Naughty Dog wants to "change the f***ing industry" with The La

Discussion in 'User Submitted News' started by soulx, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. soulx
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    Member soulx GBAtemp Legend

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    Naughty Dog has delivered a scathing verdict on the "poor" standard of storytelling in video games, revealing its aim to "change the f***ing industry" with upcoming PlayStation 3-exclusive The Last of Us.

    Speaking at the studio's offices in Santa Monica on Monday, creative director and writer Neil Druckmann told Eurogamer his team wanted to "raise the bar" in order to make other game developers realise: "Okay, I really need to learn the craft of storytelling, I really need to involve my actors in this in order to get realistic performances and realistic actors. That's what we want to do."

    He also argued that reviewers were too quick to praise average storytelling, which could hold back the medium's development.

    "We try so hard at Naughty Dog to push things," he said. "And then games come out that are fun and exciting and get visceral things right, but to read in reviews that they have an amazing story is disheartening to us because we work so hard at it.

    "As critics we need to raise the bar, otherwise no-one's going to change. We're going to keep pushing ourselves, and kill ourselves to make this story happen - but hope that by doing it, the rest of the industry is going to take notice and try to do the same thing."

    Elaborating on where other games went wrong, Druckmann, previously lead designer and co-writer on Uncharted 2, told Eurogamer: "We mistake quantity for quality. We don't focus on characters, we focus on monsters or [the] gruesome."

    So what is The Last of Us about? "This is going to sound corny, and it might not appeal to gamers, but I would say it's a love story," said Druckmann. "It's not a romantic love story, it's a love story about a father-daughter-like relationship.

    "We approached this genre because we felt no-one is getting to the heart of it. It tells you something about the human condition - that's what you want to do as a storyteller.

    "We're not saying every game needs a strong, compelling and dramatic story, but if you are going to make a narrative-based game then you better learn the craft."

    Game director Bruce Straley, who held the same role on Uncharted 2, added: "It's not just a zombie game. It's going to be a completely amazing experience that no player has experienced for this genre, the characters, the development, everything."


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  2. Quietlyawesome94

    Member Quietlyawesome94 GBAtemp Maniac

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    Well if they f****** said so, be my guest.
     
  3. KingVamp

    Member KingVamp Great... AETHER!

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    They seem to not attacking stories themselves, but how they are told,but...

    Sorry, but I have to disagree. If more companies start focusing more on the stories then the gameplay would
    most likely suffer.Not only that, games development may take longer as well. We want games not movies.
     
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  4. relminator

    Member relminator GBAtemp Fan

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    If you want great story, read a book.

    Pacman didn't have a story.
     
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  5. soulx
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    Member soulx GBAtemp Legend

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    Gameplay and great stories can go hand and hand. Valve with Portal 2 as well as Half Life 2, Square with Final Fantasy (see what I did there) and many more. It's not so much the story itself but how it's presented. Portal 2 was flat-out amazing with the whole environment and atmosphere, dialogue and the amount of detail in the game. Half Life 2 managed to deliver a great story without any cut-scenes and even though you never spoke with the characters, you still felt for them.

    Movies are a totally different medium from video-games. There's no reason as to why we can't have great stories in both.
     
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  6. Guild McCommunist

    Member Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

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    Yes, movies should have shitty stories. I only watch them for pretty colors and everything else gets in the way!

    From what I'm hearing, everyone complains about games nowadays lacking good "storytelling" but of course when a developer wants to change that, people cry over it? Seriously, what the fuck? It's not like there's a compromise between a good story and a good game. There too many games to count that marry a good story and a good game.

    I really don't think there's "poor storytelling" nowadays though. If anything games like Mass Effect have pushed those boundaries more so than any "retro" game could have.
     
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  7. BrightNeko

    Member BrightNeko Popcorn ball

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    They say that love story and want to learn the art of story telling yet in all their past games the stories have been very very bland and generic (plus plot hole heaven). Simply presented in an over the top manner, so it should be interesting to see if this is something they are saying to pull more money from those not stupid enough to think they're previous titles had tons of depth in the story or an honest try at making something delightful for the mind.
     
  8. Foxi4

    Reporter Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    I actually made a thesis work about Storytelling in general and if someone argues about whether or not video games should have a whole lot of focus put on storytelling if they're not a clone of tetris then I could gladly give you a circa 30 minute lecture about why you are wrong. I will not do that though, due to respect of people who do not share that opinion. Instead I will give you a short recap of said lecture.

    Storytelling has been with mankind since the dawn of language - people have a natural urge to pass stories from one to the other, and we were always looking for methods of storytelling that would be superior to our own to convey them in a better manner, both for educational and entertainment purposes. Afterall, every narrative enriches a person in this way or another, shows a different horizont.

    In the beginning, before written and spoken language, there were pictures drawn on stone walls of caves. Primitive, but they did their job at their time. Unfortunatelly they were free for interpretation and could mean one thing for one caveman, a completely different thing for another. There was presentation, but the so-called story was rather fluid.

    Then, thanks to the evolution of speech organs, we started using oral storytelling, which was also flawed in every possible way - the story told by one person would differ when compared to the same story told by another. Not only that, you couldn't describe every detail - every single listener would be interested in something else, if you were to describe every rock, the story would be neverending.

    With the progress of civilization came the written language, which eventually brought us books and manuscripts - unfortunatelly also flawed, in the sense that while they conveyed the story in its entirety, they were not containing any illustrations nor were they capable of conveying a story you could actively interact with.

    Then came the theatre - apparently fixing the non-picturesque appereance of written and oral storytelling, but still hardly interactive with the exception of very few plays, but those surfaced in the late XXth century.

