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Chris Crawford on Game Design by Chris Crawford

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Backstory

From earliest times, computer games were provided with a backstory, the dramatic context in which the game takes place. This was often presented in part on the back of the game box and fully presented at the beginning of the manual. “The evil Klogg empire has sent its squadrons of Death Fighters to attack Earth. All resistance has been overcome save for a single Earth Fighter; now it's your job to stop the Kloggs!” This was followed by the now-standard line, “The fate of humanity is at stake!” Gee, with stakes like that, who could resist? Unfortunately, the reality of the game always fell far below the promise of the box. Its cover might show a muscled man fighting off dastardly monsters while a woman equipped with physiologically impossible ...

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