Rhianna Pratchett has discussed the merits of cutscenes and interactive storytelling over on Gamasutra.
While she is a firm believer in “artfully crafted” cutscenes, the last thing she wants is a game turned into a “wannabe movie”.
“There’s no denying that given the fan-base of games like the Metal Gear Solid and Final Fantasy series, many gamers enjoy cutscenes, even incredibly loquacious and lengthy ones,” she told the site.
“Whilst, personally, I’d rather a game wasn’t turned into a wannabe movie, I believe there’s still a place for artfully crafted, well timed and smartly paced cutscenes. Granted, the games that manage to do all three are fairly rare.
“Putting interactivity aside for a moment, there’s still a lot we can do to improve our linear storytelling. There are exceptions (there always are) but our strength in this regard is by no means across the board. It is improving though, title by title.
“Cutscenes are still an important tool in our narrative toolbox, and we shouldn’t throw out the hammer just because we keep hitting our thumb with it. We just have to learn how to wield it a little better.”
Pratchett goes on to discuss cutscenes vs. direct during-gameplay storytelling and how each can co-exist.