When developing games, you can't start out with the question:
How to I make a game about character, chivalry, morality, and honor?
Instead you MUST ask the simple question:
Is this game fun?
We have all seen the awful attempts to teach children something good by making a video game. One time as children, me and my brothers sent our mom to rent a video game from the local video store. (this was a reward for finishing all our homework in a timely manner) We gave her the name of the game we wanted, but were disappointed when she came home with Mario's Time Machine. (do you remember that nonsense of a video game) I'm sure Mom thought it would be great to rent a game that would teach her kids history, indeed that is what they were pitching to her on the back of the box. "Travel through time and answer history questions to proceed!" Doesn't sound like fun? Instead of jumping on mushrooms and fighting browser, you needed to find out where Isaac Newton went to school, and answer correctly in a quiz! Needless to say, we didn't enjoy it very much, and we didn't learn anything... because we didn't play it.
On the other hand, I have learned quite a bit when doing something fun, like when you play a game or watch a movie about history that sparks your interest and leads you almost unconsciously to your computer to read up on a person or an event. Learning is not necessarily fun, but having fun is a good place to start learning. Knowing this truth, and developing such a fun game and story, I am not satisfied like so many other developers to simply entertain. If we have something fun, that means we have an audience. If we have an audience, then I feel a responsibility to that audience. Why not take the opportunity to challenge players to think about questions that matter ...questions like: "What does chivalry, honor, character and courage mean to you?" I plan to bring these questions to mind through character driven storytelling.
I have been telling my kid's bed time stories since they could understand (I have three boys of 2yrs 4yrs and 5yrs), and I love it. I usually start by allowing them to pick the protagonist and antagonist. (this usually results in a story about Spiderman fighting Darth Vader or something) Sometimes however, I will tell them a story from my childhood. I grew up drawing and writing about knights, dragons, and castles, and while most of these stories are lost in my cluttered garage, this tale begs to be told, and I can't remove it from my brain, or focus on any other story until I tell it!
My main inspiration for storytelling comes from mother, who (before she passed) wrote a few novels for young girls, which left an eternal window into her personality, values and character. I wish to do the same, but not with a novel for girls. (because well... all my spawn are manchilds) I mean to tell my story through tightly developed downloadable games, games that will be enjoyed by geeks like me, kids like mine, and everyone else who loves character centered storytelling and fantasy. And in doing so I can promote the values that I think are so missing in today's entertainment, where gore, sexuality, and selfish actions are promoted.
It does not surpass my primary goal (to make a really fun mobile game) but it is a goal non the less.
The image shows the process of bringing one of the characters to life. I started with a photo (David is a friend who graciously loaned us his visage for the project) and quickly sketched over it to prepare it for another artist to finish up. The character is Sir Ector, a soft spoken knight who's renown for is impartiality, he judges others solely by their actions regardless of their race, heritage, or social standing. He is not without enemies though, choosing to dine with his squires and servants more than the dukes and lords of his land has earned him the nickname "The Indigent"