Sent this ask a while ago but I think Tumblr ate it so here it is: In which stage of game development are relationships between characters decided? Asking this because I recently found an old Final Fantasy VII relationship chart and originally some characters were supposed to have completely different bonds compared to the ones they ended up having in the actual game. These seem to be quite important plot points, so I assume that final decisions should be made before creating cutscenes? Or you can change stuff later if devs come up with better ideas?

The importance of the narrative depends primarily on how important the narrative is to the game. For a game like Overwatch, where the core gameplay is team pvp, the narrative is a lot less important and things like relationships are generally prioritized. It matters more that each character fills the specific gameplay needs of a team-based pvp shooter than it matters that these characters are brothers or that group has a rivalry with this one. In a situation like Overwatch, the narrative tends to be more like the glue that holds the bigger parts of the game together - it's decided on later once the big decisions have been made (e.g. we are locking in a flying rocket character and a fast teleporting character).

The important thing to think about when it comes to development is that we can't build the game sequentially, we have to build as much of the game in parallel as we can. This means we have to start work on the things that take the longest as early as possible (e.g. building environments, creating animations and rigs, building the technology), and then do the things that take less time to complete later. For features like cutscenes, it depends on how much difficulty it takes to build the cutscenes. In the original FF7, the FMV sequences were set in stone. Making changes to pre-rendered FMV was untenable, so everything in the FMV sequences had to be locked in very early on in order to get it all done on time. The in-game bits - the low-poly characters moving, talking, and animating - were cheaper and easier to build, so they could be changed significantly later in the dev cycle. Today such things would be much more difficult due to the necessity of voice acting and the difficulty of getting the voice actors back into the recording booth.

When we're in deadlines, we have deadlines - this is the last day for us to make changes to the feature we're working on. That could mean combat, it could mean itemization, it could mean summoning magic, it could mean narrative, it could mean cutscenes/cinematics. After that deadline passes, we commit to fixing bugs with what we have and not making any more changes or additions, no matter how good the ideas are. If we can always make changes forever, we'll never ship the game. As the inestimable Dolly Parton said, "Sometimes you need to to tinkle or get off the potty."

[Join us on Discord] and/or [Support us on Patreon]

Got a burning question you want answered?

Добавить комментарий

Ваш адрес email не будет опубликован. Обязательные поля помечены *