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Silicon Knights Founder Denis Dyack Envisions A More "Narrative-Focused" Future For Gaming

JGaskill
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Posted July 17, 2009 - By Jake Gaskill



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Silicon Knights Founder Denis Dyack Envisions Ah, the old “videogames as art” debate. An oldie, but a goodie. However today, we have a slightly different take on the topic, compliments of Silicon Knights founder Denis Dyack and Gamasutra.

During an interview at this year’s Develop Conference, Dyack clearly stated, “Gameplay is not everything. If you look at the most popular games today, they are far more narrative-focused.” Dyack didn't mention any specific games (other than his own Too Human), but he did say that he expects this trend to continue growing, with game narratives becoming “more and more dominant, possibly superseding gameplay.” However, Dyack was quick to clarify that “narrative is not the be all and end all.”

It’s all part of Dyack’s belief that gaming is the “Eight Art,” falling just behind film. And it’s that relationship between film and videogames that Dyack hopes will intensify in the coming years. "I would encourage us to apply filmic technique to our creations. If you can replicate these techniques extraordinarily well, then your game will resonate with people on a deep level."

This is obviously a very common and well-worn debate, but it seems particularly timely this week, because the first thing that came to mind as I read Dyack’s statements was LucasArts’ recently released The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition. Here’s a game that certainly doesn’t offer a “cinematic” game experience, nor does it feature earth-shattering gameplay, but because it’s driven by an engaging, entertaining and brilliantly written narrative, it’s able to deliver a satisfying game experience, despite its outdated point-and-click style gameplay design. (Quantic Dream’s Heavy Rain will obvious be the poster child for this whole discussion when it’s released next year.)

This is clearly a massive topic, and one that I could spend hours discussing, but I’ll cut myself off here and open the floor to you fine folks. How important is a game’s narrative to your overall experience? Should all games strive to have strong narratives? Isn’t there room in the medium for story-rich and story-poor games?

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Silicon Knights Founder Denis Dyack Envisions A More "Narrative-Focused" Future For Gaming
http://www.g4tv.com/thefeed/blog/post/697483/silicon-knights-founder-denis-dyack-envisions-a-more-narrative-focused-future-for-gaming/
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