Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
team because of the ideas they bring, ideas that designers can sift through for their
gameplay applications.
For those games that do include characters, the characters can become the face
of the game for marketing and can be an essential way in which one driving game
differentiates itself from other driving games. Imagine Diddy Kong Racing without
Diddy Kong. It's the same code and the same game mechanics, but an essential
emotional connection between the player and the game disappears.
So don't downplay the importance of writing up character profiles, and be aware
that most documents you create are actually helping to generate a palette for the
tone of voice—even a brief synopsis you write on the story for the team during
development is an opportunity for you to cast a certain kind of light on the feel of the
game. Many other people are creating documents over the course of a development
cycle, but as a writer, you have an obligation to try to make your documents not
just functional but also evocative of a tone of voice—an attempt to cast in words
something of what it might feel like to experience the game when it's completed,
thereby helping to give a sense of direction, a sense of what everyone is aiming at. (Of
course, if you're required to write a functional document, to explain story structure,
or the production process, etc., then don't add “writery touches” just for the sake of
10.5 The Right Kinds of Cars for the Right Kinds of Roads
(or Dirt Tracks)
It's a general point, and one that will have been raised elsewhere in this volume, but
nevertheless it's important enough to warrant restating. The kind of dialogue, the
kind of in-game speech and text, the kind of characters, and ideas that you generate
as a writer are all determined by the brief, by what kind of game the developer is
trying to make. There is a vast amount of difference between writing for 1920s US
East Coast gangsters and writing for 1970s French traffic cops. So read books, watch
movies, and think about the era you're working in because one driving game is very
much not like another driving game—and the chances are, as a writer hired to work
on one, the main reason why you've been hired in the first place is to make sure that
it isn't.
10.6 Hybrid Cars
However, for all that I've said above, driving games are in flux as developers are
looking for ways to create different kinds of gameplay experiences. This means the
essential distinction between story and in-game won't always work the same way.
Can story be immersed inside the whole game world, without players feeling
they're clearly crossing over the boundary between interaction and the story they're
being told? How can this story-seeding be realized? What techniques need to be
developed to achieve it?
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