Mystery game

I am at the annual Game Developer’s Conference. Today over lunch we were discussing the vast difference between acting in movies/television/theatre and “acting” in computer games.

There is an enormous push in many top first-person games for ever greater levels of realism. This is reflected in many talks at GDC, which focus on things like hair, clothing, subsurface scattering for skin, eye rendering, and all the other subtleties required to get real-time rendering ever closer to photo-realism.

Yet there seems to be an almost willful blindness within the field about the state of “acting” in these games. For example, my friend pointed out that there were many moments in the recent high budget “L.A. Noire” from Rockstar Games when both the camera and the virtual actors went totally still.

The psychological effect was essentially that the characters had gone dead. Something like this would simply never happen in a linear film with real people.

I pointed out that there was, in fact, one commercially successful first-person game in which there was, in fact, no bad acting.

My friends were quite interested to hear what game I could be thinking of.

MYST!” I said.

Of course, this wasn’t such great news. After all, MYST came out twenty years ago.

One thought on “Mystery game”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *