Most triple A games spend a large portion of their budget in scripting and recording voice actors - and sometimes dogs - in order to deliver powerful stories, and experiencing these stories is what draws many gamers to play. And yet, critics routinely decry how video games aren’t very good at it. The argument could be made to abandon detailed narratives and concentrate on making games more enjoyable to play. The younger audience doesn’t even watch cutscenes anymore, often skipping them to get to the “fun part”. Should we stop trying to portray characters and tell stories with games when other media do it better? It’s the mechanics that make it a game, right? Why bother trying to mimic movies and TV? And if story is an integral part of video games, how can game designers learn how to tell stories using all the best parts of the interactive medium? This discussion of top game designers and writers across different genres will tell us why game stories matter.
Greg Tito [The Escapist & WarCry, Managing Editor], Mike Laidlaw [DA3, Bioware], Mark Kern [CEO and Chief Creative Officer of Red 5, Red 5], Robert Ferrigno [Freelance Writer]