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Miyamoto wonders: Is story really necessary when gameplay will do?
Miyamoto wonders: Is story really necessary when gameplay will do?
November 30, 2012 | By Mike Rose

November 30, 2012 | By Mike Rose
Comments
    70 comments
More: Console/PC, Design



"It's fine without a story, so do we really need one?"
- Kensuke Tanabe, software planning and development department for Paper Mario: Sticker Star on the Nintendo 3DS, recalls how veteran Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto asked for story elements to be left out of the game.

In a new Iwata Asks interview on the Nintendo website, president Satoru Iwata discussed the development of the latest in the Paper Mario series with the team behind it, who in turn revealed why the game was so light on story compared to previous installments.

As it turns out, Miyamoto -- who had a hand in the game's design -- instructed the team to lay off the story elements, as he believed that the gameplay elements were what players really wanted.

"With regard to the story, we did a survey over the Super Paper Mario game in Club Nintendo, and not even 1 percent said the story was interesting," noted Tanabe. "A lot of people said that the 'Flip' move for switching between the 3D and 2D dimensions was fun."

Taro Kudo, the co-director of scenario design on the game, added, "I originally saw it in a way that's similar to Miyamoto-san. Personally I think all we need is to have an objective to win the boss battle at the end of the game."

He continued, "I didn't think we necessarily needed a lengthy story like in an RPG. Instead, we looked at the characteristics of a portable game that can be played little by little in small pieces and packed in lots of little episodes and ideas. I always did like putting in little ideas, so I actually enjoyed it."


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Comments


Merc Hoffner
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"lots of little episodes"

Hmm, that makes me think. Can you have characters without a story? Or rather could you make a series of micro stories that keep your mind narratively engaged and gives you a sense of objective, without needing an overarching story that you need to remember with each play session, and without being as dumb as simply saying: this is your mission, go do it.

This makes me think of cartoon shows, and I'm reminded of the likes of Dexter's lab and My Life as a Teenage Robot: perfectly engaging and eventful, have colorful memorable characters and plots, involve no overarching story progression and are only 11 minutes long apiece. Perfect.

E Zachary Knight
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Think about the first time you played Super Mario Bros. What was your objective? To save the Princess? No. Your objective was to get to the end of the level. You can have engaging objectives without the need for story. Saving the princess was a reward for meeting the objective.

TC Weidner
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disagree, Super Mario Bros. was a story about saving the princess. It took place in this crazy world in which you have to traverse areas, beat henchmen and the final boss all in order to save the princess. Saving the princess was the GOAL of the game, not a reward. There was indeed a plot line to Super Mario Bros.

Luis Guimaraes
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For me Mario was always about getting to the end of the level.

Merc Hoffner
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TBH I was never really implying one needed a story to have a game or objective. Afterall, I sunk my youth intro Tetris, which is entirely abstract and appeals only to the human compunction to play with patterns (deep seated evolutionary pressures I'm sure).

Rather I was wondering if you can have characters, real enjoyable deep seated characters without a story, and I think you can. Make no mistake, Mario doesn't usually have characters- it has basic excuses to stomp on heads, and that's a conceite Miyamoto embraces proudly rather than shamefully. The interesting thing here I think is this concept of having characters as Mario games infrequently do (in your RPG type setting) and still not needing a story.

Eric Geer
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In Super Mario, The princess was an afterthought- End of the level was purpose.

Matt Cramp
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The Dragon Quest series' narratives are usuallly like this; there's an overarching premise, but the vast majority of the time you're participating in a local story that will completely resolve within the next hour or two, and then you'll move on.

Matthew Fioravante
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Not every game needs a story. Not every game needs to be a "cinematic experience." Mediocre story lines are just painful to sit through. When a game has a bad or boring story line it only decreases the quality of the game. There should be a story only if story telling is one of the main objectives of the game. In something like mario, this is almost never the case. The objective is just to have fun running and jumping through different worlds.

I'm tired of skipping cutscenes for games where I just want to run around and blow stuff up or have fun. If I want to experience a grand story, I'll go and replay Xenogears.

Aiden Eades
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Personally I'm of the opinion that a lot of games need some element of story to them. But some titles take it too far in either direction. You have games where they could quite easily improve it with just a tiny bit of storyline behind it, but there is none given to you. And others where they pile story and cinematics on thick, and yet it doesn't need any story at all.

Every game (with sports and sim as exceptions) needs some element of story. It's just whether it's cinematic story driven ala RPG, or "Here's the reason you're killing folks. Here's your goal" for platformers.

