Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Warren Specter Interview

Gamasutra recently published a very interesting interview with Warren Specter, head of Junction Point studios.
I read a lot of developer interviews and this one is easily one of my favorite. Warren speaks intelligently and passionatly about advancing the state of our art in realistic ways that really speak to me.
Some choice quotes:

The end goal for me now isn't for me to allow players to play a movie, ride a roller coaster ride or provide a sandbox so they can do what they want, but is to find the compromise where I can have a dialog with each player virtually. That's what's exciting to me.

Then there's what the audience buys. One of the big reasons I'm such an advocate of games education and university programs about game development and analysis is because I think we need to change the way our players think. [...] I want players that demand more of us.

Another point is that if you're going make a game that allows players to make significant choices that puts them in control of a narrative or of a character in a simulated world, you do have an obligation. You have an obligation to show the consequences of choices.

and my personal favorite -- one I believe very strongly in:

...but what really needs to happen is that the universities, the writers, and the critics have to pick up that ball and say “look, games can be more than they are now. Here's how games work. Here's how games can be more, better, or different now.” I think 10, 15, or 20 years from now you'll see people graduating from game development, analysis and study programs all around the world with an understanding of what games can be and they'll start demanding things from the industry that it had better provide.

And now, as a way of reinforcing just how far our industry has to go before it reaches this holy grail, I offer up these two commercials for game design programs currently being offered (note, I don't believe these to be representative. These are clearly extreme examples but too humorous not to post) :

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