I finally finished playing Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, after the final credits rolled, I took a look at some of the bonus content, where members of the Naughty Dog development team were interviewed and discussed their process and philosophy for developing the game. Two things struck me about their comments and about the game itself:
Building a cinematic-quality 3D adventure game like Drake’s Fortune is a huge undertaking involving a highly skilled team of designers, programmers, producers, actors, animators, sound engineers, the list goes on. Games like these are great examples of the emerging blending of hollywood movie production values with online gaming.
But what also was interesting in listening to the comments of the game designers and producers was their emphasis on character and story development. While Uncharted undoubetdly falls into the adventure first-person shooter variety, it clearly goes beyond to include a storyline that evolves, and characters you actually care about, as you continue through the game. They also emphasized using video cuts placed as seemlessly as possible within the game action itself, one of the marks of next generation games, where cinematic action occurs around your character as you interact within the environment using your game controller.
As I think about the challenge with developing engaging, meaningful elearning interactions in corporate learning environments, I wonder about the possibilities of incorporating more story-driven elements in elearning projects. Instead of inserting typical training scenarios into a course, why not tell a single story, engaging the learner or learners throughout? Even using current elearning development tools and platforms, we should be able to do more to engage learners in their elearning experiences.