informa
2 min read
News

When building the new Lara Croft, you've gotta work backwards

Writer Rhianna Pratchett has been working on the Tomb Raider reboot for over two years now, and she tells Gamasutra in a new interview that gameplay mechanics are "often a good jumping-off point when putting together someone like Lara."
There's a real disconnect between game protagonists and the actions they perpetrate, suggests Rhianna Pratchett, cinematic writer on next year's Tomb Raider reboot, under development at Crystal Dynamics. "One of the things we've been keen to do with Tomb Raider is explore the idea that action equals character," says Pratchett. "It's a fairly standard idea in other entertainment mediums, but in games there's often a strange disconnect with the way a character is presented in cutscenes (heroic, quippy, everyone's pal) and the way they act during the gameplay, i.e. mowing down enemies like there's no tomorrow." So how do you solve the problem? Work backwards, she suggests. "From a narrative perspective, I wanted to make sure that the gameplay mechanics fed back into Lara's character make-up... Looking at gameplay mechanics is often a good jumping-off point when putting together someone like Lara. It's working backwards a little bit, but it means there's not so much of a disconnect between character and action. The bravery, tenacity and resourcefulness that Lara shows during the gameplay are definitely reflected in her personality." The division between storytelling and gameplay is, ultimately, artificial, Pratchett argues. "It's all story, at the end of the day," she says. "Narrative actually saturates every facet of a game world -- be it the level design, the gameplay mechanics, the characters, soundscape, etcetera." For more on how Pratchett has worked to reshape Lara and the rest of the Tomb Raider universe -- and her opinions on the ways in which game development fails the narrative creation process -- read Gamasutra's full feature interview.

Latest Jobs

Treyarch

Playa Vista, California
6.20.22
Audio Engineer

Digital Extremes

London, Ontario, Canada
6.20.22
Communications Director

High Moon Studios

Carlsbad, California
6.20.22
Senior Producer

Build a Rocket Boy Games

Edinburgh, Scotland
6.20.22
Lead UI Programmer
More Jobs   

CONNECT WITH US

Register for a
Subscribe to
Follow us

Game Developer Account

Game Developer Newsletter

@gamedevdotcom

Register for a

Game Developer Account

Gain full access to resources (events, white paper, webinars, reports, etc)
Single sign-on to all Informa products

Register
Subscribe to

Game Developer Newsletter

Get daily Game Developer top stories every morning straight into your inbox

Subscribe
Follow us

@gamedevdotcom

Follow us @gamedevdotcom to stay up-to-date with the latest news & insider information about events & more