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Amy Hennig and Jade Raymond on narrative and game design

"The games I’ve enjoyed most, I feel like it’s a collaboration between the director and me. ... It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t author something. It means we should engage the player and collaborate with the player."
"The games I’ve enjoyed most, I feel like it’s a collaboration between the director and me. They were spooling out the story, but it was mine to interpret and experience. That should be our highest goal. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t author something. It means we should engage the player and collaborate with the player."

- Amy Hennig

VentureBeat has a huge new interview with EA creatives Jade Raymond and Amy Hennig -- known also, of course, for their work on the Assassin's Creed and Uncharted franchises, respectively -- that delves deep into the questions of how triple-A games should present narrative and what players should, in the big picture, get out of playing them.

Both of the developers are working on new titles for EA, and have been considering these questions rather closely, it seems. Raymond, of course, opened the new EA Motive studio in Montreal, while Hennig joined Visceral Games to work on a Star Wars title.

Raymond argues for allowing games to be appealing fantasies -- that this is, in fact, what makes them a powerful medium:

"What I love about games is that a lot of these systems are trying to boil down the rules we deal with in real life into something simple. You can have the sense of clear satisfaction that you don’t necessarily get in real life after you finish school," she says.

"I’m playing Fallout now, and it’s funny. It just takes the rules of human interaction and systematizes them so they’re understandable. In real life you can’t do that, because it’s not as simple as going with your strategy of maxing out charisma. But I think that’s cool about games. You get to experiment with a lot of different approaches."

There's a great deal more in the extensive interview, and it's worth checking out.

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