When I'm brought in early enough in the game design process, I like to see if I can include Emotion Mapping. This means taking the player through an emotional journey, or even a roller coaster. I like to know what emotion the player is likely to experience where, and to ensure that a spectrum of emotions come into play.
Part of Emotion Mapping involves creating powerful emotional moments.
There's a macro component arranging these powerful emotional moments in key places throughout the course of the story as well as a micro component creating these moments within a particular mission or segment of the game.
Powerful emotional moments include such things as:
Also involved in Emotion Mapping is building into the game Emotionally Complex Moments and Situations, as discussed in Chapter 2.15.
Unfortunately, when I'm brought in too late in the game design process, often there isn't much I can do in the way of Emotion Mapping.