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Friday, November 20, 2009

Filmmaking and Gamemaking - the difference


It seems to me that the difference between creating linear material (Film, TV) and interactive material (Games, large web apps) is to do with collaboration.

Both involve working together closely. Both require collaboration on a high level. But the nature of how this works is vastly different.

With films you have a much more linear process, as well as a linear narrative. You write, shoot and edit in order (normally, but not always I know) and you get through the various tasks together. Everyone shoots one scene and then moves on.

With games it much more like the whole process is happening all at once - and everyone is editing the film at once. I am adding in text elements to a giant database of material - as are the art guys and the music guys and everyone else. We are all working on things in parallel. I just do my bit.

From a creative point of view it is surprising how little this matters. After all, if you write a film script you are working on 'your bit' too. However from an organisational point of view it requires a very different process of tracking and double checking the writing. When you add in your text - then it is in the game. So it better be right. Constant testing is the only way to 'watch the edit' and check it all blends together.

Extra thought: The common ground between these two extremes would be occupied by regular on-going series or soaps - e.g. Neighbors on 5 days a week.

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