[Update: the Flavourworks game HUSH is out now on selected Samsung devices]
The term “interactive movie” has been around for a long while. But today’s technology means we’re finally approaching the true potential of this form of immersive storytelling. It’s time to ask ourselves what games can learn from film narratives – and vice versa.
How can we craft more masterful tales that engage the player in more interactive ways? Combining wisdom from top-tier filmmaking and interactive gamemaking is something Jack Attridge from Flavourworks spoke to us about recently.
Play, Don’t Say
At the online conference Beyond Games #2 (November 2021), Attridge talks about the merging of film and games when it comes to storytelling. He discusses what makes a story more engaging. This includes focusing on nuanced emotion, something films traditionally do better than games.
When it comes to empathetic gameplay, the player is both the recipient and the driver of the story. The player must connect with the protagonist emphatically, and the main character mustn’t contradict a player’s actions. In short, the player must feel aligned with the protagonist to make the narrative more immersive.
All about HUSH
Attridge offers an exciting behind-the-scenes look at HUSH, Flavourworks’ next cinematic game after the success of Erica. Following this video recording, HUSH is available now on some devices. He showcases intriguing aspects of how a player can freely view their surroundings while in the game, as well as the importance of making choices. Here, the decisions that a player makes can vary from simple dialogue choices to actions that alter the narrative completely.
He also shares valuable insights about eliminating skill-based barriers to entry for players. This is especially true when it comes to Quick Time Events (QTEs). He further discusses the importance of interactive storyboards during the prototyping stage of a game, as well as accessibility options.
What’s next for Flavourworks, and how can developers enhance the interactivity of a game? Towards the end of this video session, Attridge shares future plans on working with playable kids TV and dual-screen experiences. He also mentions that interactivity isn’t necessarily about branching narratives. A story can be linear, but what’s important is the emotional investment a player makes to truly make something more interactive.
This half-hour session is ideal for anyone who’s always been curious about how films and games can intersect in a more cinematic way. If you’ve ever wondered where interactive movies are going, and how games can be made more immersive without the need for VR, hit play on the video above.