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Pratchett looking to make Lara Croft a more coherent character in the new Tomb Raider

Gameplay mechanics informing character development for Rhianna Pratchett's Lara Croft

Rhianna Pratchett is looking to smooth over the characterisation of Lara Croft in the upcoming Tomb Raider game.

Often in games, there is a disconnect between how the main character acts in cutscenes and how they behave in gameplay (Nathan Drake, for example, is a friendly wise-cracker in the cutscenes and a ruthless killer during gameplay). Pratchett has been looking at ways to fix this disconnect in the new Tomb Raider.

She explained, "One of the things we've been keen to do with Tomb Raider is explore the idea that action equals character. It's a fairly standard idea in other entertainment mediums, but in games there's often a strange disconnect with the way a character is presented in cutscenes (heroic, quippy, everyone's pal) and the way they act during the gameplay, i.e. mowing down enemies like there's no tomorrow."

Her solution? It's quite simple. Her idea is to look at how the gameplay mechanics are operating in order to get a sense of how to develop Lara's character.

Pratchett continues, "From a narrative perspective, I wanted to make sure that the gameplay mechanics fed back into Lara's character make-up... Looking at gameplay mechanics is often a good jumping-off point when putting together someone like Lara. It's working backwards a little bit, but it means there's not so much of a disconnect between character and action. The bravery, tenacity and resourcefulness that Lara shows during the gameplay are definitely reflected in her personality. It's all story, at the end of the day. Narrative actually saturates every facet of a game world - be it the level design, the gameplay mechanics, the characters, soundscape, etcetera."

Thanks Gamasutra.

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