I've talked about all sorts of things here at Cheat Code Central. I came in hot with my first article where I talked about the dongs in Conan Exiles. I did some talking about nude mods in video games. We've talked about diversity in video games on many different levels. And here now I'm looking to go back to my roots a bit.
I went to college for Film Studies. I wanted to be a filmmaker, which seems silly looking back because I lived in a no-one's-ever-heard-of-it town in central Minnesota. Even still, that degree has served me well, because a lot of film concepts can be utilized in video games. At their core, films and video games set out to do the same thing: tell a story. In video games, you get to interact and influence the story much more than any film will ever be able to do. And that, my friends, is what brought me over to the dark side. Film is wonderful and I still love it immensely, but video games are my passion.
Today, I'm utilizing my film studies history to talk to you a bit about a concept called the auteur. I admittedly had to re-figure out how to spell that word, since I haven't used it much since college. It's a pretentious word. As my boyfriend likes to joke, “It's one of them dictionary words.” I'm a huge fan of making things easy to understand. There's not always room or necessity for flowery language. But auteur is one of those that has always stuck with me. The concept is this: directors who can be considered auteurs are those that have a certain style that is uniquely there's. You'll always be able to tell a Michael Bay film from a Quentin Tarantino movie, for example. Or you will always know if the images you're seeing on the screen were sprung from the mind of Guillermo del Toro, Steven Spielberg, Tim Burton, or one of so many other directorial greats.
This same concept is so very easily transferred over to video games. Here's three names that I can throw at you that you'll probably know very well. Even if you've never played any of their games, I'm sure you've heard of Hideki Kamiya, David Jaffe, Yoko Taro, or Hideo Kojima. The latter is certainly most easily recognizable lately, with all the mystery surrounding his most recent project, Death Stranding. There's no better way to get people interested in you or your project by the way than slipping tiny pieces of information under a door and holding the rest ransom. Many tout Kojima as a mastermind, a veritable genius of video game creation. Still others think he's over-hyped and don't want to have anything to do with his creations. The exact same can be said of Hideki Kamiya, David Jaffe, or Yoko Taro.
In even more recent auteur news, Kamiya said that he's working on starting a new project via Platinum Games. Tons of people were there for the open meeting in support of the creator. He said that he wasn't expecting that many people to show up. There were many who had worked with him on Scalebound there, which just goes to show that Kamiya is also an auteur within the video game industry. It's very common for auteurs to work with the same people. It's probably a personal choice, since they know they can work well with those they already had success with before, but it's also a stylistic choice. If you stick with the same animators and programmers, you're going to have similar games, no matter the subject or plot.
Essentially, video games share a lot with cinema. There are many concepts we can take from film and apply to this much more interactive medium. Equally so there are directors within the video game industry that can be considered auteurs, which was previously applied only to movie directors. These auteurs bring a level of consistency and creativity to video games that is necessary. They are more likely to create new IPs, because their brains are brimming with creativity. This causes both industry professionals and general public alike to flock to them. With the amazing teams that surround them, gamers get the best product possible.
The only downfall to auteurs is the fact that they can cause some conflict in their fans. When a video game director has a very specific style, there's going to be those that really love it and those that really hate it. The fanboys and girls can get a little heated at times when either defending a developer or dragging one down. It's all right to be a fan, but don't neglect other creators just because you really like one.
Who's your favorite video game developer auteur? Let me know in the comments!