Amnesia designer: ‘Why haven’t we advanced storytelling in games?’

By Nick Akerman, Friday, 17 August 2012 10:05 GMT

Frictional Games’ co-founder Thomas Grip had a good old rant over at gamescom 2012.

With storytelling on his mind, Grip began by outlining, “story is not just the plot.”

He suggested interactivity is key to any tale being told through games: “We want the player to play through the story, not just sit through it.”

Grip proceeded to underline how games haven’t changed in over 20 years. We still play through a section, complete minor tasks and sit back to watch a cutscene.

“This is weird… why haven’t we advanced?” He continues, “The main culprit is how most of these games are designed.”

Speaking of his own titles, he challenged designers to, “Tell stories where you play all the way through the games, not just the bits where the designers tell you to.”

This is something Grip tries to do in his own work. Titles such as Amnesia: The Dark Descent and Penumbra often opt for minimal interruption, allowing the player to completely soak up the experience. For the former, such techniques make the title so insistently terrifying. With this in mind, Grip concluded:

“Don’t try to beat the game, try to live the game.”

Thanks, Indie Games.

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