It won’t be advances in graphical capabilities which make great games, but choosing to focus on gameplay and the emotional connection to the characters, Star Trek director J.J. Abrams has told Gamasutra.
“It’s hard not to look at what people are doing with the graphics of stuff like Call of Duty or Dead Space. You can’t help but be blown away by what’s possible,” said Abrams. “But to me, as much as the visuals will continue to improve … the sense of being in a place. It’s insane what’s possible if we all just extrapolate where it’s going. In no time, it’s going to be photorealistic to the point of preposterousness. At that point, it’s irrelevant.
“So I’m not looking at the graphical stuff. That’s going to happen anyway. What I think is critical is gameplay and the emotional connection to the characters.”
And this is why Abrams has chosen to team up with Valve.
“One of the things that’s really appealing about working with Valve is that they’ve got great taste, and that we will have the ability to work with people and not impose what we do on them,” he explained. “We’re not looking to make movies in the game space. We’re looking to make great games that take the strengths of what we know – characters, world-building, creating a sense of emotional connection – and trying ways to try to exploit that in the gaming space, which is a very different animal that movies and TV.”
Abrams has said he is working with Valve on possible movie projects based on Half-Life and Portal, whilst he also has some ideas for video games he’d like to bring to the table.