lounge.jpg For whatever reason, we don't really link The Escapist enough on GSW. We think maybe it's because each issue of the 'web magazine' feels more like a magazine than a website. Or something? But we've been reading The Escapist Lounge too, and a recent post about Jordan Mechner and storytelling on there caught our eye.

Blogger Will Hindmarch segues off a Jordan Mechner anecdote to ask the question: "Is exposition storytelling?", continuing: "How much essential exposition in video games gets lost because designers feel the need to obfuscate it with theatrics? I mean, that brief brutish primer on the Dagger in Sands never bothered me when I actually played the game; it told me what I needed to know, then went on its way. But how many games have we played where we got stuck because we weren't sure what we were supposed to be doing in this level or that?"

Hindmarch suggests: "The magnificent Grim Fandango was a headache for me because I was so often unsure just what the hell Manny was supposed to be doing half the time. (The environment in Grim Fandango was well worth wandering through, but my point remains.)" So... where's the balance between over-literal explanation and delightfully unguided exploration? And which games do this particularly well?