Developer MachineGames has opened up about how the team integrated an engaging narrative with tight gameplay design for Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus.
Wolfenstein: The New Order mixes multiple themes and tones, such as protagonist BJ Blazkowicz’s personal drama, Nazi violence, and humor, throughout its story, with the development team recently explaining how it balanced these aspects for The New Order and The New Colossus.
Speaking to IGN at Gamescom 2017, Lead Narrative Designer Tommy Björk said the whole team works together in creating the story, setting, and gameplay experience. “We have this idea that narrative and gameplay should go hand-in-hand from the get-go,” said Björk. MachineGames starts by brainstorming the basic premise; thereafter, the gameplay designers plan ideas before the team members “get together and figure out location settings that are interesting to explore.” “It’s always a give and take and I think that’s really important,” he said.
Björk stressed that striking a balance between narrative and gameplay is essential to make an engaging game: “It’s important to align the player motivation with character’s motivation.” The team also uses multiple tones to make the experience feel varied. “We really like these kind of stories that don’t just hit one single note all the time, but instead contains contrast between lightness, darkness, humor, seriousness, violence, and stuff like that. It’s also part of the legacy of the Wolfenstein series. The previous game is set in WWII, but at the same time there’s this silliness, this over-the-top violence, and I think The New Order is a continuation of that, but even more emphasized through this alternate reality.”
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus takes place after the Nazis successfully won World War II in The New Order. The game is set in America, which developer MachineGames has long wanted to engage in due to its interest in portraying the country’s “familiar images from the ’60s, but subverted by the Nazi ideology.”
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus launches on October 27 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.