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Dreamfall Chapters Dev Disagrees with George Lucas on Storytelling

Lucas claims games are still waiting for a Titanic-style storytelling success; Tornquist isn't so sure. Eurogamer's Tom Phillips reports.

This article first appeared on USgamer, a partner publication of VG247. Some content, such as this article, has been migrated to VG247 for posterity after USgamer's closure - but it has not been edited or further vetted by the VG247 team.

Ragnar Tornquist, director of Kickstarted adventure game Dreamfall Chapters, has disagreed with George Lucas' view that the evolution of storytelling in video games is still waiting for a wildly popular success like the movie Titanic.

Tornquist, speaking live on stage at the recent UK-based PC and indie games show Rezzed 2013, mentioned the controversial comments from Lucas made earlier this month.

"Games are where storytelling is being experimented on the most," Tornquist began. "Take Journey, one of the best games I've ever played - it tells an amazing story through pictures and sound that you just wouldn't see in a TV show.

"It reminds me of a few weeks ago when George Lucas and Steven Spielberg were having a conversation about games. Lucas said that 'the second you get the controller something turns off in the heart, and it becomes a sport'.

"It made me so angry because I'm currently playing The Last of Us... I'm not going to spoil anything -- but the beginning of the game sets up this great emotional connection... The controller turns on and your heart does not turn off. You feel desperate."

Lucas' comments drew fire at the time after the Star Wars creator was heard to say that games were still waiting for an "actual love story".

"The big game of the next five years will be a game where you empathize very strongly with the characters and it's aimed at women and girls," Lucas explained. "They like empathetic games. That will be a huge hit and as a result that will be the Titanic of the game industry, where suddenly you've done an actual love story or something and everybody will be like 'where did that come from?' Because you've got actual relationships instead of shooting people."

"The big game of the next five years will be a game where you empathize very strongly with the characters and it's aimed at women and girls."

George Lucas

The Rezzed panel was made of up of a range of voices on video game storytelling -- but all saw a bright future for the medium, whether that be through linear storylines or emergent gameplay.

"A lot of the best stories these days are not necessarily being told with NPC characters and huge swirling orchestral moments," Project Zomboid's Will 'Velvet Owl' Porter said. "They're being told on YouTube and, like FTL and DayZ."

"Linear storytelling is never going to go away," Tournquist concluded. "I think the most interesting experiences are the ones where developers try and blend it with the emergent player story and combine the two."

Catch up with the panel in full below.

Watch on YouTube

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