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Dec 14 2011
By: feferuco First Son 4 posts
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Storytelling, I hope it is done beyond cutscenes

7 replies 46 views Edited Dec 14, 2011

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-12-13-naughty-dog-wants-to-change-the-f-ing-industry-with-the...

 

The Last of Us director had some big talk about the game:
"Okay, I really need to learn the craft of storytelling, I really need to involve my actors in this in order to get realistic performances and realistic actors. That's what we want to do."

 

Given that this is Naughty Dog, I don't doubt that they can really, really raise the bar. They've done already with Uncharted 2, at least for me. However, I hope this is more than creating amazing cutscenes, more than amazing writing. It is a game, let's see if they can use the biggest strengths a game has to offer.

 

With Uncharted, Naughty Dog created a great movie fit in a game. It is like an amazing adaptation of a movie that never was. Perhaps, an adaptation better than the original action movie, as it puts you right into the action. That was great, being in control during the most mind blowing action sequences.

 

But there's more to games than that. I'm not talking about just going the Bethesda or BioWare way here. One big strength in games is giving player choice, and responsibility over these choices. But there's a whole lot more that can be done exclusively with games and nothing more.

 

I think if you guys at Naughty Dog want to push the medium forwards, you can't just have amazing cutscenes or amazing writing.

 

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Naughty Dog Developer
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Our games tell story beyond the cutscenes.    But you are...

Dec 14, 2011

 


feferuco wrote:

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-12-13-naughty-dog-wants-to-change-the-f-ing-industry-with-the...

 

The Last of Us director had some big talk about the game:
"Okay, I really need to learn the craft of storytelling, I really need to involve my actors in this in order to get realistic performances and realistic actors. That's what we want to do."

 

Given that this is Naughty Dog, I don't doubt that they can really, really raise the bar. They've done already with Uncharted 2, at least for me. However, I hope this is more than creating amazing cutscenes, more than amazing writing. It is a game, let's see if they can use the biggest strengths a game has to offer.

 

With Uncharted, Naughty Dog created a great movie fit in a game. It is like an amazing adaptation of a movie that never was. Perhaps, an adaptation better than the original action movie, as it puts you right into the action. That was great, being in control during the most mind blowing action sequences.

 

But there's more to games than that. I'm not talking about just going the Bethesda or BioWare way here. One big strength in games is giving player choice, and responsibility over these choices. But there's a whole lot more that can be done exclusively with games and nothing more.

 

I think if you guys at Naughty Dog want to push the medium forwards, you can't just have amazing cutscenes or amazing writing.

 


 

 

Our games tell story beyond the cutscenes. 

 

But you are talking about branching storylines, right? that's a whole different thing and is a style of narrative and creating a game, just like a linear narrative is a different style.  each has it's own place and purpose.

 

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First Son
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I wasn't thinking specifically about branching paths. I d...

Dec 14, 2011

I wasn't thinking specifically about branching paths. I don't think it is necessarily superior to a linear narrative. Like you said, each has its own place and purpose. I had other things in mind.


Games can have stories that aren't scripted in any way, they can have a storyline that forms as the player advances. An example of that is more or less what a game like The Sims offers. There aren't branching paths, just game mechanics that allow a story to be told exclusively through playing, a story which is unique for each player and couldn't be predicted by the developer.

 

Something else games offer, that I find it that is often underplayed, is exploration. Frequently there is a focus on challenge,  testing how well you can aim, pull off combos or solve puzzles. However, we also spend a lot of time simply exploring our surroundings, discovering what's behind the next corner and this I feel is put on the back seat on a majority of games.

 

Do games need challenge? Do they need a game over screen? Or do they need just interaction? A game world isn't all that different from a sculpture. Few games really play this to its fullest as very few games trust that it can stand on its own as a sculpture to explore.

 

Exploration can also help games tell stories in ways that no other media can. Take Bioshock as probably the most famous example. It used radio messages, its architecture, posters and the left overs of a scene. It let you not only explore the environment but also the story. It let the player put the pieces together and find out what happened at his/her own pace. It allow for participation of the audience, it is engaging.

