you have a vampire story? Well, vampire monster stories very often take place at night. It just seems spooked here. It doesn't seem so spooky or even possible. Have a vampire story in the middle of the day. So, um, eso consider what time of day either your entire story or aspects of your story scenes and episodes in your story take place. Another consideration when rebuilding setting is elapsed time. This this is the length of time, uh, that your story covers. Okay. Not in terms of how long it takes a person to view or to watch the story. But is there a time limit? Very often, storytellers set a ticking clock, uh, for their hero to achieve the goal. So does your hero have an hour to achieve the goal wars in a day or three days? Do they have to get to the meeting spot to be rescued within two days or whatever it ISS. Okay, so and the elapsed time can cover both the entire story or even aspects of your story. Maybe your hero is going from point A to point B, and they've got to make it within an hour. Okay, so, um, that's not the whole story, but it just an episode in the story. And so your player character has the ticking clock. Not only do they have to defeat the bad guys and swim the river with hungry alligators, but they've got to make it to the pickup spot where the helicopter is going to fly them to the next stage of the mission within an hour. Okay, so, uh, this becomes, um, an adrenaline raising aspect of your story and put, say, a tight framework on it. The ticking clock. What's the elapsed time of your seven? So here in this lecture, we've covered the various aspects of setting ah, and its implications In your journal activity, you will actually put your hand to creating your own world. We have a couple exercises in which you start to really understand how setting works and then you will put your hand to actually creating the world in which your characters live and which determined in some ways who your characters are, how they behave, what their stories are. 35. Journal Activity setting thought experiment: to bring home the importance of setting to your story. We're going to conduct a little thought. Experiment. Imagine how different these stories would be that I have depicted here. Any story. Actually, if it's setting, changed my engine Downtown Abbey without the abbey. Okay, without the ever class inhabitants and the servants who are running around keeping means going around downtown Abbey. Imagine theme. The television series Lost Without the Desert Island. Imagine Game of Thrones without Westboro. Sore Alien without outer space for Grand Theft Auto without the gritty inner city, Um, imagine Grand Theft Auto in the countryside of Ireland. How that be? Imagine aliens not taking place in outer space but on the border between the U. S. And Mexico. How stories change according to their setting is something that we need to consider. What if game of Thrones took place in Washington D. C went rather than westerns. OK, so these are things that were going to consider by looking at, um, some of our expectations as to what kind of stories would be told in a particular location were setting. You should have your journal open ready to write. So what I want to do they want you to take a look at the picture and write a paragraph? What kind of story would take place here? Won't be your expectations. What kind of story could you tell? What kind of challenges would the character's face in this environment? There's some things that they wouldn't face. Um, they wouldn't have to get up early in the morning Teoh, uh, to get to work. But they would have to mind flood and storm and, um uh, angry indigenous peoples who object to their crossing their land, perhaps settling on their territory, they would have to face the prospect of not having food or maybe a fierce storm that would arise. Eso interpersonal conflicts. One group or one person wants to go north. The other wants to go south. Another one wants to go west. No one wants to go back. Eso you have all these kinds of possible conflicts and some that aren't possible. So write a paragraph describing what kind of story would take place in this environment. So here we see some depictions of in a totally different environment. So we have a night or a serious of nice weekend. Think of them maybe one night. What's his story? What's the story of the fair lady who's knighting him? What's her expectations? What does she want? Um, she just disinterested queen. Or does she want the night to come back? Where is he going? Is he fighting a dragon? Is he going off to fight in the Crusades? As he, uh uh uh uh, is he threatened by the black death, the bubonic plague that wiped out 1/3 of the population? What is taking place in this environment in this setting? You see, it's quite a bit different from, um uh, the previous example that we saw. So write a paragraph describing what kind of story or stories you might tell that evolved out of this seven. Here we have quite a different setting for a story that suggested entirely different story from the previous ones. Um, looks kinda spooky. Doesn't this a modern ghost story? Is this the abode of a chain saw massacre? Serial killer. What's that kid's bike doing there? Is that a poor kid who's, uh, lives on the outskirts of town with his poor, destitute, sick mother? Or is he a victim of some bean dish kidnapper what the crows doing on the cross? What's the cross of Is that somebody's graveyard? Are these people just bearing corpses in the yard? Uh, and the house