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Game On: Energize Your Business with Social Media Games by Jon Radoff

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Chapter 9

Using Storytelling to Understand Your Design Objectives

In this Chapter, you’ll learn:

  • How to create player narratives that capture the essence of the fun in your game
  • How to use the tools of myths to enhance your games and keep players coming back for more
  • How to extract lists of goals and features from abstract ideas
  • Suggestions for brainstorming and refining your stories

An ancient tale tells us that the king of Persia, betrayed by his first wife, set out to take revenge against all women by marrying a virgin each night and beheading her in the morning. A brave woman named Scheherazade, appalled by the slaughter, offered herself as a bride to the king, hoping she might end these deaths or die herself in the effort.

Scheherazade had learned countless stories of people and old rulers, and had studied art and poetry. Her plan was simple: to begin telling the king a story each night—but finish only the following day. This way, she avoided the king’s fury for a thousand and one nights, during which time she bore the king three children. Transformed by hearing all the tales, the king spared her life and made her his queen (see Figure 9-1).

The legend of Scheherazade is first and foremost a tale about a woman’s courage in the face of brutality—but it also is an endorsement of the power of stories. As a social media game designer, your challenge is not unlike Scheherazade’s: You must engage players in a way that keeps them coming back day after day, never fully satisfied, ...

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