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Character Development and Storytelling for Games, Second Edition by Lee Sheldon

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THE TRAP OF CUT SCENES

I’ve alluded to this first trap before because it is so common. Cut scenes, or cinematics, can be an opportunity to switch modes from animation to live actors, or at least upgrade the quality of the graphics. They are used extensively as connective tissue between levels or missions and as eye candy rewards at the completion of a hard challenge, such as the defeat of a boss mob. Boss mobs rightly deserve a death worthy of their difficulty.

Many designers of games seem to think cut scenes are the only way to tell story and reveal character. The writers they hire, particularly if they’re refugees from Hollywood, are more than happy to agree with them. Cut scenes are exactly what they’re used to. A movie is nothing more than ...

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