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How narrative techniques affect players' engagement in action RPG Dark Souls II
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Game Design.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The purpose of the study was to get a better understanding of how players’ engagement is affected by the narrative techniques which are used in the game Dark Souls II. The four most prominent narrative techniques that were analyzed in Dark souls II were cutscenes, item descriptions, NPC’s and environmental storytelling.

Qualitative and Quantitative data was collected in a questionnaire that was posted on the forum/ “subreddit” Dark souls II. The answers from 100 questionnaires were analyzed using content analysis methodology.

It could be concluded in this thesis that narrative techniques that interfere with the players sense of freedom will reduce their engagement within the game. An example in Dark souls II is when the player is forced to summon NPC’s to boss fights in order to progress in the NPC’s storyline. This also works the other way around: i.e. the player experiences increased engagement if the narrative techniques allow the player to decide over their own actions. An example in Dark Souls II is when the player is given the opportunity to kill friendly NPC’s.

Abstract [sv]

Syftet med denna studie var att få en bättre förståelse för hur spelarens engagemang påverkas av de narrativa tekniker som används i spelet Dark Souls II. De fyra mest framstående narrativa tekniker som identifierades i Dark Souls II var Cutscenes, föremålsbeskrivningar, NPC’s och miljöberättande.

Kvalitativ och kvantitativa data samlades genom en enkät som lades upp på Dark Souls II forum/ ”subreddit”. Svaren från 100 deltagare tolkades med koder samt kategorier genom metodologin innehållsanalys.

I denna studie kunde det konstateras att narrativa tekniker som negativt påverkar spelarens frihet, kommer reducera deras engagemang i spelet. Detta noterades bland annat när spelare var tvungna att kalla på NPC’s till bossfighter för att kunna fortsätta denna NPC’s uppdrag. Det angavs även att detta fungerade åt andra hållet, när spelarens förmåga att kunna ta egna beslut tilläts så ökade även spelarens engagemang i spelet. Detta noterades i spelmekaniken att spelaren bland annat tilläts döda fredliga NPC’s.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 33
Keywords [en]
Narrative techniques, Dark Souls II, Engagement in games, Cutscenes, Item descriptions, NPC, Environmental storytelling, games
Keywords [sv]
Narrativa tekniker, Dark Souls II, Engagemang I spel, Filmsekvenser, föremålsbeskrivningar, NPC’s, miljöer, berättande, spel
National Category
Design
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-355846OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-355846DiVA, id: diva2:1231201
Educational program
Game Design and Graphics
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Examiners
Available from: 2018-07-20 Created: 2018-07-05 Last updated: 2018-07-20Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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