 

Games can also tell a story or a message through the feel of the gameplay itself, something not many games do either. Katamari Damacy manages to send a very subtle message about consumerism simply by letting you roll a ball through an environment, making you larger, clumsier while the world gets empty. Shadow of the Colossus made you feel small and alone in a very straight forward but meaningful way, and that was important to tell the player what kind of place you were at and what kind of person you controlled.

 

There are a number of other ways that games can play out its strengths in ways that are completely unique to being a video game. No game can avoid using those strengths, even if just a little bit. But few games really seem to be aware of that and really try to take these things to a next level.

 

Most games seem to be stuck on the idea of providing a challenge while on the side telling a story. They don't really mend story telling with playing so much. Let's go back to Uncharted again, a significant part of the story, not all of it, is told while removing control from the player on in ways that player control has no importance whatsoever. Which is why I said it was a great adaptation of a movie that never were.

 

 

 

 

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Sackboy
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I kinda think Naughty Dog is overhyping the story a bit....

Dec 14, 2011
I kinda think Naughty Dog is overhyping the story a bit.
I'm sure it will be great. But calling it industry changing? two days after releasing the first trailer?
Gotta say, kinda seem a bit cocky of you.
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Sackboy
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To me, Uncharted 3 felt a bit like watching a movie, in w...

Dec 14, 2011

To me, Uncharted 3 felt a bit like watching a movie, in which you had to press the triangle button a few times. I don't want to feel like I'm watching a movie and the actual gameplay is just an after thought, I want to be in control of whats going on. Linear games like uncharted have the occasional awesome cutscene or something, which is what gets everyone hyped up so much, but in between the cutscenes things got a bit dull. This is what I don't want to happen with TLoU

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I Only Post Everything
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Uncharted has no subtle messages to be told indirectly by...

Dec 14, 2011

 


feferuco wrote:

 


Uncharted has no subtle messages to be told indirectly by the gameplay. It's merely about move-like action, adrenaline, empathizing with more or less loveable characters and exploring a treasure hunter world that feels alive. The problem with games like "The Sims" or Bethesda's RPGs is that you need to have fantasy to actually enjoy the worlds they create or else you will just simply find yourself in a static environment that will get boring very quickly. Sometimes it's hard for me to enjoy games like "Oblivion" because I know that the world I'm exploring will never have dramatic changes and events such as those that linear, heavily scripted games like Uncharted can deliver. However, sometimes I want to choose my own paths with a relaxed pace instead of playing an action movie, which is why I can enjoy both genres. Though I agree that Naughty Dog could give you sligthly more control over the actions and paths of your character without turning Uncharted into an RPG I can fully understand why they design it the way we know it.

 

They could try to go with "The Last of Us" a more sandbox-kind of way, if they want and are able to. Games like Assassin's Creed or Red Dead Redemption prove that you can still tell awesome, action- and adrenaline-filled stories even when creating a sandbox game, but maybe it is already too late for that with the game apparently having been in development for already about two years or so.

 


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First Son
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Like any game, Uncharted can tell a story just through it...

Dec 14, 2011

Like any game, Uncharted can tell a story just through its environments. It helps build the story by the way they make Drake move, react and attack, by how the enemies attack you and by the events that happen while you're playing. It is inevitable that a game tells part of the story on the gameplay. If the world feels alive, like you said, it is telling a story.

 

But here's the part where I say that pushing the medium forwards has to be more than just crafting amazing cutscenes, it has to do with what you said about Oblivion or The Sims. Pushing things forwards would be, for an instance, to create an open ended scenario that could prove to be equally engaging and dramatic as a linear, scripted story.

 

 

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I Only Post Everything
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Its hard to say where the story will go, ND can do awesom...

Dec 14, 2011

Its hard to say where the story will go, ND can do awesome and pretty poor within the same game. I mean whose to say Joel and Ellie wont have the most well acted and emotional scene we've ever seen in a video game... Then suddenly GIANT SPIDERS out of nowhere chase them!

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