Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
Over time, it was decided to go with a lighter, more contemporary tone, and the
entire script had to be rewritten accordingly.
Every writer knows the importance of setting, and establishing it as quickly as possi-
ble. If the game has a real-world historical setting, the writing should be as factually
accurate as possible. If the setting is anything else, then it can be as fanciful as desired
but should still maintain as high a level of internal consistency as possible. This helps
sustain the all-important suspension of disbelief and affords deeper immersion into
the game world.
One of the fun challenges of a fantasy or sci-fi setting is in naming things. You
the Star Wars games, we were allowed a great deal of creative freedom, and I have
to admit we sometimes got a little carried away. At one point, I named a series of
freighters after other game studios, but spelled strangely or backwards to disguise the
source. I even used the backward spelling trick to get my wife's name on a Calamari
Cruiser, and later as an entire star system!
The backstory for a simulator game is similar to that for any style of game—its pur-
pose is to provide additional depth by including the history of the main characters
and other elements of the main story. Pieces of the backstory can be delivered any-
where in the game or its ancillary materials.
For many historical simulators, the player character is notional at best. He may not
even be mentioned by name! Instead,he is referred to by whatever “call sign” has been
assigned to him. If the player character is more fully developed, it will be entirely
fictional, though it may be based on a real person or an amalgam of real people.
Often the only real characters are the simulated craft.
In non-historical simulators, the player character may be more fully developed.
This will depend largely on how important story is to the overall game. The more
story there is, the more the characters must be developed.
Other prominent characters typically include the player's commanding officer(s),
his wingmen and/or crew, as well as support personal (ground crew, mechanics, ar-
morer, etc.). Opposition characters are typically faceless and nameless, though there
are exceptions. One common practice is to include the enemy leader(s) and/or en-
emy “aces.” For more story-driven games, it is essential to develop a good nemesis
for the player.
Some of the more arcade-style games even go so far as to include such things
as enemy pilots speaking to the player in their own language. The assumption is
apparently that the fans are too stupid to realize that the combatants would not have
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