Train2Game game designers in particular will know that sometimes, telling a story in a video game can be tough.
Many developers get around this with the use of cutscenes, but according to Bioshock: Infinite creator Ken Levine, if you need one to push the narrative of your game forward, then maybe you shouldn’t be telling the story at all.
“I don’t believe there’s any medium that doesn’t have its advantages and disadvantages relative to other media. You just have to play to the strengths of the medium as best as you can,” Levine told Gamasutra when asked about drama in first person games.
As previously reported by The Train2Game Blog, the Bioshock creator has previously described first person games as the most immersive.
“I think what you lose in being able to pull the camera and show emotion, you gain in immersion, and you gain in mood”
“What you’re left with at that point is to then figure out what your strengths are in the medium, and making sure you leverage those strengths, and wherever you have to tell a story you say, ‘Okay, here’s a beat of story I need to tell. Here are the 15 tools I have to tell it, whether it’s animation, whether it’s something you write on the wall as graffiti, whether it’s a piece of art in the world, whether it’s A.I. talking to you in your ear, or it’s Elizabeth, those are the tools. What’s the best way to tell this piece of story?’
The Irrational Games boss added that game designers can’t make a game when they’re fighting against their toolset.
“And you sift through your toolbox and then find the best tool. And sometimes you go ‘Well, there’s no good way to tell that story. Maybe I should tell a different story.’ Then you change the story so it fits your toolset better. Whenever you find yourself fighting against your toolset, you’re not going to win that fight.”
Levine was speaking to Gamasutra as part of a huge interview about Bioshock: Infinite which many Train2Game students are sure to find fascinating.
There’s plenty more news about Bioshock: Infinite right here on The Train2Game Blog.
So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on Levine’s comments about narrative in video games? Is he underestimating the power of a cutscene?
Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.