Destiny 2 gained’t make the identical errors as D1, if Bungie’s story workforce has something to say about it.
For all of the expansions improved it, Destiny 2 follows on from a sport with a really badly-received story.
“There’re a lot of learnings that we’ve had: a well-structured story, a strong villain, and a focus on the player’s journey, right,” Bungie’s senior narrative lead Jason Harris mentioned throughout a latest roundtable interview on Destiny 2’s storytelling.
“You can take the sort of Joseph Campbell hero’s journey and remove the generic hero, and take each one of you and drop you into that. Focus on that, right? Focus on the player’s journey and the player’s story. This is very much a ‘chosen one’-type story.”
The result’s a really conventional online game story, during which the participant character appears to exist in a vacuum, as the one one who might probably save the world. It creates a dissonance with Destiny 2’s shared-worlds shooter gameplay that Bungie is clearly conscious of.
“This sort of gets into the philosophical questions on what’s golden path, what’s continuity, what is story, versus what is gameplay; where’s the line between the immersion side of it and the repetitious ritual side of just playing a game over and over again,” Harris mentioned.
In the primary marketing campaign, Bungie’s writing workforce “didn’t have a lot of room to dig into” the query of the place all the opposite Guardians are whereas the participant is getting on with saving the world. After a lot debate, it moved this fascinating story level out of the primary thread to someplace events can look into it in the event that they wish to.
“We do produce other story channels, whether or not it’s the quick tales and the adventures or the lore tab on among the weapons and the gear. That query is answered in one other channel. We have a narrative cause, however that story cause required one other channel to dig into it appropriately. So it’s there.
“We felt that in the interests of keeping the story focused on us and our player, and the player’s journey, that we didn’t want to bog that down.”
A robust villain
The participant character is a “lynch pin” – a “concentrated ingot of [the] theme [of] conflict and heroism”. Being the one one who can save the world offers the character the “momentum” they should rocket by means of Destiny 2’s story marketing campaign.
This momentum, or “godlike oomph”, is gathered over the rapid-paced marketing campaign in order that gamers are able to go face-to-face with antagonist Ghaul by the top of it.
“He kicked us down hard, he took alway our power, he kicked us off a spaceship from the atmosphere,” Harris mentioned.
“And we crawl right back through the muck and, you know, we go through all the gates and fight through all the monsters to build that sense of being worthy to face him.”
Following on from Skolas (House of Wolves) and Oryx (The Taken King), Ghaul is the “strong villain” referenced within the checklist of Bungie’s key story learnings for Destiny 2.
“We spent a lot of time developing Ghaul as a character – almost two years since the idea of him first popped up,” Harris mentioned.
“We simply saved iterating and iterating and iterating and iterating, digging into what his previous is likely to be, what he desires – what motivates him.
“In the course of trying to develop a three-dimensional relatable villain, we tried to use him as a means of magnifying the things that are most important to us as the player: the light, our powers, the traveller. When you have a villain who shares a common motivation and a common goal that the player has, I think that it generates organic and very deep conflict.”
Ghaul, who throws across the phrases “chosen” and “worthy” lots, has “delusions of godhood”. After he casts the participant down on the finish of the opening story mission, you gained’t see him once more till you’re worthy of going through him – though he does seem in cutscenes commonly to remind you what you’re aiming at.
“I think that by having some level of separation between them it elevates Ghaul to that level that’s sort of analogous to godhood,” Harris mentioned.
“And then we have to go right back up and scale the proverbial Mount Olympus to get to him.” (Perhaps our Destiny 2 information will make it easier to with that?)
Layers of story
The Red War story marketing campaign is simply one of many tales you’ll discover ready for you in Destiny 2. Bungie hasn’t tried to mix each story it wished to inform into one lengthy narrative, however has damaged them up into discrete items – which is why Strikes are now not a part of story questlines, for instance.
“The campaign’s the campaign, we have a nice big story. All the adventures are their own little short stories. The strikes are sort of like our novellas,” Harris mentioned.
“In our quest to infuse story into this sport, like nothing that had come earlier than on this franchise, we discovered that there have been quite a lot of tales that our writers desperately wished to inform, and we had alternatives and Strikes and Adventures exterior of the primary marketing campaign to inform these tales.
“The way we do stories now, like with the strikes, was an opportunity just to tell an isolated story in and of itself. That’s not to say it doesn’t plug back into the world – when we attack a Destination – my side of the attack, like attack it creatively, attack it narratively, we try to build a narrative for the world.”
With extra alternatives to inform shorter tales, Bungie is ready to place and choose up a a lot bigger variety of story hooks – which can imply pay offs on some long-awaited mysteries.
“Whether it’s from an activity to activity basis, an Adventure, a story mission, or the game story as a whole, I try to accomplish three things as it relates to continuity,” Harris mentioned.
“We attempt to reply questions from the previous, whether or not it’s a Toland story or an Osiris story or one thing like that, we search for alternatives to reply questions from the previous.
“We positively wish to resolve all our conflicts of the current. The battle of the current is the Red War, proper?
“And then we try to pose new questions for the future. We open windows that we can jump through in post-release content. So we are always looking backwards and we always have our eyes looking forward as well.”