Interactive Narrator in Ludic Space: A Dynamic Story Plot Underneath the Framework of MMORPGs Storytelling System

Nobaew, Banphot; Ryberg, Thomas
January 2012
Proceedings of the European Conference on Games Based Learning;2012, Vol. 1, p600
Conference Proceeding
For decades, the development of digital interactive storytelling in games has been of interest to many researchers. Some scholars have studied the expert system which dynamically creates plots for players, while other scholars investigate the story structure. However, the latter mostly focuses on the micro story level of storytelling structure (Begin-Middle-End). This paper describes the framework for a games writer in MMORPGs as a non-linear narrative, in which a gameplayer takes the role of a digital story writer in a magic cycle. It proposes an extended storytelling framework to a games writer. The framework is developed based on 3 prior theoretical notions: the Story structure, Dramatic structure (Freytag's Pyramid), and Hero's Journey model (Campbell). The story structure is founded by Aristotle in his Poetics (c. 335 BC), but is now considered the basis of digital narrative. Hero's Journey model is the basic of three structure story proposed by Cambel. Developing the framework, the study investigated forty Quests (quest stories) from players during gameplay in World of Warcraft, and employed the plot analysis to deconstruct game storylines. This framework is deeply focusing on the plot point of game-story and develops further to the multi-plot point structure. To analyze the gameplay data in this study, the emotional experience and learning content are considered for the plot investigation. This study is sets out to examine the assumption that, when players play games in a semiotic domain of visual grammar, they simultaneously interpret meaning and produce the storyline per se. The result shows that (1) gameplayers create distinctive story plots which are shown by the story graphs in a freedom of Ludic space, (2) each quest has the different of story plot patterns; although, it has likewise a storyline pattern. To summarize, from the results, the paper proposes the multi-plot point framework which creates the concept of the game story movement for applying in game-story design for learning purposes.


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