Table ronde n°15 : La consommation du lore
Le sondage est visible sur le site officiel : What is your favorite way to consume the lore of EverQuest Next?
Résultats le 8 décembre 2013 :
|Quelle est votre façon préférée de dévorer les connaissances et les traditions d'EverQuest Next ?|
|Outside the game, such as on web sites; I prefer to spend my in-game time in action, not reading.||4%|
|Cut scenes bring the story to life, even if it does mean sitting and watching the show.||17%|
|I like in-game lore that I can reference later, such as stories in in-game books or a quest journal that I can read when I have some down time.||15%|
|I like the lore to be conveyed to me in real-time in the game, through quest dialog and other narration in small pieces while I adventure.||19%|
|A mix of the above!||45%|
Cette transcription de la vidéo provient du site EQ Hammer.
Omeed Dariani: Hi. My name’s Omeed Dariani. I’m the Senior Brand Manager for the EverQuest franchise. Welcome to the Round Table. With me today is Lead Content Designer Steve Danuser, and we’re here today talking about lore. And lore is an interesting topic because I feel like for a lot of people they feel like lore gets in the way of the game. Can you talk a little bit about that.
Steve Danuser: Yeah. I think that all of us are MMO players, and we’ve been kind of conditioned to just kind of accept that as I want to go through the world and play and have fun content to explore I have to click through dialog bubbles. Or I have to watch long cut scenes. And this has just kind of become the currency that we pay as MMO players. And we’re making a different kind of game, so we want to take a different approach to how story is told.
Omeed Dariani: So, no walls of text up front.
Steve Danuser: Right, right. There’s nothing that works as a barrier to stop you from the fun.
Omeed Dariani: Right. And so, our poll on this question was, “How do you like to consume the lore?” And I think that the answer was very interesting, because we saw very few people had one of the clear preferences. I think 4% of the people said they like it outside the game. 16% said cut scenes are great. But 46% at the time of recording say a mix. To me, what that says is that none of the ways we traditionally do this get us excited.
Steve Danuser: Yeah, I think that’s very fair. And it is one of those things where people’s opinions tended to get very strong when they think of games that give them a ton of cut scenes that they can’t click out of. Or walls of dialog bubbles--they don’t’ want those. But they’re okay with a mix of things. And these are all things that we want to keep on hand; they’re all tools in our storytelling toolbox. So, we certainly intend to make use of things like NPCs talking in the world or perhaps cut scenes showing you significant events that are playing out, but we don’t rely on those to get the story across for you. We want you to be exploring the world and have this very dynamic story that’s playing out. At the same time, we do have those avenues open that people enjoy, such as books in the world, and things out of game as well. Our fiction program has been a big success because of that.
Omeed Dariani: Can you talk a little bit about the fiction program?
Steve Danuser: We’ve worked with a group of authors who we’ve given kind of basic outlines and the history of the world. We’ve spent a lot of time building this back story for what’s going on in Norrath, and it’s significantly different from what you’ve experienced in other EverQuest games. So, drawing on that background, we’ve given our writers a lot of freedom to kind of create some new characters, explore older ones in new ways. And they’ve come up with some very interesting stories. We’ve released several of them through our app and through the website.
Omeed Dariani: So, what we’re really doing is we’re working together with a whole bunch of outside authors to flesh out that story. So it’s not like one guy in a room who just writes the whole thing, we get dozens and dozens of fresh takes on stuff.
Steve Danuser: Yeah. And we have a lot of different voices, even on our own narrative team. We all bring different aspects to it. And some of us are diehard EverQuest fans--I’ve been a player since the launch of EQ. Others of us are coming at it very fresh. And so we have a good balance of trying to take some things that are familiar and keep some of those things sacred and beautiful, and then taking fresh spins on some other things and going in new directions that haven’t been explored in the franchise before.
Omeed Dariani: How can we tell stories in a way that’s more compelling.
