By Lance Weiler, May 18th, 2009

Steve Peters has experienced designed some of the most well know ARGs of the last few years. From “Why So Serious” for the Dark Knight to “Year Zero” for NiN – Steve has carefully crafted elaborate experiences for audiences / players that involve extending story and characters across devices and into the real world. Now Steve and a number of others from 42 Entertainment have broken off to form their own shop called No Mimes Media. In our conversation Steve explains how he builds a universe around a project, the need to find better ways to measure success and how to make the experiences accessible to wider audiences.

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Posted in culture hacker podcast

Lance Weiler is the founder of the WorkBook Project and also a story architect of film, tv and games. He's written and directed two feature films THE LAST BROADCAST and HEAD TRAUMA. He's currently developing a number of transmedia projects.

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  • SirNewt

    I find the current indie scene a little disheartening myself. Many of the people in the indie scene are there because unlike in the 90s most of the publishers in the industry are focusing more and more on annualizing franchises. If the indie scene is burgeoning it's not because of some large sudden bubble of aspirations, it's because many people have been pushed there due to disinterest from large publishers.

    If the game timeline is analogous to that of film, game development is somewhere near 1915. Experimentation is widespread but a singular elegance like that of books and films hasn't been developed. Games throw up so many barriers in terms of hardware alone. Not to mention the problem most "non-gamers" experience with the interface.

    Further, if games are going to rise above their current state, game makers have to realize that games are NOT about story. Just as the directors of new wave determined that film is NOT about story but about cinema. What is pivotal to games as a medium is developing the language of interaction as a device for conveying thoughts and emotions. Just as cinema has a visual vocabulary, music has a tonal vocabulary, and books have of course a written vocabulary, games need a vocabulary of interaction. At this point, the game aspect of most games is irrelevant to the story and characters. All thought, ideals, and emotions are delivered in-between play using the language of film, cinematics.

  • Nice article. However if I were you I would jump to the conclusion that gaming is in a high innovative stage. All the titles you mentioned are good-old-copy of an old ideas in a new hardware. the small size indie developers are under huge pressure from main-stream big industry fishes!
    besides the willingness of these same ones to promote indie titles it eventually all bowls down to MEANS of production!
    it is completely different from the indie-movie analogy! technological advance means mostly high cost of production, in case you want to target the market of the big-ones. I see dark ages of gaming due to limited innovation and the limited access of low-budget projects to mainstream.
    i can give you countless examples...

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