Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!
@sewblon, dammit, I was going to counter you but then I realized that in an earlier episode they pointed out that stories often suck when the writers are brought in too late to the design process. I guess this video implies that bringing the writing team too early into the design process is also bad.
So I suppose there's a sweet spot where the writing is brought in that makes the most of the story.
Oh, but I do have an example of mechanics telling the story. Fallout 3, and probably 1 and 2. This will probably be an example you with shoot down with great skill and finesse but here goes.
At its best and most canon, Fallout is a game set in a post apocolyptic wasteland. Fallout 3 was a first person game but lacking shooter elements. Surviving the game meant using the character's abilities and developed skill points to gather supplies and weapons and live longer. You aren't a super soldier with regenerating health that can hide behind a wall and be back in the fight (although instant health back break that).
Your guns and ammo aren't fresh off the line in Kansas. They are leftovers and remnants buried in trash and refuse. You never find one in perfect condition (damn uniques, proving me wrong) and will often spend a lot of time repairing (in a broken repair system) and parts to keep them working.
No mass produced clothing (but repeated models)
People are few and far between (except when they respawn)
All these things tell the story almost as well as the cutscenes and the backstory. If these mechanics weren't good at telling the story (or fucked up more than they did) then playing the game would break the suspension of disbelief we have when we play (playing with a wikia open in one window will do the same).