From Hunt the Wumpus to EverQuest: Introduction to Quest Theory

Espen J. Aarseth

Research output: Conference Article in Proceeding or Book/Report chapterArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


The paper will explore how the landscape types and the quest types are used in various games, how they structure the gameplay, how they act as bones for the game-content (graphics, dialogue, sound) and how they sometimes form the base on which a story is imposed and related to the player. The question then becomes, how does the quest structure influence the story structure? How do the limitations of the quest combinations limit the kinds of story that are possible? How rich can the imposed story be, without breaking the gameplay? Are landscape and quest-structure the dominant factors in quest game design, to which the story-ambitions must defer? The main thesis of the paper is that if we understand the powerful but simple structure - the grammar - of quests (how they work, how they are used) we can understand both the limits and the potential of these kinds of games.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEntertainment Computing - ICEC 2005
EditorsFumio Kishino, Yoshifumi Kitamura, Hirokazu Kato, Noriko Nagata
Number of pages11
Publication date2005
Publication statusPublished - 2005
EventEntertainment Computing - ICEC 2005: 4th International Conference - Sanda, Japan
Duration: 19 Sept 200521 Sept 2005


ConferenceEntertainment Computing - ICEC 2005
SeriesLecture Notes in Computer Science


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