The creator of Deadly Premonition Hidetaka “Swery” Suehiro was at last week’s GDC and had a panel about creating story, which Gamasutra covered. While Deadly Premonition did not have huge success in the U.S., it did garner a cult following, including a couple of us here at Geekspective. It had a unique story and ensemble cast that kept the player wanting to find out what would happen. So to be able to peer into the man’s mind was probably a treat for all in attendance.
At Swery’s panel he outlined seven tactics of creating a compelling story. His seven tactics are:
- Make gamers think about your game when they aren’t playing it.
- Make gamers actively “want” to play through your meticulously scripted story.
- Creating a storyline for a free-roaming open world game.
- Prevent players from quitting the game at the result screen.
- Make appealing characters.
- Direct voice recording sessions.
- Use your ideas whenever and wherever you can.
While many of these steps seem very reasonable, one that sticks is “Direct voice recording sessions.” This is especially interesting seeing as how the voice actors spoke in English while Swery, being Japanese, is not very proficient in English. This tactic was detailed as such at the panel:
Characters should speak in a memorable way. How did he voice direct without knowing English? He referred to music and thematic ideas when dealing with the actors. Agent York’s manner of speech is inspired by the Liverpool sound and the British Invasion. “I focused on the how of the lines being spoken,” he said, focusing on rhythm and “musically, how they work in the scene. You need to make sure you have your own set of rules when you go to a voice recording.”
You can read in more detail about the other six tactics here.