Visceral: "Game Designers Need To Become More Effective Storytellers"
There's no doubt that Visceral know how to tell a decent story. Dead Space 2 should be proof enough, but flushed with success, Creative Director Wright Bagwell has identified that developers need to improve their storytelling without relying on lazily loading up on cutscenes.
There’s no question that game designers need to become more effective storytellers, and that doesn’t mean we need more cut scenes in our games. For years, game designers have looked to Hollywood and tried to copy the formulas that filmmakers use for storytelling. That can work to some degree, but it’s imperative that we game designers perfect the craft of storytelling within games, while keeping players in control.
Amen to that. We've discussed the issue of inadequate game storytelling in a recent article, suggesting that gameplay is equally important to the narrative as any scripted cutscene will ever be. It seems that Visceral have the same idea, as well as a few choice words for the likes of Hideo Kojima...
A good game designer needs to be able to distinguish between depth and complication in both gameplay and story writing... so it’s important to not overwhelm people with complicated tutorials or complicated, irrelevant backstory.
Pay attention, developers. Mr Bagwell is on to something here. [MTV]
Does game storytelling need to improve? And does Dead Space 2 actually deliver on Visceral's promises? Have your say in the comments!
Just Add Water Working On Abe's Oddysee HD
British studio Just Add Water has been working on bringing Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath to the PC and PS3 in glorious high-definition, but Oddword creator Lorne Lanning has confirmed that they're also taking on classic platformer Abe's Oddysee. Apparently it will be more than just a port of the venerable old beast; taking advantage of modern 3D physics and graphics potential whilst staying true to the spirit of the original.
It’s basically Abe’s Oddysee being redone in a 3D physics engine as a 2D side-scrolling platformer. So the way Just Add Water wants to approach it, we thought was very smart; they are not trying to reinvent any wheels. It’s like, ‘Can we make that experience in a new engine, with new tech, in the old way?
We desperately need more Oddworld in our lives. Get it done, JAW. [EGM]
FortressCraft Headed To Xbox 360... Against The Clock
Minecraft was one of the standout games of 2010 (despite the fact that it hasn't technically released yet), and one of the most common recurring questions on the official forums is whether the experience would work on consoles. Luckily Projectorgames, the veteran Indie outfit behind the sublime Steam Heroes, is set to answer this question. FortressCraft is set to deliver a heady blend of freeform creation with cutting edge-graphics, using nifty coding techniques to get around the Xbox 360's lack of RAM compared to most PCs. Currently the project is set for an Xbox Live Indie release.
Despite only being in development for three weeks, FortressCraft is already looking incredible. Day/night cycles, water effects, 32-player online multiplayer and avatar support is already in the bag- with ProjectorGames now focusing on the peer 2 peer functionality. To add extra pressure to the already tight schedule, project leader 'DJArcas' has exclusively confirmed to us that the release is set for February 7th, which is the Microsoft deadline for Indie games submitted using the XNA 3.1 toolset. If they miss the midnight cutoff point, they'll have to go back to the drawing board!
We wish Projectorgames the very best of luck... both for releasing on time, and avoiding cease and desist orders. Naturally we'll keep you posted! [FortressCraft]