In response to the comments I received on the series Putting into play, I have produced a set of patterns showing the hands-on structuring of narrative and cognitive elements. Additionally, it keeps my time restraints from holding back curiosity.
The Hidden Art of Pacing is a three-part trip that takes you on a journey to trace the core of the hidden art of pacing by stripping familiar story and game structures from standard elements to discern the engaging and motivating forces that trigger the receiver´s building of experiences, feelings, and expectations.
If you would like to read the first part, here is the link to The Hidden Art of Pacing 1 (3)
Driving a car is often used as a metaphor to describe the pacing of accelerating and decelerating information. The art of pacing examines how you can inconspicuously engage the receiver’s thinking and the strength and speed at which the receiver processes causal, temporal, and spatial networks. In doing so, you make it possible to utilize the drive behind the motivation to understand. This was something I became aware of when I moved from scriptwriting to game design. Evident was the difference between engaging and motivating someone. It elucidated the balancing of providing and withholding information, which deepens the experience, emotions, and expectations of the receiver.
“Putting into play” is part of a project whose goal is to offer a hands-on approach to the design of an engaging and dynamic game system from a narrative and cognitive perspective. The series illuminates how our thinking, learning, and emotions interplay when the designer proceeds from scratch to reach the desired goal of a meaningful and motivating experience.
Before initiating the hands-on process of organizing thoughts and feelings at the start of the design process, I will explain the dynamic forces behind your prime tool as a narrative constructor. The tool is more of an advantage derived from the rapid pace by how our mind is processing information that you employ in the same manner as a magician engages the receiver’s perception, attention, and awareness.
As the series is about how to assure the quality of an experience from a narrative perspective beyond structures and templates, there are two recent structures that I haven´t mentioned yet that we will have to pass as to access the narrative from a cognitive perspective.
I wonder if you remember the feeling that slowly came over you when you wrote what would become your last letter to Santa? If you have never written to Santa or, you are still writing, maybe you have the experience of buying a lottery ticket and is thus able to recognise the feeling of doubt when questioning your beliefs, intentions, and desires, as to why you are putting hopes into something you know won’t correspond to your desires? The feeling I´m trying to describe is the same I have every time I return to science in matters that concern the narrative, which is complicated, to say the least. So in January, I decided to settle the relationship, with the same confidence I had when writing my last letter to Santa I wrote my last words to science in my text “Are you a man or a mouse.”
Based on a question on how to use the narrative in the testing of an experience I will explain what it means to have a cognitive approach to the narrative and how to approach a quality assurance from a narrative perspective beyond templates and strong structures.
Don´t get confused if you recently heard me wishing you a great summer and then I pop up again. But the other day when a teacher asked me if I knew “gamification” I just couldn´t resist making another post.
Thus the reality for they who work with narrative construction within the game industry is to work with a story-driven/based genre I will revisit the conditions I described in the first part of the series “Don´t show, involve” when I paired up the writer Vince Gilligan (creator of the television series “Breaking Bad”) and the game designer Jenova Chen (the creator of the online game “Journey”). Since the story and the gameplay are seen as two separate elements within the game industry, which easily leads to the creation of two premises to be merged into one (1) form I will take a closer look at dialogues as a stylistic element from the perspective of the narrative as a cognitive and dynamic element and how it can give meaning to an experience.
What differs our thinking from animals is that we can create meanings based on beliefs, desires, and dreams. What it means in practice is that we can have a dream about an adventure and start building a boat and create a meaning that motivates our actions. We can also stand on a carpet and pretend it´s a boat and share the experience with others by creating a meaning that makes others join in. But due to the conflicting currents between the church and science during the Enlightenment everything relating to our ability to imagine was put aside in order to study nature. In this way, our creation of meaning based on beliefs, desires, and dreams, together with stories that were seen as a carrier of fantasies and illusions, and where the narrative became the scapegoat to all creations that didn´t correspond to reality, bundled off away from science and labeled with the sign saying “disbelief”.