Quests : Design, Theory, and History in Games and Narratives book cover
2nd Edition

Quests
Design, Theory, and History in Games and Narratives




  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after April 28, 2022
ISBN 9780367686048
April 28, 2022 Forthcoming by A K Peters/CRC Press
222 Pages 74 Color & 7 B/W Illustrations

USD $54.95

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Book Description

Combining theory and practice, this updated new edition provides a complete overview of how to create deep and meaningful quests for games. It uses the Unity game engine in conjunction with Fungus and other free plugins to provide an accessible entry into quest design.

The book begins with an introduction to the theory and history of quests in games, before covering four theoretical components of quests: their spaces, objects, actors, and challenges. Each chapter also includes a practical section, with accompanying exercises and suggestions for the use of specific technologies for four crucial aspects of quest design:

• level design

• quest item creation

• NPC and dialogue construction

• scripting

This book will be of great interest to all game designers looking to create new, innovative quests in their games. It will also appeal to new media researchers, as well as humanities scholars in the fields of mythology and depth-psychology that want to bring computer-assisted instruction into their classroom in an innovative way.

The companion website includes lecture and workshop slides, and can be accessed at: www.designingquests.com

Table of Contents

A Note on the Second Edition of Quests
Preface
The Audiences of this Book
This Book’s Structure
Four Techniques for Making Better Quests

CHAPTER ONE: PART I.: DEFINITIONS, THEORIES, AND HISTORIES OF QUESTS

Quests as a Bridge Between Games and Narratives

Literary Definitions of Quests

Moving Past the Ludology and Narratology Debate

Quests, Games, and Interpretation

The History and Theory of Quest Narratives

Campbell, the Hero’s Journey, and Quests

Northrop Frye

W. H. Auden

Vladimir Propp

Narrative Structures Become Activities in Games

The History of Quest Games

Tabletop Role-Playing Games: Dungeons and Dragons

Text-Based Interactive Fictions: Adventure and Zork

Graphical Adventure Games: King’s Quest

Action-Adventure Games: Adventure (Atari ) and The Legend of Zelda

Computer Role-Playing Games

Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games

Indie Quests

Enacted Meaning, Meaningful Action

A Spectrum of Quests

Meaning as Initiation

Meaning as Narrative

Thematic Meaning

Designing Meaningful Action

The Virtue System in Ultima IV

Correspondences in Morrowind and Eternal Darkness

Allegory and Avatars

CHAPTER ONE, PART II: BEGINNING QUEST DESIGN

A Sample Exercise and Design Document:

Sir Gawain’s Quest

Sir Gawain Design Document

A. Constructing the Spaces of the Quest Through Level Design

B. Setting the Stages of the Quest through Journal Updates

C. Making the Objects Through Quest Items

D. Designing the Challenges of the Quest Through Scripting

Introduction to Quest Design Exercises:

Exercise .: Overall Quest Flow

Exercise .: Objects of the Quest

Exercise .: Spaces of the Quest

Exercise .: Characters of the Quest

Game Engines, Middleware, Construction Sets, and Level Editors

Tutorial .: Install Unity, Install Fungus, and Build a Flowchart

CHAPTER TWO, PART I: THE SPACES OF THE QUEST

Technique One for Making Better Quests: Design labyrinthine, dream-like, and surreal spaces

Goal-Oriented Spaces

Tiered and Leveled Spaces

Outward Movement

Quest Hubs, Strands, and Initiatory Space

Dungeons and Labyrinths

Allegorical Spaces

Dream Spaces

Spaces and Avatars

CHAPTER TWO, PART II: LEVEL DESIGN

Tutorial .: (Spaces of the Quest/Level Design): Building a Quest Space with a Modular Kit

Optional but convenient sub-step:

Tutorial .: Mini-map and compass

Exercise .: Building the Green Knight’s Castle

Exercise .: Designing an Allegorical Core

Exercise .: Constructing Quest Hubs

Exercise .: Building the Quest Spaces for a Dragon Battle

CHAPTER THREE, PART I: THE CHARACTERS OF THE QUEST

Technique Two for Making Better Quests: Develop iconic characters who motivate quests and offer choices for their outcome.