Steve Danuser: Right. While still serving those people who just want to jump in and have fun. These days especially, people have limited time to play these games. They have a certain window. We have families, we have obligations. So we want to be able to jump in the world and get the sense of a story that’s playing out around you that you can play a part in and help shape, but we don’t want to lock you down where your first 15 minutes are spent watching cut scenes or clicking bubbles. So, it’s this balancing act of creating this world that’s rich, that has deep stories, that you both have to figuratively and literally dig for, but there’s places--if you have that time and you’re the kind of player who loves the richness of lore--you can go to places in the world and you can explore the libraries of the Ashen Order, or you can go and find the writings of the Knights of Truth, and you can find those deep stories and histories and consume those as you want to. But for those players who just want to jump in and have some fun you can go into an area in the game and see action playing out around you. And that’s not something where you have to go into the village and get a quest and be sent out to find. Just by naturally exploring the world you come upon these events that are happening, these scenarios that are playing out.
Omeed Dariani: So, if there’s, say, orcs attacking a village, I don’t need a wall of text to explain what’s happening. I can run into that situation and I can make the choice as to what I want to do here. Do I want to intervene? Do I want to see how it’s going to play out? Do I just not care and move on to the next thing? And then, if I decide that I care, it’s really easy for me to find additional story about it in the aftermath.
Steve Danuser: Yeah, definitely. And that that ability to just jump in and be active right away is very important to us. The story’s playing out all around you, and you can see it growing and changing. And thanks to the AI that we’re going to have behind the game, the actions of the NPCs in the word-- those orcs aren’t there just for no reason, or they’re not statically there. They’re after something. And if you just want to jump in and stop them and save the villagers you can do that, but if you want to explore why they’re there and what they’re doing, those stories are threaded in there. You can follow those orcs back to their home base and see what’s going on.
Omeed Dariani: And kind of participate in them by changing the outcomes.
Steve Danuser: Absolutely. We fully expect that these stories that players are helping drive will play out differently across different servers, so players have the opportunity to move those pieces of story around in very tangible ways they haven’t been able to do in other games before.
Omeed Dariani: It’s funny; I haven’t spent tons and tons of time thinking about the problem of why I don’t care when I get that wall of text, but now that I’m thinking about it the problem is context, right? I don’t know the names of any of these people, or the locations, or anything that’s happening until I go, so why would I actually read about it? Getting that information in the context of the situation...that’s kind of how we do things in real life.
Steve Danuser: That’s how movies deliver information to you a lot of times. That’s how books drop you into the action and let you figure things out along the way. And that’s kind of the approach that we’re taking with the stories that are playing out in the world. At the same time, we make those deeper stories available to you. If you want to be the one who digs into the back story, maybe there’s this village and there’s a fiction piece about that that you can read and get some information on or, like I said, you can go to the libraries in game and find out stories about these characters. Maybe you’re fighting against this goblin warlord that’s invading this village for ancient artifacts. And you can find out what that story is and why he’s motivated to do that. Again, it’s not random--we’ve thought through all these things and given that deep story. We just don’t force it upon you as a gateway to having the fun.
Omeed Dariani: That’s awesome. So I think that for people who really want to see the deeper story, we have the fiction program, we’ll have the libraries and things in the game, lots of ways to get to it. What we really want to do is eliminate those barriers up front that feel like a tax on your time.
Steve Danuser: Right. Exactly.
Omeed Dariani: And so I think in the meantime the best thing that the folks out there can do is let us know what you think of the fiction. Read the novellas and the short stories that are going up on everquestnext.com. Give feedback to Steve, myself, and the rest of the team about what you want to see, what kinds of stories you like, and we will develop in that direction.
Steve Danuser: Yeah, definitely. We have this amazingly rich history, this tableau to draw on, and there’s no shortage of places we can tell stories about. So, seeing what the fans are liking, what resonates with them, really helps us guide the story program going forward.
Omeed Dariani: Thanks very much to Steve Danuser for joining us, and thank you guys for participating in the Round Table. We’ll see you again next week.