across the street. It's run down. Where is this? Tell the story right down a paragraph, which you describe. What story would evolve from this particular setting? And here we have yet another seven. Don't way. Um, what is it? What's going on here? What's the couple doing? Okay, where they just workers after a long day at work, having a cup of coffee before they go their separate ways and go home. But they lovers. Is he married? Okay, why the meeting in this kind of creepy, lonely, unromantic coffee shop? And who's the other guy there? You know, the other guy in the suit. Now, both men are in suits, so that kind of suggests social status doesn't but, oh, are, you know, occupation. Uh, they they were suit, But what's the other guy? The guy who's alone. Is he a spy? Is he an FBI agent? Is he trailing them? Is a couple planning a bank robbery for the next day? Okay, you figured out. You tell the story. that evolves from the setting. So what's going on in this picture? What is the setting suggest? It's an intimate area of the home the girl on the older girl is at at what used to be called a danity, and she's looking at herself in the mirror, so she's very concerned about her appearance. What does this suggest to you and what's going on with the little girl? Okay, looking up at her big sister, Does she admire her break sister? Does she think her big sister's silly Teoh to depend? And, um, and to be invested so much and presumably what her, uh, gentlemen, caller date thinks about her appearance. So, uh, you'll also notice that the environment is different. Okay, it's not, you know, medieval times. It's not nineths and fair ladies. It's not Wild West type environment. It's middle class or upper middle class setting, and people have their certain expectations. So what kind of story would you tell out of this setting? So here you have experienced just what it is that setting does to a story how setting changes a story or make certain stories possible. Um, in the next journal activity, we're going to move from the abstract from the exercise phase two. Ashley Constructing your own setting so stay tuned that's coming up next. 36. Journal Activity setting: so this video is attached to or comes along with a worksheet that will print up some of these instructions. But let me just go through it and we'll talk about it a short bit. Um, so first you want to answer the questions. What genre are you using to tell the story, though? Western Saifi is that day zombie story. Okay, so figure out your genre and what historical period. Okay, so you can stay conventional. Or you could do a zombie picture and medieval times in the days of ancient Rome. I don't know. Um, on where is it located On the actual the actual physical geographic location someplace on earth. Or isn't an outer space in a spaceship and are using several locations are essentially just one. So okay. And within that general location, what specific places. And so if it's taking place in a town safe, for instance, it takes place in the hero's house and the church in a local bar. And how did these places a picture story? So make notes on all these things, and in the worship, you'll see them number. What's the time period? What's the time frame of your story? take place over a relatively short period of time a day or 23 year week? Or that, you know, family saga takes place over years and is there a ticking time bomb? So, um, answer these questions. Begin by just making a few notes about your stories. Principal location, and then start filling in the details. The shops, the bars, the restaurants that trading post, whatever it is, um, the open spaces where they're open spaces are no open spaces. Worse. The mall. Where's the village square? Whatever did you have? If it helps, um, draw a map. Okay, draw map of your location. What does it look like? So so you get a visual picture. Um, uh, and you can also, if it's ah, riel location. If it's an actual location, are based on an actual location. Use Google Maps or Google First draw, you know, do a search for pictures of the location and then do Google maps. I have a friend who is writing a novel recently, and, uh, and he told me that he was describing in detail exact locations through Google maps. He'd never been to the location, but if you wanted to describe the main street in Topeka, Kansas. Hey just does the searching Google maps, and he's on the street. He could describe it in detail. So make use of your research to describe your location now that you've located your characters, character and characters within the setting. Thean immediate setting that the story is going to be taking place. Look out further beyond What is your character? See when they look out the window and reads the window, their home or their apartment or the castle? Do they see snowy mountain tops? Do they see a desert? Do they see dinosaurs grazing in the distance, herd of dinosaurs grazing in the distance? Whatever it is that they see? No, start describing the far distance. What? What surrounds the immediate vicinity? That's the setting for your story. So describe that and remember the type of writing that we're going to be doing. This doesn't have to be novelistic. You can jot down bullet points and, uh, and just brief one sentence or phrase jewel descriptions, but get a real mental picture as to what the world and the universe of your story looks like. Keep in mind that all of these places have to somehow fit or fit with the character and with the character of the story. So