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  • Results from Game Design Challenge: Literary Inspirations

    - staff

  • Terumi Tamaki, Romeo and Juliet: Happily Ever After

    Romeo and Juliet is one of the most well known pieces of literature in the world. Their tragic story makes for an interesting gameplay narrative.

    In the game Romeo and Juliet: Happily Ever After, the idea of the game is to prevent the tragic demise of the star crossed lovers. You play an average day to day citizen of Verona, named Kismet. You are neither friend nor foe to the Capulets and Montagues, but are obviously aware of them and their nature. The key is that as Kismet, you are witness to many of the key moments and elements to the story of Romeo and Juliet.

    Some of those key moments are: the beginning of the story where a key battle ensues between the Capulets and Montagues, the ball where Romeo first meets Juliet, the battle between Romeo and Tybalt, etc. In the game, the player can actually affect the outcome of these moments. It will be possible to steer Romeo away from Montague party, and never having him meet Juliet at the ball. Or it will be possible for the player to inform poor Romeo that Juliet is still alive in the tomb. Ultimately, there will be plenty of options and potential moments where the player can find ways to alter the story of Romeo and Juliet, in hopes of preventing the classic ending.

    The gameplay will be played from the third person perspective, with the storyline gameplay elements of a Fallout 3 type game. The entire game will be played in real time so to speak. The game is a timed game, so the player is like an actor in the story. That is the story will play out even if the player stands in one spot the entire game.

    The focus of the game is on the story. Many games that adapt storylines tend to use the storyline merely as a skin on a game. This game is more geared towards those who want to discover a storyline.

    Of course, many great stories have an interesting twist. If science fiction has taught us anything, is that altering key moments in history can have unintended consequences. Altering the story at different moments creates other moments that are unrelated to the original story. The player will have to discover and resolve these loose ends in hopes of continuing the storyline.

    The grand idea behind the entire game is that the ending will always end the same. The original story of Romeo and Juliet heavily invokes the idea of fate. The characters often have dreams or premonitions of the future, depicting their fate. The central theme of this game will be built around the idea that fate cannot be curtailed. The story is already told and ending already set, the only difference is how one gets to their final destination. This makes the title and premise of the game a bit of a tease, but I believe literature fans and gamers will find the irony amusing.


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