"The first secret is “story.” When I say story I am not talking about a linear…"

“The first secret is “story.” When I say story I am not talking about a linear “once upon a time” type story. I am talking about an all encompassing notion, a “big picture” idea of the world that is being creating. A set of rules that will guide, the design and the project team to a common goal. It is this first step that will insure the created world will be seamless. If you are creating a game or attraction based on, let’s say “pirates”, you’ll need to play your audiences expectation like a violin. You want to pamper them by fulfilling every possible expectation of what it must be like to be a pirate. Every texture you use, every sound you play, every turn in the road should reinforce the concept of “pirates!” If you successfully establish a strong enough “story” early on in your design process, you will have little trouble keeping your team focused.”

Gamasutra – Features – Environmental Storytelling: Creating Immersive 3D Worlds Using Lessons Learned from the Theme Park Industry