February 4, 2015

Story - that's all about it

About three months before the entry into the pre-production phase, before the decision to take the production of SUBSEQUENTED seriously, I did not think about anything else than the story itself. Ideas came gradually and faded quickly away. I thought over the plot itself, various logic puzzles and ways how to solve them, in my head I even replayed dialogues between particular characters. I imagined the appearance of each character or scenes level design. I thought about what specific elements I want to incorporate to the story. I was randomly jumping from one idea to another.

Whenever I came up with some puzzle, a task or a dialog, I had to ask myself. Some questions repeated more and more often over the time. Why this or that will happen? What is Lensen´s motivation to do what she's doing? How does this relate to the story and what player can take from that? And generally raised question: „WHY??“.

I had to start thinking more generally. Every thought was written down (surprisingly). Well, there's heroine Lensen working at the research facility. When I mention a research facility, what is the object of the research? What is the name of the facility and who owns it? Where is it located? What happens outside the facility? Why Lensen works here? When I invented one specific situation, a minimum of three additional questions raised immediately. I had to start thinking much more generally. The first step was to identify a genre in which I had a clear vision right from the beginning. Then I analysed all the elements I wished to incorporate into this genre / story, or elements which I enjoyed in other games or movies (eg. running zombies, speaking doors, meteorite heading to Earth). I also analysed all individual lines and parts of the story and for each line I created QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS.


Questions raised, again. I started to ask myself about everything that happens in the story. Why does this happen? What motive drives Lensen forward? Are there other ways to deal with the situation? Does it make sense how she acts? If I got into that situation myself, how would I react? Questions came one after another and I did not want to leave any question unanswered! Everything must be defended and the story must not have any hole. When I had all the answers I went through the whole story again several times (edited it, scratched some parts, improved it) and I started to ask again. This time I tried to ask well-aimed questions that could blow apart the whole story (unfortunately, several examples from computer games and movies come to my mind where your well-aimed question blew the whole story during the first 15 minutes of playing / watching it and then the story breaks down).

Again - the story must have no hole, no unconsidered rift that can destroy everything (and SUBSEQUENTED does not have any holes and any unconsidered rift)!

I already thought out QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS about SUBSEQUENTED and it's really down to the last detail.

Another thing to deal with is how all this show to the players. How should I (will I) tell the story? Everything about it you will find out here soon.


PS: There are no running zombies, no speaking doors or meteorite heading for Earth in SUBSEQUENTED:-)