LORE and storytelling

We’ve all played a game regardless of their story.

We thought it’s another shooter, or we’ve looked at his art, but without looking beyond that cool sword or that weird optional Boss. 

This is because of the “LORE”, the set of stories, legends or events that surrounds the game, that is, everything that happens before and during the game.

It’s not directly, but intervening in that world by giving it context, unifying it and even interfering in the experience of each individual player.

But how does it do that? Well, there are many ways, more or less straightforward, but they give us the possibility to be part of the game world

Ways to introduce the LORE

N.P.C. (Non Playable Characters)

Through some characters we will learn about stories from the past in which they may have even intervened. They will tell us what happened and why things are a certain way; they will tell us about their relationships with other characters, etc. During your game they will make decisions and your way of interacting with them will decide their future. That’s why they can change things so much from one game to another.

Environments

The places we visit say a lot: areas that are altered in a certain way, the purpose of the room where you are, the way you arrived to it… all of that can say a lot about the purpose or the acts that took place in that area. A broken-down prison, a radioactive world, etc. There are many ways in which a landscape can say: “Something big has fallen here and left a crater”.

 

Objects and props

In some games usable objects may contain a short description (or where you find them or whoever gives them to you) and can tell you a lot about their surroundings. 

To whom they belonged in the past, their name, their features, etc. For example, in a fantasy world you might find an object called “Dragon Slayer”, which logically does more damage to dragons; you can guess the character who passed through there wasn’t very friendly to dragons…

Examples

This may be hard to swallow at first, but a couple of examples can shed some light:

Dark Souls

For example, the Dark Souls universe is full of stories of all kinds; the game has a complex background that makes you understand its world and why everything happens. The characters, who can help you or slow you down, generally host complex stories and, depending on your level of interaction with those characters, may have a different story to tell. For example, Solaire is a character who will accompany you and whose outcome will be altered depending on your actions. 

If you cooperate with him and help each other out, you’ll go all the way together, but if you’re not careful, his story will end sooner than expected and you may have to fight him off. In addition, Dark Souls reveals the whole background of his world through object descriptions, such as the souls of important bosses, who will tell you the story of their bearers in life.

Vampyr

Another example is Vampyr and his complex narrative system through his characters. By completing missions, we are able to get to know these characters and their relationships better (and we may end up sucking their blood).

Why people love LORE?

But why do people value this element so much and what makes players prefer games that have this feature more developed?

One of the points is the immersion. The fact that a videogame has a well thought-out and well-constructed atmosphere makes the player feel more integrated into it, and finds no meaningless things to get him out of the game. In fact, it also helps developers to set coherent limits.

Anoher point is the creation and development of a community that seeks to expand, unify and explore that world. It’s a way of giving players a feel of involvement, of being part of the game, something that brings them closer to it.

Finally, the sentimental aspect must certainly be taken into account. In many cases, the fact that a character has a background,
a personality, makes the player identify or become attached to it, makes the player feel a special attachment to the game, he wants to see more of it, whether in other games or in other formats… So many franchises with a charismatic character at their core!

Conclusions

“Lore” of a game is the consistency of it, is that the story is one with the world, the characters, the objects…. In short, it is all it takes for you to spend hours on the Internet, looking for what it means that you have found a stone with a face on top of a tower, whose description speaks of a goddess who… Anyway, you get an idea.

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