Big-Time Designers Tell Stories About Unintended Moments in Games

Big-Time Designers Tell Stories About Unintended Moments in Games

Like a lot of creative endeavors, making games like Broken Age at Double Fine and The Last of Us at Naughty Dog is a series of happy accidents.

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Were all the typos intentional? Like "artist will aadd something". Someone should read over the articles before they are published. The content is interesting, and I don't usually mind a typo here and there. But this article had at least three.

Hey man, I typed that up on a plane with a crapton of turbulence. But thanks, now that I'm on solid land, typos fixed. (there were more than three.)

He [Schafer] mentioned how at Telltale Games when he was making Brutal Legend, the character of Eddie needed a ranged weapon but Schafer didn't think a gun felt right. "It just didn't feel metal," Schafer said. He got some argument from his systems designers because they didn't think character should impact gameplay so profoundly.

There's nothing I would disagree with more. I'm a big, big advocate of deep storytelling within video games; I believe the medium has far more potential than pretty much any other medium, even the written word to a certain extent. In my mind if you commit to writing a story (at least in the traditional sense) then nothing comes before character and nothing compromises character integrity - not even gameplay.

I appreciate that a video game must first and foremost be a video game. But if you take the leap to add a story to that video game there are some concessions I feel must be made. Character is the single most important feature in any story in my opinion and the focus on this specific element is what makes Bioware games so damn popular I'm sure. Without a consistent character and development arc you risk undermining everything you're striving to achieve with the game itself. See the recent Tomb Raider reboot as a way of doing it badly. See Bioshock: Infinite for how to do it right.

Mad props to people like Schafer who know when to stand by their guns.

 

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