HomeFront – Does Story Matter in Shooter Games ?

By   /   Nov 14, 2010


Does the story really matter in shooter games ? This question was bursting in the mind of creative director Sean Dunn and rest of Kaos Studios while developing HomeFront.

Whenever, we play, our first priority, shooting enemy’s asses, understanding story and making strategies or doing both side by side. The answer was given in the form of ‘Homefront’ by Dunn and Kaos Studios team. Recently in an interview with Gamasutra, Dunn said:

“Really the narrative structure for the game came first. We did pay heavy attention to what players like to do, and the types of variances that you need to have in place so that players don’t get fatigued.”

“In a shooter, you’re generally doing the same thing over and over and over and again, and that’s shooting people in the face. So you try to provide the variance in how you approach that, the styles and the visual style of an area, the paces of an area, the number of enemies – different approaches, whether they’re stealth, or balls-out, or things like that. But within that is the importance of getting actual characters’ arcs in correctly, and getting the acts of the story in, and making sense, and having meaning, and whatnot, so we really feel the drive to play it out.”

It’s visible that it’s not an easy job to balance these acts, and Dunn and his team must have faced many challenges for approaching the subject of an American invasion with great reflection and sensitivity in order to get shooters attention.

“[We don’t] want the jingoistic, rah-rah, kill ’em all attitude – it was about characters – real characters within this world that may have been gas station attendants, or teachers, or whatever.”

It may come as a surprise to you that though Dunn has gave much veneration for the material but being a player he doesn’t generally care to pay attention to game stories. He said,

“I’ve got a lot of opinions about it, but when I play, generally I’m used to not really caring a whole lot about the story and really putting gameplay first.”

So, what was the whole perception about introducing Homefront? And how much this is going to affect the feel of this game to Shooters?

“There’s a lot of fun to be had and a lot of different visual settings. There’s a lot of work been going into really visually styling the narrative so that you really feel like you’re in the U.S; you’re in that very familiar setting”

said Dunn.

“And we’re really taking care to try to present that human cost without getting too preachy about it. It’s a fine line, and it’s not something that we as game writers could do really well without the assistance of people that have been doing it for a long time in Hollywood.”

“Sometimes Hollywood writers come in and it… just doesn’t play right and it doesn’t feel right as a game. And sometimes you get game writers that just have no idea what they’re doing and dialogue goes on and on and on interminably. And I think we’ve struck a really good balance…”

We will decide about all that when we get our hands on the game. Just tell us in the comments that being a shooter games fan; Does a good, well-told story matters to you?

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