Train2Game News: Metro: Last Light will cure “shooter fatigue” with a “story driven single player experience”

Metro: Last Light aims to stand-out from other shooters by its campaign not being a training mode for multiplayer, but a story driven experience, which can stand alongside the likes of BioShock. That’s according to the games’ global brand manager Mark Madsen in a recent interview.

“We see shooter fatigue as a multifaceted phenomenon right now, and I think what we’re speaking of is the dilution of the single player campaign.” he told Shadowlocked when asked to explain what publisher THQ referred to as shooter fatigue.

“The single player campaign in the FPS genre is being relegated to more of a shooting gallery – or even a training mode – for multi-player. We’re definitely not that; we’re intently focused on delivering a vividly memorable, story driven single player experience”

Madsen added that its game design means Metro: Last Light can stand alongside BioShock and Dead Space.

“If you’re tired of the same old post-apocalyptic, run and gun type of shooter; if you’re tired of looking for something completely different, Metro is an atmospheric breath of fresh air.”

“It will stand proudly alongside the likes of BioShockBorderlands, and Dead Space, and it’s going to be something we’ll be talking about for years to come…” he said.

The Metro Last Light brand manager recently offered Train2Game students advice on getting into the industry, which you can see here on The Train2Game Blog.

For more on Metro: Last Light, read our interview with Metro: Last Light producer John Block at Gamescom.  The game is scheduled for release during the first quarter of 2013.

What are your thoughts on Metro: Last Light and its focus on single player?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game news: “It’s time for our medium to grow up” says Ubisoft’s Jade Raymond

Train2Game students will have become familiar with blockbusters such as Call of Duty or FIFA dominating sales charts, and comments on the Train2Game Facebook page find this to be a real shame when games with a deeper narrative don’t get the attention they deserve.

However, those with that opinion aren’t alone, as Ubisoft Toronto boss and Splinter Cell producer Jade Raymond believes its time game designers stopped relying on simple stories, and really started to explore narrative.

“I really do feel it’s time for our medium to grow up,” she told CVG in an extensive interview.

“I think we don’t need to make the equivalent to a Michael Bay flick in order to sell five million copies. I think things can be exciting, have meaning and hit important topics, and I’m not the only one that thinks that.”

Raymond pointed to film and TV having success with productions that have deeper narratives.

“I think every other entertainment medium or art form does manage to have commercial success and have the viewers or audience think or be inspired. Games, I think, have even more potential than that given that on top of the narrative side we do have all of the gameplay mechanics and we create rule sets from scratch which can have any kind of meaning embedded in them.” she said.

“It’s not easy to do that, because it requires breaking our recipe and trying to find new recipes, but I think it’s an important thing for us to strive for.” The Ubisoft Toronto boss added, referring to her time as Assassin’s Creed producer.

Jade Raymond has previously offered advice on getting into the games industry, which you can see right here on The Train2Game Blog.

What are your thoughts on Raymond’s comments? Do you think the games industry needs to grow up?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game news: Bioshock Infinite creator Ken Levine on cutscenes in video game narrative

Bioshock Infinite will be PS Move compatibleTrain2Game 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.

[Source: Gamasutra]

Train2Game news: BAFTA Game Writers Panel 26th October (Updated)

Train2Game Game Designers in the London area won’t want to miss out on the BAFTA Games Writers Panel later this month.

A panel of game writers will discuss ‘Players vs Characters’ and the idea that “Putting protagonists in the hands of a player kills traditional narrative concepts”

Speaking on The BAFTA Game Writers Panel are:

Jim Swallow (Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Killzone 2, Star Trek: Invasion)
Ed Stern (Brink)
Rhianna Pratchett (Mirror’s Edge, the Overlord series, Heavenly Sword)

The panel will be chaired by Andrew S Walsh who has experience as a writer and director on over 50 games including Prince of Persia, Harry Potter, and Medieval II: Total War.

They’ll also examine how ‘killers, combatants and characters doomed to die a thousand times can still play the hero’.  In addition to this they’ll discuss what games can take from television and films to make characters more engaging.

The event will take place at BAFTA in Central London at 7:00p.m. Wednesday 26th October. Interested Train2Game students can purchase a ticket for £5.

UPDATED: Train2Game students can attend the BAFTA Game Writers Panel for free, find out how here.

For more information, see the event page on the official BAFTA website.

The Train2Game blog published excerpts of an interview with Brink Writer Ed Stern earlier this year.

So Train2Game, will you attend the event? And what are your thoughts on the idea that putting protagonists in the hands of a player kills traditional narrative concepts

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: BAFTA

Train2Game at Gamescom: Jason Vandenberg Narrative Director of Farcry 3 talks to Danny Palmer

 Jason Vandenburg Narrative Director Farcry 3 shares how to join the Games Industry