Bungie gave “Destiny 2” a Weekly Storyline that cannot be Miss
In its seventh year, the writers of hit science fiction war game “Destiny 2” have executed—and mastered — the ability to tell players a fascinating, verbose story that advances step by step.
Why it matters: Storytelling in games is regularly an afterthought, yet two of the game’s lead writers let Axios know that one of their keys to progress has been the narrative team’s work with the remainder of the game’s creators.
- “It’s particularly a collaborative exertion,” senior narrative lead Julia Nardin said, citing brainstorming meetings with the franchise and configuration teams as well as “the remainder of creative leadership.”
Between the lines: Bungie maps its seasons out in yearlong pieces, choosing what characters and story arcs will play out across the year’s four seasons.
- Seasons are ascribed topics, like Season of the Splicer’s “hacker fantasy,” or the ebb and flow Season of the Lost’s emphasis on otherworldliness as well as narrative subjects of broken familial trust, according to Bungie senior narrative originator Nikko Stevens.
- The writers highlight “Destiny 2’s” thirteenth season, which ran from February through May, as the one wherein they nailed a verbose model that Nardin compares to “checking out a TV show each week.”
- That purported Season of the Chosen started off with a peace treaty, prompted an assassination attempt and then, at that point, a major climax, all presented through a blend of playable activities, audio records and message reports that were given out to players step by step.
The two seasons since Chosen have followed a similar cadence.
- “I think we have it down to a science, and we’re really certain and comfortable with the way that we’re handling things,” Nardin said.
- In any case, she notes, “while we have a formula that’s functioning admirably for us, that doesn’t mean we will not switch it up to keep things new.”
Bungie’s effective implementation of weekly narrating in “Destiny 2” has been accompanied by a more intricate in-game perspective, one where a few members of adversary alien species have demonstrated agreeable, and the actions of the player and their allies have been called out.
- “What we’ve attempted to do is show that not all of the adversaries are bad and not every person in the Last City is acceptable,” Nardin said, alluding to the player’s base of operations.
- An example of these changes: the adversary faction “The Fallen” is currently regularly alluded to as “The Eliksni,” the word it utilizes for itself. That’s happened as players have been shown the Eliksni’s viewpoint of the game’s continuous struggle and even experienced Eliksni war exiles.
Bungie is one of only a handful of exceptional game studios whose leadership is noticeably political and obviously comprehensive, however the writers zeroed in additional on in-game reasons for this advancement.
- The war between the game’s saint factions and PC controlled foes had started as a us versus them, Stevens said.
- “Everything is bright black and white and the sense resembled, ‘We’re being attacked, we’re safeguarding ourselves. That’s an exceptionally easy thing to pass on. In any case, as clashes go on, you sort of start to hit these trenches of nuance where choices should be made about things that aren’t so simple.”
- “We were definitely having conversations about, ‘how might we do this universe equity and paint with all the tones in the palette that we’ve created throughout the last six or seven years,'” Nardin said.
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What’s next: The writing team is well into chipping away at the following year’s batch of seasons.
- While each season is secured as it begins, player feedback can impact future ones.
- The character Crow was showcased more in the current year’s later seasons because fans reacted to him well in November 2020’s Season of the Hunt.