A Reporter, a Femme Fatale, and a McGuffin

We have some visitors today, ladies and gents. Let’s show’em what you can do…

There are some people out there who think that designing a video game takes a great deal of time. These people are right. Unfortunately, we don’t have a great deal of time; in fact, we have approximately one hour. Here is what we are going to do:

  1. Take a quick look at the game (kind of self-evident, really)
  2. Break into groups and tackle one of the problems below
 Femme Fatale?  The game play  Writing/ Voice Acting
 What we have so far  The character behind the crime in this city is an incarnation of the Femme Fatale. A Femme Fatale is usually beautiful, mysterious, and dangerous.  The gameplay is from the top-down perspective, with cut scenes when the player interacts with characters  Ms. Metler and I did all of the voice acting for the first 2-3 episodes.
The Problem According to TVTrope.org,  “the Femme Fatale must either be reformed by the hero to the side of good and lose much of her appeal in the process, or be outwitted by him to her doom.” Either way, she loses to a “stronger” male protagonist.
  •  We want to avoid some of the common gameplay elements (excessive violence, etc).
  • We are somewhat limited by the programming language we are using (flash)
  • Remember: writing/journalism must be part of the game.
  •  Ms. Metler can act. I can do a few voices that all sound a little similar. We need more.
  • The dialogue features a lot of exposition (think explaining).
  • We need some new characters with bit parts; these characters need to fit in the world.
 Guiding Question/Task  How can we create a Femme Fatale whose fate is not determined by male characters?  How can we add more variety to the gameplay so that it is not bogged down by “point and click” and long cut scenes?
  •  Write non-essential dialogue for a few new characters to add realism to the world.
  • Do the voice acting!
Motion Capture Conventions, Art, and Style
What we have so far We have been using a variety of canned animation packages and mocap footage. The game was inspired by film noir movies; originally, it was going to feature noir/sci-fi elements, like Bladerunner.
The Problem There are a few key animations that we are missing. The poses are not particularly complex:

  •  a female fortune teller sitting at a table, periodically looking at her crystal ball
  • a male character standing fairly still, but taking deep breaths
  •  female and male characters taking out guns (characters will have guns, but won’t use them)


  • The advantage of including asci fi element is that we would no longer be confined by the conventions of the “real world”.Sci fi, however, has its own rules; mixing genres could get complicated
  • .Remember: writing/journalism must be part of the game.
Guiding Question/Task
  • Not a question, really: practice doing these actions slowly and deliberately.
  • Do some motion capture!
Should this project remain strictly film noir, or should it pull from other traditions, too?

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