    Then, thanks to technological advancements came its evolved form - the cinema. While it gave more space for special effects and was generally more accessible, it was haunted by the same lack of interaction.

    Interaction seemed to be the centerpiece of what we tried to achieve - obviously there were attempts to adress this issue. Interactive Cinema, created thanks to Audience Response Systems was a boom in the 90'ties and "Make Your Own Adventure" books were quite popular aswell, but the sheer size of books compared to the actual size of the story and relatively short screentime of interactive movies pretty much crossed them out. Interactive theatrical plays were also present, but extremely rare, as it was hard to choose people from the audience that would like to meaningfuly contribute to what's going to happen.

    Finally, fairly unnoticed came video games. They evolved from rather ugly monochrome contraptions into full-fledged masterpieces with advanced graphics and special effects rivaling those found in motion pictures. They're everywhere, every gamer can have a different experience yet learn of the same story. The virtual actors have no physical limitations, there are also no limitations to the decor. The story can be as interactive as it gets - in fact, some games just put you in a world and let you tell your own story.

    So no, I'm not going to stay in the XVth century and "grab a book", I am going to encourage developers to invest money not in the polycount but in a good narrative. I am well-aware that "cheap" stories "sell better" due to the sheer capacity of farting out crappy stories in a few months time rather than one masterpiece a few years, but let me tell you what - it's our fault.

    WE buy mediocre games, WE are the fuel on this water mill, and unless WE change, the games won't change. If Naughty Dog feels like showing us a game-changing narrative then so be it - I'm in.

    Video Games are the single medium that completely crosses out all boundries when it comes to storytelling, they're an incredible opportunity for telling a story and decorating it in completely unimaginable ways, they have the capacity to tell stories previously unheard of, and they will only carry on improving with time, like they did since the dawn of gaming.

    It's nice to hear of the exploits of a great hero, but it's even better to become that hero - now that's a story! Experience first-hand the hardships without even moving from your seat! Traveling to distant lands, however surreal, seeing and interacting with them! Good luck doing that with a movie, let alone a book.
     
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  9. Gahars

    Member Gahars Bakayaro Banzai

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    So it's The Road, but with a father-daughter combo and a world taken over by an infectious fungi.

    You know what, if they can craft a good plot out of that, I'm game.
     
  10. Bladexdsl

    Member Bladexdsl ZOMG my posts...it's over 9000!!!

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    but you can't PLAY movies. that's why in games only gameplay matters.
     
  11. Memoir

    Member Memoir Undeserved

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    I would like a quality game though. Actually take some time to develop the game and let your previous one enjoy its time. Don't be like the CoD series. PUT EFFORT IN THE GAMES. Quality > Quantity. It counts here too. Also, an actual story line would be pretty cool to have considering half of the time it's short and without a point. Multiplayer is great, but if that's where you want your focus? Don't include a story line.
     
  12. Densetsu

    Former Staff Densetsu Pubic Ninja

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    I thought Heavy Rain was pretty good. That's about the bond between a father and son (albeit it was a dark story, not exactly the warm fuzzy kind of love story).
     
  13. gameandmatch

    Member gameandmatch GBAtemp Fan

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    well kingdom hearts, xenoblade chronicles, and many other games would have been quite boring if that was true.
     
  14. ShadowSoldier

    Member ShadowSoldier GBAtemp Guru

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    Two words:

    Mass Effect.

    /thread.
     
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  15. Hells Malice

    Member Hells Malice Are you a bully?

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    Indeed that's probably one of the terrible storied games that get such high praise that ND mentioned.

    I'm a lot more interested in the game now.
    It would be really nice to see more western games with fantastic stories. Good western stories have such a different feel to them compared to good jRPG stories. I like both, but it'd be nice to have good stories from both sides of the spectrum. So far it's pretty damn hard to find a western game with a good story.

    Also anyone saying gameplay would suffer from story focus is an idiot. I'd say gameplay would benefit from an immersive and deep story. You'd get more into the game, and more into the gameplay elements.
    I absolutely loved Valkyria Chronicles for that. It did a fantastic job of immersing you in the story, through storytelling AND the gameplay.
     
  16. Qtis

    Member Qtis Grey Knight Inquisitor

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    That game honestly was the only game so far that I've actually stood up in an intense scene and tried to make all the moves correctly without failing. That's quite a lot and all because "NO I WILL NOT LET SHAUN DIE!"

    Another great example! Possibly one of those games that I'll be returning to in years after I've played all 3 when ME3 is released.. Epic storytelling
     
  17. VashTS

    Member VashTS Beat it, son

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    its going to be dead island. i see it coming

    i haven't played a "new" game in quite some time. everyone simple just replicates a past idea in a new way. thats why i haven't tried skyrim yet. its going to be like some other game. quite frankly im tired of it happening. i need a new game to play.
     
  18. Qtis

    Member Qtis Grey Knight Inquisitor

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    Play games for the story? That's what I do.. :P
     
  19. ShadowSoldier

    Member ShadowSoldier GBAtemp Guru

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    ME has such an amazing story. And it totally plays like a movie with it's cutscenes and giving the player options for everything. Cutscenes have been done, but I feel like ME really set the bar on how they should be done to get the player more involved.
     
  20. Guild McCommunist

    Member Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

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    It doesn't have enough wide eyed anime girls or Japan references for Hells Malice's tastes.

    EDIT: Before you cry about that HM, remember it's a "joke".

    I can see not liking the venue or even finding the game bad by gameplay (I could see some finding the conversation mechanics as dull or the combat as average) but the story is still complex, open ended, and draws parallels to our own lives and issues, all wrapped in a delicious sci-fi coating (if you're into that).
     

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