Our approach to crafting the tale behind VERSUS is a simple one. Build the world, fit the tone of said world, and above all else, be fun.
As I was brought on a little later in the project (it’s been in development for over a year), there was already quite a bit of narrative headway made. Effectively, most of the gameplay mechanics, main story beats and character designs had been carved out, but needed a few extra pieces to tie things together. So, what did we end up doing? Using the loose story bits, I mapped out the placements of characters on our large colour maps. From there it was a matter of charting the movement of the main characters’ large armies (or factions, if you will) into a place it made sense for them to run into each other, facilitating the conflicts and ultimately, the game itself.
This, of course, came after a huge development of the worlds’ back story, complete with huge time gaps and characters you’ll never meet. Now that the movement of the large groups of characters is accounted for, it was time to build the individuals. The character ticks, mannerisms and speech patterns have gone through a myriad of changes, and to chart them all would take forever- but we decided to go for a more caricature oriented character lineup, and it’s pretty obvious we made the right choice. With each one of our main factions assigned an identifiable personality trait(s), we can now get down to the brass tacks.
From there we took the main characters, and we decided to give them all light, silly back stories. Using a variant of the heroes journey (that splits considerably from the formula at the end), we’ve given each character a neat little 3 act story arc that promises to be enjoyable and suit the game well. We’ve also made it a note to give each character their own sense of humour, which hopefully adds to the personas you’ll meet in the land of ‘Charloggia’. Sorry to have been so vague, I’ve yet to get clearance to reveal the final details, but I’m sure you’ll enjoy it once I do.
At any rate, enjoy your weekend (in our case, a long weekend!).
-Charlie Ze Newbie
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