ah, man who lives in apartment with peeling wallpaper and drinks in the seediest dive in town is different from the gentleman who lives in the penthouse and the $1,000,000 penthouse in a multi $1,000,000 penthouse. And drinks and exclusive cocktail lounges make your locations as interesting as possible. You don't want toe bland, boring story. You don't want bland, boring characters, and so you don't want bland, boring locations and settings. See if you can find that detail that makes something interesting. So, uh, so if your main character works in a record store or what used to be called everything right, I date myself. Don't Okay, Um, maybe ah ah, he or she works in a coffee shop, but that coffee shop used to be a drug storm. Before that, it was a speakeasy during Prohibition. Something like that. I mean, you want, give your location character just like you give your characters character. And remember that when you're creating this world to keep in mind that it is mawr than a mere location in your place because it has special elements. So, for instance, in the Hunger Games, you had the beautiful looking blueberries. Uh, that looks so yummy and luscious to eat, but they're actually poisonous. Eso remember that If your world takes place in a urban setting about the homeless guy on the corner, maybe he's not a bum. Maybe he's a former business owner who lost his business during the recession. Maybe he's a good hearted, um, guy who's down on his luck but looks out for people you know, watches the kids when they come home from school and make sure that women who come home late from work get get into their home safely. So what is the what is the feeling of this in environment? Remember to include the special rules and last like when you are constructing your world on , uh, and telling about it in your story, you don't have to tell it all of one, so you want to go into more detail at the beginning. But as you go through, you don't have to go into a much detail, you know, you Sprinkle hints and reminders to your audience what it is that is special about your world and you don't have to reveal everything at this at at the same time or at at the beginning. You can reveal slowly. You can let your audience weight and reveal special attributes of your world as as your story develops. But in the end, remember, you're setting is a very important character in your story, and, uh, plays a very important part and, um, lends a special flavor to it. 37. Graduate Degree in Interactive Story Structure: So what we've been talking about is all very well and good and true. But it's on Lee, true, up to a certain point, and the reason is this. Think about it this way. When you want your favorite movie every time you watch it, it's always the same. The Titanic always goes down. Braveheart is always tortured to death at the end. Bambi's mother always dies. What always picks that sad stories for my illustrations? I don't know, Um, but that's not the case with interactive fiction. Interactive fiction is different because no matter how inventive the traditional storyteller is, no matter how many twists and turns here, she's ableto put into the story and keep us hanging on the edge of a cliff, sitting on the edge of our seats, okay, biting our nails. The road, no matter how twisty and turny, always hits the same twist in terms and always ends up in the same place. This is not the case with the interactive fiction that we're going to be designing, and so that's where you get to as we call this lecture, the graduate degree in interactive storytelling, even though the general structure of the interactive story format, um, follows the traditional mode. There is a difference, a complication that allows multiple different stories to emerge from your single situation . You're single fictive world. Let's go back to our first example, the lady or the tiger. I think that you can see that have every plot point offers to orm or possible variations. You haven't exponentially expanding story. So principle, you know the first example You choose one of two doors. Okay, that's too. So you just don't walk through one door. Conventional story. You walk through one door. Now you have a choice between two and then you encounter the lady or the tiger. But what do you do? Women. So the as the old trope goes, do you make love or war? And in this case, Booth, let's not let our minds go there anyway. But then what happens? Okay, so you have those choices. So now you have four different choices, and what happens? Do you survive? Do you gain a treasure? Do you gain an ally? And each one of those possibilities opens up mawr possibilities. And so you have this incredibly rich, diverse, complex world that really actually starts to simulate our real world because every time we walk out the door, we have a choice between whether we turn left or right when you meet somebody, How do you greet them? Do you make friends with, um, do they become an enemy? Do Are they irritating? Do you figure out a way to get along with, um, S O? You have all sorts of different choices to make in the in the world in the real world, as you do in this fiction world. So So it's possible that you can play is a player character. You can play this. You know, this game. You can enjoy this this interactive story multiple times and never experienced the same story twice. And that's what's truly wonderful about this format. And that's what's so exciting about your ability to design this story with these multiple variations. So