“Game designers need to become more effective storytellers,” says Visceral’s Bagwell

Saturday, 29 January 2011 21:20 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

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Wright Bagwell, creative director at Visceral, believes that one of the biggest problems currently facing game development, is the lack of effective storytelling.

Speaking in a Q&A over on MTV, Bagwell said designers need to prefect the art of storytelling in a game without looking to Hollywood for inspiration.

“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,” he said. “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.”

Bagwell’s advice on how to help do this, is just to “keep it simple.”

“A good game designer needs to be able to distinguish between depth and complication in both gameplay and story writing,” he offered. “You want people to start having fun the moment they begin playing your game, so it’s important to not overwhelm people with complicated tutorials or complicated, irrelevant backstory.”

Visceral’s latest game, Dead Space 2, was released this week. Get rounded up on the reviews here.

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