David Gaider Interview, Part Two

Bitmob continues their chat with BioWare writer David Gaider, with the second portion of their interview covering his influences, whether or not he'll be writing more novels, the possibility that Maric will show up in a Dragon Age title, and more.
LG: What do you think about the video-game medium and its story telling ability?

DG: Well, it has a lot of limitations that you don't necessarily deal with in other mediums. Like in a book.

I've written a couple of novels now [Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne and Dragon Age: The Calling]. When it comes to a book, I can put down on paper anything that's in my imagination; however, in a video game, you have physical limitations in technology and of what you can actually show.

Where games are excellent is in the interactive part. You don't get that in passive entertainment.

In those, you watch a character, but I don'˜t think you would identify as strongly as in a game where you're the one who directs the action. You have agency in a video game, whereas you don't in a movie or a novel. I think that changes the nature of the entertainment substantially, and that's where the opportunities come in.

Anything that gives the player more immediacy in their agency will cause them to feel more of an element from it. And it's not necessarily an element of choice. I know that's intrinsic to a role-playing game, but I think stories are possible in genres other than RPGs.

Lots of games have stories. I played Uncharted 2 recently, which had a great story, and it didn't matter that I made choices. Developer Naughty Dog still presented it in such a great way that I felt that I had agency. That's always going to be an allusion to an extent, but the fact that I felt it and got involved in the story made me feel more entertained than if I had been watching a movie.