We love David Jaffe. The guy has never ceased to speak his mind, and he has delivered memorable experiences for many years.

But we have to disagree with the iconic designer when he says those who want to tell a great story should consider other entertainment mediums. It's just not progressive thinking in our eyes.

In speaking at the 2011 D.I.C.E. Summit (and as cited at GamesIndustry.biz ), Jaffe first said industry executives need to adopt a "bullsh** filter" if they don't want to waste money on "over-promised projects." And for this part, we imagine he makes a great point:

"But you can't see the game in your head, you can see the trailer to a movie that doesn't actually exist. You better start learning gameplay language. It's not to be mean spirited, I would never do that, but you can actually sit with developer and say 'it's cool that you want to do that but tell me how.' If you come in with an awareness of that, if you're an executive that can suss that out, that's great. You don't want to have a developer romance you with the promise of something more than it will ever be and it ends up not being that."

But then Jaffe addressed the fascination some developers have with storytelling, in that they want to use games to convey a wider range of emotions, or tackle compelling, real-world issues. He says they should try a more relevant medium:

"A lot of these people will say 'I have something to say, I have a story to tell.' If you've really got something inside of you that's so powerful, like a story you've got to share or a philosophy about mans place in the universe, why in the fu** would you choose the medium that has historically, continually been the worst medium to express philosophy, story and narrative?

Why wouldn't you write a book, why wouldn't you make a movie? It's like being one of the world's best chefs and working in the world's best restaurants, you ply your trade in McDonalds."

We certainly understand his point, but…I mean, wait a minute, Dave. Just because we haven't been able to do something yet means we should stop trying? It means it can't ever work? Video games are merely interactive entertainment and it isn't impossible to tell a fantastic story in this realm; it just requires more innovation. With passive forms of entertainment, like reading a book, the player can't change anything written and in games, he potentially could. That's the biggest stumbling block in our eyes.

But to say games are incapable and developers who want to tell unbelievable stories should stop trying? We're not down with that.

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Oxvial
Oxvial
9 years ago

Guy lately being shocking like when he said TM isn't worthy of 60 bucks if you are into sp,or TM gonna guarantee you a bj from your gf if you buy on Valentin.

I don't dislike him but LOL


Last edited by Oxvial on 2/9/2012 9:44:08 PM

556pineapple
556pineapple
9 years ago

I'm sorry, Dave, but some of the most memorable stories I've ever experienced have been through video games. Final Fantasy VII, Heavy Rain, Uncharted and, most of all, the Metal Gear saga have all stood out to me as prime examples of how games can tell amazing stories. That's the reason why these are the games that mean the most to me.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

Well I don't think he's saying games don't have great stories. I think he is saying all those great stories you've enjoyed would have been even better had they been in the form of movies or books.

556pineapple
556pineapple
9 years ago

Yeah that's what I got from it too, though I guess I just didn't express as well as I thought I did. I still disagree with him, as the player's involvement in the stories is what makes them so phenomenal, especially with Heavy Rain. It was a one-of-a-kind memorable experience as a game, but it couldn't possibly be a movie, and if it were a book, it would likely be dismissed as a cheesy choose-your-own-adventure book.

Metal Gear could pass as a good action series for movies, but I think it would lack the impact it had as a game series, because it wouldn't be as involving. The same goes for Final Fantasy. Uncharted could be a success as a movie, but Hollywood is likely going to screw it up.

Also, if they were to pursue these stories as books or movies, they might not get the attention they would as games, as they have a greater chance of blending in. I guess what I'm trying to say is that the gaming world needs great storytellers to create these memorable games.


Last edited by 556pineapple on 2/9/2012 10:31:37 PM

TheIllusiveMan
TheIllusiveMan
9 years ago

The way I took it was him saying that if you have a story set in your mind that you want to become something, choosing to tell the story through a video game is not the best way to do it. Not saying anything against video games in any way, but it goes along with the other part of what he said.

Basically, if you have a story, your best choice isn't to put it into an interactive form of entertainment. With a book, its all there plain and simple, with a movie, you have to have more details to worry about, like what should it look like, how should the actors act, can you keep the good story in only a couple hours long if film, and most importantly you have to decide on the style of the movie itself.

However with a game, you have to take all of that into account, and at the same time know how you want the game to play, plus there's just so much more development and overall amount of work involved in just making your story come to life in a game.

556pineapple
556pineapple
9 years ago

That may be, but the way he puts it suggests that games are incapable of effectively telling a story, which just isn't true. Historically, the stories in games haven't matched the quality of books or movies, but I think that's due to a lack of truly good writers in the industry by comparison. Also, video games are a fairly new medium, having been around for about 40 years now (excluding Space War and other early examples.) Film has been around for about a century, and the written word has been around for millenia. I think we're just now getting to the point where we're figuring out just how effective games can be at telling stories, and I'm of the opinion that more writers should try to apply their craft to this field, no matter how difficult it may be.


