Check out my fiction -
Check out my science fiction series - The Fall of the Altairan Empire

Monday, July 26, 2010

It's the story that counts

And yet again it has been brought home that when everything else is stripped away, the story is what really counts.

We had a discussion at work the other day about this. One of our simulators, the newest and shiniest one with the best gadgets and gizmos, isn't doing so well with camper ratings. We were surprised. Don't kids love touch screens and cool gadgets and settings? As it turns out, yes, they do, but they want a better story. The flight director realized that her story left the captain with no choice. They were railroaded during the whole mission. The bad guys always had the drop on the crew. They never felt in control. With some minor reworking, she changed the story to give the captain more control of decisions. Her scores went up.

At work, we run "choose your own adventure" stories that are carefully designed to get the crew to choose what we want them to choose. It's a lot like being GM for a sci-fi role-playing game.

But as we've proven yet again, it isn't the special effects or the props or the costumes that really count. It's the story.

Now if only Hollywood could figure that out.


  1. Ah, that's so true. I've heard that your space camp is super fun!

  2. I can see that. People want to get lost in a great story first. The shiny things get dull quick otherwise.

  3. I have to keep telling the teenage flight directors that shiny and loud are not necessarily good. Those that get good scores have learned this lesson. Tell a good story, the rest is just support to make the story better.

    And the camp is lots of fun. I'm just burned out after a summer of them.

  4. I'd love to see all the new, cool things at the space center! I haven't been in about 15 years. :)

    And it's so true about the story-- no matter how cool everything else in the novel is, if the story doesn't work, the book doesn't work!

  5. And in movies, space center missions, RPG sessions, etc, etc. Story is important, the rest is just support for the story.


Keep it clean, keep it nice.