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Story-Based Game Design: Movies Inspiring Developers

Story-Based Game Design: Movies Inspiring Developers

Video games used to be high-score tackling affairs with little to no story present in most developers initial game design. It was all about collecting coins and racking up points. While some games are still very much about reaching for the high score, there has been an evolution in game design that has pushed the gaming industry towards comparisons to the movie industry.

Narrative-driven experiences with set pieces and moments more comparable to Hollywood blockbusters than to classic games like Pong. Gaming is more often than not used to tell a story. This has come under fire when it compromises gameplay, but it has also been highly lauded with some of the best games of the last five years featuring a focus on story.

One group of the highest lauded narrative-based games is the Uncharted series. A PlayStation exclusive series, Uncharted follows the story of young treasure-hunter Nathan Drake. With his aging mentor and beautiful accomplices, Drake must do battle with foreign baddies to reach the end of his ques-… Wait. Isn’t this Indiana Jones? It sure sounds like it. Featuring a movie-like scenario from the get-go, Uncharted’s movie similarities don’t end there.

Motion-capture technology is big in both the movie and video game industries. And the way Uncharted uses motion-capture represents one of the trends taking over the gaming industry.  Imagine this: Actors on a sound-stage in full mo-cap outfits (a spandex suit with tons of dots used to capture the nuances of an actor’s movement) who act out entire scenes of a game together. This includes voice recording alongside motion-capture to provide a full experience. This situation is found in game development everywhere nowadays and “Uncharted” helped bring it into the mainstream.

Another Sony exclusive developer Quantic Dream, known for games like Indigo Prophecy and Heavy Rain (pictured above), are strong believers in creating a game much like a big budget movie. Their newest title, Beyond: Two Souls, features Canadian actress Ellen Page and motion capture technology similar to what was described above.

With the talents and technology being used by major film studios, game developers are looking to blend game design with the art of film-making. And some members in the world of film are even looking at game development as well. Famed director Guillermo del Toro has been intrigued in the gaming industry for some time and has put together a team to create a game with his unique vision called Insane.

Whether you are a gamer or an actor or a director, in today’s world, it may be worth it to get a degree in game design.

Get information on game design degrees using the form on this page. School representatives will guide you through the process and answer any questions you may have about the various programs that are available to help you earn your game design degree.

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