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GameCareerGuide Feature: Game Narrative Review - Lost Odyssey

In the first in a new series for GameCareerGuide, Xbox 360 RPG Lost Odyssey gets an in-depth narrative analysis -- with an examination of characters, situations, an
In the first in a new series for GameCareerGuide, Xbox 360 RPG Lost Odyssey gets an in-depth narrative analysis -- with an examination of characters, situations, and what worked and what did not. The submission was originally written for a contest at GDC Austin: "Working in conjunction with prestigious programs such as DigiPen, The Guildhall and RIT, the board -- including game narrative professionals such as Susan O'Connor, Lev Chapelsky, Tom Abernathy, Dana Fos, and Richard Dansky -- has challenged students to produce in-depth analyses of the narrative elements of their favorite video games." The first entry takes a look at Microsoft Game Studios / Mistwalker / Feelplus' 2008 RPG title, Lost Odyssey, which featured scenario design overseen by Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi. Says Bryant Wood, the student taking a look at the game, "The narrative of Lost Odyssey is a must-experience work. The narrative path is nodal, with one main storyline that includes multiple side stories that can be explored, all winding back to the main plot." "The main narrative of Lost Odyssey has no direct interaction with the player. There is no chance for the player to change the structure or any outcome of the story. Any taken multiple paths bring you back to where you were before venturing down the new path, your reward being exposition. The player's only true role is to move the story along, to reach the next cut scene or dream sequence. While this removes potential from Lost Odyssey, the story has been designed in a nostalgic style accepting of this non-interaction of the player. Cutscenes have been designed to leave the player wanting to know more of the tale, rather than wanting the player to take control of the story." The dissection takes in elements such as how gameplay and narrative support each other, critical reception to the game's story, and lessons that developers can learn from examining how the game's narrative works. You can read Bryant Wood's entire analysis, 'Game Narrative Review: Lost Odyssey', today on GameCareerGuide, Gamasutra's education-focused sister site.

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