Last edited by 556pineapple on 2/10/2012 12:01:32 AM

Clamedeus
Clamedeus
9 years ago

Jaffe though isn't saying games can't have great stories, he knows they can, he even mentions Batman Arkham City, he likes that game he thinks the story was very well done. But he's saying we shouldn't focus all of our attention on only story driven games, there should be 2 mediums. Story driven and pure game play fun.

I don't remember the rest of what he said but you really need to watch the interview (Video) he did with Dice, it'll explain what he means.

http://www.gamespot.com/twisted-metal-2012/videos/twisted-metal-david-jaffe-dice-2012-session-6350083/


Last edited by Clamedeus on 2/10/2012 6:03:34 AM

Neo_Aeon666
Neo_Aeon666
9 years ago

Don't try to defend him. He just likes Angry Birds THAT MUCH.

And he has a brain disorder so he can't follow a story and coordinate his hands.

He lost all respect at: *story you've got to share or a philosophy about mans place in the universe, why in the fu** would you choose*

Clamedeus
Clamedeus
9 years ago

No offense, but please don't tell me what to do.

If you don't agree with Jaffe you don't need to insult him because you don't see eye to eye on something.

"And he has a brain disorder so he can't follow a story and coordinate his hands."

God of War 1, God of War 2..

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

I agree with him, somewhat. I've played several games that had an amazing story and interesting characters but pale in comparison to movies that have meant a lot to me.

But there is a tradeoff thanks to the immersion of gaming. By being able to interact in games and control characters I feel you end up creating a bond not found in movies or books.

Shams
Shams
9 years ago

At first, it seems his comments mirror another rogue developer such as Itagaki-san ("If I wanted to make a story, I would've wrote a novel"), but I know when Jaffe was heading GOW development, he described the experience he wanted to provide as something that as a kid he got from watching Indiana Jones. And he accomplished that. It wasn't the best hack'n slash, plaformer, or puzzler, but it defined the action-adventure genre, and brought it to knew heights of cinematic story-telling and action sequences, and on-screen assets.

So with that in mind, maybe he isn't out against story-telling as a whole in gaming, but maybe just taking a reactionary pot-shot at the Sony execs who forced that requirement on the Twisted Metal project, or at worst taking a pot-shot at the likes of Kojima san, who raised the bar to impossible heights. I bet on the latter rather than the former.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

You're wrong and I hate you.

Shams
Shams
9 years ago

Oops. I meant, "I bet on the former rather than the latter." Yikes.

SmokeyPSD
SmokeyPSD
9 years ago

There are plenty of wonderful games out there which don't involve running/driving/flying around mindlessly shooting/stabbing things. I think that Jaffe personally really only likes those kinds of games however.

FM23
FM23
9 years ago

I never cared for this guy, but ever since I found out he was the lead creator for GOWI I have had respect for him, but after watching him tear down the importance of storytellong in videogames for 22 mins, I have reverted back to not caring much for him. I can't play most games unless a story is guiding me. This is why I play games. Outside of racing games, I need games with a story to push me along. Im not a kid and Im not simple minded…GIVE ME A GOODASS STORY. I don't play sports games too often unless witj friends and I sure aint addicted to mp like that. Give me a story driven adventure please.

Clamedeus
Clamedeus
9 years ago

You really need to watch the Interview he did instead of just getting a snippet of what he's saying and then judging him.

He's not saying games can't have great stories, he's saying some of the times when developing the story for a game the story can be easily be portrayed wrong because the developer probably focused to much on a certain bit of the story or mechanic of the game and the story didn't come out the way they wanted it to be.

He likes Batman Arkham City and he thinks it has an amazing story of how they made it, HE knows games can have great stories but it's also very easy to screw them up when making them, he doesn't want us to go in one direction with video games, he wants us to focus on both mediums of Story driven, and just pure fun gameplay.


Last edited by Clamedeus on 2/10/2012 7:43:55 AM

maxpontiac
maxpontiac
9 years ago

Indeed FM23.

I like you looked on Jaffe out of respect because of his past.

Now he sounds like someone who has been worked over by an industry which he has seemingly given up on.

I just get the feeling that without console gaming, he is going to fade away.


Last edited by maxpontiac on 2/10/2012 10:23:26 AM

Douchebaguette
Douchebaguette
9 years ago

Ah you zee, it iz where I enteur ze MacDonall, I start cooking le food zat ze people in zoes restaurants have never zeen ze likes ov.

Well he could be correct on the current realism of medium, but that's because the gaming industry is alot younger. There are shitty books, there are hell of a lot more shitty movies around, and there are plenty games around without even a single thought to actually adding a story yet alone improving one. But time and time again, we see exceptional pieces of art in all three formats.

