David Jaffe thinks developers shouldn't tell stories in their games, and he spent his D.I.C.E. 2012 session explaining why. He called the combination of cinematic storytelling and gameplay two great tastes that don't taste great together, something like chocolate and tuna fish. The original God of War designer got into games specifically to do that, but he eventually came to think of it as a dead end and ultimately dangerous path to pursue.
Jaffe talked about his years with Sony and the electronics giant's efforts to support storytelling advances in games. In fact, Jaffe's Santa Monica studio was at various points involved with the development of Team Bondi's L.A. Noire and the cancelled Six Days in Fallujah specifically because of those titles' storytelling aspirations. Despite that, Jaffe has come to the conclusion that developers in the industry "have let our gameplay muscles atrophy" in pursuit of story.
As for who's doing it right, Jaffe pointed to Deus Ex designer Harvey Smith, saying his grasp of intertwining player-authored stories is the best way to handle things.
Jaffe thinks you think he's crazy. Do you? Let us know in the comments below.
The D.I.C.E. Summit (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) is a once yearly conference dedicated to exploring approaches to the creative process and artistic expression as they uniquely apply to the development of interactive entertainment. It is organized by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences and hosts the annual Interactive Achievement Awards, which celebrate the best games of the past year, as voted by AIAS members. Comedian Jay Mohr will return to host the awards show, which takes place on February 9.
For more, check out GameSpot's coverage page, which will feature full video of every panel and keynote address from the 2012 D.I.C.E. Summit.