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Wednesday, February 28, 2001

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Red Faction Q&A
8:52 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

RF World has talked with writer Mike Breault about his work with Volition on the upcoming FPS Red Faction. Breault discusses his writing experiences and getting started in the buisness. Volition's Alan Lawrence also throws in a few answers when the interview turns to more of the technical aspects about the game itself. Here's an excerpt:

Defender: How long does it take to write a typical storyline?

MikeB: There's no real answer to that. Not only does it vary greatly from project to project, but a game's storyline isn't really done until it's shipped. You're always making little tweaks up until the very end. A lot of the major foundation work happens in the first month or so, as you get the first draft of the story outline written up and then the team goes over it and agrees upon the general outline of the game. That gets refined, the team goes over it again, and then you've got something pretty solid. Then you split the general outline up into sectionsólevels, missions, what have you. That's when much of the real story work startsótaking that general outline and writing up a design doc for each level, detailing what happens in the level, the environment, who's there, what parts of the story get told there, etc. The details start to appear and you get a glimpse at what's going to work and what isn't, what fits with the story and what doesn't. After that, the level designers begin to create the levels, starting from the design docs but adding tons of creativity and their own details. Then scripting (placing the characters the player meets, the events that occur, and the interactions the player has with the world) adds another layer of creativity to the design and story.

There are lots of people involved in all this throughout the life of the project. I think my best answer to "how long does the storyline take to write?" is "the whole time!"

Head over to RF World for more from Breault on putting the story into this first-person shooter. Red Faction is set to be released for the Mac and PC later this summer or early fall.

RF World Interview
Red Faction Web Site
Red Faction

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• Red Faction Q&A8:52 AM
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