What MADWORLD Still Lacked

MADWORLD

Filed: Games, MadWorld, PlatinumGames

MADWORLD had started to slowly coalesce as a game for me. I could see its core. However, I still had this nagging impression that we were a bit too rough in how we were handling violence.

I began to wonder… “Hmm… There has to be a way to make this more over-the-top and comical.”

Around the same time, we were preparing the points system that increases a user’s score as their kills become more and more complex and violent. With this system, if there was a way to have someone watch the game and react with comments like, “That was a high scoring kill!” or “If you would have f%&^ed him up a bit more, the score would have been higher,” the user would be able to go after brutal kills or more complex ways of dispatching enemies. They would know instantly whether their actions were being rewarded or weren’t up to snuff. I took this idea to the team, and after much talk and deliberation, everyone came around to the idea of having someone talk during the gameplay, and we decided to add play-by-play announcers to the game.

However, we knew that only having one announcer would seem a bit weak, and wouldn’t really get people excited. So we decided that they should be like Japanese Manzai comedians, with the play-by-play man joined by a color commentator, bouncing lines back and forth between each other as the game played out. I thought that if we could pull that off, we would definitely make the game even more comical. (By the way, Japanese Manzai consists of a straight man and a funny man bouncing jokes back and forth to get laughs.)
So once we were set with our announcer pair, we needed to figure out what they would say. So I went to two important team members, our resident American and Canadian, to figure out where we should go with things, and then we recorded some announcer tests in our in-house recording studio.

Of course, since I don’t understand English, I let them take care of the finer points of writing the lines; however, when they were recording the test lines, they were laughing and having a good time, so I became more confident that we could use this idea to make the game more comical.

Once the recording was done, we put the data into a development build of the game, and presented this version of the game, containing Jack’s gruesome kills with the announcers talking over the action, to the staff of SEGA of America with a bit of trepidation.

They watched the actions of Jack on screen along with the announcers talking away and everyone busted up laughing!! “They are laughing! The announcers work!!” I was able to take my suspicions that it would work and turn it into definite proof. From then on out, the announcers were in the game.

There’s another important purpose the announcers serve in MADWORLD.

The announcers performances help you get into the universe of MADWORLD and understand what it is all about. Jack has joined a murderous game show called DEATHWATCH, which makes this a world completely out of the ordinary. Thus, we needed the announcers to talk during the game to make you feel how different this world is. Even though we had really different graphics and over-the-top ways to kill enemies, I thought that we weren’t getting this across well enough, and we could have the announcers aim to fill this gap.

I gave the announcers some backstories to fill in the gaps.
Announcer 1: He is a man hired by the DEATHWATCH organizers to explain the game. A typical sports announcer.
Announcer 2: A champion of DEATHWATCH, he can add color commentary from the perspective of a former contestant, and follow up on what the first announcer is saying.

madworld-sports-11

With those two characters in place, we could get across the atmosphere of DEATHWATCH and really bring people in and explain the MADWORLD universe. I had the announcer tests work off these character descriptions, and when we went to final recording, the descriptions didn’t change at all. The actors understood my ideas and created their characters.

Announcers are usually only used in “sports games,” like soccer or baseball; however, with MADWORLD, we had a great reason to add them in, and it became another way we challenged ourselves to add the icing on the cake and make the an even more interesting, catchy game. Anyways, that is how I feel about it… But you guys have seen the trailers so far. What do you think?

14 Comments Add Your Own

Marink Posted on March 5, 2009 at 11:49 am

The trailer… The trailer was Pure Awesome! I was laughing my ass off when I saw it.

But even though MadWorld is considered a T.V Show, it's kinda like a sport.

I mean you have to try and get your rank up in order to win, you need to get point.

So when I first heard the announcers, I was hoping you guys would put them in the game.

But it sucks that you guys don't do sequels, because I thought of a cool idea for a MadWorld sequel.

It would be cool if the game continues but doesn't revolve around Jack.

Instead the player could create their own character and beat the crap about of Grunts in the game.

Also if the players had Wi-Fi they could run into other players for a DeathMatch. :D

But overall MadWorld is gonna rock and I'm glad that I reserved it. PlatinumGames Is Awesome!!

Mark Posted on March 5, 2009 at 3:08 pm

I can't wait for MadWorld am so gonna preorder it! :D

funkamatic Posted on March 5, 2009 at 4:17 pm

I heard you could turn off the commentators. I don't know how it will work out for them but I can't imagine the game without it. I LOVE John Dimaggio. Also, those guys in the death watch madworldtv.com trailers were REALLY FU**IN funny!!!

Bryan Posted on March 5, 2009 at 4:35 pm

I love the idea. I've seen the trailers, and they are hilarious. Also, great choice on the two announcers. I love those guys, and who knew that they would make a great pair? I've already got this game pre-ordered.

gyp Posted on March 5, 2009 at 9:42 pm

The announcer idea seems great, and sounds good in MadWorld clips.

As long as their comment's don't get repetitive, I'm pleased!

Guido Savio Posted on March 5, 2009 at 9:53 pm

Can't Wait!!!!!!!!!!

Falcovsleon20 Posted on March 8, 2009 at 3:34 am

You did the right thing hiring Gregg Proops and John DiMaggio. I don't know how well known those two are over seas but here in the USA, Gregg's a funny improv comic that doesn't seem to get much screen time nowadays and John is famous for the doing the voice work of many popular animated characters. (The one I'm sure sticks out in everyone's mind first and foremost is Bender from Futurama)

brad Posted on March 9, 2009 at 3:05 am

what it lacks is 480p.

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