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June 30, 2005

Comments

masayume

You're right ! The man-years spent in developement by top-notch software teams can easily be seen in games like Metal Gear Solid (great charismatic heroes), ICO (delicate animations), Final Fantasy (impressive scenarios).
Hollywood & co. movie industry is already providing voice talents that often set up for a thrilling experience, and the best is yet to come.
"The future's so bright I've got to wear shades".

Oh, when you meet Nessie greet him for me ;-)

Pete

I do hope we get there with game stories, I think Warren Spector voiced a similar point about just how primitive they still are. The problem is telling a great story well without sacrificing player choice - the more you cater to both your dev time goes up exponentially.

Tom Armitage

Do enjoy RE4, Alice; probably one of the finest games I've ever played. I waited and waited (like a good EU citizen) for the PAL version (which rewarded me by having the best box-art) and it was still better than I expected it could be. Staggeringly good; the string of bosses are some of my favourite gaming moments to date. Especially the knife fight. You'll know it when you find it.

Jimmy

Haven't you ever played a game by Tim Schafer? Haven't you enjoyed Grim Fandango? 'cause he is one of the best authors alive today. Some games have had excellent writing for a long time already . . . and the market has shown, for much of all that time, that it's not a significant factor. If anything this is more true now. And with those complex (multi-core!) next gen consoles even more programmers will be required per game, and with all that storage and high def I imagine the art budget is going to need some growing room. So why should we expect the writing quality to go up?

tom

I'm not convinced that games will ever be able to pack the same emotional punch as non-interactive media and if they do it won't be because of the graphics (typically books have *terrible* graphics). And I'm not sure this really matters, no one ever criticised chess for not being emotionally engaging, and no one really expects a book to get their heart racing and body tensed like the final level of Ikaruga. Thing is I reckon it's lack of control that allows films and books to have their carefully orchestrated emotional content, if you could turn the Gamecube off and bring Buffy's mum back to life then the emotional impact of the event would, i suspect, be severly reduced (not seen alias so can't bring any examples from that). It's probably for this reason that interactive content and emotional content are generally kept separate in games which do have both (interminable cut-scenes of Final Fantasy et al.).

All this isn't to suggest games wouldn't benefit greatly from an improvement in the quality of story telling and voice acting because it is, generally speaking, shockingly bad.

PS. RE4 just gets better, even once you've finished the main game there's loads of cool stuff to do.

praxis22

I think it will come in time. Just as we have rag doll physics and AI, etc. I think we will eventually see decent human behaviour of the type that naturalmotion.com create become standard. They tried in FFX, and halflife 2 is getting there. I just think it needs somebody like a decent director (film wise) to get involved with gaming. One of the things That struck me while watching "the incredibles" for the first time was that creeping into the island base like Mr Incredible, (or even Mrs) would make one hell of a great game/level.

I guess what I'm hoping for is cross polination between current GC movies and games. I think that comparing games to celuloid is a bad idea, since what you see on film is totally controlled and contrived. I think that conceptually we're at the level of "Tin Toy" or "Red's dream" we can do shiny real well, and emotion in short doses. It'll be a while before we crank out "toy story" The sad part of all this however is all of these were the product of one man.

We need more mavericks dammit! :)

jen

Grim Fandango was wonderful (& gorgeous - Art Deco meets Day of the Dead); Planescape Torment was better. The writing is exceptionally rich & deep, I grew quite fond of the characters & the end made me cry in proper heaving sobs - which is embarrassing to admit, but the game is *that* good. Even now I think.

Jurgis Bekepuris

Like someone already said, games have had naratives as good as movies for some time. Or at least bits and pieces. But those are adventure games mostly, not shooters or RPGs (there are exceptions).

Emotional content: Quest for Glory IV and V
Story that was made into a book: Betrayal at Krondor
Time travel that's as good as most of time travel movies: Shadow of Destiny

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