A while back friend of mine asked me for some writing advice. She was writing documentation for a video game and, English being her second language, she was unsure of what tense to use when writing a narrative. I mentioned that, depending on how the story is presented, either past tense or present tense could be appropriate. Past tense, of course, is typical for written fiction, and is what is used by almost all Anglophone authors, but present tense seemed more appropriate for what she was going for, since she planned to describe the player's expected actions within the description, something that wouldn't sound right as a past-tense narrative.
Then she asked me "Yes, that is what the player going to do, so why not future tense?"
That got me thinking. Future tense narrative is very rare, but I'm not entirely sure why. The only reason I can think of is that English actually does not have a dedicated future tense.
Confused? If you've had an introductory linguistics class you might have learned that while traditional grammarians refer to past, present, and future tenses, English in reality only has two tenses: past and non-past. What is traditionally referred to as the "future tense of the verb" is a construction of "will + V". But "will" doesn't really mark simply for future tense. It is a modal verb with a whole list of usages (you can find a good list on Wikipedia.)
But that doesn't quite explain it. Spanish does have a ture future tense, albeit not commonly used, but as far as I know, future tense narratives aren't too common there either. This makes me curious about other languages with tense systems. Maybe future tense narrative isn't common anywhere. After all, most stories are told about events in the past -- we can't really know the future in that kind of detail.
Anyway, what my friend and I settled on was actually a hybrid present-future narrative. The general background of the game was given in present-tense, while the expected actions of the player used a future narrative. This seemed like a fairly natural narrative to me for this specific purpose: the actions of the player are future events, because the player (who may be reading the synopsis) hasn't actually started playing yet. I would be curious as to how others would approach the problem, though.