keeping keep in mind that you're starting with a single world on a single starting situation, you create multiple, different story experiences for your audience, for your player characters. In some ways, you can think of interactive fiction as offering alternative realities alternative universes that, actually incidentally, some scientists tell us, actually exist. We actually do exist in and one of a multitude of different universes and interactive fiction takes advantage of that possibility of that mindset. Okay, so anyway, one universe Braveheart dies and one he is victorious and Scotland is free, Um, and some alternative realities. Bambi's mother lives and maybe Bambi sadly dies. And some are adept player character pilots that titanic around the iceberg. And so everybody survives. And maybe in another alternative reality, Jack isn't such a nice guy, and he pushes Rose out of the lifeboat and saves himself. That's kind of the with the Grand Theft auto version of the Titanic, I don't know, but we have thes multiple possibilities, ease of different universes of storytelling that are possible to us in interactive storytelling. Now that said, the traditional story structure retains its value, retains a great deal of value, and we can still follow it, though in a modified way. And as you see in this graph that I have attended to construct with my, um, first grade level, very sad, primitive drawing ability, how that is so in that you have still the rising action, for instance, going up to the climax and and as we rise up. The difficulty level of each of the plot points remains parallel remains the same. The difficulty and the danger level remained the same, though What happens can vary from universe to universe, as it will according to the choices of the player character. Um, sometimes what story writers like to do to maintain their sanity because you can't have this infinite branching of possible actions in the story is they converge? Eso however many different possibilities you have at various stages of the story, you converge at a particular point. And so in, in in the drawing, I've shown a convergence at the climax the red dot up center, and then a divergence again into, uh towards the possible endings of the story. So we had a very exciting point. Now, you, um you're actually ready to start constructing your stories, start putting his story together. So we're going to start with journal activities were gonna journal it first because it's very difficult to look at format and content at the same time, especially when they're both new. Okay, so, uh, but we are going to start devising your story, so, uh, get ready. Pull out your journals and we'll walk through the various points of your story. And after you have that, we will take a look at how to put it into the proper format on the page. So fasten your seat belts. It's gonna be a wild ride. 38. Final stage highest level: I'm excited. I hope you are, too. Um, because now we're goingto bring this baby home. You're at the highest level. You're at the climax here. You're just about ready, Teoh, start the last stage. You're going to write the script for your game? Um, a couple words as you go through and you follow your outline. So you're writing each stage. Remember to incorporate all your ideas about who your character is. Don't lose sight of who your character characters are. Um, incorporate elements from your description about who they are into each scene, Also in each scene. Remind us where we are now. The's descriptors don't have to be in depth. You're not writing a novel so we don't have to picture in our heads what it is that you're describing. Okay? Because that will be done by the artist when they construct your game s. So, you know, this is a collaborative venture. You're preparing the first stage, and you're gonna have artists and filmmakers and gamemakers designers put this into final form into final game form, but but you have to give them clues. And so if it's an old haunted house, they old haunted house and bats flying around in the rafters. And something like that is about all you need to do it, because they will visualize it for you. Okay, you don't have to paint the picture in great depth painted enough. So the people who, working from your script will know what it is that they need to do. So, um, but ah, now is the time for us to start writing now. Um, it's not as hard as you might think It is from this point for there's a great line in the movie Amadeus done 2030 years ago. Okay, Tom Holsey, I think, is the actor, um, who plays the great musician Moser, today's most art and who was a kind of a wild and crazy type of guy. And, um uh, they asked him if he had composed, you know, the symphony that that he had been paid to write and he said, Oh, yeah, yeah, I have. So where where is it on what's not on paper yet? Well, how can you say that you composed it? Oh, it's up here. The rest is just scribbling, you see? But you're at the scribbling stage now. You have it all up here you have the outline on paper, all you have to do all its simple right now. But all you have to do is write it down now because you've done all the work and this stage should be relatively easy. Just follow the steps that you've laid out. Pursuant to the theme of interactive fiction, we now have interactive writing. You have a choice off what kind of format you want to use to write down your story. The first example is a format that looks very much like a screen play or a movie script. If you're