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Is it time to up the ante on storytelling?

#1SquallWindbladePosted 7/8/2011 10:51:18 AM
So, I just finished watching Playing Columbine on Netflix, a film by Danny Ledonne (you know him from his work on Super Columbine Massacre RPG!) and it got me thinking about what sorts of things gamers expect from games as far as storytelling is concerned. People often hail the Bioware titles for their deep, complex storylines but I have to wonder if people actually walk away from those games with a different style of thinking than what they walked into the game with.

Knowing that the Indie Games section is up on the Xbox 360 and that fans of indie films have a lot of access to this content through Netflix, I though that this would be a good board to share some of my thoughts and opinions about where the game industry should take storytelling in the coming years.

I just finished playing through DA:O, DA2, and now I'm about halfway through Mass Effect on Insanity when I started to think about what the stories meant to me, and I realized - they don't mean jack to me. Mass Effect tells a grand tale, and it's very entertaining, but it is entirely irrelevant to my perceptions of issues or morality.

It got me to thinking about what I want to do with my career as a game developer. Do I want to sit around making shooter game part 50 with the same rehashed stories that we've always told, or do I want to make something that is so fundamentally offensive that it gets people talking about issues that they were totally uncomfortable talking about until they were provoked.

Then I realized - I don't know what those games look like. I don't know what sort of game would bring a discussion of value into my household, let alone one that would shake any of my core beliefs. I don't even really consider the over-the-top violence in a game to be particularly dazzling anymore, as even Gears of War 2 was a yawnfest for me.

Do people even want games that they think about even when they're not playing? Are any games coming up or in your recent memory that actually changed the way you looked at an issue? Do you even remember having a game that had a real message?
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#2NinersFan1977Posted 7/8/2011 11:00:10 AM
I don't care about story.

I have been playing games since the Atari 2600 generation, and this is the best gen yet. Story is the least important component in a game to me.
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#3pacomcsqueakPosted 7/8/2011 11:01:39 AM
^really?
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#4IvanKozlovPosted 7/8/2011 11:02:58 AM
The MGS games?
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#5IvanKozlovPosted 7/8/2011 11:03:28 AM

From: NinersFan1977 | #002
I don't care about story.

I have been playing games since the Atari 2600 generation, and this is the best gen yet. Story is the least important component in a game to me.




What is this.... I don't even...
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Sick and weak from my condition. This lust, this vampyric addiction. To Her alone in full submission. Nymphetamine, Nymphetamine... Nymphetamine girl.
#6SquallWindblade(Topic Creator)Posted 7/8/2011 11:04:55 AM
IvanKozlov posted...
The MGS games?

I suppose, but I felt like the narratives in those games tended to be very... over the top. It could've been that the game didn't really shake me because I was already the type of person who was tired of censorship, government control, and secret agendas as it was.

That, and I don't fear AI's taking control of the universe or cloning resulting in schizophrenia.
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Current field of study: Game Software Development
SOLVING ALL PROBLEMS WITH THE MAXIMUM POSSIBLE AMOUNT OF BLOODSHED IS JUST THE FURBY WAY.
#7MrMikeMaPosted 7/8/2011 11:13:39 AM
No thanks.

I for one couldn't care less about story in games. It is has one, yay, but don't get in my way of the game.
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#8ShawnKemp40Posted 7/8/2011 11:14:28 AM
I play game for the blood and guts. The story I just make them up in my mind as I play.
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#9Arucard05Posted 7/8/2011 11:18:20 AM(edited)
If I've taken anything from the GTA vs. Saint's Row arguments, it's that gamers don't want anything out of games but a good time. As a major believer in games as art and a real believer in the potential of the media, this disappoints me. But I also believe it will just take time.
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#10SquallWindblade(Topic Creator)Posted 7/8/2011 11:17:34 AM
I'm not talking about reducing gameplay or replacing it with 50 hours of cutscenes, merely telling more poignant stories with actual relevance, rather than the extremely generic save the world, revenge, or whirlwind adventure types.

Basically, if it's a plot that's been used in a Disney movie, it's not really a good plot anymore.
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Current field of study: Game Software Development
SOLVING ALL PROBLEMS WITH THE MAXIMUM POSSIBLE AMOUNT OF BLOODSHED IS JUST THE FURBY WAY.