Continuing our series of DICE developer interviews, it’s time to focus on the story of Faith, the world around her, and her fight against oppression. Helping us out is one of DICE’s great wordsmiths: Christofer Emgård.
Read on and learn how a day in the life with Faith looks like for the Narrative Director of Mirror’s Edge™ Catalyst.
What’s your role on the Mirror’s Edge Catalyst project?
- I’m the Narrative Director and Writer, so I’ve been writing the Mirror’s Edge Catalyst storyline, creating its characters, and making sure everything gets told the way we intend. I also work with the cut-scenes, in-game voice-over, and the environmental story - all that peripheral stuff you see on walls in the city of Glass and so on.
That is a lot of different areas!
- For sure. There are many moving parts that need to fit together to make a cohesive story. I would claim that games are the most complex story-telling medium in that regard.
What have you been working on today?
- Today I’ve been busy with “text stuff” - finalizing things like the mission descriptions and objective names in Mirror’s Edge Catalyst. We need to make sure that there aren’t any contradictions between these and what characters talk about in the cut scenes and VO.
Speaking of cut-scenes, today I’ve also been reviewing a few these together with our Director of Photography as they become more finalized. He sets the cinematic language, and I mainly come with suggestions if I feel a different camera angle might enhance the specific emotion I’m after in a scene.
You’re also the writer of the Mirror’s Edge Exordium comic. What has it been like working on that?
- It’s been an amazing amount of fun doing Exordium. Creating something that is pure story and working close to the artists realizing my ideas has been immensely gratifying. Mirror’s Edge Catalyst is a very fitting world for a comic and the artists we have are great. The guy doing the camera work for Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, Mattias Häggström, has also done the layouts for the comics so the visual language is very similar.
Why is working on Mirror’s Edge Catalyst such a great experience for you?
- There are many reasons. It’s been very rewarding working with such a unique heroine as Faith. And after working on a lot of war games it’s been a nice change of pace to write something where weapons are not a primary focus.
Furthermore, the themes of Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, like encroaching corporatism and so on, is stuff I care about personally. There are two sides of that coin though; my brain is constantly churning when I’m so personally invested. I can wake up on a Sunday morning and think “That’s how I want to solve that scene!”
Are there any other characters than Faith you’ve enjoyed writing?
- I’ve had a lot of fun with many of the characters but I’m particularly fond of Dogen, a character who in turn is very fond of himself – and of hearing his own voice. I’ve enjoyed creating his relationship with Faith, and there’s an interesting internal conflict going on there. Dogen cares for Faith, but he doesn’t want to care for her.
What would you like players to feel after finishing Mirror’s Edge Catalyst?
- I think the feeling of really having experienced Faith’s journey is what I would want people to take with them. There’s an overarching plot with a fight against the authorities, but Catalyst is also a very personal story about Faith herself and the discoveries she makes. All that happens affects her on a personal level, so for Faith it’s not only about saving the city, but also about saving herself. If people enjoy and are moved by that experience, I’ll be very happy.