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May 06, 2011


Dark Acre Jack

That's the first time I've heard of the term 'story game'. At first I thought you meant 'interactive fiction' but then I checked some of the titles you cited and yeah, my circle's always referred to those as RPGs or TRPGs (tabletop).

Justin Alexander

I'd go with storytelling games and they can suck it. The mechanics of their games are about narrative control, which is aptly summarized by the term "storytelling game".

Once Upon a Time is also a storytelling games. (Its mechanics are about narrative control.)

Dixit is not, even if its rules do include a "storyteller". (There is no narrative and none of the mechanics are focused on controlling the telling of a story.)

Similarly, Vampire: The Masquerade isn't a storytelling game either -- even if it also features a storyteller.

Yes, the nomenclature is somewhat confused. But that's no reason to confuse it further by insisting that their apples be called oranges because they're both round.


I don't think your apples/oranges metaphor quite hits it - really I'm saying "Hey, I dig fuji apples, strawberries, blueberries and tangerines, and it would be nice if there was a name for whatever that je ne sais quois was that these fruit share, and I thought maybe it was 'sweet fruit' but then I remembered, hey, watermelon is sweet and I'm not crazy about it...and blueberries aren't that sweet. So maybe I should just talk about the individual fruit instead of trying to define and categorize."

Also, D&D and Vampire have narrative rules too: the player's always allowed to narrate what their character is thinking and what they try to do, for example. And in 3e & 4e the DM is limited in what they can narrate about your character without jumping through various mechanical hoops first.


I just had this problem when trying to write about the styles, my solution was to put a * next to the words story game and rpg and then explained what I meant with specific games in the foot notes.

Also, I want to play Toon. I felt bad I could not talk about it with warren.

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Jamie's Bragging Rights

  • Spider-Man 2
    The best superhero games of all time Game Informer
    Top five games of all time Yahtzee Croshaw
    Top five superhero games of all time MSNBC
    Top 100 PS2 games of all time Official Playstation 2 Magazine
    1001 Games You Must Play Before You Die Nomination for Excellence in Gameplay Engineering Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences
  • Schizoid
    Penny Arcade PAX 10 Award
    Nominated for XBLA Best Original Game
    Nominated for XBLA Best Co-Op Game