On Mixing Narrative And Violence In Company Of Heroes

stephendgamasutra.jpgGamasutra has an interesting (short) interview up with Stephen Dinehart, "narrative designer" for Relic Entertainment, the Vancouver arm of THQ. The topic? Well, Company of Heroes in general - more specifically, narrative design, violence, and historical accuracy (or lack thereof). I've read a fair chunk of thoughts on narrative design in an academic context, so it's nice to read how people think the stuff is being applied in real-world situations. Dinehart hopes that these sorts of games aren't just excuses to shoot stuff, and feels that his narrative crafting helps facilitate a more mature examination of violence:

I'm hoping that the work I'm doing breathes more life into COH and the soldiers represented on the battlefield. I hope the player walks away with a window into the hearts and minds of the soldiers. The stories for both campaigns look deeply at the price of war. I am confident we are pushing the medium to new heights. You'll have to finish both campaigns to see what I mean, and yes that is a big commitment.

A lofty order, to be sure, and time will tell if the majority of players feel it's one Dinehart and his coworkers lived up to.

Narrative Design For Company Of Heroes: Stephen Dinehart On Writing For Games [Gamasutra]


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