Welcome back to our series of articles, unveiling more details and info about the making of A Plague Tale: Innocence, the upcoming adventure game by Asobo Studio coming 2019 to PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
Today we dive into the creative process behind the main characters: Amicia and Hugo.
A glance at video game history makes it clear that a strong character can carry a story and game world alone. With that in mind, how did we create Amicia and Hugo for A Plague Tale: Innocence?
We discussed with Sébastien Renard, Lead Narrative Designer, about the story and characters of the game. Deciding who Amicia and Hugo had to be was relatively quick, but they’ve undergone many changes and iterations throughout the production process.
The story comes from ancient tales. The team worked for a long time on old classical texts, from authors such as Perrault, Grimm and Andersen. Sébastien naturally chose to tell the tale of Amicia and Hugo the same way these authors did: by contrasting the naivety and innocence of children with a dangerous and dark world.
A Plague Tale: Innocence was born from this juxtaposition of the adults’ and childrens’ worlds, between innocence and corruption. In medieval folklore, it’s common to find the idea of purity in youth facing the trickery of the rest of the world.
This background is perfect for telling a strong, intriguing story. It’s taken a year to reach the current result. Narration is always complicated, and you must iterate a lot and make tough choices to cover all the specificities of a video game, such as level design or gameplay. The story is still evolving today.
Amicia and Hugo were born together on paper, making them inseparable for the team. This unique and strong link makes them realistic. They echo with the child that everyone has been.
It’s been a huge task to ensure they have a goal, desires, and doubts coherent with their lives, building their psyche, and making sure their reactions throughout the game are coherent with their emotional background. Creating Amicia and Hugo’s physiques was also a challenge, because a child doesn’t move, react or speak like an adult, and the team had to stick to the historical period while reflecting their personalities.
The result is two innocent children facing a brutal and ruthless world, in which millions of rats ravage the Kingdom of France - already beset by war and the Black Death.
See you next week for more info and exclusive anecdotes about the creative process behind A Plague Tale: Innocence!