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December 29th, 2013, 15:46
Telltale Games Co-Founder & CEO Dan Connors thinks the rest industry ignores story. You can watch him express his opinion in this new video on Bloomberg TV.

Telltale Inc. Dan Connors discusses his company’s releases for 2014, the future of gaming and how it became a $20B business with Pimm Fox on Bloomberg Television’s “Taking Stock.”
More information.
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December 29th, 2013, 15:46
I hold a similar opinion.

Story becomes more and more unimportant, loot, min-maxing and other points become more and more important in many games.

If you see Adventure Games (Monkey Island et. al.) as the pinnacle of Story-Telling, then it's easy to see why he holds that opinion : Except in Germany (or in Europe in general), no-one of the bigger, especially none of the .S. based companies does Adventures anymore.

And if you view Adventueres = THE Epitome of Storytelling, then = no-one does Story anymore.

And that's why I'm saying the PC platform is more and more degrading, because loot-based and combat-based games (Shooters ! Action-RPGs !) rule more and more …

"Modern" games are based on the element of Power, not on the element of Story.
(Gaining power vs. enliving/experiencing a story …)
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December 29th, 2013, 17:14
It's a shame that they had to stop making "games" to be successfull. Their interactive stories have a lot of story but little gaming in them. Their episodic Monkey Island was great, I regret that they will probably never do something like that anymore.
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December 29th, 2013, 21:13
Maybe that's true from a sales perspective but I had the impression that aside from the usually hyped GTA the two games that received the most (possitive) attention were Bioshock Infinite and The Last of Us. Nostalgia ain't what it used to be..
I'd just like to interject here and point out that I'm not going to say anything to spoil the mood, Chief. I'll just float here and watch. Don't mind me, just sitting here, floating and watching, that's me.
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December 29th, 2013, 22:24
Well I'm glad somebody in the industry has the guts to say it. Now I'm waiting for a certain poster to show up, and say research proves story can't be done in games.

Anyway I'm a story person first myself, and it is lacking in a majority of new games outside the RPG genre. A few hits doesn't mean the industry takes story seriously.

At least some the indie developers are starting to tackle story in games. So I have some hope for my gaming tastes.
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December 30th, 2013, 00:00
Most games were never about story though…

Even some games which have a story, it's usually a backdrop to the game itself.
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December 30th, 2013, 00:19
I like a good story in games but it has to be balanced with content of course - otherwise read book But I am not a critical story person. I happen to like the story in all the series of DA, NWN, ME, BG, heck even the stories in all the TES games for the most part (even though I know many think they lack story and game play - clearly I do not since I have been enjoying this game for a long time).
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December 30th, 2013, 00:58
I really enjoyed the monkey island Telltale Games created. Hope they do more related to old-school adventure gaming in the future.

Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
And if you view Adventueres = THE Epitome of Storytelling, then = no-one does Story anymore.
Luckily you can do very good adventure games with a small team, evident over at adventuregamers.com.
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December 30th, 2013, 10:28
The interview is more about episodic series and how to milk the passion from successful well established franchises.

The industry has not ignored story. The industry has found no proper way to deliver a story through the specificities of a video game. They dont know how. They have been trying a lot though.

A game like The Walking Dead by Telltale games certainly does not have this issue as they retook the way of delivering stories as developped by the movie industry.
Game is extremelly low in that story and it somehow closes on the experience of directing.
Direct an actor, tell him to move left, search that drawer, play that scene with passion, anger, secrecy, doubt etc… And then the retort is adapted. Basic directing work.
The gaming side being so thin helps to provide a flow to the story that is close to a movie experience.
Completing a walking dead episode on a first run and second run is made within similar times, the first run takes something like ten or fifteen minutes more than the second run. The few easy puzzles, the QTEs are all made in a way they are solved on first try or second try. The flow of the story is preserved from any misdoing from the player.

If the future of the video game industry is to sacrifice gameplay in order to tell stories the way it is told in movies, then more RPGs like the walking dead.
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December 30th, 2013, 14:31
Eh i dunno, i know people are gonna kill me for saying that, but i personally hold TWD as one of the worse game i ever played (again, sorry, i know this is not popular opinion, but it is my nonetheless).

Sure it may have great story, and sure it's point and click so to speak game. But i still can't take that as explanation of why GUI is horrible, why game feels more like interactive move with few gameplay mechanisms here and there, etc.

I think what game that focuses on storytelling, should do, is rather take Journey and especially Brothers: A tale of two sons, as reference instead.