Then again, I also wish that some RPGs would stop with the full cinematic cutscenes. They cost lots, they take a lot of time, and in many cases I'd be happy to see them replaced with normal, non CG animation (a bit like persona)

---edit---

Also the game has to be made with story in mind if they're going to make it heavily story based. There are so many games where it's obvious that they shoehorned in the story amid gameplay, or designed the gameplay features to work with the story.

I'd much rather see story and gameplay side by side, rather than tacked on to each other. I think that may be another reason Miyamoto was against story in paper mario. It's predominantly a gameplay oriented game, and any story would have no doubt been shoehorned in.

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Ricardo Barnhill
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yup.

Harold Myles
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It only depends if you are making a game or a piece of 'electronic entertainment' that is very prevalent now days..

For a game, if you remove story and characters, and the game lost most of its value then you didn't have a good game to begin with. Story and characters are not unnecessary for a game, only bad games. I'm not saying story cant add value to an already good game, it most certainly can, its just not necessary.

For the less gamey electronic entertainment pieces, story may very well be necessary.

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Harold Myles
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@Dave. Well it is subjective I agree.

By definition I would say a game is great when the mechanics and structure alone completely support it and are compelling. So by my definition Silent Hill and Uncharted are not great, because their is nothing that compelling about their gameplay once the stories and settings are removed. But then again I think those are crappy games even with their stories.

But I wouldn't go so far as to say you have to agree with me.

In a comment below someone mentioned this discussion pretty much shows the division of 'game purest' and those more inclined to stories and cinematic experiences. The sad part for the purest camp is the other side tends to dominate the industry. Mainly due to publishers recognizing the mass market appeal of the story driven, cinematic experience with shallow gameplay.

Most people don't actually like games, they don't like to lose, they don't want to learn, they don't want to be challenge. They like to feel something and get passively fed narrative. There is a reason TV is still king.

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Luis Guimaraes
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"and "interactive experiences" arent as dominant as you think"

Wait, what does "interactive experience" mean in that sentence?

Joe McGinn
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Yep. Even for Nintendo games, he's not entirely right. For Pikmin, for 2d ario, sure. But Mario Galaxy was one of the more story-rish Nitnendo experiences and was their best game in a decade; ditto Zelda. And obviously games like SKyrim would fall completely flat without story.

Michael Pianta
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Miyamoto has some great instincts. I think he really nailed it here. Actually there's another Iwata asks for Mario Galaxy 2 (I think) in which Miyamoto disagreed with the direction of the game as regards narrative cutscenes. Except in that case, if I remember correctly, the director convinced Miyamoto to let them go ahead with what they were doing.

But Miyamoto is right. I don't come to a game for the story, generally, but for the game play. After all, other mediums tell stories and tell them very well - but when I play a game I am deciding to participate actively in this world, so why would I want a story told to me, especially in the form of long cut scenes and text and so forth? But I don't think games should be completely without stories - what then is the purpose of authored narratives in games? I think they contextualize the gameplay, making it less abstract and easier to follow. To that end they don't have to be very long or complex - indeed "Bowser kidnapped Peach" suffices. A more modern example would be "Shadow of the Colossus". I feel that that game handles its narrative perfectly.

On the other hand, I can't say that everything I've just written is an absolute truth because I actually quite liked the Mass Effect games and they're obviously going for a very cinematic story telling experience. But in general I think less is more when it comes to game narratives, and I find it interesting that Miyamoto understands that better than a lot of younger designers.

Jason Withrow
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I disagree about Galaxy. I really enjoyed Galaxy's lite story, and disliked Galaxy 2 more than its predecessor almost because of it, as they're otherwise equal games (well, I also prefer hub worlds to map systems but yeah).

But now that Mario has gotten less and less story driven, I find myself caring less and less. It was okay to have one Mario game that was all gameplay every once and a while, even something as simple as Mario 64 (Bowser took over the castle!) but after they did "the basics" time and time again it lost me. I hadn't skipped a core Mario game since the nineties until I played NSMB Wii and decided "No, this is the last one," and haven't come back since. Having the same barebones story over and over again is the same as having none at all.

Jason Withrow
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Though I should note that story is sometimes just a matter of establishing context in which gameplay can happen, but that's still important. Miyamoto's convinced himself that sitting on his thumbs with "Mario running through stages" is variety enough. Story can mask that or take it in fresher directions, but neither is being done. It's just Mario running through stages. I might as well be playing The Annual Madden with some new physics or simulation feature than play The Annual Mario with some new magic hat.

