Take your time Skyclad – I don’t imagine this thread will be hugely participated in[/quote:37fa727b71]
Actually, I’d be willing to bet that a lot of people would feel quite strongly on this topic…
Most discussions like this seem to turn into a ‘games as pure games’ vs. ‘games as story’ debate. I like both, so I want to avoid that in my reply. Therefore, I want to say that what you’ve described is exactly what I would like ‘story driven games’ to become.
What you’re talking about is really the maturing of games as a story telling medium, and isn’t something we see near enough of.
That said, there are definitely some games that already exist which fulfill the criteria you’ve described.
One title that jumps out at me at the moment, and screams to be mentioned, because it does so much of what you describe is “Planescape: Torment” (use of flashbacks, complicated plot turns, a sophiscated plot, with complex characters, use of nonlinearity…) but there have definitely been other attempts to make games as you’ve described, probably mainly in the RPG sector.
Final Fantasy 6 and 7 were (obviously) story driven, and tried, in their own way to add depth and colour to some of their characters – certainly equivalent to those, of the “Die Hard” movie, which you mention.
I think the quality of story telling degraded a lot later in the series, but that’s an opinion. Square have done a lot of work trying to bring games with proper characters and stories to the mass market though; arguably at the expense of gameplay in recent years.
I know the knee-jerk response to this vague rambling might be: ‘We need simple games to capture the mainstream’. [/quote:37fa727b71]
And this would be a fair response (assuming we want the mainstream :-) I know we do as an industry, but as an individual, I’d rather people made more intelligent story based games, rather than shallower, mass market ones.)
A lot of movies cater to the mainstream, but arthouse pictures are still made. However, this did not start to happen until movies were quite mature (even getting boring?) as a form of expression. I am sure we will see a similar thing happen in games, sooner or later…
Why not ask more of the players intellect, as well as hand-to-eye coordination – not in a ‘puzzle’ sense, or an RTS sense, but in an ability to response emotionally to a story with depth?[/quote:37fa727b71]
Well, some would argue you are describing Role Playing Games, as a genre, here… (when we exclude games like Diablo, which I would class as more Hack ‘n’ Slash)
I know people that would play pencil and paper RPGs may have strong feelings here.
In other words, when games become more cinematic, then I think developers can start really thinking about adding cinemaesque style story telling and character driven plotlines.[/quote:37fa727b71]
I disagree with this.
Games are plenty real enough to tell a story. SNES games told stories. Text based games tell stories. I mean, novels tell stories, and they don’t have great graphics. Characterisation, and plot, can exist independent of, and orthoganal to, graphics.
You do have a point in that there are many cinematic techniques only available recently (“depth of field”, commonly used to great effect in cinema, springs to mind) available to use as story telling devices.
However, I see these as adding to, but not a prerequisite for character driven plotlines.
When Shakespearean plays used to be performed, all the characters were men, and props weren’t used that much. To say nothing of the lack of special effects.
Bad graphics? Yes.
But did they have character driven plotlines? Hell, yeah.
I don’t think it’s because of technological limitations, but because games are still maturing as an art-form, that we don’t yet see the stories and art that we should.
But I think we will, in time.
Games have a long way to go… but amazing potential.
Oh yeah – look at the indie game scene sometimes.
I remember playing a game a few years back, that might be interesting to people who like this thread – google for “last rose in a desert garden”.