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Feature: Gears Of War's Storytelling Tools

In a new Gamasutra feature interview, Epic Games design director Cliff Bleszinski talks about how the storytelling has evolved through the Gears of War act
In a new Gamasutra feature interview, Epic Games design director Cliff Bleszinski talks about how the storytelling has evolved through the Gears of War trilogy, and how important that story has been to connecting with players. Bleszinski admits that the team at Epic didn't have the story for an entire trilogy entirely laid out when the first game was released, but said the opportunity to "have this kind of little bundle of three games together as its own arc, that kind of ends and wraps up nicely, is incredibly gratifying." Throughout the series, Bleszinski said the team has gotten better with subtler forms of environmental storytelling, with artists doing a "What happened here?" pass on rooms to highlight past events. "So you come in the room and find the guy who holed up when the Locusts attacked, and decided he had to end his own life with a shotgun type thing," he gave by way of example. Bleszinski said he also feels the ability for players to relate to specific characters in the Gears universe has been key to the franchise's long-term success. "This isn't an accident that, if you look at the poster of the characters behind you, there's one that most average people can identify with," he said. "'Oh hey, I'm a white guy, I like Marcus.' 'Oh hey, I'm Hispanic, so I identify with Dom.' Or, 'I'm a woman, so I identify with Sam, or Anya, or the Queen.' So we deliberately built the franchise to have that kind of accessibility -- to hit as broad as possible." The full interview includes Bleszinski's thoughts on making characters that stand out visually, enemies that come off as truly evil, and female characters that are tough and believable.

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