The lights are on
Warren Spector spoke passionately and humorously today at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, California. At his panel, entitled "Narrative in Games: Roles, Forms, Problems, and Potential," he poked fun at himself on his slides for being an "out of work guy," since Disney shuttered his studio, Junction Point. Spector still has plenty of passion for how developers can improve games by examining narrative media (books, comics, movies) and their strengths and weaknesses. He professed no medium can survive without evolving beyond its roots.
In Spector's opinion, interactivity has been an abused word for what games actually offer. But he does note it has merit, as two of his favorite games from this generation are The Walking Dead and Heavy Rain, which play similarly to movies. But he says developers can do better than those games.
He thinks a clear way to discover this is to examine the significant differences between games and other media. Films often cut away from the action and horrendous depictions, he notes in a game that same action is palatable and enjoyable. "That's why I made a Mickey Mouse game instead," Spector joked. "I can't believe I just said that."
Spector said games should never never have scenes that cut away from the player. It breaks the immersion and takes control away from the players who should own the experience. A great deal of Spector's talk was about "the value when we allow players to make the magic moments." Spector firmly believes collaborative storytelling, in which the player drives portions of the story, is gaming's biggest asset. No other medium allows the level of interaction provided in games.
He listed a slew of problems with games not advancing as they should, such as a lack of character expressiveness in graphics, unrealistic non-combat AI, and rote structures in design. Spector notes some of the challenges facing developers: it's extremely hard when games depend on repeated actions and story writing is difficult with how long many games stretch.
Spector's talk was inspiring as he urged developers to find the solutions to the problems he addressed. "Game developers, you can change the world. Beat me to the solutions to all these problems," he says.
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Sony has this bro
Wow. This guy is awesome.
He has good points.
I like this guy. He wasn't being cruel. He's just trying to improve the industry and help create better jaw-dropping games.
I like Specter. His only game i've played however is Epic Mickey, which i loved. He obviously has some great ideas, i just hope he spreads those ideas to other developers.
lets see how things go.. his ideas are sound.. it would be good to have games like what he speaks of.. to control every aspect of what happens to your character.. to make the choices yourself.. now that would be perfect.
I think Dishonered does this to a certain degree. The fact that your ingame actions decide the ultimate out come of the game (lethal vs non lethal) is pretty cool. If this incentive is carried into a more in-depth game like Deus Ex: HR where your dialogue and interactions with the NPC's will further modify the outcome... you got something impressively complex and varied.
RPG's offer a good bit of story depth but unfortunately most of them follow an archaic formula where side quests are generally just a bunch of fetching errands or destroying things to meet an invisible quota bar that will improve the outcome (ME3 with is galaxt preparedness, BL1 and 2 with its fairly lame selections of sidequests that really amount to nothing but just a grind fest for leveling up).
The other issue is that most games pace out new skills and mechanics as you progress in the game but there is a certain point where you have all that is to get and rest of the levels are just making use of what you know. This isn't bad and it has to be done so that the player doesn't have the constant feeling of being a newbie to the game. Some switch it up by adding a gameplus which allows you to reach previous areas inaccessible at the beginning till you have acquired all the items (DMC) at the end of your first run through.
Morality choices are something most Devs have yet to understand how to implement without having the choices being so transparent (Infamous 1 & 2) or the outcome to be as expected.
Also to note the increase in complexity as well as vastness of the game does not always translate well with all games. It is necessary for the developer to decide when the player is past the basic stage and can be a fully fledged badass without repeating the same stale platforming or combat situations.
Plus warren had a special thanks to in the credits of the greatest game Thief the dark project and what about another legend doug church.
Interesting words; I have to agree with him to an extent.