State of Decay: Breakdown – A Narrative Experiment!

One of the first video game related things I wrote, a review for a local magazine, was about State of Decay (which you can still read here). I love this game, I’ve loved the DLC (for all that it dragged on a little) and I still play it on a regular basis. It isn’t the story I love, in fact the story is not very good, it won’t win any prizes for either narrative innovation or pacing, but that doesn’t matter. State of Decay is a sandbox, if ever the word was appropriate, and tying to shoehorn in a narrative when the entire game is so dependent on the player’s way of experiencing it can only fail.


But the game is fun, tense, hard and genuinely enjoyable! I treat it like I do an Elder Scrolls title, where the world is there to be explored and the narrative is only in place to let the player know when they might have finished the thing.

So, I’m using it as the base to try something new, something I’ve wanted to attempt for a long time but have never really been able to either find the time for or find the willpower to finish.

I’m playing the State of Decay: Breakdown DLC, on Steam (which was a recent purchase of mine, I always played on the 360 before), and I’m going to write a story out of it. I already have the first few pieces written, the work of several hours and a lot of screenshots, and I hope the blend of gameplay and narrative will work. Think of it, perhaps, as a machinima without the skill of machinimation (is that a word? It should be!) and more of an excuse of me to play to my strengths (or what I believe are my strengths).

So, the first part will be up later today and I hope you’ll find it enjoyable!

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