Speaking with MTV's Stephen Totilo, BioWare's Ray Muzyka lays out the company's vision of where games are heading. What does Muzyka see as the future of storytelling in games? Eyes. More specifically, Muzyka believes that realistic eyes (and emotional expression overall) are very important for good storytelling. Speaking specifically of Mass Effect Muzyka notes that characters will look you over or nod their heads, communicating without speaking at all. "You don't need to have dialogue," says Muzyka, noting that an emotional moment needs no words.
In describing the overall tone of Mass Effect Muzyka calls it "Jack Bauer in space." "You have complex moral choices to make. You're out to save the galaxy. You're going to have to do things that don't seem like they're good to do that." Finally, Totilo asks Muzyka if there is a one artistic moment that serves as the benchmark that games must reach in storytelling. Said Muzyka, "in Schindler's List, that moment where you see the little girl in the [red] dress ... and then you see her later [among the dead]. For me, if you can convey emotion to that level in a game then we've succeeded. For us that's our goal."
Wow. Lofty goals indeed. Do you think storytelling in games will ever be on par with literature and film? Does it even have to be?