. Pretty great little article, and one game designers would be well-advised to pay attention to. Too often, they forget the basics:
# First, there's a protagonist, a hero.
# His or her world is thrown out of order by an inciting incident. (Look at the sabotaged dope deal in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City for a good example of this.)
# A gap opens up between the hero and an orderly life.
# The hero tries the normal, conservative action to overcome the gap. It fails. The world pushes back too hard.
# The hero then has to take a risk to overcome the obstacles that are pushing back.
# Then there is a reversal. Something new happens, or the hero learns something she didn't know before, and the world is out of whack again. A second gap has opened up.
# The hero has to take a greater risk to overcome the second gap.
# After overcoming the second gap, there is another reversal, opening a third gap.
# The hero has to take the greatest risk of all to overcome this gap and get to that object of desire, which is usually an orderly life.