Hello again. It’s Daniel here – the dandy writer and game designer of Opposable Games. Are you having a good week? Splendid. So let’s continue our introductory blog series into the rebirth of Salvaged. If you missed part one you can find it here.
In the last post I talked about some of the game design changes that we have made to Salvaged following player feedback; with the game becoming more tactical to better suit the experience that we want to create for our players. This concept of ‘The Experience’ (yep, capital letters and all) is an important part of my philosophy as a designer, however, it also feeds into another facet of games that I’m passionate about: storytelling.
Version one of Salvaged lacked a story in the truest sense. It had a narrative context: you are the commander of a salvage crew, go and find salvage; but it lacked a character with a sense of place in a defined universe. My first job after crashing my car through the front doors of the office (metaphorically, of course) was to create the narrative universe for Salvaged: its people, its worlds, its culture and its history. Salvaged is a dark and dirty universe; a universe in which Humanity is not the good guy and life has become a commodity. It’s mature and it sure as heck isn’t clean.
From this we developed a group of characters with various roles in the game’s story. Without giving too much away – spoilers, sweetie – it’s a story of evil and love. And aliens, gotta have aliens. I believe that good characters create an emotional bond with the game, giving the player’s actions a sense of purpose. When I say ‘good characters’ I don’t mean their moral standing but rather how interesting and believable they are. I’m a firm believer that stories should have character, and characters should have a story.
When Salvaged launches and becomes the greatest thing since Spandau Ballet and the moon landing, having a fleshed out narrative universe will give us the freedom to create more games, and tell more stories, in the Salvaged universe. As the writer of the story I’m totally geeking out at the moment as we begin to audition voice actors – Bill Paxton has told me to stop calling him – but I’m also excited to see our game story come to life and look forward to sharing it with you.
…And they all lived happily ever after.