GDC 2005: Why Aren't We Doing Interactive Stories?
Why isn’t the Industry making interactive stories?
Panel With Michael Mateas, Tim Schafer, Warren Spector and Neil Young
This panel wasn’t nearly as incendiary as a few of the other panels through the week. Overall it lacked cohesiveness and didn’t really get at a solution to the problem. There were, however a few interesting gems hidden throughout.
Warren pointed that games have yet to resolve the deep conflict between a game’s need for a victory condition and a story’s need for an emotional or compelling narrative end. The only stories where these two come together are the typical game fantasy stories that we have always done. I thought this was a interesting way of stating why you don’t see many romantic comedies or deep tragedies in games.
Tim mentioned that one approach is not to try to force the game to follow a big story, but to take that big story, shatter it, then shove the pieces into the gameplay where it will fit.
He also said that you can't expect game publishers to take the risk of interactive narrative. It isn’t there job, it is his. The difference is that he doesn’t have to tell them about it. The panel seemed to agree that at big companies, the Trojan horse method is the best for innovation.