Paul Marzagalli
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Well, the earliest RPGs (Bard's Tale comes to mind) didn't really have much in the way of story at all, so it's absolutely true that you can design compelling games across different genres without a strong story element. But then the growth of RPGs has tended toward more story, which I'm guessing is a market reaction to what that fan base wants (I personally prefer it). The influx of mobile and indie games is providing a great deal of opportunity for designers to explore what Miyamoto is saying. A game like "Jack Lumber" comes to mind - just enough context (like Mario chasing the Princess) to provide a clever backdrop and forward momentum, and then the gameplay keeps you engaged.

TC Weidner
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Bards Tale indeed had a story. From the box itself..

Long ago, when magic still prevailed, the evil wizard Mangar the Dark threatened a small but harmonious country town called Skara Brae. Evil creatures oozed into Skara Brae and joined his shadow domain. Mangar froze the surrounding lands with a spell of Eternal Winter, totally isolating Skara Brae from any possible help. Then, one night the town militiamen all disappeared. The future of Skara Brae hung in the balance. And who was left to resist? Only a handful of unproven young Warriors, junior Magic Users, a couple of Bards barely old enough to drink, and some out of work Rogues. You are there. You are the leader of this ragtag group of freedom fighters. Luckily you have a Bard with you to sing your glories, if you survive. For this is the stuff of legends. And so the story begins...

Paul Marzagalli
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That brings back memories, but does outside the game really count? Don't get me wrong: I think it does to an extent, and the way early games used box art and text to convey game setting and elements was endlessly clever (and amusing). The explanation in the manual for Atari's "Warlords" is sublime...

http://www.atariage.com/manual_html_page.html?SoftwareLabelID=593

...but not tremendously relevant to the game experience itself, nor was much of the rest for other games (including the comic which accompanied Yar's Revenge).

It has been a quarter-century since I have played "Bard's Tale" but from what I remember of it, the actual story in the game wasn't much more advanced than "Sorry, Mario, your princess is an another castle". In this case, there were simple encounters you would find that would just point you in the direction of where you needed to go next or give you needed passwords to eventually wind your way to Magnar.

Anyone who started playing the game with just the floppies would probably be able to make their way through the game. This isn't a slight on the storytelling in the game at all, but rather it makes the point that if the gameplay systems are compelling enough, you don't need a deep narrative for a game. I'm not saying this is an ideal to strive for, but rather that it can be done across different genres, creating interesting gaming experiences.

TC Weidner
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but again, the game had a story and I think a rather good one. Good stories need not be long, verbose, complex, or even intrusive. They need to be just enough to set the stage for the game and grab your attention. IMHO

You also seem to forget , that 25 years ago, manuals and so forth were very important to gaming, since memory and game size were still an issue and at a premium.

Again, the story was indeed there in the Bard's Tale. I mean a series of Novels were even based on the Game and game setting. I mean take a look at the name, A Bard's Tale, and you dont think there was a story involved? I think its time to break out that Apple II again :) Brian the Fist awaits ( wasnt he one of the default characters, and it scares me that I still remember)

Paul Marzagalli
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Brian the Fist, Phenglei Kai, Markus, Omar, Merlin, and El Cid if I recall...I kept most of the default names. Not sure that I made any of my own characters, honestly! In fact, when I started playing "Knights of Legend" (a Top 5 favorite of mine), Brian the Fist made the trip into that game!

You seem to remember the story better than I do. I remember the story being mostly irrelevant to the playing experience, with the only exception being the map of Skara Brae on the inside of the box. I don't forget the importance of the manuals in that era, but I simply don't recall that element being essential to BT. Otherwise, it seems that we are relatively in agreement on story and gameplay.

As for the game's name being indicative of its content, "Final" Fantasy would like a word with you!

TC Weidner
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El Cid LOL, oh yeah. As far as my memories of Bard Tale, man I still remember how proud we were when our hand drawn maps of a dungeon on graph paper when it would occasionally square up and be fully complete. Good times... Thanks for the discussion.

Paul Marzagalli
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Same, though one of the things that drove me crazy about it (if I'm remembering correctly) is that you had to be facing something to notice it. I vaguely remember a talking mouth on the wall that gave me some vital clue, but I went by it 100x before randomly turning toward the wall in the middle of a hallway and there it was. I enjoyed mapping, but found that aspect absolutely crushing.

