What do The Witcher 3 and South Park have in common? Story structure, and it’s what makes CD Projekt’s Red’s latest release so compelling.
The Witcher 3 follows the same storytelling technique as South Park. That is, the therefore/but structure, as explained by South Park co-creator Trey Parker in the video above. Basically, that means every scene, be it from a movie, game, or book, should be logically connected by a “therefore” or a “but”. That way, each successive scene is the outcome of the one before it. Everything makes sense.
The video explains how The Witcher 3 uses this structure to quickly engage players and to give its side quests more meaning than a boring fetch-quest. It’s a simple way to make the optional content exciting in a game full of it.
Other games struggle with this basic structure and players often get bored or don’t get much meaning out of the events. In The Witcher 3, each side quest nicely dovetails with the game’s broader conflict.
And all it does is introduce conflict and resolution to each scene–the heart of all good stories. It’s no surprise that South Park uses this to drive its storytelling, especially on the tight schedule it has as a television show.