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June 12, 2008


Justin Keverne

That's a fair point to make about movies, but I'd argue that right now Television is the high water mark for storytelling. Look at something like Lost or Battlestar Galactica, shows that are unafraid to kill off major characters, where it's very difficult to predict what is going to happen but which manage to surprise without being implausible.

As for one of the other issues you brought up. Why would you even consider taking the story-centric elements of a game out to watch them separately? Would you want to watch only a few scenes of a movie separate from the whole? As you said games like BioShock or Portal couldn't be treated in such a fashion, and really any games that could are simply badly made games, the quality of the story isn't the problem the way it’s implemented is.

A lot of the issues are clearly personal ones, and that's fine, we all value different things. But for my part I think that there been a problem when it comes to game storytelling over the last decade or two, and that's that developers simply aren't experimenting with new ways of telling stories anymore. The majority of them found the Mission-Cutscene-Mission structure and stuck to it. It's a terrible way of telling stories in games because it doesn't play to the strength of either games or stories. It's too restrictive in structure for a good game, and too fractured to make for a well told story.

Pat O'Hara

Yes, I agree that the Mission-Cutscene-Mission approach is poor, but it's easy for the programmer and for certain gamers. I coach a Lego League team (Middle Schools boys). They don't talk about how cool the story is, they talk about how quickly they got to the end. Unfortunately they also buy a lot of games. Capitalism has many advantages, this is not one of them :-(.

Pat O

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Jamie's Bragging Rights

  • Spider-Man 2
    The best superhero games of all time Game Informer
    Top five games of all time Yahtzee Croshaw
    Top five superhero games of all time MSNBC
    Top 100 PS2 games of all time Official Playstation 2 Magazine
    1001 Games You Must Play Before You Die Nomination for Excellence in Gameplay Engineering Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences
  • Schizoid
    Penny Arcade PAX 10 Award
    Nominated for XBLA Best Original Game
    Nominated for XBLA Best Co-Op Game