It's why I am disappointed that Brenda Braithwaite and Tom Hall's game failed, because whereas Wasteland 2 will be closer to Fallout in gameplay, their game looked like an attempt to update the feel of those early Wizardry/BT/Ultima style games. I would have liked to have experienced that!

Enjoyable chat! Have a great weekend!

TC Weidner
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Big Ape steals girl, plumber tries to get her back. Even Donkey Kong has a plot line and yes I think games need at least a plot line. It helps to set time, place and motivation. The key is to have the plot line and story enhance the game, not get in the way of it.

Maria Jayne
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I think it really depends what you consider "story". Super mario bros had a story, princess was kidnapped by bowser, king of the koopas and a couple of plumbers named mario and luigi went on a quest to rescue her.

Whole of that story was summed up in a single sentence, it wasn't much of a story but that is a story.

Last game I played with absolutely zero story would have to be Minecraft...I was going to say Bridge Constructor but jeez....even that had a story.

Ozzie Smith
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While stories can help some people make sense of game mechanics, I don't think it is necessary most of the time. Sports (Soccer, Baseball, Football, etc) are the most popular games ever created and they have no story (instead players and fans create their own story-lines about the games).

Videogames are in this weird place right now where people are making games that sort of blend together the different lineages of videogames (sports, board games, and paper-based RPGs / interactive narratives).

Story has never been a big draw for me in games, I only care about the gameplay. I've felt like way too many games and developers are focusing more on improving narrative than improving gameplay (and thus most AAA games that come out today do not interest me at all). Glad to see the great master Miyamoto reinforcing my opinions :P

Evan Combs
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There are two extremes to this discussion. Those who are gameplay purists and those who are story lovers. Most people fall somewhere in between. Story isn't always necessary, but story can also overcome below average gameplay. It just depends on the game and the player.

George Oliver
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A game just needs a reason for you to continue to make progress, it doesn't have to be a story. I think all games can be at least slightly improved by a story just because there are many people who are way less inclined to play something without a story, but i would hate to think there are developers who think they have to have a story in a game.

I think portal is a perfect example. Portal still would have been a fun game without the story. You could almost entirely remove the plot of portal just by removing the glados' sinister nature and just have her be a robot that occasionally checks on your progress and makes snide remarks to motivate you.. The game still would have been fun and Glados would still be a fun character(albeit a slightly different one) It would not have been as good, and it most certainly would not have reached the amount of people it did but it still would have been a great game.

Ozzie Smith
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True. But let's say the level design was far worse but the story was the same. You would have a much worse game than if you just took the story bits away from the original game.

Evan Combs
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@Ozzie

Yes, gameplay trumps all I don't think you would find many who would disagree. There are exceptions to the rule, but they are rare.

Jeffrey Williams
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I think so far, the Paper Mario series have done a good job and remain entertaining. Considering Sticker Star to be a handheld, it might have been a good idea to avoid any story and assume the player will pick it up every few minutes. I think they hit a balance perfectly.

And I think how they done sticker star is a nice variation compare to the other Mario Games. It's not quite Mario RPG.. The Original Paper Mario, Thousand Year Door, or Super Paper Mario. It has its own unique place in the franchise.

I don't trust club Nintendo's feed back, but this is coming from a person who uses it without giving a wink of useful feedback, but the feedback generally support the developer's initial instinct

Jeremy Alessi
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If you want a story read a book or watch a movie. Games need context, not a story. The Princess gave Super Mario Bros. context, it wasn't a story. A game without context is like math without physics. Math becomes a lot more interesting when it has context as do games.

Keith Nemitz
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I like the point you make, but to dismiss all stories from all games is rather naive.

Frank DAngelo
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I personally think video games can tell stories way better than movies and books. Some of my favorite stories and tales have come from none other than video games. Like someone else said as well, an amazing story can make up for poor gameplay and design. (not ideal obviously, but just mentioning this to vouch for the strength of a good story in a game)

Frank DAngelo
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@anthony

It's rare, but I've experienced a few. Most notable for me would be the game Tales of Legendia for PS2. One of the worst entries in the Tales of series from a gameplay standpoint. Tons of backtracking, tons of random encounters, a sloppy battle system. However, the story was ridiculously good. The story alone in this game made it definitely worth playing.

I agree these scenarios are hard to come by though, but there are some titles where a edge of your seat story keeps you hooked despite tedious or boring game play.

