Linear vs. Nonlinear or Games vs. Films and Books

In a linear format like a book or a film, the author (or scriptwriter) is in control, leading the reader or viewer on a journey from the beginning to a single conclusion.

In a nonlinear format like gaming, the player decides on the journey from the author’s presented beginning or how the player has arrived at his current situation. The multiple paths from this starting point vary depending on the player’s decisions, and the ending will depend on how the player satisfies the author’s view of success or failure. The author can use NPC (nonplayer characters) to influence the player, assist the player, or compete against the player.

Linear format mediums control the entire world and can be represented as an event or chapter leading into another event or chapter where the order and connection is extremely important. All events and characters in chapter four must happen and be known before chapter five occurs.

Nonlinear format mediums are represented by numerous covered boxes where the player can open up any one of the boxes and discover the events and characters independent from previous information that he has acquired. The order in which the player opens the box is part of the game; perhaps in one game the order is not important, and in another game the order that a box is opened greatly changes the entire story being revealed.

Unlike linear formats, the boxes can be opened more than once, and each time the events and characters can remain constant or change entirely. The first time you open the box, you might be greeted by a simple “Hello,” whereas the second time you open the box you may be greeted by “I’m glad to see you again.”



Game Design Foundations
Game Design Foundations (Wordware Game and Graphics Library)
ISBN: 1556229739
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 179

Similar book on Amazon

flylib.com © 2008-2017.
If you may any questions please contact us: flylib@qtcs.net