A Real Game Case Study

One of the games I worked on was Midway's Gladiator The Crimson Reign. As sometimes happens in the game world, this game was cancelled before it was completed.

The game presented an interesting set of challenges. Consider just a few of them:

  • I had to create ten different characters from the height of the Roman empire seven men and three women. These characters would all be gladiators. Most would be forced against their will to fight, although a few would elect to do so for their own reasons.

  • Each of these characters had to have unique personalities, quite distinct from one another. And each personality needed to be complex enough to intrigue a game player.

  • Each character needed to be someone the gamer would want to play.

While the game afforded opportunities for some very interesting use of voice-over, there were very few opportunities for the characters to talk. If I wanted to create Diamonds for each character, the challenges continued:

  • If each character had three to five Traits, at least three of these Traits needed to be able to be expressed nonverbally.

  • I had to repeat this for ten characters, and make each one of their clusters of personality Traits different from the other characters'.

  • The characters came from all over the Roman Empire. Their Traits could not violate what might be possible within their culture. Hopefully, their Trait cluster could perhaps even shed light on their culture.

  • If their Trait cluster was culturally based, it still couldn't be clichè. Their combinations of Traits needed to be colorful and fresh.

These seven requirements were a lot to pack in for ten different cultures, especially because most of the characters' personalities needed to be expressed nonverbally.

The challenge of creating these characters, and their Character Arcs, fell on my shoulders. However, the team, which was quite creatively adroit, quickly adopted my Emotioneering strategies and was able to make substantial contributions.

Creating Emotion in Games. The Craft and Art of Emotioneering
Creating Emotion in Games: The Craft and Art of Emotioneering
ISBN: 1592730078
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 394

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