Friday, February 13, 2009

overwhelming narratives

I watched an episode of CSI: NY yesterday. An interesting aspect of that show's structure is that there's two detective stories taking place at the same time, interrupting each other at a predictable pace.

This has two benefits. First, it doubles the writers' chances of picking a basic scenario that each viewer will appreciate. Second, each mystery distracts viewers from the other, thereby making it less likely the audience will figure things out... preserving the element of surprise.

The latter is a strategy game writers might employ. Unlike TV shows, games generally don't dictate pace entirely, and that dampens the power of distractions. Still, shifting the player's focus periodically can be a way to prolong suspense and make anticipation more difficult.

But I wouldn't blame a writer for not using this strategy. It's almost cheating, right?


  1. That's a great idea for games, I'm surprised that it hasn't been used more often. I'll keep it in mind for the future. :)

  2. You find that happens frequently in CSI but I think works better when the two crime scenarios are eventually shown to be interlinked - which would work just as well in a videogame setting.


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