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[Video] Storytelling and Video Games

Lately, video games are becoming more like films. Game developers are using the same software used by CGI special effects for the movies. Wicked camera angles and flash cutting could describe any action film or action video game these days.

Consider the importance of storytelling in both games and movies. You have characters involved in these worlds, where they have to perform some action (shoot zombies, find artifacts, solve a puzzle). Some games switch between single person mode to multi-player mode for a different experience. We see film industry veterans like John Milius (screenwriter) create stories for video games (Borderlands).

In our Gaming Track for the conference, we want to look at game development and storytelling. Check out this 10 minute video on the importance of storytelling and gaming. You will get to see this kind of talk at the conference, too.

Key Takeaways

Games have the potential for great storytelling.  The gaming systems of today are interactive with all of the visual flare of films–plot, character, action, and so on.  Characters can now move through space and time, overcoming great obstacles, which is the primary purpose of any game.

Some interesting notes made in the video:

  • Well-written games do not usually sell like action games.
  • Developers are creating the narratives, which makes storytelling in games poor.
  • Writers are usually brought in the last minute to clean up dialogue.

Game narratives can create a deeper, more meaningful experience for the participants.  Gaming narratives should be the work of writers, who are well versed in the concepts of plot, pacing, character development, themes, and so on.

What to Expect at Big Design Conference 2011

We are planning to have speakers talk about game narratives at the conference. We want to look at the game track in a different way.

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