EPIC: BATTLE FOR MOONHAVEN
DEVELOPER/PUBLISHER Gameloft Buenos Aires
ROLE Narrative Designer
Epic: Battle for Moonhaven is a city-building game with real-time battles based on the computer-animated film produced by 20th Century Fox and Blue Sky, the makers of Ice Age.
CHALLENGE: NOT STICKING TO THE SCRIPT
Because the game was set for release just before the film hit theaters, we were asked that the game avoid any plot spoilers. So how do we write a game based on a story that we can't fully utilize?
PROCESS & IMPLEMENTATION: FLIPPING THE SCRIPT
I read the entire movie script several times, which gave me a sense of the characters, the setting, and what plot spoilers NOT to reference. Since we decided that the gameplay mechanics would be both tycoon and combat-based, we took the central part of the movie—the conflict between the Leafmen and the Boggans—and focused on that piece for our game. We framed the battles and city-building as events that were happening in parallel to the movie's storyline.
Additionally, I wrote all of the in-game dialogue, quest text, and item descriptions for the game, including fleshing out never-before-seen characters and side stories for later updates.