Starhawk developer Lightbox Interactive is trying to make their futuristic shooter more engaging from a story perspective than its predecessor Warhawk, by using the tools that Hollywood uses to construct their stories. A panel of filmmakers and developers discussed the topic of movies and games at a panel in Fantastic Arcade, a convention held in Austin, Texas over the weekend.
Lightbox president Dylan Jobe stated: "With Warhawk, the mechanics were crazy fun but the universe was just hollow. A good story and a hero makes the whole thing more compelling, and we brought in talent from the film industry to work on the universe of Starhawk before we even began to think who the characters would be."
"Writing is something video games still need to improve on," Jobe added. "There's a lot of really bad writing in video games and also in the way that the story is integrated."
"I feel frustrated when I play a game like Dead Space that has great mechanics, but a lack of ambition in the story," said film director Nacho Vigalondo at the panel. "If it was a movie, with its plot it would be a B-movie, not a big-budget film."
Jobe pointed out an example of his attempts to make Starhawk flow through cinematics, stating: "We pulled an entire mission out to be part of one of the cinematic story moments. It actually worked to make the game flow better and more naturally push the player into the next mission; it wasn't that we're trying to make a film or remove the player's control, but it's important to understand how story moments can benefit your game."
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