Publisher: Focus Interactive
Platforms: Playstation 4 / XBOX One / PC
Release Date: May 2017
Contributions: Narrative Design, World Building, Character Bios
CREATING A 360-DEGREE WORLD
We were introduced to Deck 13 by their publisher, Focus, and began our journey together introducing our process to build narrative around four channels of storytelling: cinematic, environmental, gameplay and progression storytelling. Deck 13 was building a new IP and World from scratch, but already had a good idea of the experience they wanted to craft in a post-apocalyptic setting, after a fall of society, and with an everyday hero who had to repurpose objects to make armor and weapons.
IN THE GAME FROM THE START
We kicked off in Frankfurt with a dedicated and intense team of game makers – working with a core team of eight ranging in talent from art design, game design, level design and programming. After bringing a pitch and process together, we accompanied the project over time, concentrating on world level design and characters first.
DEFINING OUR HERO
Once their scope set, and with the main elements in place, the overarching story could be developed, and it was exciting. A lot of work had to be done through iteration on tone – the main hero is a normal guy fighting against an absurd system that has him trapped in a hell on earth. It took some whittling, but the end result made the game feel novel and original.
CRAFTING A GROUNDED, BELIEVABLE WORLD
You can’t create a game about repurposing factory equipment to make gladiator weapons if you don’t have a proper world first. The work with Deck 13 on world design was immense – with the goal to maintain coherency and refer to core lore so every part and weapon felt credible.
WRITING THE GAME
Scripts and dialogues were forged with the team in the studio in Germany over three to four months. Final in-game text and editing checks were numerous as the game provided an ambitious open world feel in a controlled setting.