Hey everyone, Mike here again. For part 2 of my section on design changes for New School Blues I’ll be focusing on changes to script and dialogue. You may remember from last entry that we originally wanted to have several fully-voiced characters coupled with a dialogue heavy script. After some discussion, we decided to make all the characters mute. Why such a massive change?
Because Snake Eyes is awesome?
For starters, we realized hiring a full voice cast wouldn’t be a wise investment of time and resources on such a strict schedule since getting studio time for multiple people in a short period can prove problematic. Factoring in potential design and script changes causing retakes we decided it would just cause too many issues.
Finally as puzzle design became more and more settled, we realized that having that much dialogue would take away from player immersion. It’s often much easier for users to identify with their character if they are silent since dialogue and text can remove players from the action.
You may have heard of a few games that take this approach
We still wanted some kind of vocal element, so we shifted towards making the game more storybook-like and adding a narrator. Having one not only increases immersion since the user will now feel like part of the story, but it also resolves our resource and scheduling issues while cutting down the script so players spend less time reading and more time solving puzzles.
It’s so amazing to look back at initial documentation for NSB and see all these changes already. It’s been challenging at times, but every modification has made the game leaner, fitter, and more awesome. That’s enough out of me, time to hand it off to my teammates! Jonathan is about to share his initial work on fleshing out NSB’s visual aesthetic. Stay tuned!