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While writing for straight, linear media like films or novels requires certain skills, writing for video games requires a whole new set of skills. Writers need to contend with overlapping stories, different conclusions based on different actions taken by the player. It's challenging to create compelling digital storylines - and writers need help.In video games, highly interactive stories are the way of the future, but what really makes a story interactive? What's the best way to create an interactive story? How much control should players be given? Do players really want that control in the first place? Do they even know what they really want, or are their stated desires at odds with their unconscious preferences?All these questions and more are examined, carefully explained, and answered in this definitive book on interactive storytelling for video games. Features include clear and detailed descriptions of all major types of interactive stories, case studies of popular games (including Animal Crossing, Bioshock, Braid, Chrono Trigger, Donkey Kong, Fable, Fallout, Final Fantasy, Grand Theft Auto, Heavy Rain, Kingdom Hearts, Mass Effect, Metal Gear Solid, The Sims, World of Warcraft) and how players interact with them, notes from notable writers and game designers, and an in-depth analysis of the results of a national survey on player storytelling preferences in games. Game writers will get the expert advice they need to generate compelling and original game concepts and narratives for games. Learn what makes a story interactive mainly: how to allow your players to interact with your story and affect the outcomes. Explore popular styles and genres of games for of interactive storytelling (RPGs, Online Games, First person shooters, and more). Create effective, original concepts and story lines with key components in mind: structure, process, characters, player desire, outcome. *GOLD* for writers: Learn about what players want , what they expect, and how to create true and compelling player-driven experience - from case studies and interviews. Case studies and interviews from the game writers themselves on developing interactive stories that deliver on their promise from TOP SELLING GAMES including: Animal Crossing, Bioshock, Braid, Chrono Trigger, Donkey Kong, Fable, Fallout, Final Fantasy, Grand Theft Auto, Heavy Rain, Kingdom Hearts, Mass Effect, Metal Gear Solid, The Sims, World of Warcraft. Associated web site with: links to movies, web sites, game writer discussion boards and mailing lists. Additional research data from the studies conducted on game storytelling preferences. Valuable power point lectures for professors for each chapter of the book.