John Antal, a 30-year American Army veteran, is drawing on his military experience not only to add authenticity to Brothers in Arms, but also to create two books based on the game.
Gearbox Software enlisted Antal, a retired U.S. Army colonel, as Chief of Staff and Military and Historical Director to imbue its games with authentic World War Two stories. He's now drawing on his experience to publish both a historical novel and a factual history book based on the events outlined in the upcoming Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway, due out this Fall for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC.
VentureBeat asked Antal about how he intertwined the stories from the books with the game.
"I have a high regard for people who play our games," said Antal. "A well-written novel is an art form in itself. We try to put you in the center of the battle from the American, German, British and Dutch perspectives. There are interesting moral dilemmas in it. The history book is the true history of the fight, using real after-action reports, maps, photos and interviews with veterans. You can play the game and open up the book and see what happened on the day you're playing."
This multimedia plan was an idea of his from the beginning.
He explained, "I went into the game thinking we could do a history book and a novel, too. Think of how many other game companies can have a guy creating the game, writing a novel and a history book at the same time."
When it comes to writing three projects at once, Antal gladly added that it's been "one hell of a year. I'm glad to be at this point smoking a cigar."