A panel of game designers (including Toby Gard, He Who Made Lara) discuss story and character development; lots of useful little nuggets and insights:
“Our main regret with Halo 2 is that we didn't let our players breathe,” said Staten, explaining that the original Halo had moments where the player might calmly look at the serene atmosphere, with no action, whereas in the sequel, such moments didn't exist.
An audience member brought up the issue of so-called cutscenes, non-interactive portions of a game used to advance the story, stating that if a game's cutscenes were cinematically on par with movies, players would be drawn to them more.“I think that's inevitable,” said Milius, “that's where it should go.”
Schafer seemed to disagree. “I have a secret goal of someday making a game without cutscenes,” he said. “It's not that I don't want that cinematic experience, I'd just rather the interactive parts be on par with movies.”
“There are situations in an MMO where you come away and feel like you have a story to tell, from the actions and dialects,” Gard continued, in discussion about experimenting with living interactive characters. He hopes to one day see a comparable AI experience.