June 10th, 2012

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plotting character arcs

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

Up until now, most of our writing has focused on events that occurred at a particular location or time represented by each level. We have much of that type of writing finished at this point. Now we need to fill in the gaps and add continuity between the levels. We have chosen to focus on seven major NPCs (non-player characters) who travel with you for the majority of the trip: William Clark, York, Sacagawea, George Drouillard, Alexander Willard, Patrick Gass, and John Colter.

Yesterday, Carlos and I plotted out the character arcs of these seven. We outlined what happens to them in each level, and how they develop. Many of them, for instance Sacagawea, change over time, due to the events of the expedition, or the actions of the player (Meriwether Lewis). Others, such as George Drouillard, don’t change much, but rather represent general themes. We tried to stagger the moments when each character’s development peaks so that the player can focus on them at the appropriate time.

This photo shows the method we used to chart out these character arcs. Our telling of the story finally has taken shape and has its own clear voice with a new perspective we want to bring to this timeless story.