Procedural storytelling is exploding the possibilities of video game narratives


Procedural stories in video games often induce a specific kind of delight. You'll know when it hits -- a realization that the code and algorithms of the game seem to be generating a coherent narrative from your own impulsive, seemingly chaotic actions. It's what 2020's viral sensation Blaseball and this year's breakout indie hit, Wildermyth, share in common -- two strikingly different games whose reactive stories are nevertheless cut from the very same cloth. Players have grown accustomed to procedural generation in a spatial sense. Just look at the endless variations of levels that define games such as Hades in the ever-popular rogue-like genre and the infinite planets that populate the virtual universe of 2016's No Man's Sky.

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