Game Development Reference
a sounding board for your ideas. It is a way you can all have some fun at the
same time as the designers are buying into your ideas and contributing some
suggestions of their own.
The testing process can throw up a problem with repetition, but in a dif-
ferent sense to that mentioned earlier.When a game is played over and over
again to test for bugs, even the best of comedy dialogue can become a little
tiresome.This can lead you to worry that the comedy is not as funny as you
first thought and while this may be true in some cases, you often have to rely
on your initial judgement. Reworking comedy may improve the quality, but
there is also a risk that you can over-work it and it then becomes forced.
The sense of fun
Delivery is also important to the success of the humour when the dialogue
is recorded. In Broken Sword - The Sleeping Dragon , there was a minor
character, a chef, which the player had to interact with in order to progress.
Although his lines were well crafted and very funny, the performance by the
actor was excellent and lifted the whole scene to a better comedic level.
Actors are also a very good final test of whether the comedy is working.
If the actors are having fun as they work through the scenes, not only do you
know you have got it right, the flavour and feeling of the final game will be
improved as the exuberance comes through in their performances.
Not all games that contain humour are comedy games, but the hearts of
those that are should beat with a true sense of fun.Trying to create a comedy
game through dialogue or regular one-liners when the gameplay takes itself
too seriously is likely to give the player the feeling of a game at odds with
itself. The sense of fun should pervade the whole game so that the comedy
feels natural and consistent with the other aspects of the game world.
The demographic of game players is much broader than it used to be, so
it can be harder to target the audience with the right level of humour. One
approach is to look at examples in other media that go beyond a single
demographic and see what can be learned from them. Wallace and Gromit , To y
Story , Calvin and Hobbes and the Harry Potter topics are all examples which
have a broad appeal.
Along with a brilliant sense of fun, there is also a strong element of wonder
- children love these fabulous worlds and the characters that populate them,
and adults are taken back to times when they would enjoy tales of wonder
and fun from their own childhoods.