While TWD imo sacrifice just way too much gameplay freedom for the story, i think especially the brothers does fantastic job of merging great story with gameplay AND GUI. Hack, it uses at some parts GUI as storytelling mechanism. Literarly.

Those two games have amazing athmosphere, really good stories, with really polished characters, but you still actually feel like you are playing a game, not watching movie (or rather, like you are playing visual novel).

So, basically, they blend story telling with games really nicely, not like TWD is doing it, and for sure not with bazilions of cutscenes like many other games(or even worse, QTEs) , to tell story.

IMO, that is what story telling games should be like. If i wanted visual novel, i'd get one.
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December 31st, 2013, 16:12
When I ask my game developer friends about story they tell me it is considered something of a necessity they gotta live with. They live in the world of features and builds, and it meshes rather poorly with story.

That said, most people neither understand nor appreciate stories for what they are in general.

I would also argue with anyone who claims good story and good gameplay are mutually exclusive. That's just thinking in the extremes.
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December 31st, 2013, 19:54
For me, story is one of the better reasons to keep playing. Another one is good gameplay of course. It used to be (character) progression and loot but for some reason I find that less and less appealing. Most games make it too easy and it becomes just numbers, I rather have slow progression but when a new weapon type is introduced it should open up a whole new range of gameplay mechanics.

Ideally a game should have (a good balance of) all three of course.

Happy new year!

ps: related to that. I have a pretty good understanding of the algorithms used in games (graphics, AI, random loot, etc.) so it is harder to impress me with such things. Hence, I rate art, music, story, etc. higher than other things (e.g., I prefer a good linear-told story much more than a non-linear one, or worse, some openworld sandbox style of game)
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January 1st, 2014, 12:04
After reading some more the material provided by the various links, it appeared that violence is another issue imported in video gaming by players who push story above all.

No links make an analysis from a gameplay perspective. All do their analysis with story in mind. It is all about story. How to make violence more engaging from a story perspective.

It reminds of that other thread that reported a lack of female PCs, or stereotypical females depicted in video games.
It was just another issue imported by players who push story above all.
From a gameplay perspective, the look of an avatar does not matter much. But for players who want story, who want to immerse, to feel involved, to engage, the association to the avatar matters most. The incapacity of players who want story to relate with a female avatar, an ageing avatar, a black avatar is what brings in the lack of those types.

It all starts from the demand that games should be about story first. In story, representations are everything. In a game, they are nothing as game mechanics dominate.

Same goes for violence. How to represent violence in a way that engages the player more.

That extract tells it all:

Violence in film, literature or on stage can either be meaningful or meaningless. When it is meaningful, it resonates with the audience; when it is meaningless, it is largely (and rightly) derided. Consider the death of Shakespeare's Hamlet following a duel, or of Sonny Corleone in The Godfather, or of Evelyn Mulwray at the end of Chinatown, versus, say, the nameless mooks mown down in Rambo II or Commando or Hard Boiled. The killing by the protagonist of those without identity devalues human life in the work, and thereby robs the violence of meaning (it being perpetrated upon human forms with no value.)

And so a metric for games comes to mind: violence performed by the player in a video game is only legitimate if the victim is a unique and specific individual.

The metric becomes a constraint on content: don't remove the violence— remove the faceless masses of "enemies."
It starts with observations made on books, movies and plays to distinguish between meaningful/meaningless violence.Then makes a wanted smooth transition to games.

But on what ground should games be treated the same as movies, books or plays? Only if you take the perspective that games should be about story first. Movies, books, plays serves one primary purpose: delivering a story to an audience. When games are given the same purpose, at the exclusion of their native, natural purpose that is gameplay, then the transition is made smoothly.

Nowhere the question of gameplay is analysed. The various authors dont want to examine the possible balance that could exist between swarms of enemies and that big one enemy, how the mechanic of numbers can be exploited to serve a better gameplay.

The final point is that the various authors hide their purpose behind some kind of denouciation of violence. Any violence that goes against that demand degrades the quality of the story delivery. Then make it more personal. But the closer they bring the player to the avatar, the closer they associate the player to the avatar, the easier the transfer of violence from the virtual world of video games to the
real world.

As players keep pushing for story first, with story being about representations, the more the issues attached to representations are going to invade video gaming.
Issues of discrimination, prejudices, violence etc are going to swarm into the gaming industry.

Under the imperium of players wishing for story, the archetype of avatars is going to be that young white male character as it is the one by players to associate closely. When other types are tried, they are going to be loaded up with stereotypes so that the system of representations required by players who want story and the quality of delivery going with it is preserved.
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