Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
If the writer becomes part of that early development it is because the
design team feel they need to develop the gameplay with a strong link to the
story and vice versa.Again, brainstorming is an important part of that process
because it allows all those involved to throw anything into the mix, helps to
break the ice and enables both sides to get to know the way each other
thinks. The energy created by a good brainstorming session will probably
throw up many silly or wacky ideas that are inappropriate for the project, but
that is all part of the process and as long as no one becomes precious about
these ideas it helps the session along by allowing everyone to look at the
problem from different perspectives.
Continuing with the anti-gravity pulse boots, what could the writer
suggest that would enable the mechanic to tie into the story? The game
could be mission-based: the player character's commanding officer has just
received word that the enemy is developing new technology that could give
them the edge in future battles. The player character is given the task of
infiltrating the research base and grabbing what information and technology
she can before sabotaging the base. This means the character must discover
the location of the pulse boots - and the tech information - before she is
able to grab them, which in turn feeds back into the design of the research
base level.
The writer has become part of the design process.
Based on the story work and the broad design work, the various levels of
the game will be fleshed out bearing in mind the logical flow of the game,
which is the way the gameplay flows through the game, the order in which
it is played and the requirements to move the game onwards. For instance,
only when the player gets the red key can he move forward into the red
zone, but the design must keep track of what the player must do to get the
red key. The writer, in turn, should be aware of such important gameplay
nodes and ensure that the story does not conflict with this in any way,
particularly if there is more than one gameplay route to the red key.
Of course, even with relatively open gameplay, if the story only progresses
at the main gameplay nodes the story the writer creates will not need to
allow for the route the player may take between each node, though if the
nodes can be taken in a varied order this will need to be taken into account.
The level of writer involvement is dependent on what the design team feels
is best, but however much the design and writing touch one another within
the game, the writing must always support the gameplay.
The gameplay mechanics and interface can have a strong bearing on how
 
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