The last generation of consoles kicked off worrying over the most shallow of concerns: graphics. Developers were obsessed with conquering the uncanny valley — the unsettling disconnect a person feels while viewing virtual humans.
But with the launch of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, the attention of many of game development's best minds seems interested in a deeper, more meaningful problem: narrative dissonance.
How do you tell a story with complex characters while still ceding control to the players? How does one account for a lovable adventurer who spends much of the 10 hours of a game killing hundreds of people while in control of a player?
It's a problem that Remedy Entertainment has been struggling with for years. Their solutions all seem to look to other forms of entertainment for an answer. Max Payne leaned a bit on graphic novels. Alan Wake looked to television. And their upcoming game, Xbox One exclusive Quantum Break, actually splits the narrative between video game and live-action television.
I sat down with Sam Lake, the Finnish studio's creative director and lead writer, to discuss Remedy's interesting approach to narrative; how the lines continue to blur not just between television and video games, but seemingly all forms of electronic entertainment; and how things are shaping up on Quantum Break.
I didn't ask him to make the Max Payne face, but I did ask him about the future of Alan Wake 2. I hope you enjoy it.
- Polygon Daily Open Thread: What is this thing? Is this interesting? - Tue Sep 2
- Forum moderation?
- Editorial idea for Polygon
- Looking for good JRPGs on PS3, help needed
- Polygon Daily Open Thread: Personable - Mon Sep 1
- Woady Reviews Anime: Whisper of the Heart
- Thoughts on the inaccurate sensor bar
- Pokémon Discussions: Summer into Fall
- Anime, Cartoons, Comics! Plight No. 2, Vol. 17.1 - Woady call me kōhai!
- Weekend at Polygon's: Open Thread - Aug 30-31