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29. Re: BioShock Infinite Delayed Dec 7, 2012, 16:50 theyarecomingforyou
Yakubs wrote on Dec 7, 2012, 15:52:
I think scripting was something that really enhanced a game when it was new and exciting (the original Half-Life really blew me away). But I see it as a negative in new games, for the most part. To me it was a stepping stone in game design and technology that designers should be leaving behind at this point.
This. Singleplayer games currently need a degree of scripting in order to create a compelling narrative but when it becomes too rigid it becomes very noticeable and severely impacts upon replayability. For instance, Far Cry 3 has scripted sequences with strong emotional attachments but they punctuate gameplay that is very freeform, whereas games like the Call Of Duty series rely too heavily on scripting and the gameplay mechanics are too readily apparent. There's a fine line between a compelling game with scripting and an overly scripted game, with a lot of that dependent upon the depth of the gameplay.

For me the best scripting is where you have complete control of the character and screen, with everything happening around you - this is best demonstrated by the Half-Life and Elder Scrolls franchises. Far Cry 3 has much better acting and scripting but the lack of player control during cutscenes makes you feel less connected to the action. You don't need to force the camera to stick on a particular scene, as if you make the scene compelling enough then the players will want to watch it and engage with it of their own accord.

I think the ultimate end-game of gaming is complete immersion, ala the holodeck in Star Trek. I can understand why developers want to leverage the strengths of cinema but I think it works against the primary strength of the gaming platform, which is interaction. My concern with BioShock Infinite is that the gameplay will be too shallow and the environments too linear, which means you'll basically be walking from one scripted event to another.
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