Spector: Interactivity is key in games, players must be allowed to “tell their own story”
Within a recent interview regarding upcoming title Epic Mickey, Warren Spector, Creative Designer for Junction Point Studios, has discussed his thoughts on the differences between videogames and other media, explaining the importance of interactivity within games and allowing players to “tell their own story.”
“There are clearly differences between media, movies are not the same as books are not the same as games. I make games, so it’s just natural for me to think in terms of how to engage, tell stories,” Spector begins. “If I were making a movie I would have probably told pretty much the same story but the techniques would have been completely different.”
He continues, “In the videogame space the most important thing is that you have to get players involved in the telling of the story. For me, that’s what makes games work. It’s not about solving puzzles, it’s not about picking which gun to use to kill everything on screen, that is nothing to do with interactivity for me.
“What games are about for me is, letting players walk in someone else’s shoes. Get in that avatar’s head and be them for a while in another world. So, what I had to do was know Mickey well enough, the world well enough, and give them [the players] some new ways of interacting with the world that would allow them to tell their own story.
“It’s really as simple as that, and I’ve just made the most difficult thing a human being can do sound like it was trivially easy. It’s gruellingly hard making a game, especially one that offers real interactivity, but I always think in terms of games. That’s where I start.”