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Alex Walz 02-26-2010 04:13 PM

DOF Lead Writer Gordon Farrell Discusses Narrative Design


Originally Posted by The MMO Gamer
Welcome to the 22nd episode of the Working As Intended podcast!

In this week’s show we’re joined by Gordon Farrell of Reverie World Studios to discuss Dawn of Fantasy, the company’s inaugural MMORTS.

Gordon is Lead Writer on the project, and as story quality (or lack thereof) in the genre is a favorite topic of discussion here at The MMO Gamer, you can bet that we had a lively conversation.

For those wondering about his credentials to pontificate on such topics, when he’s not working on Dawn of Fantasy, Gordon teaches screen and playwriting at NYU, as well as courses in Narrative Theory for Electronic Games, which he literally wrote the book on.

Having said that, it was Technical Difficulties Week here at Working As Intended, and as a result the audio quality of this podcast is not quite up to par with some of our other productions.

But, if you can bear with the occasional hiccup (and our usual epic-length interviewing style) you will be rewarded.

While you've seen the battles, drooled over the strongholds, heard all about the races and unit types, read up on MMORTS gameplay, you've heard very little about one of Dawn of Fantasy's greatest assets: its narrative storyline. For this reason, Reverie World is enthralled to present you with its first podcast discussion, in which DOF's Lead Writer, Gordon Farrell, discusses the high-concept narratives accomplished in Dawn of Fantasy with the staff from

How do games become art? How do you tell a story with an RTS? Why are stories important? Why don't games have better writers? Furthermore, what about Dawn of Fantasy attracted Gordon Farrell, a published author, playwright, and screenwriter, an award-winning scenario designer, and a narrative writing professor at one of the US' finest universities?

To hear Gordon's answers to all of these questions, and more, listen to The MMO Gamer's "Working As Intended" Podcast #22.

Kire 02-26-2010 05:04 PM

Nice hearing, tho if this is fantasy friday i am very pleased. And now i dont worry anymore about DoF lore =).

I am also just looking forward for future games ((mmo)rts, mmorpg) where you can also decline quest and has similar effect as completing it (usually in games if you decline them they are still there or you cannot get further). For example killing x person, but you dont want to kill him and this decision not killing him would have an impact on your world as would be the one for killing it. But if the game is just there to finish given quests (with no other way or choice - dont say you have a choice at latest warhammer 40k ... its just kill or be killed/game over =P) and you are just a tool to do it (and you always do it or just load and try again) becomes rather dull and depressing.
They said there that the lore is happening around character and the character is the player himself ... so, since we are not playing someone else life, will it be possible to decline an important quest without appearing it after few days again or just waiting there for you and maybe you wont be also be able to go further? Will declining important quest have greater impact on you?

The other thing is, if you fail quest/mission it shouldnt be game over or start over again till you do it, but it would be interesting if the game (same as before) would roll on and in the end (with ups and downs) you would see what conclusion your deeds brought.
For example in warcraft 3 ..... wouldnt be cool when you played arthas and he was on crossroad to take frostmourne and have all power and therefore joins undeads (this latest you wouldnt know at that point) or you stay holy and not taking it but maybe you wont be able to defeat malganis. Malganis would later return to Lordaeron and lead army that you would if you joined undeads. And here it would be up to you to win battles or loose them (no saves or loads to try least not on hard mod =P).
It would be hard to make an expansion since so many different conclusions .... but they could make just 1 official (trough some kind cinematic/movies and as players play theirs, they create their own ... the way how would they react/act in given situation. Tho would be more personal (i always think about what i would do.....). Or maybe would be 2 campaigns. One campaign of preset hero and the second for playerhero (which could happen meanwhile the preset hero camp. or after it) and here computer would play that preset hero and you would play avatar that represent yourself and have your share of story (you would be put right into it ... like you would be there and its up to you what to do).

metman 02-26-2010 05:39 PM

This is great but is it the fantasy friday? :D

Alex Walz 02-26-2010 06:02 PM

This is not today's Fantasy Friday. I'm really sorry it's not up yet, yesterday some of my game files must have gotten corrupted or deleted so I've been trying to clean up my DOF directory and re-update everything. Thanks for your patience, and it will be up soon - although I may add to it over the weekend.

Justin 02-26-2010 11:16 PM

Over 50 minutes, wow quite long, I guess I'll listen to it later.

LiTos456 02-27-2010 10:04 AM

Was interesting. Very nice.
Justin Gordon only speaks for the first 20 minutes maybe.

Justin 02-27-2010 11:43 PM

I think he talked more than the first 20 minutes but you were right it was most interesting and made me even more interested in this game.

Negthareas 03-01-2010 10:06 PM

Great - I am always fascinated by things like this - peaks my interest for DoF.

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