Dialogue is king in any good story, and there's plenty of it in Mass Effect.
"We have 20,000 lines of dialogue," says senior designer Drew Karpyshyn of Mass Effect. That's the equivalent of 15 to 20 movie screenplays, created by Karpyshyn and five other writers, working with the rest of the creative team. Karpyshyn discusses the challenges of implementing cinematic rules with dialogue and choices in Mass Effect.
Clint Hocking, creative director of the action-oriented Far Cry 2, offers counterpoints. Hocking claims that story is not something that game makers write, and that players are playing the story the same way they would play Tetris. He says that any comparison between games and film breaks down, and that the most powerful filmmaking tools need to be abandoned in order to make a game that equals or surpasses a film.
(Reported by Darren Zenko for Toronto Star on November 4, 2007)