FBS 5: Game or Story?

Should video games become more and more like major motion pictures?

Many AAA-game developers I have met seem to think so. While games like Modern Warfare and Battlefield owe their success to the fact that their games play out like movie-fare, sometimes…gameplay suffers as a result.

Recently, at least one influential developer has spoken out against this trend. We discuss this topic and wonder aloud whether developers should put the “game” back in gaming, or whether they should continue to evolve the digital arts until it overtakes movie-going audiences in both numbers and in terms of artistic merit.

To discuss this and many other topics, we have brought on a new roundtable member, he’s a former producer for KAOS Studio’s Homefront, Edmar M. — the last person I interviewed on BASH, is making his first FBS appearance. As usual, we also have our good friend from fpsadmin.com, Jim (aka Rudedog).

Stories ruin gaming?

I have to be honest, I’ve always thought that the game should come first and the story second in any video game…but I have always felt that I was in the minority. Many of you, will only buy a game for its story, just look at the heavily scripted Call of Duty as an example of how popular the “story as-a-game” can be. So, I know that I’m swimming uphill on this one.

It is no surprise then, that I was elated to hear that God of War creator David Jaffe recently lectured his colleagues on the appropriate use of narrative in video games during D.I.C.E. 2012 in Las Vegas. As I am nowhere near as eloquent as Jaffe in expressing my wish that developers should prioritize gameplay, I’ll be quiet and let Jaffe express his arguments here:

Note that Jaffe isn’t saying that we shouldn’t ever have storylines, he just cautions against turning a videogame into an ebook.

Ravaged

In addition to giving us insight into the world of game development, Edmar also alerts us to a really interesting indie vehicular-shooter that is currently being worked on. The name of this new game is called Ravaged and it is being designed by 2Dawn Games.

Ravaged takes place on a post-apocalyptic Earth that has been devastated by natural disasters caused by solar flares from the sun.  The main conflict in the game sees the so-called “Resistance” fighting the “Scavengers” for territory and resources. A “Mad-Max” style art design is employed and you get a really good feel for the game when you take a look at some of the gyrocopter action in this new pre-alpha teaser:

Here’s a Trike Vehicle vid that came out in a 2Dawn developer diary a few months ago:

 

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