In theory gaming should have the best potential since it allows you to dive in and control the environment. With a movie you just watch, and with a book you just…read. Granted a book lets you imagine things in your own way, contrary to a movie which leads you and perhaps gives you distinct unimaginable aesthetics, but technically a video game has the potential to do both. And more.

(Also a movie has the potential to be exactly a novel, but try picturing that disaster: imagine scrolling text for like 5+ hours).

mehrab2603
mehrab2603
9 years ago

Guy's talking too much lately and losing my respect he earned with the stellar GOW.

SmokeyPSD
SmokeyPSD
9 years ago

This

Clamedeus
Clamedeus
9 years ago

Nothing wrong with someone who speaks their mind than someone who doesn't, I respect that.

mehrab2603
mehrab2603
9 years ago

Good for you. I don't agree with someone who is wrong which makes me lose some respect for him even if he is speaking his mind. Of course it doesn't help that he is making other silly comments like gf giving bj for a game. There I spoke my mind.

Clamedeus
Clamedeus
9 years ago

How is he wrong? You are probably taking what he's saying out of context of what he actually means.

And over a silly comment? Really, who cares honestly, it's a silly comment that's all that was.

Clamedeus
Clamedeus
9 years ago

I agree with Jaffe, but to an extent.

mehrab2603
mehrab2603
9 years ago

He is wrong in thinking that *good* stories cannot be told through games and I strongly disagree with that. He accepts games can have stories but then says what he believes and that belief is wrong imo. Gaming has one aspect of story telling that other 2 medium don't have and that is interactivity. Now if a storyteller thinks he needs that interactivity to tell a story more effectively, I ask you, why would he choose movies or books? Each medium has its own strengths and each can be used with that strength in mind to tell masterful stories.

And those comments are so silly that they fail as a joke and end up making him look like a fool.

gungrave
gungrave
9 years ago

It's very obvious that he has yet to play Heavy Rain. I haven't seen a great story like that since Seven, and you decide the outcome… in a way.

Beamboom
Beamboom
9 years ago

… Or Mass Effect, Bioshock, Deus Ex:HR (I loved that story), or… We got a pretty good case against him, actually. 🙂


Last edited by Beamboom on 2/10/2012 6:11:26 AM

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

He's just stuck in his arcadey ways. I'm not an emotional type at all, but I've gotten more lumps in my throat from certain scenes in games than I ever have from movies and books (though I fully enjoy those mediums as well).

shadowscorpio
shadowscorpio
9 years ago

Same here. For me it was the story in a video game that hit me hardest emotionally. Not a book or a movie. That's not to say that those mediums haven't given me great experiences.

I just can't remember when I was every touched in a more powerful way than experiencing the stories from Final Fantasy 6, Suikoden 2, Xenogears, Xenosaga 1, 2, and 3 (In Xenosaga 2 when Rubedo had to take is brother's life was especially hard to experience), and the Metal gear Solid series.


Last edited by shadowscorpio on 2/10/2012 2:07:07 AM

Killa Tequilla
Killa Tequilla
9 years ago

You monster! You haven't seen Titanic!

shadowscorpio
shadowscorpio
9 years ago

Me or World? I have indeed seen Titanic and I confess, that was a powerful movie. In fact, at the risk of sounding like a hipocrite I will say it hit me in such a way that was equivilent to those of the games I described above.

However, in my defense I will say that there is a reason that Titanic didn't come to mind for me and the story from my previously mentioned games did. I guess , for me at least, these games left more of a "lasting" impression. Not saying that the opposite isn't true for someone else.

Beamboom
Beamboom
9 years ago

I think we need both. To tell a really good story in a successful way in a *game* (as opposed to in video files aka "cutscenes") requires a lot. If you don't have what it takes then don't even try, focus on gameplay and make that stellar instead of spending time and money on some (often) pompous crap.


Last edited by Beamboom on 2/10/2012 2:23:10 AM

___________
___________
9 years ago

the guy needs to go play heavy rain!
if anything games are the PERFECT medium for stories because there interactive!
if done well they CAN make you feel like the character your playing, and make you feel emotions like you would expect the character to.
heavy rain did, and so has the darkness 2.
all ill say is what, the 4th level?
some of the sh*t in that game amazes me it did not get banned!
even i have standards!

Looking Glass
Looking Glass
9 years ago

This doesn't really surprise me. Jaffe is in numerous ways an old school kind of guy. This doesn't make me think any less of him.

Teddie9
Teddie9
9 years ago

I'm a little upset but I've always liked him prior to this. What you say makes sense, he may very well be put off by how seriously some titles take themselves because his favourite ones of the past never did.

Whatever there will be still be great story driven games.

Fane1024
Fane1024
9 years ago

David Cage > David Jaffe

😀

JackC8
JackC8
9 years ago

I've played some games with very good stories, so I certainly don't see why he'd think it's impossible. Most games have at least some attempt at story, so why not actually put some thought into it and make it good? That doesn't make any sense.

