March 14, 2010 2 Comments
There are some typical trope settings to video games: a war zone, an apocalyptic land, zombies ate my neighbors, and even to hell and back. The themes usually applied to such miserable settings is a dark one, further hitting home that where you are, in a video game, is not a nice place to be. It’s a common story element to try and bring fear to the player in the way a bayou at dusk with fog on the horizon and the howling of woodland creatures would inspire worry. It’s the sense and feeling of waiting for it, and waiting for it—the anticipation that something may jump out at you at any moment. Or perhaps the lack of anticipating anything at all on a barren world.
Setting is part of the triad to story-telling. For any story to work, it needs characters, a plot, and a setting. Each is as crucial to the other and they usually need to go hand-in-hand with one another if the story is going to be any sorts of good. But just like a horror novel, you have to make sure that what you’re writing (and in this case, developing) is going to be enjoyable to the target demographic of gamers.
But what exactly is enjoyable? To each is own is certainly a nice expression to apply, but do people really get their jollies from roaming around in Fallout 3’s Capital Wasteland from hours on end? Or roaming around the nine levels of Hell in Dante’s Inferno? The favelas in Modern Warfare 2? The Deep Roads in Dragon Age: Origins? Riverside campaign Death Toll in Left 4 Dead? Are these the sorts of settings that gamers enjoy spending copious amount of time (sometimes the entire length of the game) surrounding their selves in dark and dreary worlds whose color palette includes gray and brown as its main swatches? Read more of this post