Artistic integrity isn’t applicable to game design due to the medium’s interactive nature, at least that’s what two developers behind forthcoming fantasy RPG Demonicon believe.
During a recent trip to see Noumena Studios début project we asked creative director Eric Jannot what he thought about the on-going Mass Effect 3 ending controversy, currently stocking the fires of internet hatred, and we were impressed with his insights.
“Obviously I’ve played Mass Effect 3 and I haven’t got to the ending quite yet, but my opinion on this point is that I wouldn’t say that art only belongs to its creators. I think if you give it to the people it’s their art too, it’s an interaction. If people want to invest themselves in the story then that’s good, and then of course there will be critical opinions on how it wraps up,” Jannot stated.
“What is important is that they care for the story and that’s what BioWare achieved. People care so much that they criticised the end and that’s good in my opinion. They can always discuss from this point on, that they achieved something important. That’s what we’re ready for, too. Some people may not like it because what they see may be different from what they feel, but that’s okay. “
That’s all well and good but if the shoe was on the other foot and fans despised Demonicon’s multiple endings, would Noumena change anything?
“If it really is such a huge deal, and that people love the game so much that they perceive the ending should be different, then I would have a discussion with fans and from that I would decide. Of course, you [as a developer] want to tell a story that the fans love. Basically, artistic integrity is not something I believe in with games – it’s an interactive artform. I think it’s okay to change it if people have that much of a problem with it,” Eric added.
Demonicon’s lead writer Daniel Hessler, also had an interesting viewpoint:
“ Making games is a completely different medium to writing plays, novels or movie scripts. The decisions that are made have their basis, if it goes right, on understanding and agreement of developers. However, developers are very keen to learn new things. That’s the best thing about the fans’ reaction to Mass Effect 3 as you can learn what fans dislike.”
Unsurprisingly it seems other developers are looking at what went wrong with Mass Effect 3, in order to ensure they don’t attract the sort of vitriol BioWare has over the past weeks. That said it does show that fans do care about the way the trilogy wrapped up and in our medium that’s something to be celebrated.
Interestingly since this interview was carried out BioWare has confirmed that they will release a free set of DLC to appease fans who were unhappy with the ending, and that’s discussed in more detail here.
We’ll have an exclusive preview of Demonicon in the next issue of PCGZine, out this coming Thursday.
Company of Heroes 2, Batman: Arkham Origins, Grand Theft Auto V, Watch_Dogs, Beyond: Two Souls and Night of the Rabbit previews.Download Now!