Quest Characters and Archetypes

(Jungian and Post-Jungian)

Propp’s Dramatis Personae

Quest Characters and Tarot

Encounters and Dialogue

CHAPTER THREE, PART II: NPC CREATION AND DIALOGUE TREES

Tutorial .: Creating a custom character

Exercise .: Writing Quest Dialogue

CHAPTER FOUR, PART I:THE OBJECTS OF THE QUEST

Technique Three for Making Better Quests: Construct symbolic objects that reveal portions of a fragmented story.

Symbolic Quest Items

Objects in the Souls Games

The Tattoos in Planescape: Torment

Quest Objects in Invisible Sun

Propp and the Absent Object

Hitchcock and the McGuffin

Object-Oriented Programming and the Lore of Quest Items

The Rod of Many Parts

Conclusion

CHAPTER FOUR, PART II: DESIGNING QUEST ITEMS

Tutorial .: Object Creation Tutorial

Exercise .: Lady Bertilak’s Girdle

Exercise .: Multiple Quest Objects

Exercise .: The Bed of Marvels

Importing Custom Items

Modeling Custom Items

Exercise .: Designing Your Own Objects

CHAPTER FIVE, PART I: THE CHALLENGES OF THE QUEST AND QUEST SYSTEMS

Technique Four for Making Better Quests: Script challenges that allow players to enact meaning within the framework of the game’s rules.

Quest Flow, Quest Systems, and Scripting

Fetch Quests

Combat and Kill Quests

Escort Quests and Dungeon Crawls

Quest Systems

Main Quests and Side Quests

Quest UI and Quest Journal Systems

Quest Systems, Interlacing, and the Grail Saga

Scripting Ambiguity and Individual Interpretations

CHAPTER FIVE, PART II: SCRIPTING

Outlining Sir Gawain’s Quests to Prepare for Scripting them as Gameplay

Quest Challenges

Scripting and Quest Systems

Functions

Scripting Quests

Tutorial .: (Challenges of the Quest/Scripting): Creating a Quest Flowchart

Step One:

Step Two:

Step Three: Add conditional statements to the startQuestDialogue block.

Tutorial .: Scripting a Kill Quest

Tutorial .: Creating and Calling Additional Flowcharts to Build Quest Chains

Step One

Step Two

Step Three

Scripts Attached to Spaces

Scripting Triggers

Scripting Portals

Tutorial .: Creating a Portal in Unity

Step Four: Add a box collider and a rigidbody to the player object.

Scripts Attached to NPCs

Scripting Alignment and Faction

Scripts Attached to Objects

Puzzles and Interpretation in Quests

Scripting a Puzzle

Exercise .: Scripting Gawain’s Pentagram Puzzles

Exercise .: Scripting Five Kill Quests for Sir Gawain

Exercise .: Scripting Sir Gawain’s Trials with Lady Bertilak

CHAPTER SIX: QUESTS AND PEDAGOGY

Changes in Quest Pedagogy

Quest Design Workshop

Quest Design Workshop, Step One: Framing

Quest Design Workshop, Step One: Overall Quest Flow

Quest Design Workshop, Step Two: Quest Spaces

Quest Design Workshop, Step Three: Quest Characters

Quest Design Workshop, Step Four: Quest Objects

Quest Design Workshop, Step Five: Consolidation

Comparison Exercise: Adapting The Crying of Lot as a Quest

Conclusion: The Future(s) of Quest Design

Appendix One: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Books I and II
Historical Prologue
Book I: Christmas in Camelot
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Book II
Gawain's Journey
Christmas at a Strange Castle

Appendix Two: The Faerie Queen, Book One, Cantos XI and XII
EDITED WITH NOTES BY GEORGE ARMSTRONG WAUCHOPE, M.A., Ph.D. PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH IN THE SOUTH CAROLINA COLLEGE
CANTO XI
Notes to The Faerie Queen, Cantos XI and XII

Works Cited

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Author(s)

Biography

Jeff Howard is Senior Lecturer in the Games Academy at Falmouth University in Cornwall, where he specialises in occult, metal, and Gothic themes and mechanics in games.