A Shakespearean Influence

As mentioned in previously posts, we wanted to portray senseless violence throughout our game. At the same time, we needed a connection between the two characters and a rationale for the violence. Enter a love triangle. We wanted to incorporate the dancer, Rebecca, into the story through dialogue, because we were unable to make her one of the playable characters in the game.

We developed a love triangle between Sheriff Jameson, Rebecca, and Billy the Kid. We wanted Billy and Rebecca’s relationship to be Jameson’s motivation for his violence. Jameson is in love with Rebecca and she was in love with him at one point in time. However, she is no longer in longer in love with him because he was too clingy. Rebecca felt an instant connection to Billy the Kid, despite his reputation, after meeting him at the saloon.

This relationship represents a Shakespearean tragedy. The characters each have their own desire. Rebecca wants Billy to make it out of town safely. Jameson wants Rebecca back and Billy dead. Billy wants to escape with his head. However, in the end, none of the characters’ desires were fulfilled. All of the characters’ stories end in tragedy, as if Shakespeare himself wrote it. In one of options for the final scene, Billy and Jameson are set to duel after Jameson walked in on Rebecca and Billy. Billy shoots Jameson first but Jameson persists and fires a deadly shot into Billy the Kid. The town surrounds Jameson with cheers as he takes his final breaths. In the end Jameson did not win over Rebecca and Billy did not make a great escape. Each characters’ fate ends in tragedy. 

The idea of adding a Shakespeare style romance to the game was not our original intent. We wanted to focus solely on violence. However, the romance aspect allowed us to implement more drama which in turn led to more senseless violence.

Historical Accuracy

As we look for sources on Billy the Kid, we found many primary sources on his life. Most of the sources on Billy the Kid are found in the newspaper, one exception is the book written about him by the man that killed him. Although some historians said there were some minor discrepancies in Garret’s book.

We noticed some differences in the primary sources, especially in the number of people Billy killed. One of the newspaper said he killed nineteen people, another said twenty-one people, and another said he killed eight people. What does a video game producer, who wants to be historically accurate, do when the research is conflicting?

The same can be said for the video game producers that want to do a historically accurate video game on other events that weren’t recorded well. For instance, like we talked about in class, during the French Revolution, only the elites were written about and wrote in their journals. The lower class did not keep a record of what was going on. This causes limitations for video game producers who would want to produce a video game that was historically accurate about the lower class pre-French Revolution.

I think the reason a lot of video games focus on the world wars is because there are a lot of primary and secondary sources on the wars. This gives the producer the tools to make the game historically accurate or lack accuracy depending on their objective for the game. However, I think producers are trying to diversify games with the inclusion of less documented history and alternate history.

Team Senseless Violence Day 4

Today we made a lot of headway on which characters we wanted to include in our game. Since we our using twine, we decided we should keep the character count at three. The American West is known for many historical personas such as the outlaw, cowboy, lawman, prostitute, farmer, and a saloon worker.

For our first of three characters we decided on an outlaw. We felt as though an outlaw closely identified with the image of the Wild West. When choosing the character traits for the outlaw, we decided that the character should be an actual historical figure. A book from the library described several men killing people and being lawless, most of them named Bill. Wild Bill Hickok stood out for his killing and apparent lawlessness, but after further research we discovered he was coincidentally a lawman. Someone mentioned Billy the Kid being the most famous outlaw so we decided to look into him as character for the game. We concluded that he was the perfect choice because of his reputation as a gunman and notoriety in the American West.

For our second character we thought it best to go with the complete opposite of an outlaw, a lawman. We contemplated whether to represent the lawman as a young man new to the position who still had a moral compass or an older man who was wise and knew outlaws like the back of his hand. In the end we decided something in between. In our research of Billy the Kid we discovered the lawman who killed him. We thought we could base the lawman off of Billy the Kid’s killer, Pat Garret. He was middle aged. As a result, we thought he may have some moral compass but yet have the wisdom of an older lawman.

For our last character, we decided on a woman. At first we thought maybe she would work at the saloon in the town. But after some thought we decided she would be a prostitute working in the saloon. Her name will be Rebecca. We want Rebecca to be of some help to the outlaw, but we didn’t decide on much detail about her past that.

For our next steps in our game making we need to find some research about the American West. We saw a book in the library on Billy the Kid so hopefully that can be one of our primary sources. Then we need to work more on our storylines for each character and develop how they  intertwine.