Oh well, I guess the storytelling will be done by other developers with a much greater appreciation for it than Mr. Jaffe.

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

There is another point worth considering that jaffe has not thought about yet:

While movies and books do some wonderful things with the imagination, and while they've been around much longer to establish many more best practices, they all contain the proverbial 4th wall.

What that means is that the audience or reader is only on the outside looking in. It's pure observation and analysis.

However, games have the ability to INCLUDE the audience in the story. We become a part of it. We -are- Zack in Crisis Core, we -ARE- Sheppard in Mass Effect, we -ARE- Ethan in Heavy Rain.

With technology constantly advancing, the opportunities for that inclusion are only growing more and more each day. We already know we're capable of telling equally engaging stories through games, even if we don't have the same number of tools as other mediums. But with advances constantly being made, I can't help but think that eventually, that inclusion would produce more audience buy-in.

And as games become more and more capable, I can't see how movies and books will be able to keep up with such intricate inclusion, which in my mind's eye, I see coming in the future.

Sure, there will always be your Hot Tub Time Machines of games, your arcadey experiences, and mindless games… but heck, look at all the crummy novels out there along with the majority of movies which are crap as well. Absolute and complete experiences are a dime a dozen in ANY medium. So even that argument is flawed.

I'm gonna disagree with Jaffe here. Perhaps currently he has a point. But with enough forward thinking and creativity, it's only a matter of time before he becomes exactly the same as silent movie lovers, melodrama lovers, and stage acting lovers were about movies:

Wrong.

D1g1tal5torm
D1g1tal5torm
9 years ago

Just because he can't, doesn't mean that nobody else can.

oONewcloudOo
oONewcloudOo
9 years ago

No one follows jaffe on twitter I see
this is a quote.

"Lots of people are officially stupid. I never said games should not have stories. Fuck sakes."

Clamedeus
Clamedeus
9 years ago

Indeed, people keep taking what he says out of context.

D1g1tal5torm
D1g1tal5torm
9 years ago

What he did say was, why would you choose games to tell a story when, he feels, there are easier ways of doing it.

He should well know the comment he made and how it would most likely be construed; is it not then a little naive and stupid of him?


Last edited by D1g1tal5torm on 2/10/2012 9:15:13 AM

Clamedeus
Clamedeus
9 years ago

I don't think he said that, he knows games can tell a great story but he thinks Movies or books is easier to make the story you want, with games it takes more effort and most of the times the story isn't conveyed right and it comes out like crap. I'm not saying Books or movies can't have crappy stories because they can have crappy ones.

He also says that if a developer or an upcoming developer wants to make a story driven game they should do so, they shouldn't ditch that and do something else, because we don't know how it will be received, it could be the best story driven game made.

He thinks we shouldn't just focus on one Medium of games, we should branch out, and make different types of games whether it be story driven games, FPS, Indie games etc. I do agree with Jaffe a bit, we should branch out because some games take things way too seriously it seems games have been going more towards the serious side of things.


Last edited by Clamedeus on 2/10/2012 9:34:09 AM

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

No, it wasn't "shouldn't tell a story", it was essentially, if people feel they have a philosophy or commentary on the human condition, there are better mediums. He was referring to story on a deeper level. Not story itself.

I still disagree with him, though.


Last edited by Underdog15 on 2/10/2012 9:35:21 AM

Clamedeus
Clamedeus
9 years ago

Ah, fair enough. But, I do agree on we shouldn't just focus on just Story driven games though, I don't like that a lot of games are going the "I'm Serious" route of things.

But with what you said, I also disagree, I think video games can achieve that.


Last edited by Clamedeus on 2/10/2012 9:45:39 AM

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

I didn't say he said games shouldn't have stories, either.

He spent quite some time saying there are better ways to tell a story, though. Furthermore, I know his stance on this, and it's that masterful stories and video games don't go together. Pretty sure he believes that…and I don't.

Clamedeus
Clamedeus
9 years ago

@Ben

If you are aiming that towards me, I didn't say you did, it's just that others are taking it like that.

And I do believe masterful stories can be made in video games, that part I disagree with him about. But I do agree with him that we shouldn't just focus on one side of games.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

No, it was in reply to Jaffe's Twitter comment.

Clamedeus
Clamedeus
9 years ago

lol

Amnesiac
Amnesiac
9 years ago

I don't think he is being mean spirited or giving up on games themselves telling a story, it sounds like he is frustrated at a lack of vision or focus with certain game developers. He isn't against a politicly driven or a socially eco-conscience narrative but given that the video game arena must have a massive broad appeal [for a game to get made] It seems he wants those people to go into a completely medium where they will have the tools they need and stop bogging the industry down.