Keith Nemitz
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I'm a big proponent of stories in games, but I don't think that good stories can overcome bad gameplay. I do think that good stories can compel players to play longer than they would have without the story.

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Luis Guimaraes
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@Frank

"I personally think video games can tell stories way better than movies and books."

Completely agree. Not because game stories are better, but because games can tell stories is better ways: "Don't Tell, Don't Show, DO!"

"an amazing story can make up for poor gameplay and design"

Think about paying $60 to watch a movie, then being asked to work 8 hours straight on something you don't like before you can watch the movie by the end of the day. It could be the best movie ever made, to hell with that.

And now we have Youtube, TwitchTV, Own3D. Live-streams, Walkthroughs and Let's-plays. People don't have to play games they don't like just for story anymore. Besides the story of the person playing through the game and it's story (specially if it's live) is more interesting then the story of the game alone. I doesn't cost any work and it's FREE.

The times of oppression are over.

EDIT: "poor gameplay and design" are then subjective things.

Olivier Madiba
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Maybe it is too simplistic to do "simple story" when we were in 90's but now a best background than just "save the princess for the 45st time" can be good we (the first gamers of Mario) are old now #just my idea

Amanda Fitch
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Sorry Jeremy, I have to agree with Keith! In some games, the story is the context. In games like Super Mario brothers it isn't, but in games like Final Fantasy and Monkey Island it is.

Bart Stewart
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The key element would seem to be "characters."

A game can be plenty of fun with no story if it has no characters. Tetris and Bejeweled are good examples.

And a game that emphasizes story pretty much always has characters. Can anyone suggest exceptions to that rule?

The question is, is a game with characters usually improved by having a story?

More specifically: is a game whose action is expressed through personifications of people usually improved by setting the actions of those characters inside a predefined story?

Harold Myles
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I agree a story needs characters. But a game with characters doesn't need a story, or at least not a strong narrative.

Peggle is a good example; Strong gameplay, prevalent characters, little to no story.

The little setting and story that does exist in peggle is mostly implied and could be removed completely without effecting the gameplay or characters.

Bart Stewart
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Harold, it was subtle, but I was careful to ask not whether a game with characters "needs" a story, but whether a game with characters is "usually improved" by giving those characters a story to act within.

The latter version is a little more interesting. ;)

Justin Kwok
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Depends on the game. Story is an element of a game. Just like a soundtrack can be an element in a movie.

Arguably, if you were watching a concert movie, music is very important and is a necessity. If you're watching a documentary, maybe not so much. Or if you're watching the Artist, not at all.

If you're playing an RPG, story is probably very important; rhythm game, not so much; tetris, not at all.

TC Weidner
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umm, I think you may have nailed the answer.

Bob Johnson
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Yeah I think the handheld platform influenced the decision here.

ANd it is better not to have too much narrative or plot. IT is more believable then because the player fills in the blanks with their imagination. It is often better just not to show alot of detail.

Robert Boyd
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I've enjoyed games with stories that were set in stone. I've enjoyed games where the player makes their own story through their actions. I've enjoyed games with no stories at all.

I think we should stop trying to dictate to others the proper way to have fun.

John Flush
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Story, or context, is a requirement for me these days. Some games I can make up my own context, like minecraft and such, and have a lot of fun with it. On the other hand there are games that I just hate if there isn't a compelling story. Take the JRPG realm, it is dead because the story is as basic as the gameplay these days. It is always the same... the same as Mario. There is only so much platforming I can do before I need a story to compel me onward.

It is the reason I hated SMG 2 - it was just the first game without any story. If I wanted to do that, I would replay the first one and ignore the story. NSMB - oh same story as ever with more platforming. That is okay if I want a platformer, but if I'm a little tired of the genre there is NO compelling reason to trudge through the game again.

I have no interest in NSMB Wii U or the 3DS coin collector game because if I want to platform I would just get out one of the other 10 Mario games and replay it.

Bob Johnson
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"Story in a game is like a story in a porn movie. It's expected to be there, but it's not that important." - Id programmer.

