Inside the digital spaces of video games, the smallest details can tell the biggest stories.
This can sometimes feel contrary to the ever-increasing scope of video games. By design, games are explosive, built to give room for players to explore and exist. In order to add context to these pixel playgrounds, many developers often turn to one of the oldest tricks in the game design book: flavor text.
Flavor text is an agent of video game minutia. With humble origins that can be traced back to card-based and traditional role-playing games, flavor text refers to written descriptions that add color to a game world, like descriptions of items in your inventory menu, or the little blurbs that sometimes appear on loading screens. It’s one of the most simplistic and effective tools available when it comes to bringing a game’s world to life. Subtle, unobtrusive, and a reward for the astute video game explorer, flavor text has aided in making many of the best video games more immersive than it’s often given credit for.