Fang Talks

Alliteration is awesome!
09 08 13

Using the medium

No matter what you’re doing, this is important.

We’ve got all kinds of awesome media these days. Anything from a good old fashioned book to comics, music, movies, games and more. (See the odd one out there? Book doesn’t have an M in it. The M of Media, perhaps?) They’re all unique and have their own special characteristics, limitations and possibilities. Games, for example, are very good at interactive storytelling. Emphasis there is on interactive, obviously. It’s such a shame though, when you see products completely ignore all the possibilities its medium offers.

Most of the examples I’ll be throwing around will be about digital media, because hey, I’m more familiar with that and good examples are easier to come by. This doesn’t go to say that similar things can’t be done with books or whatever, it’s just a bit harder. (Though you could argue that depends on who you ask.)

I’ll whip something easy out to warm you up. (Innuendos all year round, ladies and gentlemen.) Games. Love talking about them. Come on, the medium itself is such a fascinating thing. It allows you to tell a story through interaction instead of page upon page of words, words and more words. It can put you in a character’s shoes without a need for 3D glasses, or hell, even a first-person perspective. Yet way too many games tell their story solely through dialogue and cutscenes, with little to sometimes (God forbid) no connection to the gameplay. It may be a bit hard to craft such an experience, but it’s well worth it.

Comics, too. Webcomics, in this particular case. If you look at the ever-popular Homestuck for example, you’ll see that it has transcended beyond just a comic, images in blocks on a page. It’s part interactive, but let’s shove that aside. It does animation, which is really cool, but that’s not a big deal either. It often is how it uses that animation. Panels sliding in and out, images popping in, moving out of the frame you expected them to be in. You know those drawings where half the painting hangs out of the frame? Yeah, it’s like that, except you only realizes it does that the second time you watch it.

Producers, creators honestly need to step it up if they want their works to be part of the things produced for a specific medium. Just being on there no longer cuts it, and I’m amazed it ever did.
~ Fang

Comments

  • 12/08/2013 (12:44 PM)

    You do raise some excellent points. Now that you’re going to be making games you have the chance to do this stuff yourself and you should take that chance. I actually can’t really remember the last time I really played a game where the story was told within the gameplay. I have played some games with spectacular stories that really do grip me, and the same applies to books and movies and everything. Some developers, in any media, are just really lazy.

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