There’s a game that recently came out called Tyranny which has the best implemented lore system I’ve ever seen. Text boxes and dialogues occasionally have words in different colors. If you decide to hover over the word, or right click on it, another little box of writing will pop up explaining the lore of that word or phrase. Of course, there’s no way to do that with CS- but I love the way Tyranny implements lore into the game.
Working on a game currently m’self with a high level of gameworld lore to explain, I’m right now opting for a mix of explanation within the gameplay, and the player either knowing or not knowing real-world comparisons. Though I’m aided in that the MC is ‘discovering’ the game world as much as the player is, though at the same time much more knowledgeable about it and can guide the player with a lot of explanations. I think that the less like -our- world a given game world is, the more exciting it is to have lore about that world. Or, at least, the more exciting it -would- be to have lore about that world. Like China Meivielle’s world where his stories take place- I’d love to have a full on world guide for that awesome place filled with art and explanations. Like… ‘Dinotopia’ - the book, is really nothing more than a lot of lore with a connecting story, and is incredibly fun to read/look at.
I suppose it’s fair to say that it isn’t fair to expect a reader to know something that isn’t explained as part of the story. Even if there’s a codex involved. It might, -might- be fair to expect a reader to look something up, if they need to, but not to understand without being explained in a way that can be understood. Though some level of techno-babble and magic-joo-joo is possible, if written well.
Heey… something just occurred to me. Something weird but interesting. You know those optional dialogues you can have with companions in RPG games? The ones where you generally ask about their past and how they ended up where they are? It would be possible to do those in the stats screen the way a codex could be done- an optional conversation tree. I was just thinking about how I’m one of those people who always talks about everything with a new companion before getting more than a few feet. : )