Gabe Newell, the president and cofounder of Valve Corporation, and J.J. Abrams, the newly minted director of the next Star Wars film, are together for a keynote talk kicking off the D.I.C.E. Summit in Las Vegas.
The talk isn't being livestreamed, but Kotaku editor-in-chief Stephen Totilo is in the room, and will be liveblogging what he sees and hears. Follow the action below!
NOTE: Sorry, for the live-blog tech woes. We're just dumping this in here. Refresh the page for more.
Wednesday February 6, 2013
StephenTotilo: Hello, people!
StephenTotilo: Catching us up...
StephenTotilo: Gabe Newell and JJ Abrams are on the stage.
J.J. starts talking and Gabe interrupts and says that movies are criticized for taking agency away from players.
And now they're playing a clip from Cloverfield.
Newell: "I'm looking at that as a gamer and saying put the camera down and let me fucking run. And you won't let me do that."
Abrams: "Sure, but sometimes in games, players are driving in the wrong direction." He then cues up a Half-Life 2 clip. The Dr. and Alyx are talking, but the player isn't paying attention.
Abrams: "Hey, at least the characters in movies can talk." Cues up a Half-Life clip.
And now we're watching Jaws.
The schtick basically is that Abrams is advocating for how movies tell stories; Newell is doing so for games.
Both are playfully pointing out some of the limits in the others' medium.
We're watching the scene from Jaws in which the main three characters are arguing on the boat.
Abrams says it's a scene that shows how Chief Brody doesn't fit in.
And that it's set-up for the end, in which Brody fares pretty well against that shark.
Abrams is saying that the character moment is set-up, that what you think is one thing really means something else.
Abrams is advocating for foreshadowing.
And now Newell is showing some Portal 2. The potato science fair scene.
Newell is saying that you think that seeing the potato battery is just a throwaway gag, but it's actually setting up the potato's importance.
Players have the option to self-pace the storytelling in games, he says.
He considers this an advantage of games, giving people the opportunity to have multiple playthroughs.
Abrams says that movies are looking into this.
Abrams points out the R2D2 cameo in Star Trek. "That's the kind of stuff that makes us happy." He likes hiding things.
Gabe: "So now I have to go back into your movies and look at the debris and see which of your movies you're going to direct next? 'Look, it's Winnie the Pooh!'"
Abrams is cueing up a clip from Die Hard, to emphasize the value of loving the characters. The audience needs to feel for the characters.
And now Newell has a clip from Half-Life 2, where you're getting to know and care about Alyx and Dog.
Abrams praises Portal for beginning mysteriously and making you explore GlaDOS. "The more you play, the more you felt."
Newell loved the scene in Cloverfiled and the scene of the woman blowing up behind the screen. Games need more moments like that, he says.
"Your taste is sick," Abrams said.
Gabe and J.J. are recapitulating the discussions they've had.
J.J.: There's an idea we have for a game that we'd like to work with Valve on.
Newell: " We're going to find out if there's a way we can work with you on a Portal and Half-Life movie."
And they walk off!