Jeremie Sinic
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Well, I actually preferred the non-story of Doom (because it leaves a lot to the imagination of players and the atmosphere was great) to the story of Rage, so I guess if the story is not great, it had better not be there at all.

wes bogdan
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While i may be about gameplay as about 98% of modern console games are unworkable without my custom scheme i did buy sticker star and as a handheld game consumed in bite size pieces a minimalist approach works however i can't imagine shiggy saying gameplay is fine without story because for longtime faithful having in jokes only we would get is a great time. Sticker star has fun gameplay but stripping it bare so you don't even level up is poor form compaired to past effeorts. There is new and inturusting stuff going on in sticker star gameplay wise but if xenosaga was all story and the new paper mario is all gameplay with no story i'd prefer it somewhere in the middle like rayman,sly,ratchet,jack or ratchet imagine how much less enduring each series would be without personality,humor or story.....now i'm going to have to be more watchful of mario next we'll see zelda with no story just four sowards style gameplay free 2 play want keys,health or bombs pony up and screw that story that players enjoyed....wth?!!

wes bogdan
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Seem to have listed ratchet twice ohh well sticker star is enjoyable gameplay wise but cutting off the story in jokes and all was the worst thing done to this fine series and on wii u i expect a return to form story and leveling up et all.

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John Flush
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A good example of this is what Puzzle Quest did. really it is a Bejewelled type game, but a little small story thrown in there and all the sudden it is a favorite of many people. Story matters.

Michael Ball
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In my mind, the importance of story (as well as any other element in a given video game) varies based on both the intended audience and the type of play experience the developers aim to provide. For example, depth of gameplay mechanics is not nearly as much of a concern in a point-and-click adventure game as it is in a fighting game, due to the fundamentally different play experiences each one is created to deliver. This does not mean that either one is more or less of a video game than the other, as mechanics are but one component (albeit an important one) of a greater whole.

To relate this to Sticker Star: while the Super Mario games are lauded for their platforming and tight, responsive controls, the largest part of what keeps players coming back to the Paper Mario series are the superb tongue-in-cheek writing, the wacky characters populating the world, and (perhaps most importantly) the memorable party members that accompany Mario on his quests. In my mind, a Paper Mario game that does not put a key emphasis on those things is Paper Mario in name only.

Bob Johnson
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Well there is a difference between story (narrative and plot) and having wacky characters and tongue in cheek writing.


The article says Miyamoto wanted no story. But, having read the first hour of the game to my now 6 yr old, the tongue in cheek writing seems to be intact.

So no story doesn't mean no fun tongue in cheek writing and no wacky characters.

And actually having read that you need to find 5 missing whatevers it kind of sounds like there is a story to me.

Ramon Carroll
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This is about Miyamoto's stance on narrative as it specifically applies to Paper Mario, not every game in general.

Peter Wysoczanski
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I'm a huge fan of story lines, however with the amount of debate going on in this topic Miyamoto's I'm now questioning most of my childhood memories of gaming. Was a storyline really needed?.... Would you want to get to that very end castle without a princess to save? i'd say sure but would I want to now that I have a reason?...before nintendo games (to me) had little to no story line, sure we played them but could they have been better? And I think Nintendo alone answers that question by introducing storylines that people fall in love with.

Mike Engle
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Story and Gameplay are merely different paths to the same goal: entertainment.

Plenty of games (like Tetris) entertain without story.

Plenty of movies/TV/books entertain without gameplay.

Neither is "necessary".

Luis Guimaraes
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[Plenty of games (like Tetris) entertain without story.
Plenty of movies/TV/books entertain without gameplay.
Neither is "necessary".]

Variety is the spice of life. Therefore both are necessary.

You don't need gameplay in everything, but in games you do.
A game without gameplay is like music without melody.

Chris Christow
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Let me tell you Miyamoto. Torchlight II has a great gameplay but it has no story. After I have played it for a few hours I got bored and don't fell like playing it anymore. Why? There is no story, nothing to connect me to the game and keep me looking for. And if I want to do something again and again to become better at I'll do art and sports, not at games.

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Roger Tober
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The trouble with removing story is that story helps distinguish one game from another. We've mostly explored different gameplay variations. You can turn the walls instead of the player or whatever, but it's pretty much over in that area. The story's setting can also help, since it actually introduces ideas that can be used by the gameplay, like Mirror's Edge. Stories also give continuity and evolution to the gameplay. If you can remove the story, then the game becomes more of a toy. In that case, you have to give the player more control of the surroundings, etc, so the game is a build type thing, rather than a reactive experience to stimulus. There's nothing wrong with either one, but you should know which one you are attempting before you get as far as this game appears. Chances are, the game just wasn't very good and story couldn't save it.

Luis Guimaraes
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"We've mostly explored different gameplay variations. You can turn the walls instead of the player or whatever, but it's pretty much over in that area."

Sounds like you're implying that all gameplay has already been done for games, while there's more un-tackled scenarios then not.


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