Now, as video games become more and more focused on storytelling, their narrative structure becomes more and more like movies and books. And one thing I've learned in my novel writing classes is that the hardest part of a story to write is the middle. And that's a fair assessment. I mean, in the beginning, you have that initial excitement pushing you through all that writing crap, and whatever you end up writing during that fit of inspiration is golden. In the end, you have the feeling of "I'm almost done!" pushing you onward to completion. In fact, if you are an outliner of any kind, your outline probably consists of a beginning and an ending. The middle is that awkward place where you have to figure out how to connect the two.
So what is Sony's plan as far as this tablet thing is concerned?
Too many storytellers get lost in the middle of their stories. It's a road bump every storyteller will eventually stumble over. But I think this bump is far more pronounced in video game storytelling than it is in other forms of storytelling. You see, video game writers have reviewers like me who say, "This game was great, but it only took me five hours to complete," as if that's a terrible thing. I mean, you certainly wouldn't hear something like that from a film critic. I mean, try to find a review for The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King that complains about the movie not being long enough. If you do find one, whoever wrote it is probably insane.
But game developers are forced to fluff out the middles of their stories to extend that playtime and make us reviewers have to work extra hours before writing our reviews.
Now, if you were paying attention, you probably remember me saying something about how there's something developers can do to nudge players to finish their games. I haven't forgotten about that. You see, the trick is in making a good middle. A video game needs to be like a Double-Stuffed Oreo in a sense, with a ton of delicious crème filling wedged between two tasty chocolate wafers. Actually, that simile only makes sense if you eat Oreos in a sequential sequence that begins with one wafer and ends with the other. And no one does that. Except for weirdos. So let me ditch that whole comparison to just say that you have to make the middle interesting. That's my advice. It's vague, I know, but take it to heart, developers.
My prediction: I hardly feel the need to make a prediction here. I mean, statistically, you're probably not going to read it anyway, right?
Editor / News Director
Date: June 28, 2012
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central. This week's is also purely a work of fiction*