Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we turn to a second bonus interview with Patrick Redding, credited as Story Designer on Far Cry 2, though we would tend to call that a Narrative Designer today. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.
Issues covered: happening to start listening at the right time, a background in physics, avoiding computer programming, applying problem-solving skills, hearing about new media, exploring story and design through tabletop, thinking about how to incorporate story into existing games, coming on to an existing team, getting thrown into the deep end, why you'd drop the PS2, string of pearls, wanting to reinvent the wheel, tearing apart the macro structure of the game and piecing it back together, moving from camera designer to narrative designer as a field promotion, shipping another retail game while joining a second, not designing the story but tightening the linkage between authored content and player-driven play, waterfall vs iterative and maintaining consistency, making a shooter and not an rpg, systemically reflecting the choices of PCs and growing out that modularity to the whole game, hitting thresholds and dealing with levels of chaos to expose the Jackal, freedom being required in time *and* space, anteing up your buddies, counterpressure and infamy, analog parameters becoming indistinguishable from random, the main wager of putting your buddy in play, a real deal-breaker for the PC, carrying through everything to achieve a pressure dynamic, having far more underlying variables to affect, the simulation of sensibility, offloading computation to the player brain for narrative meaning, creating a narrative from a sports team, the difficulty of getting parseable human interactions in games, thinking about the approach and where the tension is coming from, pie-slice approach and shells of interaction, the emotional whiplash of going from closing mode and tempo to passivity, the big switch, enjoying the camaraderie, narrative design vs writing, the emergence of narrative design in the industry, changing expectations when you ship.
Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Clint Hocking, UbiSoft, Splinter Cell (series), Gotham Knights, Apple ][e, Dungeons & Dragons, GURPS, Xbox, PS2, Greg Gobbi, Jeff Hattem, Tuque Games/Invoke Studios, Hasbro, Nic Eypert, Richard Dansky, Tom Clancy, Red Storm Entertainment, White Wolf, Republic Commando, The Island of Dr. Moreau, Black, Jean-Francois Dugas, Eidos Montreal (Onoma), Guardians of the Galaxy, Deus Ex, Heart of Darkness, Yojimbo, Red Harvest, Dashiell Hammett, Call of Duty 2, Battlefield 1942, Jonathan Morin, Watch Dogs (series), Thief, The Walking Dead, Telltale Games, Metal Gear Solid V (or V), Dead Space, The Callisto Protocol, Glen Schofield, Striking Distance, Dark Souls, Kirk Hamilton, Aaron Evers, Mark Garcia.
Dead Space (2008)
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