familiar with what those like are like, you see the discussion description of the action are full full page with the The dialogue is centered in the middle of the page, so you know that very easily you can see you know what's what's being done and what's being said. The difference between the game script and the film script would be that you have choices according to the choices that the, um, the player characters made. So you have if statements if a if be okay, so you have to label those clearly and so each time that the player character has a choice to make. You have to design that whole scenario, and then you would have inserts in brackets, according to Theo, the action that the player character is able to pursue. So this tells the people who make the game put together, you know, the final product and code it. You know what it is that the player character is is going to be doing here. You know, the in brackets player character fights tiger or something like that. Okay, so So you insert that and all the descriptions you want to in those actions. If if you want the player character to make use of various types of weapons, for instance, um uh, or various strategy aims, you know, the player character jumps up to the rafters and hides from the tiger. Whatever it is that you want to do, you know, you can put those choices into the brackets and following each choice, you know, you would have a description of what it is that's being done, but ah, but this is one of the formats that you can follow and following you'll see a couple other formats. So here's another format that you can use one of things to remember is that this thing art form is extremely new, and there's no set way to write these things, eh? So you can use a form that borrows from other types of dramatic fiction, namely screenplays or teleplays. Or you can use this more of a table fashion that I have illustrated here. And so you see it far left side, a description of the scene, what the scene is, and then the event that is the action being carried out. Model number one approaches first pose and the direction, and that could be, you know, the direction, you know, scrolled above or below the the frame, Um uh, and of the line number. And the line number is very helpful because that gives the coders an exact reference to what it is that's being done at a particular point. And then a character speaks. And so you have the name of the character and the dialogue that he says, and so it's all laid out line by line. So this is a table fashion, and for this you might even want to use something like an Excel spreadsheet. And if you do that. The line numbers are very easy to keep track of because, um, uh, you can simply run it down the Excel spreadsheet and do plus one eso Excel automatically keeps track of what where you are in this story. This example is from a video game pest, and you see it's laid out in a table format, but slightly different from the previous example that I showed you. Um, which all goes to the point that there's no set format, different people, different creators. Different game creators prefer different methods or different methods make more sense to them than others. So that's your choice, because it's interactive, right? It's the theme of this whole genre. Good. So but you see so again you have Lion I D, which is very, very helpful for the game designers and what story it is. And then the section of the story and then a character. And then what the character says. So you have the line what the character says, and here we have a column for voice direction. How does the character say that? So how does Lucy say, uh, what she says? She says it in a deadpan. So That's OK. That's where it can. I drive. Okay. Kind of a dead pants. And Sochi answers cautiously and not a very good actor, but, um, give it a shot. Okay? If you stay off the freeway and then you have on the right hand side, you have, um how, uh, how the action looks, what triggers this and and how it flows to the next line. Okay, now, Lucy says excitedly, it's a deal. And then in the next line line 109 Okay, we have the car door opening and Sochi. Let's Lucy drive the car and, ah, um, and then, uh, Lucy says, Oh, neat. Back up as the dog arrives or is the dire hound arrives. And she says that back up, uh, in a deadpan fashion. And we have the and we have the action. Okay, so this is yet another way to format your script. So choose one of these or invent a totally new one. Okay, that Ah, the only requirement is that it be clear to somebody who reads it. Uh who? Somebody who's going to be creating building your game. And that's my dire hound of whining in the background. and, um and you be able to explain it. I can hardly believe that we're here, but this is it. This is the end of our journey together. From here on out, you're on your own. Not totally On your but, uh um um, but you're ready. You ready to undertake this grand adventure? You've got all the tools you've done the work. You you packed your kitbag, loaded your supplies, everything that you need to know. And, uh uh, to create your story. Now, as you go forward as you're working on this, um, feel free to get back and touched me. Uh, drop me a line popping the question of the plan to respond to you. See if I can help you. I don't necessarily know everything, but I know a couple things and sometimes it just helpful toe have a a another set of eyes on on an issue. So feel free to do that. But other than that, go forward, right? Your story and amazes