Frustrated by the uneven weight of technology and visuals versus storytelling and audio, The Path developer Tale of Tales tells Gamasutra in a new feature interview that things should change.
"I think also the deal with games is it's not a visual medium. I mean, it's multimedia, to use a '90s word for it. So the visuals are not really the most important thing. And sometimes you see games that are an overweight of visual sensation to the detriment of, perhaps, the sound design, or the dialogue," remarked Tale of Tales' Auriea Harvey, when asked if there's a surprising concentration on conveying visual information over pure aesthetics.
"I mean, how much bad voice acting have you seen in a really beautifully visually crafted game? So, you need all these things to work together, and to be brought up to the same level, and to support each other, I think."
Her creative partner, Michael Samyn, used a cathedral as an analogy: "This is where the cathedral is a good example, because it's architecture, but also painting and sculpture," he said.
"And sound and atmosphere," Harvey added. Samyn agreed, "Theatre also. All these things come together."
"And I think that it helps if game developers think about all of these elements together, and don't sacrifice on the words that are being said... Or the type of atmosphere that is created by the words or the music -- it's like, all these things support the visuals, and the visuals support the rest of it," Harvey said.
"Aesthetics needs to be looked at as a larger area -- not just visuals. Personally, we think that aesthetics extend to the interactions that you do, like the way that you interact with the world, and the way the characters interact with you."
The full interview, which includes a discussion of how Harvey and Samyn originally got into making games, and their broader criticisms of the medium today, is live now on Gamasutra.