So lately I've been thinking. There's this old adage about movies: Show, don't tell. And there's a parallel one for video games: Do, don't show. Anyone who at least knowledgeable about video game storytelling is probably aware of these, or at least about the principles they espouse. For those who don't know, they mean that movies are not books, and also that games are not movies. In a book, the only way to convey information to the reader is by telling them, though text. One of the strongest elements of film-making is the potential to tell stories through visuals; instead of describing a picturesque landscape to a viewer, you could just show them, for example. One of the strongest elements of game-making is the potential to tell stories through interaction; look at Bioshock for a way to tell the history of your world entirely through the environment, and there are plenty of games that showcase how to make a game tell its story AROUND the player, and have it adapt. There are others that can tell it better than I, but there's the gist of it.
Basically, I have been thinking of how to incorporate these ideals into an RPG-type game. Specifically, one made in RPG maker-esque engines and such. As a fledgeling game designer/developer, I want to find ways to make games that are great, well, GAMES, not ones that would make better movies or books. For example, FF13 tried to tell its whole story and history through endless text and cutscenes, and that game got ripped to shreds by reviewers everywhere. Every Metal Gear game, despite how good or bad people think they are, are terrible examples of how to do video game storytelling; they each have hours of talking, reading, cutscenes, etc, and players never really PLAY the story.
I want to have many characters, and I want to develop them each, but I can't think of any effective ways (other than walls of text) to do so. I want to have a rich world loaded with history, and be able to immerse my players in it. I want to tell a story, but I want my players to actually PLAY it, not just read endless text.