Chapter 2.26. Emotioneering Techniques Category #26: Cohesiveness Techniques
Making it all hang together.
deals with ways to make one part of a game feel connected to other parts that otherwise might feel separate in time or space.
It might seem strange to talk about connecting one part of a game to another. Is it really a problem?
I've experienced more than one game where the various missions seemed very disjointed, and the world they took place within felt fragmented.
In such games, the action may move from place to place, with new characters to encounter and new locations to explore. Newness is usually a good thing it keeps the experience fresh. But continual newness of location and characters can, if mishandled, have one drawback: Sometimes it's hard to care much about a game's story if the characters and settings keep changing and there's little by way of a connecting thread.
The problem is not dissimilar to that in some road trip films that feel like little more than a string of disjointed incidents. Those road trip films that are the most engaging usually derive their emotional power from the rich relationships between the people taking the trip and their gripping Character Arcs.
But what if the game you're designing doesn't have a rich relationship between the player's character and an NPC? What will provide the Cohesiveness?
Here are some solutions.