Many people talk about “cinematic” games, but what does this really mean? Over their century of existence, films have been using a range of techniques to create specific emotional responses in their audience. Instead of simply using more cut-scenes, better script writers, or making more heavily scripted game experiences, game designers can look to film techniques as an inspiration for new techniques that accentuate what games do well. This lecture presents film clips from a number of classic movies, analyzes how they work from a cinematic standpoint, and then suggests ways these techniques can be used in gameplay to create even more stimulating experiences for gamers, including examples from games that have successfully bridged the gap.
Richard Rouse III is a game designer and writer, best known for The Suffering horror games and his book Game Design: Theory & Practice. He is currently the Lead Single Player Designer on the story-driven first-person shooter Homefront at Kaos Studios in New York City.