Making Better Use of Framed Narratives in Games

Splitkick: Framed narratives have been in existence for thousands of years; in the art of video games, they’ve seen infrequent use but seem to be coming more into style of late. The concept is simple: a story within a story, like The Canterbury Tales or The Princess Bride. BioWare devoted a large part of their marketing campaign to the fact that Dragon Age 2 would rely on a framed narrative, which ended up being a failed experiment. Revisiting the Enhanced Edition of The Witcher 2 however, got me thinking about how to do framed narratives correctly in games, how to avoid overly cinematic presentations, and use the interactivity of this medium to great effect.

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