Telltale Games’ Jake Rodkin has claimed that many developers underestimate the importance of story and writing – and this has led to mainstream gaming being dominated by soulless, superficial experiences. “Video games, like movies, have got stuck in a rut of just being action-packed, bravado-filled wish-fulfillment,” he said, in an exclusive interview with FMV Magazine. “In many games, the script is actually the last thing that comes in.
“A lot of game developers neglect writing because they think the mechanics and gameplay are more important, which is understandable: but often people fall into the trap of thinking that if enough stuff comes flying out of the screen it will make up for the shortfall in plot and dialogue. It’s the same trap a lot of movies fall into.”
Rodkin is co-project leader on Telltales’ critically and commercially successful Walking Dead series – which has been widely praised for its gripping plot and high-quality writing.
“I’d like to see a lot more games adopt mature writing and story-telling,” he said. “Back in the ’80s and ’90s gaming had a lot of story-based stuff, and a lot of emphasis on personality and character. It’s a bummer that there’s not as much of that around these days.
“But hopefully the success of The Walking Dead, and games like Portal, will change that.”