I started getting into voice, because I was interested in the possibilities of voice as an intuitive Input for games - and I enjoy the challenge of designing for a relatively new medium. So I started to think about what would work well with voice.
What I came up with was:
- It needs to be easy to discern what choices exist
- Because all output is narration, there needs to be a lot of character in the voice
With that in mind I came up with the basic concept for A stubborn Tale. An unreliable narrator would have a lot of personality, could create great humor and would have many possibilities to play with the players urge to make free choices.
The concept is inspired by games like: THERE IS NO GAME, Stanley Parable and Kings Quest
What it does
A stubborn Tale a choose your own adventure. Based on the narration the player can choose her way through the story. The game plays with the players urge to make free choices and uses it to create interesting and funny situations.
How I built it
I build the story in Voiceflow. It features:
- New content any time the player returns
- Loops where the player can stay in a situation until it escalates (Negotiating with the narrator)
- A custom analytics tool, that allows seeing the paths that users take in the story
Challenges I ran into
In the beginning it was a challenge to let users know, when it is their turn to make a choice and that they can contradict the narrator. I solved this by making the possibilities of contradicting in the tutorial very obvious and appealing.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
I am proud of the diversity of situations, that players can play and of the genuine smiles of people when they contradict the narrator.
What I learned
I learned many things about storytelling and voice experience design:
- How many different ways there are to say even something simple like "yes"
- How to hint at choices for the player without just listing them
- How important pauses in the narration are for humor and comedic timing
What's next for A stubborn Tale
If A stubborn Tale is a little successful I would love to create more stubborn tales. Maybe add chapters and interaction to this one or create a Rogue Like version, where the story has randomly generated elements.
With the "Entwicklerschwert" (Developers-Sword) players can support the development of A stubborn Tale if they like it. Similar to supporting a project on patron. In addition to that and as a thank you, the Sword unlocks 5 new sequences in the game (when ever the player fights) and one new ending. The upsell is made after the second and the sixth play through, when it is evident that the player enjoyed the story. The Developers-Sword is a consumable, so that players can buy multiple ones if the like to give more support.
You can buy the Developers-Sword by saying "Entwicklerschwert kaufen" at any point in the story. Here is how to get to all sequences that are unlocked by the Developers-Sword (sorry only in German):
- Durch die linke Tür gehen und in der Schatzkammer gegen den Drachen kämpfen
- Durch die mittlere Tür gehen, nach unten fliehen und dann hoch zu den Spinnen gehen
- Durch die mittlere Tür gehen, weiter bis in die Bibliothek und den Buchlindwurm angreifen
- Durch die linke Tür gehen, den Prinzen heiraten und nicht knien
- Durch die linke Tür gehen, den Prinzen heiraten und knien