Game Development Reference
Figure 16.2. “Floor It!” AdultSwim.com. c
2009 Cartoon Network.
16.5 Licensed Games
One of the most profitable and prevalent species of casual game is the licensed tie-in.
Casual games based on shows, movies, or even retail products are a mainstay of Web
gaming. The hardest part—and the part that will in most cases get the most attention
from your client—is how you handle the brand. Most times that burden, especially
from tie-ins with characters, will land squarely upon the writer. Are you presenting
the character in a way that's consistent with the brand? Or will fans wrinkle up their
noses and think, “He'd never say that! ”
There's really no help for it but to simply immerse yourself in the brand. When
I was working on the game Floor It! , a tie-in for the Adult Swim show Squidbillies ,
I spent hours watching and re-watching the same six 15-minute episodes of a show
about redneck squids. I tried to figure out why each character was funny and what
made that character unique. It's often not enough to simply ape the words of a
character; they'll come out phony. Try to figure out what the creators of that character
were thinking when they wrote each line and apply the same thought process to your
writing. I doubt I hit on what the creators were really thinking, but I think the end
often has flashes of uncommon insight, followed by a desperate need to be like his
father. Hilarity ensues.
One important thing to remember, especially when writing for children's brands:
adding an exclamation mark does not make your sentence exciting. It's condescend-
ing, and most kids can spot it a mile away.