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Twisted Metal Designer Rails Against Storytelling Games

eldavojohn (898314) writes | more than 2 years ago

Games 2

eldavojohn (898314) writes "Twisted Metal designer David Jaffe gave a DICE Summit presentation in which he argued against "games that have been intentionally made from the ground up with the intent and purpose of telling a story or expressing a philosophy or giving a designer's narrative." He went on to say essentially that it's a waste of time and resources when the focus should be on game-play, not story. While some parts of his presentation are warmly welcomed by the gaming community (like his instructions for game execs to get a bullshit filter), this particular point has some unsurprising opponents. His argument against a "cinematic narrative" was probably strongest with his comparison to the movie Saving Private Ryan where Spielberg made the Normandy Beach invasion scene as close to a documentary as possible. The audience could sit back and appreciate that. But if you made a game where the player is in that position of the soldier then that historically accurate imagery and top shelf voice acting doesn't really matter, the only thing the player should be thinking is "How the fuck do I get to that rock? How do I get to the exit?" Is Jaffe right? Have game makers been "seduced by the power and language of film" at the expense of game-play?"
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2 comments

Winning argument (1)

Spazmania (174582) | more than 2 years ago | (#38994567)

The winning argument against writing the game around a story instead of writing a story around the game play is this:

A story is worth $6 to $25. That's what I pay for a book or a movie.

If the game author wants more money than that, say $50, then telling me a story isn't going to get the job done.

It's always about compromise. (1)

Loughla (2531696) | more than 2 years ago | (#38998497)

IMHO the problem isn't that games are created after the story, or that games are created before the story/without a story at all.

The problem is that the folks who create games (of whom I know none. . . so grain of salt and all) don't take into account both options, instead of just one, or the other. Meaning: Twisted metal was fun, for about 15 minutes - then it's just driving around mashing buttons. Then again, a game like Neverwinter Nights 2 (the vanilla version) is fun for about the same amount of time, until you realize that it is too bound by the story.

The recent development of games that are open-world, open-ended, but with a solid story-line (see Skyrim, KOA Reckoning, or GTA XVII or whatever number it's on) is the honest-to-goodness blending of these two extremes.

To end a long rant, though, my question is this: why wouldn't the creator of one of the least story driven game franchises in history rail against games that are linear?

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